I'm not producing enough breast milk.

Maria - posted on 07/27/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter is about 3 weeks old. About a week ago she went from about two ounces a feeding to 5 and now she eats closer to 7. I'm only producing about 4 oz at a time. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to increase my milk production. I feel so bad about not being able to give her what she needs and we both get so frustrated, I want to cry with her.

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Andrea - posted on 07/28/2010

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I agree - that sounds like "comfort feeding" where you give a bottle, and the baby still "seems" hungry so you give another bottle - but really it's just that it sucked down the food so quickly that it's body didn't have enough time to let it know it was full. At that age, 7 oz is what I would consider too much - you may be stretching the belly too soon, which can lead to obesidy later. Do this, start with a 3oz bottle, and make sure that the caregiver is soothing in OTHER ways for 15 min after - burping, rocking, singing, smiling, playing, detracting, etc., then if the baby still seems STARVING give more - and at that point you may just be looking at a growth spurt, which only last a fews days but it means you will need to add a couple more pumps in your day, or more feedings when you are home to increase your supply. Only way to increase is to nurse more frequently (every 1-2 hours if need be, counting from when the baby starts to feed) and making sure the baby is emptying the breast when they do feed - you can tell that by pumping after a few feedings, if nothing is coming out, or less than .5 oz, you are good, but if more comes out then the baby is not getting it all.

The average for pumping is 1 oz per hour - so if you are getting that, that is all your baby will need.

REALLY actually go to this link, don't ignore it, it's important stuff. Read all the way down

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkc...

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Allison - posted on 07/28/2010

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I agree with the other ladies - you are probably giving her exactly what she needs, and the crying is caused by something else. My son went through periods like this - and it was ESPECIALLY bad around 3-5 weeks old. (And again any time he was teething or had a growth spurt.) My family was convinced he wasn't getting enough milk from me, even though he was on target for growth and had plenty of wet diapers. He would often want to eat every hour. He also sucked down his bottles of breastmilk really fast, and sometimes still wanted more. And I could never pump any "extra" for him (at most, 2-3 oz. total per pumping if I pumped every 2-3 hours). I was discouraged, but luckily had a lactation consultant and midwife who told me it was totally normal, and the best thing for both of us was to keep breastfeeding on demand. But there were times I had to force him to wait at least 1 hour between feedings, so my supply had time to recover in between - otherwise he would just want to be on the boob all day!



After 2 months old he was over the 99%-tile for height and weight, so everyone finally had to agree that he got PLENTY of breastmilk :) Anyway, I kept exclusively breastfeeding and delayed starting solids until he was about 7 months old, when he really seemed interested in them, and he is now a very tall (but well proportioned) 3 year old. Good luck and hang in there - we are here to support you :)

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Pumping 4 oz at a time is actually considered over supply. Like Celeste said normal pumping output is 1/2-1 oz. My bet is that she's drinking so much because the bottle is easy to get the milk out of. If she's fussy it could also just be from gas or foremilk/hindmilk imbalance (which happens a lot with exclusive pumping). Fussiness in baby is not an indicator of supply. My daughter was a fussy newborn and I was leaking milk and severely engorged. How often are you feeding her? You could try feeding her less oz at a feeding, but feeding more often. At 3 weeks my daughter was eating every 1-2 hours during the day. How many wet/dirty diapers does she have a day? That's the best way to tell if she's getting enough. I believe 6 (or more) is sufficient.

Celeste - posted on 07/28/2010

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7 oz seems a lot for a 3 week old. Is there a way you can put her to the breast? A few things to keep in mind:

-Pumping is never an indicator of supply. Having said that, average output is 1/2 oz to 2 oz. Your output is TWICE that.



-Babies extract milk more efficiently than the pump.



Here's a calculator to see how much your baby needs during the day.. I'd also recommend putting her to the breast, if possible.



ETA: Here's the link:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkc...

Brooke - posted on 07/28/2010

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Are you sure she really needs that much at each feeding? My daughter is almost 8 months old and still only takes 4oz. bottles of breastmilk every 2 or 2.5 hours at daycare. They tend to drink more from a bottle because it comes out so much quicker so they don't get full as fast.
You can try taking Fenugreek capsules that you can get at GNC or somewhere like that. You can try taking 3 or 4 pills 3 or 4 times a day. That helps most moms trying to increase their supply. You should also nurse or pump more often to increase your production. Good Luck!

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