not producing enough milk?

Kristin - posted on 06/23/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I feel like I am not producing enough milk to fill my daughter up. Are there any suggestions as to what can help me lactate more? I feed on cue, there are times when she feeds up to an hour. Is that normal?

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Etta - posted on 07/10/2009

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Feed every 3-4 hours for formula fed babies. Breastfed babies tend to need to feed every 1.5-2 hours, a little longer if they're sleeping. This is because breastmilk is easier to digest and breaks down quicker.
I know it seems like you do nothing but feed, but it will get easier. Baby will get more efficient at eating and you won't have to spend as much time at the breast, though the frequency of the feedings will stay the same for a while.

Sandra - posted on 06/25/2009

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Mmm, I have to disagree about nursing too long and thrush. Thrush is a yeast infection - the time spent nursing has nothing to do with contracting it. And if baby is latched properly, it shouldn't be painful. There were times my babe would nurse an hour or more - some for comfort and some for milk.



The breast is never truly "empty". Think of drinking water out of a straw while you're holding it under a faucet. You can never completely empty the breast.

Sandra - posted on 06/24/2009

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Very VERY few women actually don't produce "enough" milk. What your baby is doing is perfectly normal. Sometimes during the first few months of any of my four baby's lives I felt like all I did was nurse - that's natural.



It's only like 3% of moms that can't breastfeed or can't produce enough milk, regardless of what you might read on message boards! You're donig great if baby is wetting diapers and seems happy - even if baby seems to nurse all day! :)

Samantha - posted on 06/23/2009

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How are you feeling your not producing enough? Is she more fussy? How many wet diapers is she having? there is some more information i need before i can give you some advice. But i'll try.. As i saw for your profile she is young. she could be going through a growth spurt. If i remember correctly i think they go through them at 4 weeks and 8 weeks. BUT you can intake more oats like oatmeal and drink more water, there is also mothers tea that will help. Just know that pumping wont empty you completely as if you were actually feeding your baby. The best way to increase supply is to just nurse, nurse, nurse. HTH :)

Amber - posted on 06/23/2009

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search for a Le Leche League Leader in your area. (its a bf support group) they could be really helpful. What i do when i start to feel like im not producing enough. i nurse frequently and since she can go up to 4-5 hrs during the day and 9 hrs at night w/o nursing i pump ever 3-4 hours or in between feedings. i also heard that you could nurse 24/7 for 3 days and it should improve. but that could be difficult if you have a job etc. good luck

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Rebecca - posted on 07/10/2009

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Drink plenty of water...that was my problem also, plus after a feed express and change sides 1/2 hour on one then 1/2 on the other if she is feeding for an hour.... my son was like that at one month, its usally when they are having a grow spert. Also if still hungrey i give water in a bottle. Good luck

[deleted account]

Heck yeah! Feed her every time she acts hugry..and that may be waymore often than you want to..mean whileif your milk supply is really low you can try pumping for a couple minutes after every time you nurse..or try taking blessed thistle herbal supplements..don't just assume you don't have milk..wait until youknow she's not gaining weight to start formula or anything.

Stephanie - posted on 07/10/2009

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I had a hard time breastfeeding b/c I never thought my daughter was getting enough milk. I got to the point that during the day she would feed every 1 1/2 hours for about 45 minutes at a time. I would pump after feedings to try to help my supply and felt like she was on me all the time. I drank mommy breastfeeding teas during this time though I could never tell if they helped for I was never a successful pumper. I took my daughter to the doctor and she told me that if she is gaining weight then she is getting enough milk. I worked with that eventaully got her to feeding every 3 hours and she breastfed successfully for 11 months. Keep at it.

[deleted account]

Try Fenucreek supplement it has increased my milk supply also try nursing and pumping the other side at the same time that also helps increase your supply. Do that only 1-2 times a day morn and night are a good time.

Azlinda - posted on 07/10/2009

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Thanks to all of you... all the info seems very useful to me and I believe to all moms out there... Thanks girls...

