Baby wants to eat more than I pump....suggestions?

Ursula - posted on 09/22/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




I have a 13 week old daughter and I go back to work on Saturday (I'll only be working twice a month, but it's 13 hours shifts as an NICU nurse). My daughter switches from breast to bottle just fine and we have always only used EBM, never supplemented. I'm trying to give her more bottles per day in preparation for the long time we'll have apart on Saturday. When she wants to eat, I give her a bottle of thawed EBM and then pump myself and store it for Saturday (so she'll have some fresh milk, not just the older frozen milk from the freezer). When she drinks the EBM from the bottle she'll take anywhere from 3 to 5 oz and I only pump 2 to 3 oz..

I'm not sure if she's just eating it because it's there or because she's really that hungry. Maybe she needs more food and I need to try to increase my supply, I'm not sure. She always seems satisfied after just nursing and eats every 2 to 3 hours during the day and then usually sleeps 12 hours at night, waking once or twice to feed. Maybe if I give her more during the day she will drop a feed at night?

So my question is, should I try to increase my supply and let her eat whatever she wants from a bottle, or limit her on the bottle to however much I can pump? What is the best way of going about doing this?



[deleted account]

If she's all of a sudden wanting more, it's probably a growth spurt. Babies are better at getting the milk out than a pump. So when she nurses she's probably getting more than you think and that's why she's satisfied after nursing. If you have extra milk in the freezer I would get it out so she can have more in a bottle while you're at work. When you pump stay as relaxed as you can so you can get more milk out. I also gently massage the breast and find that this helps more milk come out. Remember, you can't over feed a breastfed baby (and if you do she will just spit the extra up :)). Hope this helps!

[deleted account]

First of all, it's NORMAL to eat every 2 hours at his age, it has nothing to do with your milk supply. Unless your baby had like NO wet diapers and was lethargic, you had enough milk, you need to trust yourself.

Babies go through growth spurts where it seems like you're not making enough, which means you simply need to nurse more.

When a baby is nursing or eating every 1.5-2 hours it means they are going through a spurt where they nurse more to tell your body to make more. It usually lasts 2-7 days (or longer if you decide to supplement.) You simply listen to your baby and nurse them on demand, you will make enough.

I fought through a low supply and my milk came back. My mom gave me the best advice: just sit down and nurse the baby, nurse 24/7 if you have to, within a couple days your supply will be back where you need it.

Tracy - posted on 09/22/2009




pump after every feeding if possible to get your breasts to produce more for her to have while you are at work. don't give her the frozen now...keep that for the in-case-she-needs-more while you are gone times. Feed her right before you leave for work and pump as often as you can while at work so you can rebuild your stash. Yes I know this will be hard since you are a nurse..that is why I said when you can :).

Good Luck!


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Lesley - posted on 09/24/2009




You will never get as much by pumping as the baby does by sucking. The baby sucks harder then the pump. After the baby has fed, pump right away and chances are you will get hindmilk. But make sure that she is also getting enough of the hindmilk to fill her up. I had to pump 3 to 4 times a day to fill one Medela breastmilk freezer bag. xox

Nikki - posted on 09/23/2009




When she nurses, she's creating demand - your body will then create the supply. By bottle feeding her when she's with you, you're decreasing the demand and you may see your supply drop. I suggest always nursing when she's with you. When you're at work, she only needs 1 oz per hour you are gone. Limit her to this and pick her up hungry so you can nurse her right away. Pump as often as you can at work (every time she's eating a bottle if you can) - but don't worry about how much you get, it will fluctuate. You can increase your supply by drinking lots of water (80 oz per day) and eating oatmeal. If you let her drink more during the day, she may drop a feeding at night, but this will decrease demand and will in turn decrease your supply and you'll run into problems. For working moms, night nursing is the only way to keep your supply up :) You'll only be working twice a month, so this may not really effect you - you can try it and see.

Ursula - posted on 09/23/2009




Thank you ladies! I feel much better, especially after reading articles on the link Charlotte posted. I think we will be just fine! Hopefully Saturday goes well :)

Charlotte - posted on 09/22/2009




As you said, she seems perfectly satisfied after nursing at the breast. Also, as others mentioned, she is much better at getting your milk from your breasts than the pump is. In fact, some women who can't pump at all (like, not even drops come out) can and had exclusively breastfed thier babies who are perfectly healthy with no other source of nourishment, so obviously what you can pump is not a good indicator of what you are really producing.

As far as pumping goes, here is a link that you might find helpful:

Hope this helps!

Also, I just want to say how wonderful it is that you are so commited to giving your baby your milk even when your work takes you away from her for such long periods of time. You rock! :D

Christina - posted on 09/22/2009




Try to feed her as much as possible and pump as often as you can. There is an herbal tea that you can get from the Whole Food Market that helps you to make milk also. It's natural and it works wonders... Try it and Good luck with work and baby

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