Friday, February 18, 2011

Supply and Demand

That's how breastfeeding works.  I think our problem right now with sleep (other than the fact that he has to be held) is that he isn't staying full long enough.  I'm obviously producing enough overall because he's gaining more than the minimum they want to see and he goes far above the minimum number of wet and dirty diapers a day. 

My theory is that he's only eating a little bit each time and that's why he eats so often.  BUT the question is- Is my body only making a little bit because he doesn't eat much or is he not eating much because my body isn't making enough?  I have NEVER (knock on wood) been engourged... just uncomfortable during the day if he goes longer than 3 hours eating so I am wondering if maybe my body isn't making enough.  I quit pumping regularly when we realized how much he was fighting the bottle.  I have about 30oz in the freezer right now but I've started pumping again after he nurse each time (during the day) so that my body thinks he's still eating so I will make more.  HOPEFULLY he'll eat more and then last longer between feedings.  Did that make any sense?  I just know that my friends that are bottle feeding their babies that are the same age as him are eating 4-6oz every 3-4 hours during the day and we rarely even make it 2 hours!  I know that breastmilk digest more quickly but still.  I'm going to write down how often and how long he is nursing this coming week and take it to his 2 month well visit to see if we can get any pointers.  Any advise from yall is appreciated!  I've thought about taking fenugreek or Mother's Milk tea but I know I'm making enough, I just want to make more at a time I think?

*Shhhh, but my child was fussing and I put him in the swing while he was really sleepy and he fell asleep!!!  I managed to do this WHOLE entry at once without having to pick him up. A M A Z I N G


  1. My advice: keep doing what you're doing (pumping after he eats- and if you can, add in a "power pump" between feedings). Also, when I was trying to get my supply up Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle helped. You have to take a LOT though- I had to take 4 fenugreek pills 3x a day and 3 Blessed Thistle 2x a day before I saw results. But it DID help.
    Hooray for getting him to sleep in his swing! Elliot sleeps in his bouncy seat about 1-2x a day (only if I can successfully move him after he's fallen asleep). Small victories!!! Whenever I have to get housework done or anything, I pop him into the Bjorn and he'll go to sleep in no time.

  2. I have the exact same issue as you and ask the exact same questions. I feed my son on demand and sometimes that means every hour or two during the day and he just doesn't drink a lot at one time. We have started giving a bottle of pumped milk right before bed so I know he's getting enough to fill his belly and so far he sleeps about 4 hours with this method.

    Good luck and let us know if you find a solution!

  3. hang in there!! it's tough and difficult to know eactly how much they are getting when BF'ing. My LO was eating every couple hours and the LC told me to only nurse on one side for a few days (she thought maybe he was only getting the foremilk and not the hindmilk which is why he was getting hungry faster), I tried that and I'm not sure if it worked or not but he goes much longer now! (it could have also been a growth spurt and merely a coincidence though). My LO eats at most 4oz of BM (I pump and give him a bottle so thats how I know) and he's the same age as Truitt.
    Good luck!

  4. Yorlee is the same way when she isn't getting enough hind milk. I block feed her like Mrs. W suggested. I feed her from one side for half the day (I pump the other side after each feeding). I noticed an improvement the same day I started doing that. She was also more fussy and gassy and going through a growth spurt. Now when I feed her she is able to sleep at least 4 hours before wanting to nurse again.

    I hope it helps! Yorlee is sleeping in her swing as I type this, love it!!

  5. Thanks ladies. I've been block feeding for about 4 weeks now hoping more hind milk would help but it's not making any difference. Well no more green poo but that's it!

  6. Can you see if you can hold him off longer? Maybe if he is hungrier he will eat more, and therefore less often. My boys eat about 3.5 oz every four hours of breastmilk. I really think babies just take more out of a bottle, maybe because it is not the same pleasant experience as breastfeeding.

  7. You could always make an appointment with a lactation consultant where they can help assess how much he is getting (by using a scale before and after he nurses). You could also try and supplement at the breast and see if that keeps him satisfied longer.
    I agree- pump after each feeding, it makes a difference!

  8. I agree with the LC appointment - I was going through a different issue (LO was CONSTANTLY hungry, even after nursing for hours) and found out that in an hour span, he was only taking in 0.5 oz even though I was producing plenty! It's worth looking into. Good luck and feel free to email me or reach out to me if you have any questions or want to chat!

  9. I think you should just keep going like you are. I remember we went through different stages where she wanted to nurse, nurse, nurse because she was growing. It seems like it will never end, but I can tell you there is light at the end of the tunnel!

    Wren is finally pretty much sleeping through the night, starting at about 13 weeks. But I had to play around with different things and it turns out that what works for us is nursing on one side, changing her diaper, then nursing on the other. I think it fills her up more than just nursing exclusively on one side for each feeding (like the doctor suggested).

    It's good that you're not worried about supply, that could drive a person crazy I'd think! He's getting so big and is just so sweet!