Breast Feeding and Milk Supply

Updated on June 11, 2016
K.N. asks from Orlando, FL
18 answers

Hi- I'm breastfeeding my 4mos old daughter and I feel my milk supply isn't what is should be? In the beginning she would latch on for about 15-20mins no problem and for the past 1 1/2 - 2mos it's like i'm fighting to keep her on for about 5-7 mins on each side.Sometimes its like 6mins on one side and like 3 on the other. The only time she's consistent w/ eating is the morning feeding- (she'll eat about 8-10mins each side) She eats about every 3hrs. I was trying to spread out her feedings to see if that would help but she gets fussy & wants to eat. Occasionaly I'll pump to see how much milk she's getting and it's about 4oz. I used to be able to pump about 5oz no problem when she was a little younger. i've read in my week to week book that babies should get b/w 4 & 6 feedings aday of 6 to 8 oz--& she's no where near that. She does pee alot but sometimes she'll go a day w/o pooping. This week was a 1&1/2 days w/o pooping. Is that normal??? HOw can i get my milk supply up b/c i don't want to give her formula yet. I just started giving her rice cereal w/ the breast milk for her bed time feeding and i can bareley pump 4oz.--She has been gaing weight though-- when she was born she was 6.9lbs & now she is 14lbs. does anyone have any advice?? Is it normal for your milk supply to go into phases or is there something i can do to increase my milk supply???

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.P.

answers from Raleigh on

I am a second time mom newest mother of a 3 month old. My doctor told me to drink 6 - 8 oz of beer a day. It worked for me. He said that it is the barley and hopes in it that helps.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.Z.

answers from Orlando on

Hi K.,
First off, congratulations for giving your daughter the best start by nursing her. Second, if she is nursing on demand, wetting and dirtying diapers and seems content, she probably is. Remember, as babies age they become more proficient at sucking, so what used to take her 30 minutes might now only take her 10. Her tongue, palate and swallowing muscles have gotten much stronger than when she was first born, so of course she'll be quicker when she feeds.

As for the pumping, don't let an electric or manual pump fool you. It is a poor imitation for your daughter and your body knows that, that is why you only get 4 oz when you try. I'm still nursing my daughter at 14 1/2 months and if I pumped that's about all I would get too! But, when I nurse Ceci, I *hear* her gulping it down and there is now way on God's green earth that she is only getting 4 oz. :)

The best thing you can do to ensure an adequate milk supply is nurse on demand and have confidence in yourself. If your baby is fed when she is hungry, and you know that your body is working properly, all will be good.

Check out www.kellymom.com for more breastfeeding information, it saved me from problems like this when my baby was around the same age.

Lastly, is there a particular reason you are giving Miss Madison cereal yet? Her little intestines aren't ready for solid foods yet and the early introduction can predispose her to having allergies later in life. Not only that, but breast milk, and only breast milk is best until your baby is six months old. Then after she is six months, a gradual introduction (like what you are doing now) is appropriate for her little body. Remember, a baby can thrive on breastmilk alone for up to the first birthday.

Feel free to contact me if you need anymore help!
A.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.N.

answers from Tallahassee on

Your baby has doubled their weight in four months and you are worried about your supply?!? You are doing a great job and feeding that baby just fine. My dd (still breastfed at 14 months) would go for days without pooping when all she was having was breastmilk. Breastmilk is very easily digested and there is little waste product, so not pooping every day is normal for an exclusively breastfed baby. If she is peeing a lot, that is a sign she is getting enough. The changes in her length of feedings may be due to her becoming more efficient at nursing, so that she does not have to nurse as long to get the same amount of milk. Also, pumping really cannot tell you how much your baby is getting, as the pump is not as efficient as the baby is (pumping 4oz is normal, i pumped from 3 to 12 months and that was a normal pump amount for me. sometimes more, sometimes less). I wouldn't try to make her wait longer before feedings though because that will drop your milk supply. www.kellymom.com has lots of good information about supply and how to tell if you don't have enough. If you are still concerned, you may want to go to a La leche league meeting or see a lactation consultant. The LC can weigh your baby before and after a feeding and tell you exactly how much they ate. Eating oatmeal, drinking mothers milk tea, and drink enough water to make sure you aren't thirsty (I guess too much water can negatively affect your milk supply though) will help keep your supply up.
It sounds though like you are doing just fine to me and there is no need to introduce formula (which will lead to supply issues because she won't be nursing as much).

