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Thread: Question about building milk supply?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Question about building milk supply?

    Okay, sorry if this sounds stupid...my LO is 4 weeks old today and he is nursing and also get some formula and EBM supplements as well. We had issues with sore nipples and latching and we are still working on that. I'm hoping to wean him off the bottle supplements very soon. Anyway, my question is how exactly does an LO help build milk supply? I mean, I know the supply/demand thing and the more he nurses, the more I make. But the thing is...what if he wants 4 oz and my breasts are only making 3 oz right now. Do I just let him suck and suck and be frustrated and hungry? I've heard that it can take 24 hours or so for my body to catch up to his demand, so does he just have to go hungry in the meantime? That's the part that confuses me!

    Incidentally, when he gets EBM or formula I also pump to keep my supply up and I'm also taking fenugreek. I'm just hoping we can get to the stage where I'm not hurting anymore, and I can meet all his milk needs. Thanks for the input!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    I think the natural way is to let him suck anytime he wants. You could even try breast compression as well (squeezing your breast while he nurses). He may seem like he is sucking endlessly but that is how he will maintain and increase your supply. Sometimes you may feel that he is very hungry and not getting enough, however your milk will come in. This is definately frustrating during their growth spurts, where one day baby is latched on almost all day it seems, and then the next you have too much milk, etc.. the cycle goes on and on As long as baby has enough wet/poopy diapers as they recommend and he is gaining, you'll get the hang of these up and down periods like a pro

    Congratulations and it's great that you're intent on solely breast feeding

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    Hi,
    I'm going to move you to a forum that can better help you with your issues!

    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    Hi there!

    I can understand how this idea can be confusing.

    The idea of supply and demand works because of milk removal *and* breast/nipple stimulation. So if your LO is sucking so much and still needing more, your body will produce more, due to his stimulation, even if it seems like you are "empty". Your body will also produce more because he removes what is already there. So, under normal circumstances: a baby wants 3 oz., he takes 3 oz. and the mom's body says, ok I need to make 3 more oz. This is how your body regulates to baby's needs. (This is how moms trying to "store up" milk in advance of returning to work often create an oversupply. They tell their bodies to make too much by pumping on top of when the baby is nursing.)

    Obviously he should be nursing as much as he wants to set the proper production of milk. But there are some moms, who for varying reasons, are just not producing enough for the baby's needs. Usually this rectifies itself with increased nursing/stimulation. If not, then there comes the need for supplementing.

    Does this make sense?
    Last edited by LLLKate; October 26th, 2006 at 06:10 PM. Reason: mistype

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    hi, i kinda have the same question. my little girl is 10 weeks old, exclusivley brestfed and i am going back to work , i have an electric breastpump, how do i increase my supply? i am going back to work in a week.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    Kate, that does make sense, but I guess my real question is...how long does it take my body to catch up and produce the amount my LO wants to drink? Are we talking a matter of minutes, hours or days? I just have visions in my head of constantly nursing a LO who isn't getting enough milk, and that's why I still haven't done completely away with the supplements.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    Well, in order to answer this question I would need more info. Specifically:

    How/why was it decided that you needed to supplement with formula and EBM? When did it start? How much supplement does he get now, per day? (How many ounces/how many times)

    What are all of his weights so far? (birth, lowest, any others, current-and at what ages)


    But, I can give you a general answer. Typically, if the baby is sucking effectively, a mom's milk supply will increase within a few days with increased feedings. (from LLLI's BAB)

    I will check back for your response!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    Quote Originally Posted by bekno1 View Post
    hi, i kinda have the same question. my little girl is 10 weeks old, exclusivley brestfed and i am going back to work , i have an electric breastpump, how do i increase my supply? i am going back to work in a week.
    Hi there!
    May I ask why you think you need to increase your supply? Have you had issues with low supply?

    Many moms are nervous about providing enough milk for their babies when they return to work. You are very normal with that feeling. But, if you are able to pump while separated from dd (the number of times depends on how long your day is) then you should be fine. Your dd will drink the milk you pumped from the day before.

    Have you tried pumping? If so, how has it worked for you?

    Is your pump new? What kind is it?

    Sorry for all of the questions...just want to get a better idea of what information you could use!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question about building milk supply?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loadsangel View Post
    I guess my real question is...how long does it take my body to catch up and produce the amount my LO wants to drink? Are we talking a matter of minutes, hours or days? I just have visions in my head of constantly nursing a LO who isn't getting enough milk, and that's why I still haven't done completely away with the supplements.

    You may be constantly nursing a LO (for a short time period) when you do away with supplements, until your supply catches up. You are constantly making milk, your breasts are never really empty, so your lo will most likely get enough during this short time period, its just that you will only see the side of your lo's head for a few days while you build up milk. Maybe wean him off slowly from bottles and then take a "babymoon". And pump pump pump. It shouldnt take too long, a few days at the most?? Hope my rambling helps! You can do it!!!!

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