Kristin - posted on 07/09/2009

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Thank you so much everyone. I just thought that because she wants to stay on the breast so long she just wasn't satisfied. I feel like their is hardly any time in between to pump. I am a stay at home mom and all we do all day is feed. She stays on at least an hour at a time. The doctor said she should be eating every 3 to 4 hours but she still shows signs of hunger every 2 to 3 hours. I just keep throwing her on there.

Etta - posted on 06/25/2009

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What does your doctor say? If they aren't worried, then you shouldn't be either. The doctor was the first to panic when my babies were slow to gain weight. I also suggest you find a lactation consultant in your area. They are great at teaching proper technique, giving tips on how to produce more (what to eat, what supplements to take, what to avoid, etc.), or they can set your mind at easy if you're doing well. They have helped me so much not only with bf but with support and reassurance. See if your local hospital has one on staff, if not try going to www.ilca.org to find one near you.
Like others here have said: relax, drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods with good fats (like almonds and almond products, fish, yams), and try to get plenty of rest.

Samantha - posted on 06/25/2009

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I have to agree with Sandra. I had thrush and you just want to look for white patches on the tongue or cheeks. They will be hard to scratch off with your finger or towel. Easily treated.



As like sandra also posted you are never completely empty. If your baby is eating all the supply that is build up then while the baby is eating your body is producing more to continue to feed the baby. People seem to think that what is in your breasts is whats for the baby but they dont seem to realize that once that is going down that you body produces more right there. There is never really a time when your "empty" YES you may feel empty but your really not.



Also i know that full feeling when i first started bfing was gone around 2 months. It freaked me out. I thought i didnt have anything but by that time your body get used to how much your baby eats and doesnt over produce. So it just produces how much your baby needs to eat so you loose that full feeling as you had when you first started. Completely normal.

Heather - posted on 06/25/2009

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Also, be careful not to nurse too long at each feeding that can cause sore nipples and sometimes thrush. After 20 min or so the breast should be empty.

Heather - posted on 06/25/2009

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Are you getting enough rest, water, and eating healthy? My Dr. told me hydration is the key to lactation. Are you under any extra stress that can affect your milk supply and are you taking any medicines? Make sur eshe is eating and not just suckling. You should be able to hear swalllowing sounds. Does you let down reflex happen when she eats?

[deleted account]

I was so worried about that too when I started breastfeeding. It's definitely supply and demand. In between nursing my son I double pumped for about 15 minutes. Just to get an additional supply going. I know you will worry and want to give your baby formula, but don't! It's the first thing that will make your supply go down.

Take a nursing vacation on the weekend and nurse as much as you can on those two days to bring your supply up. It won't be immediate, but it will come before you know it or are ready for it!

Jennifer - posted on 06/24/2009

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I completely agree with the other moms on here. You can also try Fenugreek. You can usually find it at health food stores. It's all natural, works really good, and makes you smell like maple syrup! But, if she's got the 6-8 (I think) wet diapers a day she should be getting enough. She probably is going through a growth spurt or just wants a little extra mommy time. Remember that breastfeeding is like supply and demand. The more often you nurse, not how long, the more milk you will produce. I would definately try and find a La Leche meeting in your area!! They are awesome!!

Amanda - posted on 06/24/2009

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The best way to tell if you are producing enough is the satisfaction of your baby. If she is comfortable and happy after your feed she is getting enough. If you find that after 30 mins or so on the breast she is still fussy you can always try to feed her more frequently, pump btn feedings. You can use supplements of fenugreek, eat more oatmeal and/or almonds. Some little tricks to up your milk if needed. But again the biggest assurance you have is if your baby is happy and growing then you are making enough milk!

Sherry - posted on 06/24/2009

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She's probably not eating the whole time. My baby did a lot of non-nutritive suckiling when I thought she was eating all the time. My midwive corrected me. Look for strong jaw movement in a suck suck suck big suck swallow type of pattern and listen for swallowing. How old is she?

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