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  1. #1

    Not enough milk in the afternoon?

    I am wondering if it's possible that I do not make enough milk in the afternoon for my son. I'm a new mum and this is my first time breastfeeding. My bub takes three naps in his cot each day. For the third nap around 3 in the afternoon, I don't seem to make enough milk for him. (I breastfeed him to sleep for his naps). He gets so frustrated and cries and fusses until I make a bottle for him. Then he he falls to sleep. Could there be another reason for the difficulty around the third nap? Is there anything I can do to increase my milk at a specific time of day? Thanks for your advice!

  2. #2
    Hi JerBearMum,

    Usually milk supplies are lowest in the evning. I'm a little concerned that giving him a bottle at 3PM is only going to reduce your milk supply even more because he will not be stimulating the breast well during that feed.

    There definitely are things you can do to increase your milk supply. Here's a good thread that offers lots of ideas on increasing breast milk supply.

    Working with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner can also be helpful, but it will be an added expense so you may want to try just putting baby to the breast more, drinking fenugreek tea or taking fenugreek capsules along with the other things mentioned in the above thread.

    My guess is that you've been trying to feed baby solids (as you mentioned in another post) and you've been transitioning him to taking naps in his cot more than in your bed - plus you've started giving him a bottle at 3PM and all of those things combined means baby is spending less time at the breast. Less time at the breast equals reduced milk production.

    Maybe you could try taking a nap with him at 3PM and letting him suckle, rather than trying to breastfeed in a chair and then putting him down. Even if it's just a 30 minute power nap for you, letting him suckle for 30 minutes would be some good milk stimulation for you. Be sure you're drinking plenty of pure water and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. You mentioned in another post that you have foster children. This can put an added stress on you (i.e. children coming in and going out of care) and taking a magnesium supplement can help with relaxation. The more relaxed you are the more milk you should produce.

    I hope this helps and please post back to keep us updated on how this is going for you.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  3. #3
    Kate - this was an incredibly helpful response. Thank you so much. In the business of life, I didn't put it together that I had made so many changes to our breastfeeding/bonding routine - as you pointed out, "My guess is that you've been trying to feed baby solids (as you mentioned in another post) and you've been transitioning him to taking naps in his cot more than in your bed - plus you've started giving him a bottle at 3PM and all of those things combined means baby is spending less time at the breast. Less time at the breast equals reduced milk production".

    As of right now, my husband and I do not have a placement from foster care making it possible for me to nap with my bub in the afternoon, so I am going to try that. Plus what mum doesn't love an opportunity to nap! I will also try the supplements you mentioned. I take B and D right now for energy, but it sounds like being so busy and on the go might be effecting my milk. I was worried my bub was weaning himself from the breast by dropping a feeding, but I'm pleased to hear that it might just be environmental. Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Hi Kate,

    My baby boy is one month old now and i still nurse him full breastfeeding, i wanted to know if giving him water to drink necessary or not?If necessary, what's the suggested dosage? Eager to hear your advise. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Hi Mandee,

    Congratulations on your little one!

    It's not necessary to give your bub water. You want him to suckle at the breast as often as possible so that he will stimulate milk production and you'll have plenty of that good, nourishing milk to give him. Your milk has a lot of water in it, so he will not only be getting water, but he'll be getting a lot of nutrients and immune boosting properties which is far better than giving him plain water.

    Please post back and let us know if your bub seems to be needing an added supplement like a bottle of water or formula, or if he's doing very well just with breast milk. If he needs to suckle, put him to the breast to suckle. That's the best thing you can do for your bub!

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  6. #6
    Hi Mandee - just wanted to second Kate's advice that the best nutrients for baby are achieved through exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life (the baby does not need any other food or liquids during this time). Breast milk is quite amazing as if it is a hotter day then you body will naturally make breast milk which is more 'watery' for the baby.

    Hi JerBearMum - I also agree that if you give your baby a bottle your milk supply will begin to reduce. Breast milk supply is highest in the morning. You can always try pumping to increase your milk supply.

    Well done to you both on giving you babies what they need through breastfeeding!

  7. #7
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    Thank you Kate and ljmarsden for your response, it keeps my worries away.

    By the way want to let you know that i started to add a bottle of formula for my bub just yesterday because it seems that my bub isn't satisfied with my milk. He keeps crying everytime of the day and could not get to sleep soundly compared to other babies. When i gave him the formula, he sleeps straight in 3 to 4 hours and i was thankful. I still let him suckle my breast from time to time in order not to stop breastfeeding because i believe that breastmilk is still the best.

    Thank you guys for your helpful tips.

  8. #8
    Hi Mandee,

    I'm glad you found this helpful.

    Babies who have formula milk sometimes sleep for longer periods of time because the formula is harder to digest than the breast milk and it takes longer (and feels heavier in the stomach) to digest, therefore, it may be longer before the baby wakes for their next feed. However, breast milk is the best source of nutrients for the baby and is delicate enough for their little stomachs.

    Also, it's important to know that if you do give your baby formula milk then your milk supply will decrease and it will become more difficult for your body to make the milk your baby needs.

    I'm just wondering if you have tried baby wearing to settle your baby to sleep?

    I hope this is useful for you. Also wanted to say again well done for the way you are caring for your baby.

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  9. #9
    I second what Laura Jane said. Formula is harder for bub to digest so they don't need to eat as often.

    Your son should have one 4 hour stretch of sleep per day on breast milk alone. But other than that, breastfed babies will stimulate your milk supply by breastfeeding every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If you haven't been picking your baby up to breastfeed this often, this could be a cause for why your milk supply has dropped off and baby seems to need a supplement bottle of formula.

    Your baby is only one month old and this is the most critical time for establishing your milk supply and his desire to take milk from the breast. Giving a bottle can and often does cause nipple confusion at this young age. The milk starts flowing immediately from a bottle nipple, and babies like this because they don't have to "work" for the milk.

    With the breast, baby has to work for the milk. You latch baby on, they suck, suck, suck, suck for a few seconds, and this stimulates the let-down response. THEN the milk flows into baby's mouth. If you start to introduce a bottle now he may start to prefer the bottle because he doesn't have to work for the milk, and he may refuse the breast. At that point, it becomes a lot harder to continue with breastfeeding simply because baby is not happy to be at the breast.

    If you want to preserve the breastfeeding relationship, I'd encourage you to just commit yourself to putting baby to the breast for the next 24 hours, anytime he shows any signs of hunger (sucking on his fist) or anytime he start to fuss/cry. Just pop the breast in his mouth. This may mean that you feel like all you do is sit on the couch and breastfeed all day, and it may mean that you don't get much sleep at night, but if baby will suckle at the breast, this is what's needed to increase your milk supply.

    And your milk supply will increase within 24 hours. Babies usually have a growth spurt around 6 weeks of age, and this is one of those times when you feel like you're just sitting and nursing all day long. But it usually only lasts for 24 hours and then the milk supply increases due to demand.

    Another thing I'd encourage you to do is to drink Fenugreek tea. This increases milk supply. We have something called "Mother's Milk Tea" here, and it has fenugreek in it. Until you can get some of that tea, be sure you are drinking plenty of water. This is really important because, as mentioned before, breastmilk has a lot of water in it, so if you're not getting enough, your milk supply will go down.

    Rest is also important, so rest/sleep when baby sleeps. Take at least one nap every day, when baby is napping. If baby goes to sleep at 7PM, you should try to go to sleep at 7PM, simply because baby may wake up at 11PM and then every 2 hours after that, to breastfeed at night. Again, he should go one 4 hours stretch per day, but if not, then it's every 2 hours or so between feeds for a fully breastfed baby.

    Please let me know if you have any questions at all, or if you need any other suggestions. I think we've caught this early enough that we can turn your milk supply around within 24-48 hours (possibly 48 hours if you've started giving him a bottle each day).

    Warm Regards,

    Kate
    Last edited by 5Homebirths4Kate; 19th April 2012 at 10:17 AM.

  10. #10
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    Oh this is just so good to know. My not regularly picking up my son every 2hours to fed might be the reason of my milk reduction especially during night when i can fall asleep. I just felt so bad with this. Now i am trying to regain my breastmilk by letting him suckle my nipple every now and then. Lately i just observed that he sometimes rejects the bottle and prefer breastmilk, why is this so? I can even feel i don't have enough milk for him anymore. Fenugreek tea might be of great help, it's my first time to know from here. What's this made from? Is it herbal?

    By the way, i'm getting back to work on May 7 after the two months maternity leave. And it makes me sad because i won't be able to take care of my baby 24 hrs. However i will try my best to still give my bub the breastmilk as soon as i can. I might try milk pumping and freeze it. I want to know if how many hours my milk can be kept and refrigerated before it expires?

