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BF interval stretch longer = milk ss drop?

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    fennho's Avatar
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    BF interval stretch longer = milk ss drop?

    hi there

    have a problem at hand now. Have been breastfeeding for 2months now since my bb is born. She has been on a 3hourly interval. Recently, she has sometimes stretched to hours interval during certain feeds. And in the night, she has nicely settled into sleeping longer stretches at night. She slept from 9pm to around 4-5am! My breasts will feel so engorged by then i need to pump it out. She will usually feeds on one side and i pump out the other. Usually i will get about 150-170ml per side. But i fear that my supply is dropping due to longer interval, prob the brain is telling my breast not to make so much milk as there's no demand during this stretch cos jus now when i woke up to pump, my supply dropped to 125ml! I am so worried that if this goes on, my supply will drop tremendously and i will not be able to BF my bb any longer if it "dries up". I tried using the alarm clock to wake up earlier, but useless mommy probably didnt hear the alarm as it goes off as i put it at its softest, not wanting to wake my bb up as well (she sleeps in the same room as me). Ironically, it only take my bb to whimper softly and i would wake up!

    The other problem is, i hesitate in pumping during the day when she sometimes take a longer afternoon nap and stretch her feeding interval to 4hours becos as i mentioned in my other thread, she is currently rejecting bottles, so for certain mommies, pumping out is not a problem becos if bb wakes up, they merely jus feed the bb with the freshly EBM. For me, if i emptied my breasts with pump to regulate my supply and bb wakes up, i wont have enough in my breasts to feed her and she wont take the bottle!

    pls help! i'm so worried....

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    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Fennho,

    Please stop worrying – you are not loosing your milk. The changes you are seeing are very normal and desirable around the two to three month mark. Around this time your body gets use to lactating and a number of things happen. Your breasts start to feel softer, you stop leaking and the oversupply you had reduces.

    Your milk supply is now fully established and you actually find it very difficult to stop your milk. It is estimated to take about six weeks for you to have no more milk after the last breastfeed. The way breastfeeding works is that you replace the milk that is taken out - so long as you (or rather the baby) keeps taking the milk out you will keep replacing it.

    Unless you have a reason to keep your oversupply (for example to give the milk to another baby) I would suggest that you slowly let the over supply go. If you find yourself too full we usually suggest either waking the baby and asking him to drink some so you are comfortable remember (it is a two way relationship) or expressing only a little (maybe 20 to 30mls) until you are comfortable again.

    Ideally your body will be able to supply the milk without the hard over full feeling. This usually happens by four months – even when the baby sleeps for a number of hours during the night.

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

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    hi sarah

    thanks for your advice. Can i ask, if my breasts have adjusted into supplying milk without feeling too full and engorged, how will i know when i have "full" breasts and when the bb has appropriately emptied it? Right now, i feed based on the feeling of which is fuller, alternating between left and right breast. And during and after feeding, i will check to see if my bb has emptied it sufficiently (ie she has a proper full feed) by checking that the breast she fed on has turned soft (which was engorged earlier). So if my breasts have adjusted and no longer feel hard, how will i know? Sorry for the long questions.

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    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    It is not actually necessary (or even possible) to “empty” your breasts. And if you do try it tends to take longer for your body to adjust to the “normal”, as apposed to the “early” (round about the first 12 weeks), stage of lactation.

    The reason that the “empty your breast” advise is given is that before mothers were told to stop feeding after ten minutes on each side. This casued problems as babies weren't drinking enough milk - so to overcome this problem mothers were told to “empty” their breasts.

    I would recommend that you feed until the baby comes off (or falls asleep) on one side and offer the second side. If the baby takes the second side that is fine and if the baby doesn’t take the second side that is also fine. And even if the baby feeds on one side, changes to the second side and then wants the first side again – that is also fine.

    Sometimes it is difficult to know which side to feed on next. Some mothers use a safety pin on their bras, others swap a ring on their fingers. There is even a company making special bracelets so you know which side to use. But if you make a mistake and feed on the wrong side it quickly become obvious and you can stop and swap sides.

