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BF interval stretch longer = milk ss drop?

  1. #17
    fennho's Avatar
    fennho is offline Registered User
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    hi sarah
    my gratitude to u again for your patience in explaining the concept to me. I have read thru your latest reply and again, some questions arise:

    As u were saying, it's not the volume but the rate the milk is produced that is important, ie how quickly its being replenished, rite? So if the breast is empty, it produces faster. Now, this is wat i'm always worried about...that my breasts are not making the milk fast enough if my baby sleeps longer and interval stretching longer! I guess this is why people advising me to pump to empty it. Back to my situation, so, does that mean that if baby is sleeping a long stretch at night, say an interval of 7-8 hours from her last feed, i shud jus leave my breast as it is and NOT pump, but pump only to relieve any discomfort and not to empty it? But wouldnt that cause the milk production to slow down since the breast is so full?

    And when baby starts stretching longer interval as they grow, say from 3hourly feed to 4hours interval, wouldnt this slow the milk production rate as well? but since the quantity baby feeds stay the same eg 750ml per day, how would the breast cope?

    I am sorry if some of the questions seems a little dumb and obvious, but it's jus that there's soooo many info flying here and there from "well-meaning" people that it confuses me! As i'm doing direct latching, needless to say, i have no idea how much she's drinking exactly. So, am not even sure if she's taking in the recommended amount per 24hour! She's quite a chubby baby now, and if in the past, i was worried about her not getting enough, now i'm worried if she's gonna be overweight or obese..i have read that BF babies DO get obese as well. She is now 6.2kg and have not even reached 3month mark yet! I read the weight chart and realised she's in the 95th percentile.

    I am eternally grateful as well for your guidances, so far it makes a lot of sense to me, thus am asking more to educate myself more!

    Your list of problems associated with oversupply hit quite a few points with me. My baby have 4 out of the 7 symptoms u listed! Perhaps i started with low supply (or at least i think i was cos my breasts were not reacting well to the pump i bought) hence my paranoia of keeping up my ss for fear of not being able to BF my baby for at least 6months.

    BTW, if i really am hvg tis oversupply issue, how do i solve tis problem?

    joannek
    thanks for your response as well. I really do want to BF my princess for at least 6months and beyond. But sometimes i do find it so tiring and permanently attached to her. I cant be away from her for more than 3hours cos of her feeding interval. I love her to bits, but sometimes i admit i do feel a little "trapped". I feel guilty to have these thots! Which is why i was asking Sarah earlier when approximately do babies usually start having longer feeding intervals, and shorter feeding time..at least i can have something to look forward to! My bb is feeding at 3hour interval, sometimes even 2 (and it's not a growth spurt!). Sometimes i feel i'm a useless mommy cos i till now, i dont think i'm able to identify her hunger cries and distinguished it with her other cries (tired, discomfort, etc)

    Sorry for the long rant, and thanks again for listening...u all have no idea how much it means to me!!

  2. #18
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Fennho,

    I’m a little confused by your questions. If your baby is going longer between feeds you must have some milk stored to give to her so why are you worrying?

    Let’s say you’ve just feed your baby and she took lots of your milk so that there isn’t much left in the breast. So now your breast is nearly empty thus you are making milk very fast. As your breast fills up the rate of making milk slows down. So after a while you are half full. But it could take the same time again to get to three quarters full (because the rate has slowed). Then the same time again to get to seven eights full, etc. Remember you have to go through the fast rate of making milk to get to the slow rate and will only get to the slow rate when you have quite a lot already stored in your breasts.

    It doesn’t really matter when the baby feeds if your breasts are full or empty. As it is the vigorousness that the baby feeds with that determines how much milk the baby gets out. When talking about breastfeeding never forget the baby in the equation.

    I think I’ve complicated the whole situation by trying to explain how the breast works because it doesn’t matter. The breast still works even if we don’t understand it (just like gravity). All the knowledge we have these days is getting in the way of natural breastfeeding.

    Let’s stop and think about how mothers managed hundreds of years ago. They didn’t know about fore milk and hind milk (only discovered 15 years ago), they didn’t know about pumping and storing milk, they didn’t know exactly how the milk was made (again only learnt inthe last 20 years). All they knew was that if you kept feeding your baby your body looked after the workings for you and the baby grew.

    From everything you’ve told me I can tell that your baby is getting enough milk and so you have a healthy milk supply. Let your body do its work – the only thing you need to do to keep your milk is to keep feeding your baby.

    As your baby grows your body is expecting your baby to grow. Part of the baby growing is that there is longer between feeds – your body is expecting this and will cope with it.

