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I am breastfeeding and my breast can not keep up with her, is there a way I can fill them up faster?

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Asked by giggsnmater at 4:26 AM on Oct. 9, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • "Fill them up"

    That is a very clear indication that you've unfortunately been given the wrong information.

    Breasts... which are not bladders... do not 'fill up'. Breasts are glands, like saliva glands or adrenal glands: they don't 'fill up' because they are not storage units but production units. They do not 'fill up' they produce.

    The best way to increase your supply is to latch the baby on really, really frequently. Like every 7 minutes.

    It is 'normal' for breastfeeding women to latch on their babies between 6 and 50 times a day. Women who latch their babies on 6 times nurse for 20 - 40 minutes at a stretch. Women who latch their babies on 50 times a day nurse for 3 - 7 minutes at a stretch. Both are completely normal.

    It is uncommon for babies where mom is 'available' to independently elect to nurse less often than every 90 minutes, at least until they're 6 or 8 months old. Before that, it tends to be more random.

    Answer by LindaClement at 4:33 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • Linda has given you excellent information, I just wanted to add a couple of things.

    You can tell your baby is getting enough breast milk by keeping track of wet diapers. These vary by age, but a newborn should have 8-12 wet diapers a day. Don't worry about counting bowel movements, these can be every diaper change or every couple of days.

    Also, getting supply established can be less than fun. She's going to want to eat frequently, because she is communicating with your body right now, telling it how much she needs. It's miraculous, and can be nerve racking. Once she's working well with you, it's much easier. Every now and again, she will need to grow, and will latch more often.

    Oatmeal, and mother's milk tea can help with supply if you are really having difficulty.

    Answer by lovinangels at 5:22 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • I agree with the info in the above responses. When I was breast feeding each of our three babies I kept a chart on the counter and logged every feeding by time and minutes spent and then counted the wet diapers. Info like that is good for your own piece of mind and it can help when you need to visit the doctor. It's easy to look at the record and see what the baby has been doing. Getting established is hard, but look at it as one day at a time and before you know it, it will be easy and second nature and you don't even really think about it at all. Incidentally, I tried eating oatmeal with our first, because I liked it as well as because I heard it helps with milk production.  I think it may have helped some.  I had to pump one bottle for day care every night and had no problem doing that.  We had a nice plump baby that ate really well!


    Answer by mjjn at 6:57 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • I have to say ladies excellent info. Some of the info I did not know!!! You ladies are great.

    Answer by sta517 at 7:35 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • Linda is right about the whole "fill up" issue. If you are looking to increase your milk supply though, aside from just nursing frequently (thats the best) I have heard that eating oatmeal really helps produce more milk. I never had issues with milk prodiction, so Im not speaking from experince, but from friends it works.

    Answer by v8v at 7:40 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • If your supply needs increasing (and all the other advice is spot on) try
    1) oatmeal
    2) Mothers milk tea
    3) Fennugreek
    But first try and see if you really need to do so. Although if you like oatmeal go right aheadwith that!

    Answer by Tea4Tas at 7:53 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • I want to also add. Babies aren't supposed to "fill up" and be satisfied for hours either. That is a strange misconception that we are all used to. Babies are supposed to eat small amounts VERY often. And the more you nurse, the better. You are keeping up with her just fine if she is wetting at least 6 diapers a day.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:56 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • Also, while your breast will get full (even engorged) when your milk first comes in, they very quickly adjust to baby's needs and won't seem "full" once you've both adjusted. As long as baby is having lots of wet diapers every day (dirty ones are not as important - some babies will have a bm several times a day, some will have a bm every few days) s/he is getting enough. What I found really helped with my peace of mind was weighing my baby weekly. There is a public health clinic near me that has a baby scale set up for moms to weigh their babies whenever they want (it's a digital scale and you just strip baby down and weigh him - no need for an appt, just go in and weigh them). I mean I always knew they were getting enough, but it was nice to have the reassurance of those numbers on the scale getting bigger.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 11:32 AM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • diaper count is all that matters. as long as the baby is making 6-8 wet diapers a day. your supply is good

    Answer by piwife at 1:41 PM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • How old is your baby? Maybe going through a growth spurt? It can take a couple of days to catch up to Baby's needs.
    How do you know Baby isn't getting enough? How many wet diapers is he/she producing in a day? Babies don't necessarily have a bowel movement every day, so don't fret about that, but count the pees. Is he/she fussy after nursing?
    Are you basing your supply on how much you're pumping? If you are, DON'T. You cannot pump as much as a baby gets at the breast, due to the hormone releases that happen when Baby latches.
    The usual stuff to try include Mother's Milk Tea, oatmeal, fenugreek, and beer with a lot of hops (not a lot of beer). You ought to have a lactation consultant come and check things out, too. They can help you work out the kinks.

    Answer by musicpisces at 2:59 PM on Oct. 9, 2010

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