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1454858 tn?1306787978

breasts & milk supply

I'm not sure about how much I plan to breastfeed.  I know how it is said that it is better for baby & all... I just didn't do well with it at all when I had my daughter 5 yrs ago.  

I couldn't tell if she was getting anything???  she didn't seem satisfied.  I tried to pump it & put it in bottles, but there wasn't much there at all.  i went to all formula within 3 weeks, because it was a nightmare.

I have a few questions......

1.)  I have small breasts.  A cup currently.  Does this have anything to do with milk production?  5 yrs ago, I didn't have much, but during pregnancy & after my breasts were very sore & "felt" heavy.  Ironic, I know considering the size.  This pregnancy, My breasts barely bother me at all (I'm 12 weeks).  Does this mean I won't produce much milk?

2.)  Any pointers for breastfeeding, should I have adequate milk supply?

3.)  should breastfeeding hurt?  Last time it hurt my nipples so bad, I could barely stand it.  they were raw.  is that normal?

all this said, I'm not sure how this is going to work out, but I'd like to give it a try.
12 Responses
1454858 tn?1306787978
p.s.  I used a hand pump that was given to me by the hospital. Is that a reason why there wasn't much milk?  Do you have to use a battery powered one or something?
1194973 tn?1385507504
Well I've breastfed for only around 3 months now, so I don't have tons of advice, but I can help a little. You'll know if baby is getting enough if they have the adequate amount of dirty/wet diapers. It should normally be around 3-6 dirty ones a day and I think 6-12 wet ones. Don't be alarmed if it's not quite this much though. My daughter had/has only 1-2 dirty diapers a day and the LC told me if that's her norm then it's fine. You'll also know if they're still hungry because they'll continue to give hunger cues. These would be things like opening and closing the mouth, crying, eating their hands, shaking the head from side to side, etc. Size doesn't have anything to do with the ability to feed. Many large breasted women worry that they're too big for it, but it's not true. Don't rely on a pump to say if you're getting enough or not. A baby will naturally draw out more than a pump ever will and many women worry they're not getting anything because of pumping. Supplementing will also drop your supply. Putting the baby to the breast will signel to your body to produce more. The less often they're on there, the less you produce. It's a supply and demand thing. Remember, the baby will more or less be attached to you for the first 6 or so weeks and this is normal and expected. It helps to get the supply up. They also cluster feed, some times as often as every 30 minutes or every hour. This is also normal and helps to get the supply up.

Breastfeeding may hurt at first as your nipples get used to it. I was raw and bleeding for a week or so while I got used to it. It could also be due to an improper latch/positioning. A LC would be able to tell if the child is on properly. If there is a latch issue, it could also cause the baby to not get enough which may cause a mother to think she has a low supply. I was personally sore for maybe 2-4 weeks. (I can't remember)

A good pump can also help. The best are a double electric pump, but unless you don't plan to pump often I wouldn't bother with one. Try not to use bottles or pacifiers at all for the first 4-6 weeks. It may cause nipple confusion, making breastfeeding much more difficult. Some babies can go back and forth without issue, but it's a gamble to try. I hope I got all your questions. You can PM me if you have anymore, or post on the breastfeeding forum. The ladies there have tons of wonderful advice.
1437906 tn?1315592686
I can't answer any of your questions about production but my doctor gave me a book yesterday that said breastfeeding should not hurt if you're doing it properly and the baby is latching on correctly. If you have any questions or concerns about breastfeeding after your baby is born contact a lactation consultant and they can answer all your questions and tell you or show you how to breastfeed properly

I used an electric breastpump for my first 2 and it worked really well for me but I also have large breasts so that could be why
1454858 tn?1306787978
thank you both.  
Should my breasts be sore?  it seems like every pregnant woman in the world has sore breasts & I don't.
1035252 tn?1427231433
I agree it shouldn't hurt if the baby has a proper latch. it can be a bit uncomfortable when your breasts are full and the baby first begins to suck, but as soon as milk begins to let down the discomfort should ease.

I honestly believe that smaller breasts are an advantage while breastfeeding. I have (now)36EE's and while BFing I had FF's...so trying to maneuver the nipple was difficult and it was almost easy to move baby around to fit the nipple instead of vice versa...I always had to roll up a blanket under my breast to keep it lifted enough to make the nipple easily accessible.

I bought a double electric breastpump for $30 from target and while it wasn't the BEST pump in the world, it helped a lot. I used a hand-pump with my daughter and it was horrible.

And I think that you'll have an easier time with it this time around because instead of learning something new you'll be perfecting something you've learned before...BFing was easier this time than it was the first time, but it still didn't turn out to be the long-term choice for me. Sadly :(. Your breast fullness/heaviness or lack thereof at this point isn't indicative of either good or bad supply...supply has more to do with hormones and commitment to BUILDING the supply than it does with any sort of pregnancy production of milk or breast swelling...so don't worry :).
Avatar universal
1.)  I have small breasts.  A cup currently.  Does this have anything to do with milk production?  5 yrs ago, I didn't have much, but during pregnancy & after my breasts were very sore & "felt" heavy.  Ironic, I know considering the size.  This pregnancy, My breasts barely bother me at all (I'm 12 weeks).  Does this mean I won't produce much milk?

No your breast size does not mean you wont/cant produce enough milk. An A cup woman can produce the same as a D cup.

2.)  Any pointers for breastfeeding, should I have adequate milk supply?

Nurse, nurse, and nurse some more. Anytime you think baby is hungry put baby to breast. If baby is peeing and pooping enough then you know baby is getting what they need. Stay away from bottle and pacifies as much as possible until you get your supply going.  

3.)  should breastfeeding hurt?  Last time it hurt my nipples so bad, I could barely stand it.  they were raw.  is that normal?

Your nipples may be a little sore in the beginning but it does get better. You need to buy Lanolin cream, that may help with the soreness.  
1454858 tn?1306787978
thank you all.  I am going to try.
1194973 tn?1385507504
No. Your breasts do not have to be sore. Some women experience it, others don't. It doesn't actually mean anything.
1346146 tn?1299364097
With my first 2 pregnancies, I was so sore you couldnt even look at my breasts! lol This pregnancy no soreness at all. I guess like they say every pregnancy is different.  Clysta's answer was right on.  Her suggestions were great.  As far as the nipples being sore, to avoid that, make sure the baby gets as much nipple in the mouth as possible to get proper latch(I know TMI lol)  And use lanolin or olive oil for soreness also.(it wont hurt the baby)  Some soreness is to be expected but eventially gets much better.  Good luck to you.
719902 tn?1334168783
I want to try this time, too.  I am with you vacuumprincess, it is HARD!
With my first two babies, I had NO success.  With #3 I nursed for 5 weeks, and with #4 I nursed for 6.5 weeks.  I am really determined this time to do it for longer, but I already know how hard it is.  
My nipples got *extrememly* sore while nursing.  To the point that I would scream as he latched on.  Once he was on, it was ok, but wow, that initial pain was awful! I know the say it shouldn't hurt like that, though.... but hat's been my experience.
About pumipng, I never wanted to invest in an electric pump, not knowing how long I would be using it.  Saving $ is one of my primary motivations for BFing!  lol  I bought a single hand pump by Madela, and I liked it a lot. I had another cheaper one that didn't work as well.
202436 tn?1326477933
1.)  I have small breasts.  A cup currently.  Does this have anything to do with milk production?  5 yrs ago, I didn't have much, but during pregnancy & after my breasts were very sore & "felt" heavy.  Ironic, I know considering the size.  This pregnancy, My breasts barely bother me at all (I'm 12 weeks).  Does this mean I won't produce much milk?

Breast size has NOTHING to do with milk production.  There are small chested women who produce more milk than they need and large breasted women who have supply issues.

2.)  Any pointers for breastfeeding, should I have adequate milk supply?

Breastfeed immediately after birth and on demand or atleast every 2-3 hours.  You can always pump after each nursing session.  Make sure you stay well hydrated.  There are also herbs that can help with milk production. IF you are going to pump a hospital grade pump is the BEST for helping with your supply.  The store bought ones from Kmart, Walmart, etc are raelly only good for the occasional pumping.

3.)  should breastfeeding hurt?  Last time it hurt my nipples so bad, I could barely stand it.  they were raw.  is that normal?

In the beginning it DOES hurt and your nipples will be very sore as they adjust to being "used" all the time.  An incorrect latch can make this MUCH worse
287246 tn?1318573663
Everyone has had great advice so I can't add much to that really.  If you experience any burning (not soreness; that is different and to be expected), you may have something called Thrush and that is easily taken care of with a topical medication.

You will know the baby is getting enough by the baby for one.  If he/she seems satisfied and not hungry, the baby is probably getting enough.  As far as diapers go....the most important is the urine.  Some breastfed babies do poop a lot, but since the breast milk so digested so well by the baby, some only go once a day or even every other day.  I actually read that as long as the baby was going a couple of times per week, that was fine.  It is virtually impossible for a breastfed baby to get constipated.  Formula fed babies can get constipated easily due to the iron on the formula.

Good luck to you!  I have breastfed all 6 of my babies and I love it, but I know it is hard at times.
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