    When your baby is between 12 and 24 months the number of feeds will be a lot less than now (maybe just one or two feeds a day). But if you continue to feed her your body will continue to make milk. As babies wean themselves it is possible to have gaps as long as a week or even two between feeds and there is still milk there for when the baby wants to feed – no pumping is required – just a baby growing up.

    The only time you need to pump is to collect milk for a time when you will not be with your baby to feed her. There is no point pumping when you are planning to stay together. And as you are now worried about possible over supply I’d stop all unnecessary pumping.

    It usually takes a couple of days for the milk supply to settle down. If you still have the over supply symptoms then give me a call on 2548-7636 and let’s chat about exactly how you are managing the feeds. I need to know what you are doing now to give information about reducing the oversupply symptoms.

    Breastfeed babies have a different growth curve to bottle fed babies. They tend to put a lot of weight on in the first three months and then slow down. So don’t worry if your baby looks cubby at the moment by the time she is one year old she’ll look much slimmer.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  3. #19
    fennho's Avatar
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    hi sarah

    sorry for the confusion...what i was trying to ask is if the baby taking longer to feed, the breasts will be full with the milk, rite? So, when the breasts are full, it will not make any more milk rite? And after a while, it will slow down production, correct? So when growth spurts is around, then what?

    Today i dunno what happened, she fed at 545pm till 620pm, emptying my breast thoroughly (went all soft), then i burped her, changed her diaper, and tried to pat her to sleep cos she was yawning away earlier, she struggled abit and was abit unhappy, i realised she was doing the rooting thing again, pick her up and indeed, when she was in my arms, she turned towards my breast...i latched her on and she suckle away! Tat was at 7pm. I am wary of feeding her too much. Can a BF baby feed too much? I know most people say babies are smart enough to know how to stop but i am still worried cos she seems to be so chubby now. Even my PD was saying he HAS seen BF babies that are obese! :( I feel like such a useless mommy, sometimes i dont even know if she's crying for food, or other things. If a baby is crying for something else other than hunger, and u give her the breasts, she will STILL suckle rite?

  4. #20
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Fennho,

    It doesn’t sound to me that you are a bad mother – it sounds like you are doing a great job. You are with your baby and feeding her when she wants to be fed.

    Quote Originally Posted by fennho View Post
    sorry for the confusion...what i was trying to ask is if the baby taking longer to feed, the breasts will be full with the milk, rite? So, when the breasts are full, it will not make any more milk rite? And after a while, it will slow down production, correct? So when growth spurts is around, then what?
    On a normal day the baby will take about 75% of the milk you have stored in your breasts. So when there is a growth spurt you have the other 25% to give her. After she has fed you make milk very fast and so even if she wants to feed 15 minutes late you still have loads to give her. If you truly think that she has drunk all the milk – give her the other side – it will definitely have milk there. Why do you think we were made with two breasts? After all having twins isn’t common.

    It really doesn’t matter why your baby wants to nurse – she may be hungry, or thirsty, or bored, or lonely, or too hot, or too cold, or frighten by something, or sleepy or almost anything. If she wants to nurse letting her is never the wrong thing to do. And breastfeeding will solve all these problems so it doesn’t really matter what the problem is.

    Some breastfeed babies are fat but as I said yesterday they loose the extra fat. My third child weighted 19 lbs at four months but by the time he was 12 months he only weighed 22 lbs. Breastfeed babies tend to put on loots of weight in the first three months and then slow down – don’t worry about this – it is normal.

    Did you read about the chocolate cake syndrome I mentioned? (It is in the thread entitled Not enough milk - Top up bottles, http://www.geobaby.com/forum/not-eno...t119515p2.html) It sounds like your baby wanted some chocolate cake this evening – that is fine – it is always nice to have a dessert.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  5. #21
    fennho's Avatar
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    hi sarah
    thanks for the reassurances. it's great to hear i'm doing ok..been fretting about lots of things. Can i jus reconfirm certain things? Do u really mean, that by 2-3month, mothers breastfeeding SHUD NOT feel engorged to have their breasts full of milk anymore? Me and my frens are always thinking that breasts got milk = engorged or at least hardened breasts feeling. Are u saying, we can actually have our soft feeling breasts back but it's full of milk? And the leaking will actually stop?

