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Old 09-26-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all!  I have a friend who is a new mom.  Her little one is 12 days old.  Today he started nursing about every 2 hours and she wants to know how ofter her milk should come in.  I do not live near her and my nursing circumstances were odd, so I don't really know what to tell her.  She says that she cannot feel letdown as of yet.  I told her that a hungry baby was the quickest way to get letdown, and to latch her baby on if he was acting hungry.  Beyond that, I don't know what to tell her.  She is also fighting a mother that is trying to convince her that formula is that answer and this is her first baby so she has no previous experience.  Please help me mamas!!

 

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Old 09-26-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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Hi,

 

First, not all moms can feel letdown; other mothers feel letdown sometimes but not others or find it changes over time.  So, the lack of a letdown doesn't mean she isn't making milk. 

 

12 days old is about when a growth spurt is expected, so feeding more frequently than usual isn't abnormal.  Basically, the baby is putting in an order for more milk.  Some babies will nurse every 15 minutes for a few hours at a time!  The breasts are never really empty.  There is always some milk there.  By taking out more of those last few drops, the baby is telling the breast 'I need more!' and after a couple of days the breast makes more.

 

That said, nursing every two hours isn't abnormal for a newborn even if he always does that.

 

So, if the baby is growing (she would know from her pediatrician), making 3 poopy diapers per day, and looking well then I would say what she is describing is normal nursing.  Even wet diapers can be misleading, because with the new high absorbancy disposables they can seem dry even when they're wet.  So, look for poop.  If this is normal nursing, introducing formula would be a mistake because right now is when that baby is supposed to be putting in his milk order.  If your friend supplements now, she could have supply problems soon. 

 

If she's fighting a mom who isn't supportive (or even if her mom was the most supportive person on the planet, truth be told), she would do well to get in touch with a breastfeeding group (e.g., La Leche League, or a group affiliated with her hospital/birth center).  She should definitly talk to a La Leche League leader (many are available by phone) or a lactation consultant, as well as her pediatrician, before supplementing.

 

Best wishes,

Anka


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Old 09-26-2011, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that all of this is normal.  She knows that all of this is normal (from what I have told her and what she can google!).  Her husband just asked her tonight when her "boobs would recharge" and I didn't know how to answer that question.  I think that she is worried that she won't make enough to support her baby despite my insisting that she will make plenty and that she should nurse on demand, not on some schedule.

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Old 09-27-2011, 05:43 AM
 
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Sorry, I misunderstood where you were coming from!  Is DH open to hearing about the biological details?  It sounds like having a better idea of how the system works might help him.  My own DH would try everything (rocking, cuddling, walking, changing diaper) before handing the baby back to me to nurse if he felt like I had "just fed him"... why?  Because I would be "out of milk".  It really helped to have him understand how the system was set up.  He's an engineer, and he thought of it kind of like a battery, where it could be empty and it could be full, and you let it recharge between being empty and trying to put it back to work.  Once I explained how it is never really empty and you don't want it to become full, as well as the supply issues, he was able to support me in breastfeeding much better.

 

Does that help?

 

Anka


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Old 09-27-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Have her read this page and show it to her DH and mom: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html

All she has to do is follow the baby's lead!
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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Breasts aren't containers of milk. There are glands in the breast that are modified sweat glands that look like grapes that make the milk. Each gland has a duct that leads to the nipple. Each gland only holds a little milk. When the baby starts nursing a message flows to the brain and hormones tell the glands to make milk and eject milk (let-down). It is a symbiotic relationship.


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Old 10-13-2011, 12:24 AM
 
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As already said, the breast is never "empty."   A lactating breast is always making milk.   The more empty it is, the more rapidly milk is made.  The more empty it is, the higher the fat content of the milk baby receives.  There's no need to wait for the breast to "recharge."  Waiting until the breast feels full or leaks or whatever actually slows milk production, since a "full" breast is making less milk than an "empty" breast.  Allowing the breast to become full is recommended for moms with too much milk, since the presence of that milk slows production both chemically (through a protein called "feedback inhibitor of lactation" - gotta love the creative names) and mechanically from the internal pressure of the milk.  Waiting some pre-determined time that's not decided by baby's cues to nurse is actually one of the best ways to ensure a low milk supply.  If baby is nursing well, then following baby's lead is all she needs to do.  She can switch baby from side to side if she wants, but should let baby "finish the first breast" and stay on one side until either letting go on his own, or slowing nursing to the point that he's really not suckling much, or falling asleep.  Then offer the other breast.  And keep offering the "other" breast even if that means baby nurses on both breasts more than once. 


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