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.R.

answers from Lakeland on

K.

When you pump milk, you will never ever get as much as the baby gets when she nurses. I had to learn that and it was very difficult for me to understand but any lactation consultant will tell you that. If she is peeing, and gaining weight then she probably is OK. But if you are concerned, you can take her to the hospital, they will weight her before nursing, then you can nurse her, then weight her after and it will show exactly how much she is getting. They will do this for free. My daughter nursed about 6 minutes, sometimes less on each side when she was first born. She was very fast. She is 10 mos old now, still nursing but not as much like when she was younger because she eats. I would not try to 'spread out her feedings' if she seems hungry then by all means feed her. I always planned to feed my daughter ever 2 hrs or so in the beginning then went to about 3 so it sounds like you are doing about the same. I think everything seems normal. Have you considered her sleeping in bed with you? Alot of breast fed babies nurse ALOT thru the night and get whatever they need (extra) that they didnt get during the day. Especially if you are a working mom. As for the pooping thing, Im pretty sure its normal to skip a day...mine has done that in the past as well, though she is pretty regular with it once a day now. Just dont stress out and feel like things aren't BY THE BOOK. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend that you join a local la lache league. This was my only saving grace when it came to breast feeding. If you live anywhere near lakeland you can come to our meeings. I just went to one last night! You can join their website. There are board certified lactation consultants that are in that group to give you any help you need with any question that arises and LOTS of moms that have nursed for years that are amazing with their knowledge. Please please consider joining...the website is: [email protected]____.com

Feel free to post any questions, even if you think they sound crazy, to this and you will most definitely get your questions answered quickly.

Dont give up ok! You are doing an awesome job nursing her for 4 mos with no formula! It takes alot of dedication to do that so you should be extremely proud of yourself.

I hope to see you in the group!

T.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.E.

answers from Boston on

When I was in poor milk supply I took healthy nursing tea over 1 year and it worked wonderous with me;) I LOVE IT...!!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.Z.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi K.,
I read somewhere that babies get better at getting the milk in shorter periods of time. But I'm not exactly sure how many minutes. I know my baby is 3 months old and doesn't always stay on for 10 minutes either.
Anyway, there is tea called Mother's Milk, it is sold at Health Food Stores. I bought mine at GNC they say it really maintains your milk supply . Try it ! Good luck!!

K.W.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi K.,
I went through this with my daughter just about the same age. If you just started the cereal when this started to happen, you may consider stopping the cereal. They get very full from the cereal and it caused constipation in my daughter all the time. It is normal for them to not have a bowel movement everyday around her age. As they get older, they may only have 2-3 a week, and some babies only 1.

As far as your supply, don't fret. The pump is not the best indicator as to how much milk she is getting. She could easily be getting more than you can pump out, especially if you only pump every so often.

Depending on the time of day, your supply can vary. And, as babies get older, they become more proficient breast feeders and can accomplish the same with 7 minutes as they were previously in 15.

I would not increase the time between feedings as that will decrease your supply. The more often you feed, the more you will produce, very much a demand and supply. This will help to increase supply.

There are herbal supplements that you can take to build supply, but none have been scientifically proven and I never found them to help.

The bestthing you can do is feed her as often as possible. Track her wet diapers and go in for a weight check every now and then. I'm sure she will be just great.

