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I am new to this whole breastfeeding thing, and unfortunately not one member of my family or any of my friends have breastfed and can't answer any of my questions!
I pumped for a week as I could not get him latched on, he doesn't open his mouth very wide or for very long and it was hit and miss, plus I was so engorged it was a problem. Then I decided that it was silly me pumping and giving to him in a bottle, the whole thing about bf is to give from the breast!?! So I gave up and totally formula fed for a week. Then I tried one last time at the end of that week to get him attached and it worked and he sucked like a champion! I decidd to give it a go again and slowly built up my milk supply and am now breastfeeding properly! LOL! At night-times he gets really hungry and I didn't have enough in them after feeding him for hours and he would still be hungry, so I was giving a bottle. I am trying to get out of giving him any formula now and giving him a bottl of expressed breastmilk at night if he needs supplement.
Here is what I want to know..
* When I express, what is a normal amount to be able to get out in mls?
* How do my boobs know when to start supplying more milk as he needs more?
Hiya and welcome
Your boobs will respond to the amount of sucking (or expressing), so the more you feded, the more they will produce. Each baby has their own needs and this changes as they grow- so there is no 'normal' amount that you can get out. It will change a lot depending on the time of day (for most people the early morning is when they are fullest) and also the quality of the pump you are using- for me with a bad quality pump I used to get about 80mls, with a good one up to 240mls (but that was A LOT for me, around 140mls was pretty standard).
How old is your bub? for the first 6 weeks or so your boobs are adjusting to your babies needs and they can be quite flexible (which may be why you've been so successful at going back to the boob).
Basically if you want to produce more, put your bub on the boob more frequently, or express. There are various herbs (like fenugreek) that you can take to increase supply, and oats (like say having a bowl of porridge every morning) can help a lot too.
Not being an 'expert' I'd probably advise you to post at the ABA site (or phone a consellor) or ask a health professional for more info on supplements/herbs
ABA website: http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/
ABA forum: http://www.lrc.asn.au/forum/
hope that helps
I just wanted to say good on you for being so determined to give your little one the best start in life, now that you have got breastfeeding established, you'll wonder why anyone would want the hassle of bottlefeeding. when my babies were tiny i always found it helped to get them yo open their mouths if i pulled down their chins so they opened their mouths nice and wide bedore attaching them and if its hurting or doesnt look or feel as if they are on properly take them off and keep trying until they are on properly, believe me your boobs will thank you for it! as for your other worries you need to get in touch with your local branch of breastfeeding assoc or baby health clinic, but i think you will find that you are probably producing plenty of milk for bub-its usually abit of a supply and demand situation. with expressing i find im the same as mamafelix, i usually average about 80-160mls, depending on time of day etc, actually i've always found that my baby can get heaps more out than i can with the pump, so dont worry if you dont seem to get much, it doesnt mean its not there :) anyway good luck, and again, i am so impressed with your perseverance! :D
I'd like to agree with what the others have said. I also had to express every feed DD1 had for about the first 6 weeks because she had trouble latching on. But we got there in the end. From what I rember of expressing in the *very* early days, I would only get between 60 and 90 mls and I was feeding every 4 hours.
I'd like to add that I had an excellent lactation consultant who told me that the ideal time to express to build up your supply is about 20 min after a feed. You'll often hear the expression "supply = demand" and that is why the more you feed (or express) the more milk you'll make.
If you want support and some common sense hints, the ABA is pretty good. But if you have special problems and need more detailed technical assistance, lactation consultants are EXCELLENT. You'll be so glad you persisted, nothing beats breast feeding for convenience.
i wish i had known about this forum when i had my first baby. it would have been so reassuring to know that i wasn't the only one who couldn't get it right ! i too expressed all of DD's feed when she was a newborn, until 6 weeks when we finally got some help. had similar attachment issues with DS (now 12 weeks old), but got help sooner and so i never had to express his feeds - thank goodness, because its just so tiring. in answer to the "how much" question, i have lopsided boobs - i can get twice as much out of one side as the other, about 180ml and 90 - 100 mL from the "smaller"side. Hubby thinks its quite funny :mad:
i guess it just depends how often and how much your bub feeds and you express
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