    Sorry, got another question in mind. Take my baby as an example. She has been feeding 3hourly. If all of a sudden, during one feed or two, she slept longer hours, at an interval of 4hours, i SHUD NOT pump my milk out and jus wait for her to wake up and latch her on? All along i always tot that if she misses the usual 3hour gap, i shud either wake her up or pump my milk out (empty my breast) to MAINTAIN my supply. Cos all along i have been told if i dont do that, my supply will drop. So wat happens when baby moves to a 4hourly interval?? In another words, i shud jus feed on demand? This is where i say i think i'm doing a bad job, becos i dunno how to read my baby! I do notice that as she grows older, she doesnt root that much anymore...so i'm at a loss as to when she REALLY is hungry and wan to feed. :(

  6. #22
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Fennho,

    Please don't worry about not knowing all about breastfeeding. I see this as one of the big failings in our society. We teach lots of academic subjects these days but very few that are actually of practical value for living life.

    I would like to see all mothers breastfeed in public so that the teenage girls get to see what breastfeeding is like. Then the next generation of mothers might not find it as hard as this generation does.

    Quote Originally Posted by fennho View Post
    Can i jus reconfirm certain things? Do u really mean, that by 2-3month, mothers breastfeeding SHUD NOT feel engorged to have their breasts full of milk anymore? Me and my frens are always thinking that breasts got milk = engorged or at least hardened breasts feeling. Are u saying, we can actually have our soft feeling breasts back but it's full of milk? And the leaking will actually stop? :(
    YES, YES, YES and YES

    A normal lactating breast is soft and doesn't leak. One of the problems with breastfeeding in Hong Kong is that most mothers don't carry on breastfeeding for very long. So most mothers never get to the normal stage of lactating - only the early stages. But if you carry on breastfeeding for over four months your breasts can be soft all day long.


    Quote Originally Posted by fennho View Post
    If all of a sudden, during one feed or two, she slept longer hours, at an interval of 4hours, i SHUD NOT pump my milk out and jus wait for her to wake up and latch her on? :(
    I would not wake her or pump. Neither of these things is necessary.

    If your baby were only two weeks old and was not managing to feed eight times a day - then that would be different. But your baby is now two months and we are expecting her to slowly increase the time between feeds - and your body is expecting it too.

    Quote Originally Posted by fennho View Post
    All along i always tot that if she misses the usual 3hour gap, i shud either wake her up or pump my milk out (empty my breast) to MAINTAIN my supply. :(
    Not necessary - your body knows what to do now - so relax and just enjoy life.

    Quote Originally Posted by fennho View Post
    Cos all along i have been told if i dont do that, my supply will drop. So wat happens when baby moves to a 4hourly interval?? In another words, i shud jus feed on demand? :(
    YES

    Quote Originally Posted by fennho View Post
    This is where i say i think i'm doing a bad job, becos i dunno how to read my baby! I do notice that as she grows older, she doesnt root that much anymore...so i'm at a loss as to when she REALLY is hungry and wan to feed. :(
    Don't worry about the baby rooting any more just be with her and offer her to feed when she seems a little unhappy with life. Don't worry too much exactly what the problem is - breastfeeding usually solves it.

    As she grows you can try doing other things, like playing with her, or walking about but if she continues to be upset then feed her.

    Try and forget all the rules that people have told you about breastfeeding - there aren't any. You just do it in a way that suits you both.

    For some mother and baby pairs this will be quite regularly and for others it is much more flexible. It really doesn’t matter whether she feeds every three hours, every fours hours or even every hour – so long as you both are happy.

    A normal baby tends to have three different feeding patterns. One might be regular, say she starts the feeds at 7:00 am, 9:30 am and then 12:00 noon – and there are exactly 2.5 hours between the feeds. The second pattern the baby sleeps a little longer, maybe 4, 5 or even 6 hours – and, of course, you hope this is at night but it isn’t always. And the third pattern is one of making up for the feeds that she missed while asleep. So she may have 4, 5 or 6 feeds in just 3 or 4 hours. Usually the baby will top up with these feeds before she goes down for the longer sleep. This is called cluster feeding but I refer to it as a Chinese banquet (It is in the thread entitled Not enough milk - Top up bottles, http://www.geobaby.com/forum/not-eno...t119515p2.html)

    When my babies were little I never worried about what they wanted if they would breastfeed. I only started trying other things when they didn’t want to feed anymore.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    Last edited by LLL_Sarah; 03-19-2008 at 10:51 PM.
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  7. #23
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    1st of all, i agree with Sarah. you're a great mom & you're doing a great job giving your child the best nutrition for her physically (brain & limbs & all!) & emotionally by holding him close to you, feeling the warmth of his mom & hearing his mom's heartbeat with every meal. look, he's in 95th-tile weight from the food that only you can provide.

