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Thread: Can't hand express after nursing - low supply?

  1. #1

    Default Can't hand express after nursing - low supply?

    Hello! I'm really concerned about my supply. My daughter is 11 weeks old and while she was gaining weight really quickly in the beginning (8-9 oz/week) she has slowed down now and in the past week didn't gain any. I have noticed lately that if I try to hand express after she nurses I can't always get any little drops on the tip of my nipple - does this mean the milk is gone? Is this a sign of low supply?

    She is acting normal and has 6-8 wets a day and is a 5-7 day (huuuge) pooper.

    (I go to a bf'ing group weekly which is where I weigh her. Same scale, naked weight.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Can't hand express after nursing - low supply?

    Not being able to hand express does not indicate low supply, since hand-expression is a learned skill, and not something that everyone can do effectively at all times. The best gauge of supply is diaper output: good output = good input. What may have happened is that your supply has regulated. Most moms start out making more milk than their babies need- it's nature's way of making 110% sure that the baby gets fed. But making extra milk is a waste of your body's energy and also puts you at risk for things like plugged ducts and mastitis, so eventually your body uses the amount of milk left in the breast after nursing to figure out how much the baby actually needs, and down-regulates supply to more exactly match what the baby takes.

    That being said, just keep an eye on weight gain. If you see several consecutive weeks with no gain, it may be time to check things out with the pediatrician. But remember that growth isn't always constant in all dimensions: some weeks a baby puts her calories equally into height and weight. Other weeks growth pauses in one dimension as calories are allocated to growing in another dimension. And once your baby starts to become mobile, it's very normal for weight gain to slow way down or even cease as calories that used to get packed on as fat get burned up in motion, instead.

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