If you have other questions, I'd be happy to help, as I went through this and know how stressful it can be. My daughter is now a 19 month, happy and healthy little girl- all the stress over this kind of stuff was so worth it!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.K.

answers from Fort Myers on

K.,

I breastfeed twin girls by pumping exclusively. They are going to be 10 months old on Dec 1st. My supply has always stayed at 1 ounce per breast per hour. I pump every 3 hours religously. My girls never wanted more than the3 ounces each until about 8 months. We then started solids. I used to battle with my hubby because he had read the same thing about the 6-8 ounces. I finally told him fine you get the girls to eat that much at one time then I will give them that much! After he tried several times and wasted quite alot of milk he conceeded that obviously they were getting what they needed! Even now they only take 4 ounces per feeding every 3 hours with a 4 ounce jar of baby food. I suggest once your baby finishes that you pump out any excess and freeze it for later use. This is a great way to boost your supply as well as extend breast feeding even longer. Good Luck!

S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.C.

answers from Melbourne on

first of all, don't worry. she is peeing and gaining weight. as far as pooping, it is not unusual for them to go days without because they use up everything, especially if she is going through a growth spurt. don't worry about the "minutes" that she spends on each side, look at her attitude when she is finished. is she fussy? or contented? she is also a pro at feeding now so it doesn't take as long for her to get the job done as it did when she was younger. that along with the fact that she is more aware of her surroundings is more than likely the reason she doesn't stay on as long and also you have started solids she is going to nurse a little less. pumping is not always a good measure of how much milk you produce. a baby is more efficient at getting it done than a machine.
you can increase your milk supply by drinking more fluids, particularly water. make sure you are relaxed otherwise you are spinning your wheels. and you can try to massage your breast before pumping/feeding in case the culprit is a clogged duct. there are also herbs you can take if you are into that, which are sold in natural health food stores. anyway, just relax and you will be fine.you can always join a mommies group at your local hospital or talk to a lactation consultant, they are free and you can bring the baby and they can really help.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Miami on

You are doing fine! As far as the pooping goes, my son used to only poop every 3 or 4 days while breast fed, and this is perfectly normal as long as the poops are soft (like the consitency of thick peanut butter) I too was concerned about it and asked someone at La Leche league, and they assured that this is normal in some breast fed babies.
As long as she is gaining weight normally, then your milk supply is fine!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Melbourne on

I would talk to your pediatrician first. They can confirm that she's doing just fine. If it's still a concern, I used a product called Mother's Milk tea - found at the organic food store. I thought it tasted awful, but it increased my milk supply.
Hope that helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.K.

answers from Boca Raton on

It sounds like you're doing fine. Remember that babies are efficiency experts and will always get more milk that when you pump. More than one mom has been discouraged by what she could pump but the babies nurse just fine and get what they need. If she's going three hours between feedings and has plenty of wet diapers then that's another checkpoint. I had one daughter who would nurse one side every hour and a half for about 5 minutes. Now, I was a nervous wreck because my first daughter nursed 10minutes on each side every 2-3hours. My sister and I decided I must be making cream because she was over nine and a half pounds at birth and seeming to be satisfied. How I worked against her schedule for a long time to try and make her nurse both sides and for longer periods. She's still on the petit side today at twelve, and my 15 year old is 5'10", so go figure.

The book you're reading about 6-8 ounces at a time is based on formula fed babies. I never had my sitters give my babies more that 4-5 ounces of breastmilk at a time when I was at work to keep them used to that volume. They can drink bottles quicker than bfing so my sitters would be creative and distract while their head caught up to their tummy. My twins still only take 4-5 oz of milk or juice and they're 18monhths. They had a bit of reflux but never spit up if I kept the bottles small.

So, if you're baby's not fussing and gaining weight you seem like you're on the right track. If you can get to a La Leche League meeting you might like to hear others and realize that your daughter has her style of nursing. She may pick up again here or there during a growth spurt. Sometimes she might seem a bit fussy on those days but you'll be adding some foods before you know it. Keep her exclusive bf as long as you can because once you add food, ooohee, those stinky diapers!!

Good luck, you're doing an awesome job,
LaurieK
www.mymonavie.com/LaurieK

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.S.

answers from Miami on

You need know that you can only pump 1/3 of what you are actually producing!!!!!!