    then, there will come a time when your breasts are soft & your baby is still getting milk from them. they do make milk as he suckles. your breasts don't exactly work like a cartons. you don't have to fill up a carton to provide your bb enough. he can be sucking & you can be making at the same time. since you always have soft breasts then you shuldn't have to worry about engorging.

    none of us know when our bb is hungry & when he's full when we're 1st time moms. (hell, i wouldn't know if i have a second one. all babies express themselves differently!) people with experience might know, but even loads of moms & pui yuet nowadays don't know. cos most of the babies in the past 50years were bottle fed. and with bttle feeding, you just didn't care about any other thing & just feed them according to a time-table & a chart that the formula companies provide. babies are humans & the provider of the milk is human. it's natural not to have any instruction manuals that come with being a new mom breastfeeding (unlike the prints on the formula cans!!). so it is natural for you to feel inadequate. i'm sure a lot of us here did. i definitely did. i just kept talking to my lactation consultant & my LLL leader, and they kept reassuring me that i was doing a good job. my daughter was also in the 95%-tile in weight when she was 6-12 mths. (when she was born, she was 50%-tile in weight & 45%tile in height) she was so fat, i used to call her my little piggy. they reassured me that breastfed babies are fine even if they seem fat. turns out she didn't gain as much weight in the next 2 years. she gradually fell from 98%tile at 12 mths. 95%tile at 18mths. 90%tile at 2yrs. she just turned 3 yrs old last mth, she's now at 70%tile in weight, her ped said she's fine. the thing is, remember she was 45%tile in height? both my husband & i are between 45%-50%in height for chinese adults. my daughter is 3, and she's in 75%tile in height. i credit that height to all the breastmilk i gave her until she was 16mths. (of course, she also exercise a lot, running, jumping, etc)

    with what you're decribing sounds like cluster-feeding, as Sarah said. my daughter was also like that when she was trying to sleep thru the night. she'd be feeding exactly at you'd describe around sunset & she's sleep for 6-9hrs stretch.

    anyway, i just wanted to give you reassurance that you're doing a good job.

  8. #24
    fennho's Avatar
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    hi sarah and joanne

    thanks (for the umptenth time!) again for answering my (dumb) questions endlessly.

    So for working mothers, who cannot latch direct all the time, i reckon they have to pump at a certain schedule, rite? I have a fren who told me for her #1, she had undersupply becos she just latch and didnt pump, so her boy had sleeping problems. So for the #2 this time round (she gave birth about the same time as me), she doesnt care about oversupply anymore, jus latch AND pump for fear of low supply again. This was her exact mail:

    "during #1 bf days, i din hv engorgement during my Maternity Leave, and for the remaining months that i bf while i'm working. But hor, he had problms sleeping coz i was low in supply (dat's why no engorgement ma). 3.5kg at birth, i insisted on TBF. So he was hungry all the time even tho he was latched on all the time. For months I woke up 3-4 times at night to latch him on, in the end it became a lousy sleep association - everytime he came into light sleep he couldn't fall back to sleep on his own so had to latch him on. Tried water, patting etc.. no use. So many times nearly dropped him coz i was so so tired.. daytime work, night time latch.
    This time, with another large bb (4.5kg at birth), I told myself he gotto eat enuf to sleep enuf. And thus the oversupply. Baby drinks a lot when latched on, but only 40ml from bottle. But what to do, i gotto go back to work soon & he has to get used to the bottle right? So i pump every time he's taking bottle.. he takes 40ml vs my boobs supply 200ml. Yes, it's very troublesome to be engorged and need to pump for comfort.. i was thinking back to those days 2yrs back "how come that time my boobs not so problematic??" Maybe after i start work, they will adjust to the 3 hourly pump & be more obedient. In the meantime, i just gotto find somewhere to store all the excess febm. Yeah, i know abt the quality of bm changing thru the day & months, but maybe i'll mix the old febm with FM when baby is older, or give to my older boy"

    for her #1 case, how come she latched on all the time, yet still have low supply? BF is really puzzling!

    Btw, one more important question hanging on my mind...with the flu outbreak recently, everyone's encouraged to get the anti-flu jab....is it safe or even advisable for BF mommies to get one too? I am very mindful of whatever food/injections or even anything that i do to my body for fear of affecting my BM to my baby. 101 questions on my mind, can i dye my hair (it's turning grey!), can i apply strong acne cream on my acne, or can i apply tea tree oil? Can i apply anti dandruff lotion on my scalp? Can i drink cold drinks? Sigh.

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