Breastfeeding but my baby is still hungry...

Dorelle - posted on 11/18/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )




My baby boy is 20 days old and he breastfeed very well. The only concern I have is that he sometimes asks to feed every half hour!! He seems to be starving at times and will holler for milk for hours. I've started giving him 2 to 4 ozs of formula after breastfeeding. I can't help but feel like a 'bad mom' because my milk supply isn't big enough for my baby's needs. I had the same problem with my first born (my milk supply wasn't big enough for her demand). Fortunately, my baby will take the breast and the bottle without any problems. I am wondering, should I just keep giving top ups of formula or should I invest in a pump and have breast milk bottles ready to satisfy his big appetite?


Cheryl - posted on 11/19/2009




Breast milk is made on demand. Your body will produce what your baby and demand. I had this same problem with my son. I thought he wanted to nurse every 1/2 hour....when in fact he just wanted to suck. Babies have an urge to suck. But he wouldn't take a pacifier. I felt like the human pacifier. My husband actually got him to take the pacifier by holding it in his mouth till he latched on to it. I thought my baby was spitting it out when if fact he just couldn't get ahold of it. I went from every half hour to feeding him every 2-3 hours.
I wouldn't recomend supplementing with formula for many reasons For one thing that will hinder your milk supply. If you give your baby a bottle of formula then you need to pump milk to make up for that missed feeding. If that is what your baby is demanding then your body has to be stimulated to produce it. Formula can cause your baby to be gassy and fussy. Breast fed babies don't spit up much at all and when they do it doesn't smell or stain their clothes. Also, breastfed babies don't have smelly diapers.
Another reason your baby might not seem satisfied could be that he is not latching on correctly to your breast when he is eating. Your whole areola should practically be in his mouth. If it isn't and he is just sucking on the nipple then he is not getting much milk. Get his mouth as wide open as you can even if you have to make him angry by tickling his feet. Take your nipple and touch it from his top lip to his bottom lip and repeat till he opens wide. He may get angry and cry. When his mouth is wide open shove your breast in his mouth and hold on to the back of him so he can't pull back. Just make sure you aren't holding just the back of his head when you shove him on....keep his neck lined up with his body. His head and body should be facing against you. He is going to get angry and cry but hold your breast in his mouth...he will have no choice but to start sucking. You shouldn't be able to hear any smacking noises when he eats. If you can then he is not on the breast properly. You will only have to do this a couple times before he learnes to take the whole thing. When a baby is eating the nipple is far back in the mouth and the milk squirts against that little thing that hangs in the back of your throat (sorry, don't remember the name of that thing) When the milk sprays against it that stimulates the baby to swallow. If you pay attention when your baby is nursing you will see him suck and swallow. It goes like this....suck-suck-swallow-suck-suck-swallow. This is a reason it is pointless to to try and feed a baby from a spoon. They don't know how to move the food from the front of the mouth to the back and swallow. There is nothing stimulating the swallowing. Plus the fact that a baby's digestive track is way too immature for solid foods till they are least sitting up.
I nursed both my children. I had to teach my daughter how to latch on. She didn't take any solid foods till she was around 9 months old and most of the time she didn't want it....just preferred her milk. I nursed her till she was 3 and half years old. Of course not every two hours like a small I let her quit when she wanted to quit....It was her decision.
Good luck

Proudmomma783 - posted on 08/29/2010




I have a Question I breastfeed my 4 month old and as soon as i am done feeding her she want to eat again to me it feels like she just got done eating what do i do? do i supplement and give her 3 ounce of Formula or do i just keep breastfeeding and pump and give it to her that way?

Deb - posted on 11/18/2009




Demanding babies are hard on the mommy, you always feel like you are not doing enough. But have no fear You ARE doing enough...just keep with it.

When your Baby wants to eat feed him...schedules and "normal" times between feeding is over rated. Your Baby knows when he wants to eat...and if you let him nurse everytime your body will catch up. My 8 week old will eat for 45 mins at a time and then take a 20min break and want to eat again for another 20mins or so. That doesn't mean she isn't getting full...just means she is growning and needs all the goodness she can get.

If a docotor hasn't told you that your milk supply is too low...I wouldn't worry about it. Drinking lots of fluids and keeping a high protien diet is important...but not key. The way to increase milk supply is to let your baby nurse.

If you feel a bottle is nessesary I would encourage you to pump and give a breast milk bottle vs a formula bottle. Especially with how young your baby is.

"Many mothers, myself included, have found that wearing their babies in a soft carrier like a sling, wrap, mei tai, ergo, etc. and nursing on the go helps with that 'tied down feeling.' Bringing your baby into your bed and nursing lying down can help you get more sleep and also is an excellent way to establish your milk supply." - Lisa Moreau

Above are GREAT ideas on how to feed frequently and still get things done and sleep at night. My first child and my current infant slept/sleep with me at is wonderful - just roll over, get baby situated, and go back to sleep ;-)

Kimberly - posted on 11/18/2009




Don't worry about supplementing any formula. My 3 babies did the same thing. Just keep nursing him when he wants to. It will slow down and then he will go through a growth spurt and it will start up again. This is normal.

[deleted account]


Nurse on demand. It could be a growth spurt. If you nurse your baby when she is hungry then you're supply will stay up. If you start supplementing then your supply will dwindle until you have nothing. It's supply and demand so keep putting her to the breast when she asks for it. If you have more questions feel free to start a new thread.

Side note:

This conversation is locked because the OP is from a long time ago.

This conversation has been closed to further comments


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[deleted account]

No worries. He's still a newborn and newborns practically live at the breast. Trust me, it doesn't mean anything is wrong. Stop with the formula cause if anything can cause real supply issues, that's it. Relax =) It's normal.

Minnie - posted on 11/18/2009




It can be disconcerting when we think we can't meet our babies' needs!

Breastmilk digests very quickly- in under an hour. A newborn wanting to nurse almost constantly is very normal! I think you need to trust your body's ability to nourish your baby. Your baby is nursing so frequently because he's attempting to get your body to increase your milk production. Your supply more than likely IS enough for your baby's needs- but you need to trust that. Both of my girls nursed very very frequently. My second nursed 3-4 times an hour at your baby's age, and lived on my milk alone until she was 10 months- which is when she began eating some solids. She still nurses up to three times an hour at 13 months.

Babies will take a bottle usually even if they have just nursed. This is because the bottle effectively dumps the formula or breastmilk into the baby's mouth- they have to take it.

Topping off with formula can hinder your body's ability to meet your baby's demands. Formula takes longer to digest because it places a greater metabolic load on your baby. Your baby isn't stimulating your breasts when he's being given a bottle.

Rather than pumping your milk or giving formula in a bottle, put your baby to your breast whenever he shows signs of wanting to nurse, even if it was half an hour ago.

Many mothers, myself included, have found that wearing their babies in a soft carrier like a sling, wrap, mei tai, ergo, etc. and nursing on the go helps with that 'tied down feeling.' Bringing your baby into your bed and nursing lying down can help you get more sleep and also is an excellent way to establish your milk supply.

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