Am I producing enough milk?

Megan - posted on 07/31/2012 ( 34 moms have responded )

10

0

0

My little guy is 5 wks old and had poor weight gain. I started supplementing pumped breast milk (per our pediatrician) after each feeding x 3 days. He gained 7oz in three days so now we are decreasing to every other feeding. My concern is, is that he seems so unsatisfied after just the feedings at the breast where as before starting supplements he was satisfied... Not sure what to do? Doe his behavior mean that I'm not producing enough? I mean I am either feeding him on one side while pumping the other or double pumping every hour to two hours. He just seems so hungry, and I really don't want to have to keep supplementing with a bottle of pumped breast milk to satisfy his hunger unless I have to. But obviously if I'm pumping enough for supplements he gets enough from the breast...??

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Celeste - posted on 07/31/2012

3,050

30

870

Never judge baby's behavior as an indicator of supply. As far as weight gain, you want about a lb average per month from lowest weight



The best way to know if you're making enough is by diaper count. As long as your baby is getting 6-8 diapers (no matter content) baby is getting plenty. The best way to increase supply is by nursing more.

Sally - posted on 08/06/2012

963

14

8

The weight charts most doctors have were made in the 1950's when it was a point of pride to have the fattest baby possible. Now that we now how unhealthy that really is, some new charts have been made, but very few doctors have them. As long as he's alert and going potty enough, ignore his weight. If you can't stop worrying, talk to a lactation consultant or your local La Leche League leader. Unfortunately, most pediatricians know very little about nursing babies and some of them will give you some very scary misinformation.
If you can pump enough to feed him, you are making more than enough to nurse him. Pumps are never as efficient as babies.
Babies don't grow at the nice neat curve the charts show. They hang out for a while, then they get fat, then they hang out, then they get long, repeat over and over again. When they get bigger, they time their growth spurts for right after you took the tags off the new school clothes and washed them. :)
Newborns eat frequently and every time he's ready to grow.he'll start frantically eating more. You'll think he's starving, but he's really training your breasts to make the new larger amount of food he'll need when he gets bigger.
Good luck and enjoy your baby

Heather - posted on 08/05/2012

11

13

0

a beastfed baby should gain in the first 3 months 3-7oz per week, and they should regain the birth weight within i believe its the first week or two. from reading your post it looks like your baby lost weight up until day 5 after birth, they should only lose weight within a day after being born, it also looks like it took your baby took a month to regain the lost baby weight. so i think you were right in pumping, but now your baby is a month old and is probably more awake and more efficient, so try weaning off the bottle and see how it goes, also it is normal to breastfeed every hour, your baby is doing this to increase your milk suppy, i breastfed my older daughter every 2 hours until she was 10.5months, than every 4 until 16.5months when she weaned. in some cultures they BF all day long and use themselves even as soothers. it is also normal for babies to demand to BF more in the evening and during the night. when my older daughter was about 7 or 8 weeks shes nursed on and off for like 2/3 hours. my second daughter was a preemie she was very challenging to feed, but thats another story, shes 19.5months and still bf 2 times a day.

Maria - posted on 08/05/2012

3

24

0

Be careful with the pumping too often. It can actually cause your milk supply to reduce. At 5 weeks your baby is going to also hit a growth spurt. And then again around 8 weeks, and 12. It seems crazy but breastfeeding your baby every two hours at this "feeding frenzy" time, is not at all uncommon. Try to nurse on both sides. I usually feed on one and then change babies diaper to wake them up, and feed on the other. It helps build up your milk supply the more you breastfeed vs. pumping. Good luck and stick with it! It can be very frustrating but so rewarding for you and baby :)

Celeste - posted on 08/01/2012

3,050

30

870

Doc is wanting too much weight gain for a breastfed baby. Keep in mind that doctors don't get much lactation education. You were doing perfectly fine before!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