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

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    tks again Sarah. So ru saying I shudnt pump if I don't need the oversupply and jus let my breasts adjust itself? I thot that as babies grow, they will need more milk, if the supply drops how do they feed?

    This morning she slept till now 6am!!! Her last feed was at 705pm!! Its been 11hours!!! Is this normal and is it good for the bb to be going without food for so long?? I'm worried. She has not been taking any afternoon naps for long, I fed her last at 705pm and put her to bed at 10pm. U mentioned earlier to wake bb if I feel umcomfortable? Is that advisable?would it interrupt their sleep (which I said earlier some told me tat babies are growing when they r sleepg)

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    fennho's Avatar
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    tks again Sarah. So ru saying I shudnt pump if I don't need the oversupply and jus let my breasts adjust itself? I thot that as babies grow, they will need more milk, if the supply drops how do they feed?

    This morning she slept till now 6am!!! Her last feed was at 705pm!! Its been 11hours!!! Is this normal and is it good for the bb to be going without food for so long?? I'm worried. She has not been taking any afternoon naps for long, I fed her last at 705pm and put her to bed at 10pm. U mentioned earlier to wake bb if I feel umcomfortable? Is that advisable?would it interrupt their sleep (which I said earlier some told me tat babies are growing when they r sleepg)

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    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    A month old fully breastfed baby drinks about 750 mls (28 oz) in 24 hours and a six month old fully breastfed baby drinks about 750 mls in 24 hours. This is one of the ways that breastfeeding and formula feeding differs. The quantity stays the same but the quality changes to suit the age of the baby with breast milk whereas the quality stays the same but the quantity the baby drinks increases with formula feeding. So if you have enough milk your baby now and continue breastfeeding you will also have enough as your baby grows.

    Most babies but not all decrease the number of feeds through the day and increase the amount drunk at each feed.

    If your baby is gaining weight well and has six or more wet nappies a day then it is fine to let her sleep. But if you are worried I’d suggest an extra feed as she goes to bed.

    It is also fine to wake your baby occasionally if you feel over full. Generally when you do this the baby wakes, drinks and goes straight back to sleep. And while it is true that babies need their sleep – just as we do – they are great at managing to get this sleep in many small periods rather than one long period.

    Remember that breastfeeding is a relationship between you and your baby – both sides have to be happy. It is not just you always giving to the baby.

    I recommend that you join some of the LLL gatherings in Hong Kong so that you can meet other mothers who are breastfeeding. The schedule of our meetings is available at http://www.lllhk.org/Meetings.html

    All our meetings are free and it is not necessary to be a member to join our meetings. Of course we do encourage membership as money from memberships and donations are our major sources of revenue. The format for all the meetings is similar. We spend the first part of the meeting discussing the meeting title topic and the second part of the meeting the topics which the mothers attending bring up. Thus every meeting is different depending on the needs of the mothers there.

    The article Why La Leche League? http://www.wiessinger.baka.com/bfing/others/whylll.html
    gives a nice description of why our meetings may be helpful to attend.

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

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    hi sarah

    thanks very much for your advice again. I truly didnt know BF babies drink the same amount at 2 month and 6month! Do u mean, they really dont increase? So why is everybody telling me to pump pump pump to avoid milk supply decreasing? So does that mean that i dont have to feel engorged to know there's milk inside and that IT IS OKAY to jus have enough even if baby feeding schedule is erratic?

    How about growth spurt? I tot growth spurt is nature's way of making babies nurse more in order to increase our milk supply?

    Thanks for the invitation for your meetings, i would love to come, but at a feeding of 3hourly interval, i cant seem to find the time to do my own things, household chores, and as my bb is rejecting bottles right now, i cant be away from her for more than 3hours...cant bring her along as well, cos hubby is quite mindful of bringing her out due to the recent flu outbreak among kids. Sigh.

    Talking about schedules, when will she feed at a longer interval and shorter time? Sometimes she nurse for 30-40mins still, sometimes, she's done at 10-15mins, i'm not sure at all if she has had enough!

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