So I am breastfeeding my 2 week old boy and it is going well except for the fact a couple of times he has been feeding constantly, and then pulls off the breast frustrated because there's just no more milk left. I'm talking like feeding for a couple of hours, and i'm offering the breast all the time, but because he has been feeding constantly i have nothing left. The only way i have been able to satisfy and settle him is to top him up with some formula. Usually he only needs 20-30ml. I hate having to resort to the bottle, but i don't know what else to do. I told my midwife about it, and she didn't seem to think anything bad about it, she said thats what i might have to do until i build my milk supply up. But why aren't I building up a good enough supply already if i am always offering him the breast first, and sometimes for hours on end? And sometimes he feeds every hour, other times every 3 hours. I'm usually topping him up twice in a 24 hour period.
my daughter went through this for a week, it was a growth spurt and it passed, i worried why i wasn't making enough within a few days to meet the new demands but for some women it just takes a little longer. as long as hes getting 5-8 wet diapers a day, he's getting enough. my daughter was constantly feeding, like every half an hour, but she was getting plenty of wet diapers so i never used formula and she is perfectly healthy. but if you want a break, by all means use formula here and there, but my LC told me any more than 3 bottles a day was too much and may effect your supply, and bottles should really only be used when breastfeeding is going well. I decided to try taking fenugreek capsules during this last 3 month growth spurt, and it significantly boosted my supply, she fed often, but I had enough to keep her full.. I bought mine for like $5 at walmart. any pharmacy with extended vitamins and herbs will have it, and it's completely safe, many women have used it, and when the growth spurt was over, i stopped taking it and my supply went back to normal. Maybe try that to get you through the growth spurts? i'll post you my link of this question so you can see the responses I got. Good luck!! :)
Thankyou so much for your help KTowne, i read your journal in your profile, and yes, it does sound like i'm going through what you went through! I just want to know though, how do i settle him when he's crying and pulling of my breast when there's no milk and its 2am? Surely if he's been feeding off me and nothing is there, is it worse to offer the bottle? What do i do to satisfy him so he can settle and we can both go to sleep? When he wakes to eat 2-3 hours later my breasts are full again and he gets enough, but these episodes of him not getting enough seem to be happening at least once in a 24 hour time frame.
I don't see any harm in supplementing a little if he's still hungry after nursing if its only once a day. Do be cautious about doing it more frequently so it doesn't cause your supply to decrease. As far as having a bottle its good practice for him so when you want to be able to be away for a little while.
that was the same!! we have identical stories haha!! like tomorrow said supplement, but try to only do it after feeding and emptying both breasts, then only do like an oz (try to only do it a few times, like 1-2 a day) so its enough to get him through, but still eating frequently. and it will pass, i supplemented a few tmes during growth spurts but it made my problem worse because she got really fussy and spit up, i think between 4-6 weeks was the worse growth spurt for me.. there's one around 4 weeks and 6 weeks, and for me, the two got combined, so it was a little over a week of this, but stick it out because it will pass and go back to normal, just expect this to happen a few times in the near future. I also found if she's eating and acting super fussy I try rolling her legs, like her hip, just rotating it around by her knee (if that makes sense) and it calms her right down, you can try rubbing his belly, back, playing with his hair, rubbing his head, to soothe him while he eats and calm him down a little. they are still getting milk its just harder to get and takes more work, so that really works for me to calm her down. it gets better! my daughter's 3 months so I have another one coming :(
I just wanted to post and say i had to give him a top up of 20ml this morning, as he fed every 2 hours last night, but then woke again an hour and a half later after the last feed. I offered him both breasts, twice over, but he was still irritable so i gave him the bottle. He didn't have much, but it was just enough to send him off to sleep. I'm not going to stress about it anymore, it may be just one of those things, and i don't think my nipples can take much more of him pulling and twisting on them every time i breastfeed when there's nothing there. When my breasts are full feeding him is not a problem.
Have you tried to swaddle the baby? It almost sounds like the baby is using you (or the bottles) to help fall asleep...? I agree with KTowne about trying different pacifiers. Growth spurts can definitely be tough. Sounds like you have some good advice above - best of luck!
just offer both breasts first, and then if you need to supplement, you need to. my daughter won't even take bottles now, so we're kind of screwed if we want to supplement, she spits it out and pushes the nipple out with her tongue. it will pass and you'll go back to a good, easy breastfeeding routine. just BF as much as you can and supplement as you need to get through it, if supplementing will get you through a growth spurt until you can get back to easy, stress free breastfeeding, then that's what you need to do! but make sure you don't stress because that can affect your supply too.
Thanks so much for all your advice, I really appreciate it, and its reassuring to know i'm not the only one dealing with this! I do try and swaddle him, but he hates it now, he fights and cries to get his arms out. @KTowne my boy screws his face up with the bottle teat too, and pushes it out with his tongue, but ends up taking it in the end cause he's so hungry. I will just keep going though feeding him as much as i can and supplement when i absolutely have to. Thanks ladies x
All my babies had the occasional top up of 10 - 20 mls here and there in the very early days. My first was a tube fed nicu baby so I was relying solely on pumped milk, if I didn't have enough he had to have formula. Then my other two had it occasionally and it never interfered with breast-feeding. For me it often happened at the end of the day when I was tired and hungry. The problems with supply start when moms skip feeds altogether and give a whole bottle of formula instead. You are doing good mama, keep offering the breast first and switch back and forth a couple of times. You can also try a different position, if you cradle hold try football hold...sometimes it can tap into milk ducts that aren't quite fully emptied by changing position.
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