34 Comments

View replies by

Melissa - posted on 08/21/2012

663

7

67

My son was born (valentine's day) weighting 7lb 12oz. He dropped to 6lb 15oz. It took him 5 weeks to get back up to birth weight. Dr's recommendations were to breastfeed at least every two hours (confirmed by lactation consultant) and pump after each feeding (to increase supply) as well as taking fenugreek. At his two month check up he was in the 14th percentile. I was very persistent that I wanted to nurse and my Dr. was supportive. My son is now 6 months old and in the 76th percentile for weight! You would never know he had a hard time gaining weight. We still don't know why he wasn't gaining weight. But he had enough wet diapers. Sometimes it takes longer for the baby to put the weight on. As long as he has enough wet diapers you are doing fine. I would suggest keeping him on the breast longer and not giving a bottle of expressed milk. Keep it up! You are doing great! :)

Patricia - posted on 08/19/2012

51

19

3

Oh and megan, my dd sounds like your boy... was 8lb 1oz and lost 11% before we left despote all the midwifes thinking she was latching on perfectly each time. Then between months 2-3 she only put on 1oz a week. Latch looked great, never had cracked nipples or engorged breast, nappy count excellent. Hcv said it must be my latch but waa baffled when she saw what we did and it looked ok. She finally came up with something that may have been what waa happening. My dd may have been a lazy eater. The milk is made up of two parts, the first parts like a drink and second is where all the nutrients fats etc are. She suggested dd was latching and feeding great for first part and was only lazily sucking for the second part and not getting enough of the fat building stuff for weight gain. She suggested i do a boobie lock in, cancel all appointment, forget housework, turn off the phone and feed bub for a week, waking her half wa through or re latching her after 10/15min. My dd would happily suck away for an hour and she also suggested that i get her into a routine of no more than 25m at a time (around 3months). Worked for me. At 4 mths i was shattered and my confidence had taken a dent from previois experience and i started supplementing 1 feed a day (around about 3pm when I naturally have a slump anyway). It gave me peace of mind and didnt affect supply. We fed until she was 2.5 and she is 4.5 now and all throughout she has had sudden weight gain and loss which is perfectly normal for her and i have since found out my dh by my dh extended family its normal for a lot of bubs/kids on his side. Dont lose confidence, trust yourself and you will be fine x

Patricia - posted on 08/19/2012

51

19

3

Yeah, you are producing enough but just think what you are like after a big xmas dinner ...sleepy and satisfied lol

Also just remember its all about supply and demand. Your milk wont slowly dwindle away either. If your worried about not having enough or having less, practise the side feeding in bed and read a book, go on your phone or sleep for an hour at a time while he feeds away. You will be up in no time. Good luck x

Mary - posted on 08/18/2012

28

1

3

Hi my baby is now 6 months old and weighs 16 pounds but at first I was having the problem that he wanted to eat every hour or so and for a long time but I think the more you feed the Moses you make. Just hang in there :) you are doing great!

Catherin - posted on 08/18/2012

7

0

1

someone on here talked about gaia lactate support... not sure if its the extra domperidone or that but my supply has picked up enough after a couple of days to be noticeable!!!

Crystal - posted on 08/14/2012

22

13

1

doctors only go by what they are taught. Every baby is different and will grow on their own. You are the momma!! you will be able to tell if he's not gaining weight enough. The babies saliva will let your breast know how much milk to produce. There is an herbal tea made by Earth Mamma call Mothers milkmaid. It works very well. Sadly my baby only nursed on me for 2wks then she stopped so I am a full time pumping mommy! she is now 8mos old and we are still going strong. So for those who say you can't pump and keep up, I beg to differ! I have cases on top of case of frozen milk in my deep freeze! The more you pump the more milk you will produce. If he stays on the breast that's great but if he don't and you have to pump that's ok too at least he is getting the good stuff aka..liquid gold!! Good Luck!