If your baby is gaining weight and is letting you know when she is hungry. Then you don't need to worry. Your baby is just eating alot of small meals or and one really big meal. Your milk supply adjusts to what your baby eats. It is normal for your baby to have phases of wanting to eat alot and then times of wanting to eat much much less. I am sure you've heard this before but breastfed babies learn to self regulate their food intake. (which is why formula fed babies have a higher risk of childhood and adult obesity) She will come off the boob when she is done eating. And come to you when she wants to eat. Also if you are feeding her alot through the night, she may be getting most of her nutrition then. If it really bothers you to be at her beck 'n call then try to put her on a schedule. But please don't stress yourself. I always nurse on demand, but I am a stay at home mother and have that luxery. It never bothers me and I just trust them to let me know. My daughter is still primarily nursing and she is 7 mos old. She is above average in her hight and weight. And I can only pump an ounce at a time. I used to be able to pump more but I stopped after a while b/c I don't use bottles often. Your boobs have to get used to a pump.
The more you pump the more you'll produce in one session. It also depends on what type of pump you have.
And about the pooping..... every doctor with each of my children (we've moved 3x)has told me that it is NORMAL for breastfed babies to poop ONCE A WEEK. (Now my son has always pooped several times a day but my daughter will go several days - even a week - without pooping.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.E.

answers from Miami on

My son is now 7 weeks and I just stopped breastfeeding because my son was lached on all day long and would not stop, as if the milk was never enough. He would not even sleep. By the afternoon my breast were dry, but there are several things that i was told by the older ladies in my family to try which were peanut/peanut butter & malta (which is a malted drink in the soda section. they also said a beer, but that i didnt try. the Malta worked for me along with a hot bath. just let the warm water run on your chest. but like i said, i am done breasfeed because i felt like he was not getting enough. hope this helps

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.B.

answers from Miami on

Hi my name is P. and my baby is 7 month old her, name is Leah.
I breastfeed her until she was 5 month. I had to come back to work when she was 6 weeks old. And I used a pump.
Since she born we mix between bottle and brestfeeding. All babies are different, do not believe 100% in the books, her doctor tell me that they feel the same that us. Some days you are hungry some days no, and you do not eat the same tahn others. My baby eat for long time 4 OZ. and some afternoon she eat like 6 oz. or 7 oz.. She gonna eat what ever she gonna need.
I pumped 3 times per day and the rest It was formula. I rented a pump from the hospital my friend sugest me that and It was the best. It's like $42.00 per month.
Good luck
P.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.R.

answers from Boston on

There are some things you can use. First drink Healthy Nursing Tea by secrets of tea that`s herbal tea without preservatives and drink more water, try oatmeal in any form (cookies or straight oatmeal) and nurse more often.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.R.

answers from Orlando on

K., I can tell you are a wonderful mom already because you are giving your child the very best start. I nursed 2 boys until 18 mos or so, I know it is not the most convenient thing to do (but neither is being a mom...hahaha).
my boys didn't poop much, but now they poop everyday and they are SUPER DUPER POOPERS. haha
As long as your child is gaining weight and drinking, she should be fine. Oatmeal stout beer is good and works, HOWEVER, I know PAPAYA works too (and it doesnt have alcohol in it).
Make sure you are remaining hydrated as well :)

also, i noticed they were able to intake more in a smaller amount of time as they grew up.

Take Care,
Pam

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Boca Raton on

K.,

I want to start by comending you for breastfeeding it is absoulutly the best thing you can do for Madison. I have a 3yr old daughter whom I breastfed until she was 2. I went through a similar situation when I was pumping for my daughter as well. I was pumping while in nursing school and had a hard time pumping enough milk to make it through the next day. I eventually stopped pumping when she was old enough to decrease the number of feedings during the day.The one thing I can tell you is breastfeeding is a supply and demand situation, the more you breastfeed the more you produce. As long as she is peeing and gaining weight this tells you that she is getting enough to eat. Don't supplement with formula as this will decrease your supply. If you are pumping because you are away from your daughter during the day, do it in an area where you can relax and bring a picture of her to look at, high levels of stress decrease the amount of milk you pump.
Try to eat enough to supply yourself with enough nurtients and keep up your own health. Your body will always provide Madison with exactly what she needs.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches