Breast feeding

Keshia - posted on 12/26/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have a 5 week old that I'm breast feeding and giving formula to also but I'm only giving her formula when I feel like I'm not producing enough milk. I want to be able to only give her breast milk and no more formula how can I produce more.? Before I got sick with pneumonia and had to take antibodies I was producing GREAT after I was well and the dr said I can start back breast feeding I'm only pumping an oz each boob compared to the full 6 oz I was pumping per section. Help please.

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MJ - posted on 12/26/2013

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Stay positive! I pumped my breasts dry EVERY time after my son finished eating! Also, if he was sleeping longer or just not hungry I pumped again. When my supply decreased I pumped EVERY 2 HOURS! Supply and demand. I always got 5oz out of each breast (unless my son had cleaned one out). If your kiddo is sleeping through the night you are lucky yet you should still set an alarm to pump. Going extended periods of time without nursing or pumping will diminish your supply. My girlfriend started using my technique and she is getting 7oz per breast!!

Celeste - posted on 12/26/2013

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How long have you been giving formula? The best way to produce more milk is to not supplement and to nurse often. The more you nurse, the more you will make. When you give formula, you are not giving your breasts the signal to make more milk.

On the pumping issue, it sounds like you had oversupply. Average output is 1/2 oz to 2 oz BOTH breasts combined. But, keep in mind that pump output is NOT an accurate indicator of supply. It's normal for breasts to regulate which means pump output can decrease. Again, this is NOT an indicator of supply. Babies are MUCH more efficient than pumps. On a side note, I nursed twins and could NEVER pump 6 oz.

What made you think you weren't producing enough? As long as baby is getting plenty of diapers, 6-8 no matter content, baby was more than likely getting enough. Don't judge supply by frequency of nursing, feel of breasts (breasts feeling soft, for example), or pump output.

Your supply may have taken a hit because of your illness and then because of supplementing. You want to aim for at least 10 nursing sessions and watch diapers.

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Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2014

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Congratulations on your bundle of joy. I can't imagine having to deal with pneumonia at the same time! My son was born 5 weeks early and didn't suck well. He needed formula supplementation from day 2 of life, but I wanted to provide breast milk as well. The following things helped me a lot, hope they can be of some benefit to you too.

The 4-5 week mark is the most difficult for many mums, and it is not uncommon to feel like a failure and seriously consider or actually give up. That is the time when seeking support and information as you are doing is critical. I had to pump from day 1, and had I not found the following resources I don't think I could have succeeded.

1. There are great videos on the Standford newborn nursery website, including one about how to pump and maximize your pumping recommended to me by a lactation consultant. When you first see this manual expression during pumping can look gross, but it does wonders and can truly empty your breasts - it more than doubled how much I got out

2. Use a double electric pump. They are the most efficacious and fastest (very important when you are sleep deprived). I highly recommend a hospital grade one (e.g. Medela symphony). I used this for 2 months before switching to a medela pump n style (and think I probably could have switched sooner). I chose the messenger bag because the pump is not attached to the bag itself so was much more portable for me to pump in bed, travel with, etc. If you have used the symphony, the flanges, etc are interchangeable with this but not the freestyle.

3. Use a lactation consultant if possible - even more than or weekly if necessary. These people are amazing. They helped me learn how to breastfeed (not that my son ultimately took very much), but also taught me how to pump most effectively. The support was amazing. If you don't "click" with one consultant, just set up a time when someone different is working. Obama has mandated that these services be covered by insurance companies and Obamacare, aswell as breast pumps.

4. Utilize the web. http://www.exclusivelypumping.com, and kellymom.com are my favorites. These are the most amazing websites - You will lean everything you need (including how to increase supply), and get amazing support. I read everything on the exclusively pumping website and bought their book, (although I later found out that the book contained everything from the website anyway). I would not have pushed through the tough times without this, including being able to learn how to unblock blocked ducts.

5. Supplements: Milk supply will increase with supplements such as fenugreek and either nutritional or brewers yeast. You can get these on amazon without having to venture out of home, otherwise specialty vitamin stores have them. I found the fenugreek gave me and my son gas, so only used it for 1-2 days at a time if I felt my supply had dropped then stopped it once it went back up. I have maybe used it once every 4-6 weeks. Use whatever works for you. I also found taking lecithin with fenugreek was necessary for me or I could get a blocked duct. I didn't try brewers yeast until my some was 5 months, and it works even better.

6. Don't compare your output to others. Everyone one is unique and any breast milk helps.

7. FINALLY - whatever you decide, don't beat yourself up. The fact that you are seeking information shows how much you love your child and want the best for them. I set very short term goals and then increased them as each were met. I know myself well enough that I would feel like a failure otherwise. I set out to achieve colostrum, then 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, then "get through flu season if possible." My son has always been supplemented, sometimes very minimally, sometimes much more. I have refused to feel bad because I know what a commitment exclusive pumping is, especially since going back to work after 4 months - although my breast capacity allowed for 8-12 hourly pumping then thank goodness. Formula supplementation was what my son has needed to grow, and any breast milk is good. I am now at 8 months and 10 days and just got my first period. My milk supply much lower so I will try supplements again, and anticipate when my period is over my milk production will likely increase. I will not set a specific 1 year goal, because I may not meet it. I am proud of what I have achieved though.

Jessica - posted on 12/28/2013

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I felt the same way and started pumping every 2 hours when my daughter wasn't latching. Now she is I have plenty producing for her.

MJ - posted on 12/27/2013

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Oh it didn't take long at all. Probably a week to really get it flowing and like I said I really increased pumping if I noticed a drop. Even if for a few days you pump every 2hrs and you are only getting a few oz the body should get the hint.

Keshia - posted on 12/26/2013

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See that's what I wanna be able to do have lots of milk handy because I have sickle cell and I never know when I'll get sick and can't nurse. I'm most diff using your advice. Was you able to pump that much milk around the age harmony (5weeks) is or did it take a couple months?

MJ - posted on 12/26/2013

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Wonderful! For me getting my breasts to empty is the key. That's why I always pumped dry when Braden was finished eating. If you just let baby nurse then don't pump til later you're telling your body you only need so much every few hours instead of ALOT every time. Since you don't know if the baby empties the boob you don't know if it's getting that signal to boost supply. But if you pump it dry then you know. I would let it pump on dry for a couple minutes to ensure my boobs where getting the hint haha. I hope this makes sense and helps. Oh I also would massage and gently apply pressure to the entire breast to clear any left in the ducts. After all was said and done we had about 200 bags of milk in our deep freezer! This saved us because Braden got s horrible cold at eight months and was so congested he couldn't nurse. We were forced to use the bottle for every feeding and by the time he was better he wanted nothing to do with my breasts :(. Since we had all that back supply of milk we had many more months to keep him on the best milk for him!

Keshia - posted on 12/26/2013

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Wow that's great im hoping to get there because she was born small and now she eats every 2 hours and I want to be able to have enough supply for her. I pump every three hours and I breast feed through the night when she wake up

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