Heather - posted on 08/14/2012

11

13

0

someone said ditch the soother. i have succesfully breastfed two babies long term, my now 20 month old is still breastfeeding as i stated in an earlier post. both kids has soothers even my preemie who had feeding issues. do not ditch the soothers, they become very helpful later on and a baby will only accept them if introduced them early on. just make sure you use soothers after baby is fed and while baby sleeps and make sure you feed at least every 2 hours. if you have just fed the baby and 20 min has passed and you are doing something a soother is fine to hold the baby off while you finish what you are doing. babies are smart they can learn both things successfully

Norma - posted on 08/14/2012

6

2

0

I felt like I was breast feeding around the clock... But this being my third baby, I learned that feeding on baby's demand was key to keeping a good supply. I breast feed him when he is hungry... And it was a LOT these first two months. Hang in there, feed on demand and you'll see excellent results. I think too often doctors expect the same results for all babies. Feeding every 3 hrs, gaining X amount of weight, etc... Try not to fixate too much on those general goals, as long as your baby is happy & having wet diapers, you should be on the right track :)

Melanie - posted on 08/14/2012

3

14

0

One thing to consider is emptying the breast. Both my boys were "leisurely snackers," eating more smaller meals rather than fewer big meals. If you're emptying the breast when you're pumping but the baby isn't emptying while nursing, the milk won't fill back up to the same level, and the milk supply can lessen. My pediatrician insisted 15 minute per breast, but since my boys didn't follow the dr's instructions, I just made sure that if they weren't emptying the breast fully on one feeding, we'd go back to the same one next feeding until it was empty, then switch. Sure it meant I was sometimes a little uneven, but they were both very well fed and growing beautifully. Also, my mom suggested eating a lot of leafy greens to promote lactation, plus it was just good for me and baby too. Good luck, and enjoy you new baby!

Ghazal - posted on 08/14/2012

6

0

0

Hi Megan, I am breast feeding my baby and now she is 2 months older and she gained fair weight. I guess your pediatrician said so because babies fed formula milk gain weight more quickly than breast fed ones. (not healthier though)
What I would suggest is to stop using pump and let baby suck it directly from your breast. It helps in production of milk. You could give supplement once in 24 hours without your milk.
Also if you could eat a spoon of cumin seeds each day with maybe milk or some juice. Try eating a capsule Herbana (or something equalilant to it) You can google it.
But I would again say let baby suck from you if she is suckling that means she is taking as much she needs. You may increase number of feeds too.
cheers!

Michelle - posted on 08/13/2012

8

3

1

I recommend Diana West's book "The Breastfeeding Woman's Guide to Making More Milk".. There are whole chapters about how to assess your supply, and about how to supplement without reducing your supply.
You might need to reassess your latch. If he's having trouble emptying the breast because of a poor latch then that will cause him to act hungry and also will reduce your supply. See a lactation consultant to make sure your latch is good. If you don't know one, call the hospital where you delivered and ask the labor nurses for a referral.

Megan - posted on 08/13/2012

10

0

0

Thanks everyone :) I am eating well and drinking tons of water. Eli's weight gain is great! As of this past Thursday he was up to 8# 14 oz (with only 3-4oz of supplemented breast milk via a SNS) so we are now weaning off supplements and he is doing great. Actually going through a growth spurt the past 2-3 days :) I always offer the second side but he usually will not take it... However through the past 2 days he gladly accepts lol, he's eating about every 45-60 min ;) again thanks to everyone for the support and advice! We will continue to see our Lactation Consultant too :)

Naomi - posted on 08/13/2012

6

37

0

You will produce more as he feeds more. At 5-8 weeks they actually start a growth spurt that will make it seem like they're not getting enough, but the important thing is to feed from both sides when he's going through a growth spurt. I actually went through that with my son at about 5 weeks as well and the one thing that my mom told me was to feed from both side when going through the growth spurt. My mother wrote her college thesis on breast feeding and was suggested to be a lactation consultant for her vast knowledge from not only personal experience, but also her reading and researching. Even through you're drinking plenty of water, do not forget to eat well balanced meals and remember to actually eat. Sometimes we as mothers tend to get so busy with things we forget to take the time to make sure we're eating and eating the right foods. Keep up the hard work, you're doing fine and remember when you're feeding to stay relaxed.

