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Top up feeds

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by MrsDetermined, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. MrsDetermined

    MrsDetermined New commenter

    My little man is almost five months old. I was exclusively bf up until the last few weeks when we've been giving him formula top-ups. I think we've had to do this because I had a lot of breastmilk stored and I used it all over one week when I was unwell. I think this coincided with my LO becoming more hungry and it affected my supply.
    Also, we are in a really good routine. He has five feeds (7am, 10am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm) and then sleeps for ten hours. I know this sounds really selfish but I don't want to give this up.
    Is there a way to increase my supply at this late stage? Is it as simple as pumping more? I could express milk before I go to bed and then I could at least top up with ebm but can I increase the supply enough to eliminating the need for top ups?
  2. Breastmilk changes on an almost weekly basis to keep up with the needs of our babies as they grow. I was told by a pediatrician that if expressed breast milk is more than a couple of weeks old the nutrients wouldn't meet the needs of my son so if I still wanted to use it I should keep it stored and then use it to water down purees or cook with. This could be one of the reasons he seemed hungry when he was on EBM while you were ill.
    My LO is almost 8mths now and my milk just seems to be there when he needs it. If he pulls away suddenly it continues to spurt so I know it is there but I'm not sure if this is the start of it 'drying up' as my breasts never feel full and they don't leak unless I am feeding him.I slept for the first time without a bra last night as I realised that I had been wearing one without pad or any leakage forweeks so it was pointless wearing the bra!
    Would it help to pump for 5 or so minutes after each feed to trick your body into thinking he needs / wants more.
  3. MrsDetermined

    MrsDetermined New commenter

    I think you're right Andi, I think if pump after each feed my body will naturally produce mor milk but I've no idea how the timing works. If I create more milk in general will it fix the problem or will the times be wrong?
    What I mean is, if he drinks loads on a morning after ten hours of sleep, then not much at ten and one and then a huge feed again at four and I pump after all of them my body will think he wants a little more at each of the feeds rather than that I need more milk for a 7 pm feed. Does any milk not drunk just hang around and get added to the new milk made or do your boobs just produce milk to the same capacity each time?
  4. When i weaned my LO off bf to go back to work, I dropped one feed at a time. The mid afternoon was by far the hardest for me as my boobs leaked, felt very sore and full for a while. When i asked a bf counsellor friend why the other feeds had been relatively easy to drop in comparison, she said it's because my LO obviously scoffed the most milk mid afternoon. So, hopefully that answers your question about producing the same each feed; i don't think you do! Perhaps you need to concentrate on pumping at the time that you give your baby the formula top up so that your body will know he/she needs the milk then? Sorry if that's already been said!
  5. MrsDetermined

    MrsDetermined New commenter

    Good point Clematis. Within a few days things have improved. I have simply fed him on demand. I have just bf and about to give the first top up of the day before he goes down for the night.
  6. Well done! It's taken a week for my supply to get back to normal!

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