    Thanks as always to you,

    Mandee
    Last edited by Mandee; 4th May 2012 at 03:05 AM. Reason: wrong name postd

  11. #11
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    Hi LJ,

    I haven't tried baby wearing yet with my 2 months old bub i wonder if he is already good at it? He can't hardly held his neck straight yet, i am afraid if baby wearing might not be of great help until the right age.

    Mandee

  12. #12
    Hi Mandee,

    Fenugreek is an herb and I would definitely encourage you to try to find some fenugreek tea.

    I would encourage you to be putting baby to the breast as often as possible right now to get him to suckle and stimulate milk production. If he is preferring your breast instead of the bottle it is most likely because he likes the soft, suppleness of your skin in his mouth, as compared to the rubber or silicone nipple (it's not the same at all). You can try pumping in between feeds to stimulate milk production too, though baby's suckling will be much better.

    I woudn't worry about baby not taking a bottle right now, even if you're going back to work on the 7th. Baby will probably take the bottle from his caregiver better than he does from you. It's most important that you keep that breastmilk supply up and putting him to the breast as often as possible for the next few days is going to be very important. I would give him (and yourself) one 4 hour stretch of sleeping at night, and other than that wake him up every 2 hours to breastfeed.

    Here's a good article that talks about how co-sleeping can help you get a good night’s sleep. It will also help you keep your milk supply up so you can have enough for bub when you are with him, AND have some extra to pump and freeze.

    Regarding your question about how long breastmilk can be kept, current guidelines are:

    -At room temperature for 4 hours (ideal) to 6 hours (acceptable), some sources state up to 8 hours is acceptable.
    -In the fridge for 3 days (ideal) to 8 days (acceptable).
    -In the freezer for 6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable).
    These are based on the advice from La Leche League International. When freezing your milk, the 6-12 month rule applies to freezers that are separate from refrigerators (not a freezer area within the refrigerator).

    Here's a good thread on storing breastmilk that you may want to take a look at.

    And as for the baby wearing concern. There are some baby carriers that come with an integrated size-reducing newborn insert.

    There are also slings that can be worn where baby is actually in a reclined/laying down position. If your carrier does not support baby's head well (back and sides) then I would not wear it until baby is about 6 months of age and sitting up on his own. Slings are wonderful, though, and you can actually breastfeed your baby while he is in the sling so you may want to look into that.

    Hope you find this helpful. Please post any other questions you may have.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  13. #13
    Here's a good article called "Have you got enough breast milk?"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Homebirths4Kate View Post
    Here's a good article called "Have you got enough breast milk?"
    Hi Ms Kath,

    Im glad to hear all these helpful infos especially the guidelines of breastmilk storing. And I also read from this site about the indications of spoiling milk which could be helpful then. I knew from there that milk separation does not mean spoiling, great!

    Regarding baby carriers, just yesterday i saw one mum carrying her bub with a sling and yes i agree with you it seems comfy for both the bub and mum. I might give it a try myself.

    Thanks for giving me the link "Have you got enough breast milk?", i found it very helpful.

    I wonder if you could help me figure out why my 2months old bub got saliva out on his mouth? Not that often though but its coming out everyday 3days straight now.

    Thank you in advance.

    Mandee

  15. #15
    Hi Mandee,

    My guess is that the saliva that is dribbling out of your bub's mouth means that he is drooling. Sometimes a baby will do this if he's cutting teeth and thought 2 months seems young, it's not unheard of. If he's cutting teeth you may find him gnawing on his fists. It might be awhile before you see any teeth or they just might pop out sooner than anticipated.

    Putting a drool bib on your baby can help to keep his clothing dry, and they are easy to change when they get wet. Drool bibs are just soft, 100% cotton bibs and they're usually fairly small.

    Be sure to wipe under your baby's chin and in all the folds of his neck each day with a warm wash cloth to keep the saliva from pooling and irritating his skin.

    Here's a good little video that shows a 3 month old who was crying until they got the teething ring out of the freezer - you'll see the drool all down her chin, but she loves the feel of the col on her gums and it soothes her.



    Anyone else have any suggestions on what this could be, or any experience with a bub who started teething early?

    Warm regards,

    Kate
    Last edited by 5Homebirths4Kate; 5th May 2012 at 07:47 AM.

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