Caroline - posted on 08/12/2012

4

0

0

Its likely to be your attatchment. Best to find a support group where you can get your attatchment looked at. Try your hospital or nct groups. BFN may have one too. I am a volunteer with them. Hope this helps.

Amanda - posted on 08/12/2012

112

37

26

Are you nursing him from both breasts at every feeding? Because you should be, Start on one side until he releases from his latch burp him as best you can diaper change if needed and then nurse from the other side for as long as he stays on. make sure you are drinking ALOT of water and other fluids and eating really heathy food. The more often you nurse the more you will produce so if you are giving him a pasifier I would take it away until he is older. If he is crying and you think he needs to be pasified nurse him even if ithas only been 20mins from the last time. Also you might want to pump a full amount as if you where going to give him a bottle, Put in in the fridge or onthe counter and see how much it seperates, it should be almost half thicker looking milk and half thinner milk that is the fore milk and the hind milk they both are very important for weight gain and growth the hind milk is the thicker and is the last to come through to the baby so a long nursing time is very important. Also if you had an IV when he was born the fluids from the IV go directly to your son and could have made his birth weight higher then is truly was. Him wanting to nurse all the time is his way of telling you to put him to the breast more often so he can naturaly make your body make more for him, this will happen a different times as he grows.2 months, 4 months 6 months 8 months 10 months....

Megan - posted on 08/06/2012

10

0

0

Thank you everyone :) I am still supplementing about 4-5 of the feedings a day, but ditched the bottle and went to a supplemental nursing system so he has to work just the same for it and it's at the breast ;) seems to be doing well!
He was up to 8# 8oz today pre-feeding with a new diaper and was increased by 4 oz post feeding! :) I am just going to have faith in my milk and in him and that he will gain weight fine. I will listen to what his doc has to say but also incorporate the advice from our lactation consultant :) he lost a pound after birth due to dehydration from the bili lights and he was a couple of weeks early so had a hard time nursing the first 24-48 hrs... But he is up almost 2 pounds from discharge weight and 6 weeks old today and I think he's doing great :) Thanks again!

[deleted account]

I agree with a lot of the advice below about increasing your milk supply. I went through a phase when I thought I wasn't producing enough milk. I would pump and only get an ounce, but then I learned that pumping isn't as efficient as the baby at getting the milk. As long as my babies gained weight, the health visitors were not worried. They were both so much smaller than a lot of the other babies at weigh in because I breastfed mine and most of the others were bottle fed. However, my children are much older now and healthy weights and sizes. Breastfeeding is the best start, but it's also the harder choice in some ways. It means feeding all the time when they are little. While a bottle fed baby can go several hours between feeds, a breastfed baby usually can't (unless you are really lucky!). Mine were feeding every hour at some points but I learned to let other things go and focus on my babies. I'm glad I had that time now.

Selesia - posted on 08/05/2012

3

0

0

I would say to be sure to feed him until satisfied at every feeding whether it is by breast or bottle or both.That is the only real concern. Babies usually prefer the breast-- preferring the bottle over the breast will probably not ever be an issue. Babies love that closeness with mommy. I had the same issue briefly so I gave her both until my milk supply went up and she actually began refusing the bottle.

Megan - posted on 08/05/2012

10

0

0

Thanks :) yes I'm drinking lots of water. I'm a big water drinker anyways so that's an easy thing for me to do. He has been eating every two hours anyways and sometimes every one hour he wants more. He usually only wants one side and after a diaper change I still can't get him to even open his lips for the other side lol :) but I just pump after anyways or feed him on one and pump the other sometimes. Thanks for the advice :)

Maria - posted on 08/05/2012

3

24

0

Oh, and you probably already know this but drink TONS of water!!!! This is a major factor in increasing supply.

Megan - posted on 08/01/2012

10

0

0

I did look at them and thank you! In the 2nd link above I answered yes to all of the questions asked re: diapers, alertness etc. I thought it was good weight gain too, but the Dr said he would like him to be a pound above birth weight at 1 month, which he wasn't... Yes definitely working on weaning. Pending he doesn't lose any weight. The mommies/babies group I go to is lead by the lactation consultant from our local hospital so I will probably get with her to check his latch. But I don't have sore nipples at all so I think that is pretty good. Thanks for the advice. :) it's tough to keep confidence in breastfeeding when weight gain is a concern to the doc. But that being said I definitely do not want to stop breastfeeding! :)

Celeste - posted on 08/01/2012

3,050

30

870

Looking at his lowest weight, he gained a lb, which is FANTASTIC!! It doesn't look like you needed to supplement in the first place. You want to look at his LOWEST weight, NOT his birth weight. It's normal for babies to lose weight the first few days after birth.



Since you've been supplementing for awhile, you might want to wean slowly off of supplements. You'll need to nurse more often. If he's hungry again, nurse him. That will help increase supply.



I'm going to add another link. Please take a look at the other links I posted.

How to wean from supplements:

http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basics/d...

Megan - posted on 08/01/2012

10

0

0

Hey weight history was:

Birth weight 7# 9 oz (6/25/12)
5days old 6# 9 oz
1 month old 7#12 oz (7/25/12)
*started breast milk supplementing with every feeding
1 month 4 days 8# 3oz (7/29/12)
*went to supplementing with breast milk every other feeding
1 month 6 days 8# 5oz (8/1/12)
*this was a weight that I checked at the mommies/babies group that we attend

So basically he was just barely over birth weight at 1 month of age. But since supplementing has gained well. I am just really nervous about continuing the bottle supplements because I don't want him to refuse the breast but am worried that his lack of weight gain previously (before supplementing with extra breast milk) is due in part to poor milk supply AND he gets too comfy and sleepy at the breast sometimes... Just want to make sure supply isn't an issue for when I stop the supplements too.

Celeste - posted on 08/01/2012

3,050

30

870

Another thing you might want to consider, is to go to an IBCLC. They will have more training in breastfeeding and helping breastfeeding moms

Celeste - posted on 08/01/2012

3,050

30

870

Enough diapers means he's getting plenty..



So lowest weight was 6 lb 9 oz. In 10 days he went to 7 lbs 12 oz.. That's pretty normal! You want to measure from the LOWEST weight, not birth weight. Look at the over all picture.. Babies gain in spurts, you want to look at the overall picture. Plus, keep in mind that doctors sometimes want too much weight gain that might be in their formula fed peers.



Will you please give me the rest of the weight history?

Lowest weight was 6 lb 9 oz

10 days, 7 lbs 12 oz.



It's totally normal for babies to want to eat often. They go through growth spurts pretty often at this age. This doesn't have anything to do with supply.





Please give me the rest of his weight history. Honestly, from what you gave me so far, it looks like he's gaining plenty of weight.



Here's some great links:

http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gai...



http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/newbo...

Megan - posted on 08/01/2012

10

0

0

Weight gain is the issue, diaper count is not. He is wetting and pooping great, at least 8 -10 wets a day and 4-6 poops per day. He weighed 7# 9oz at birth but was down to 6# 9oz when we left the hospital. In 10 days time (last week was weight check) he had only gained 1 oz (from 7# 11oz up to 7# 12oz) so we started giving a bottle of pumped breast milk 1-2oz after every time he was nursing. The weight gain in 3 days was 7oz. However when I tried reducing the supplement to every other feeding he seemed to still be very hungry, even after feeding him at the breast for 30-40 min total between both sides. I just was worried about why he isn't satisfied with just me??? I am feeding him and pumping like crazy x4 days now (he is at the breast every hour or two, and I'm pumping the other breast while he's on and between feedings as well) and don't see too much of an increase in the amount that I am pumping...

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms