Help please - How to increase milk supply? Supplementing? — The Bump

Help please - How to increase milk supply? Supplementing?

My little man lost over his 10% too quickly so we were told to supplement my breast milk with formula. He's gained most of it back now and the doctor said I should try breastfeeding more often then supplementing now (which I've been doing anyways... I breastfeed first and then give him an ounce or two). It seems like after 5 minutes I struggle to keep him awake because he always wants to sleep at my breast. So what I'll do is try things to keep him awake (tickle his feet, etc.) and I usually make sure he's on each breast for at least 10 minutes no matter what. Sometimes he'll fall asleep when there's still milk in there. Sometime's I'll pump afterwards and about 1/4 of an ounce is left. I'm wondering if he's too use to the bottle now that he expects milk to come out too easily (although since he's been born he's latched on great, starts out feeding aggressively... and then falls asleep at my boob pretty quick) or if my milk supply is low? If it is, how can I increase it? I'm already eating and drinking well and trying to get as much sleep as possible Sad

Re: Help please - How to increase milk supply? Supplementing?

  • To add - If I breastfeed and DON'T supplement afterwards he'll only sleep for about 20 - 40 minutes. With the supplement he'll sleep for 1 hour - 3 hours. I'm so confused. I really want to breastfeed successfully! Right when he popped out we breastfed right away and it was so perfect and beautiful and I really want to continue with it for as long as possible.
  • if he is back up to birth weight, just BF as needed  - no need to pump right now. If he keeps falling asleep, get him naked first and try to keep him "cool" so he doesn't pass out too quickly. Even so, he has to learn how to feed himself and he might need to wake up every 45 minutes for a bit to get the hang of it. Its the same workload for you because you are either pumping in between feedings of 1-3 hours or nursing every 45 minutes. Nursing is easier! If he falls asleep then he needs it - no need to wake him up now that he is back to birth weight. 
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  • If LO is back to birth weight and gaining, then just BF as needed.  I had to BF my DD on a schedule so she would gain weight, and once I was able to let her go a little longer between feedings, she would get hungrier and be more into eating.  She also falls asleep easily at the breast and sometimes only eats for 5 minutes per side.  I have gotten OK with that...I figure we do not eat the same sized meals all day and neither does she.  I can tell when she is not eating enough by whether or not she is swallowing, and sometimes she just eats fast.  Maybe your LO is transferring enough in five minutes. 

    If you think he is still falling asleep too much, try chaning his diaper in between sides.  I strip DD down, feed one side, change her, then switch.  It normally works.  Sometimes just pulling her off the breast pisses her off enough to wake up and start again :-)

  • I get frustrated when pedi's jump to supplementing. If you supplement, you will not produce the milk he needs, they should recommend just feeding more. I have had supply issues since going back to work and not had to supplement...I have increased my liquids more than I already had and I am taking more milk plus, also eat oatmeal every morning. DS just lost over a pound because he's not eating enough so now I wake him at night and send an extra bottle to daycare. If that doesn't fix it, I will consider supplementing. You can also continue to pump after feeding him to tell your body to produce more milk. 
    "Normal day, let me be aware of the treasured day you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart...let me hold you while I may."


    TTC #1- unexplained...lost left ovary 4/07 IUI #1 2/10/09-BFN IUI #2 3/5/09-BFN IVF # 1-BFP

    TTC#2- FET 4/7/11 BFP, Natural mc 5/5/11 IVF#2 ER 9/13/11, ET 9/16/11, Beta #1 9/27/11 BFP 254 Beta #2 9/30/11 793 -Twins!

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