Not enough milk at night?

Bearycat - posted on 09/27/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My baby is almost 7 weeks old and I'm starting to have some problems feeding her. We just got over a nursing strike and now it seems like I never have enough milk to satisfy her in the evenings. Around 9pm or so she wants to feed before bed but after a few minutes she is grabbing at my breasts and yanking my nipple. I can get her to drink if I do compressions but eventually she's not getting enough again and will detach herself to cry. I try to latch her again but she just comes off again and again. And I do switch her between breasts but nothing aside from feeding her expressed milk will calm her down. Any advice on what I can do? I hate using the milk I pumped earlier in the day because I'm trying to build up a supply for when I go back to work.

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Lori - posted on 09/29/2013

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It sounds to me like overall she is nursing great, and you do have plenty of milk for her. The issue is having more milk in the evening/night time. So.... I've got a few more questions. If she's nursing 8 or 9 times per day, what time of day are you pumping? When you pump you are stimulating your breasts to make more milk. If you do it at the same time every day, you are telling your body that that time of day is when you need the extra milk. Try pumping AFTER you feed her in the evenings - this will help stimulate the milk for evening time.
Also, many women find they have slightly less milk in the evening than they do in the morning or during the day. Maybe cause we are all tired by the end of the day, or stressed in the evenings, or???? don't know why for sure. And many many babies also like to cluster feed during the hours before bedtime. It's sort of like they are trying to stock up on milk so they can get a good sleep. Keep offering the breast as long as she will take it, and if you do need to use some of your pumped milk go ahead and use it. But then after you get baby fed and settled, pump. If you do need to feed her some pumped milk, sure you can have someone else feed that to her while you go pump. Even if you don't get much or even anything when you pump at night for a day or so, keep it up and you may find you'll start having more milk in a few days.

Bearycat - posted on 09/27/2013

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I feed her with a spoon whenever I can't nurse. I try and pump as often as I am able, a few times a day, but I can't seem to get enough time to pump before she becomes fussy and wants to be held, bounced, etc. Truthfully I'm having a hard time juggling keeping her happy and having time to pump. When I can pump I get maybe 1-3 ounces combined. She nurses maybe 8-9 times a day? I really don't keep track, just feed her when she gives hunger signs.

I don't think my supply is too low, I just don't understand why I seem to have so little in the evening or she is extra hungry at that time. Would it help to have someone else feed her the extra milk while I pump during that time? Will that help me have more milk at night?

Lori - posted on 09/27/2013

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How did you feed her during the nursing strike? How often are you pumping? How much do you get at each pumping session? How often is your baby latching on and nursing?

If you were able to feed her your expressed milk only during the nursing strike, and you were keeping up with her demand by pumping, then your supply should be fine. It may be she's hitting a growth spurt. Any time you feed her a bottle, you need to pump also so that your body is getting the signal that baby needs that milk. If you feed a bottle without also pumping you may see your supply start to take a dip. (even if it's previously expressed milk.... you still need to tell your body that NOW is when baby needs to eat). If it is a growth spurt, you'll find things go back to normal in a few days.

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