Failure to thrive little one? Feeding too often? Little one always hungry?
Don’t switch to formula right off. First try these:
Get tongue and lip ties cut, if the little one has them. Get a good (medela) electric double breast pump. Get about 4 razorback pumping and nursing bras. Get pumpin’ pals add ons so you won’t have to pump leaning over your knees, and you can pump witting up straight. Keep a manual pump with you when you go out, and even when you do not plan to use it, you will sometimes. Pump a few times a day.
Most of the time, there should be 2.5 to 3 hours between feedings. Feedings should last around 40 minutes. If there is not that much, and you can tell your supply is down or not enough, pump more, especially if you know your little one is not sucking efficiently (falling asleep, playing, etc.) falling asleep for nap and bedtime fine. Falling asleep every feeding is not fine. That likely means your little one is too tired to suck. If this happens a lot, the pump sucks really well to make up for it! This makes it so that in the future, there is more there for the baby to get more easily, with less effort. This helps little one to use up less energy in eating, so he or she can gain weight more readily.
Getting a bottle that is slow flow and most like a breast is important, but if your little one is having a hard time gaining weight, give him or her a fast flow nipple to drink what you have pumped. This way, baby uses less energy and can gain weight faster.
Do not think that baby always eating and never being done is normal. I used to. Your should have 2 hours from start to start of feeding. Cluster feedings do happen, though. Right before bed, first thing in the morning and before nap, a little one sometimes eats lots.
Eat a lot of galactagogues. It will increase supply. Borage oil will make your milk more creamy. Avoid anti-galactagogues. They are peppermint, parsley, sage, over the counter meds and allergy meds and some prescription stuff, including antibiotics. Eat oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, caraway seeds, dill, flax seeds, fenugreek and fennel seeds, anise seeds, lettuce, garbanzo beans, barley, and sesame seeds. These increase supply.
- pumpkin seeds
- caraway seeds
- flax seeds, flour, oil
- fenugreek seeds
- fennel seeds, oil
- basil oil
- anise seeds
- garbanzo beans
- sesame seeds
- chia seeds
When getting a prescription
Some prescription medications and over-the counter medications are safe. When your physician is giving you one, tell him or her you need him or her to make sure it is not an anti-galactagogue. I have had one doctor do this. The others would not, so I went home and looked them up myself on the internet before filling the prescriptions. If they were anti-galactagogues, I called in and said, “This is an anti-galactagogue. I looked it up online.” I usually could get them to get me a safe one after time. This takes extra work up-front and seems like it is not worth the extra effort, but when you consider how much work it is to get your supply back up after it has gone down, it is worth it. It is expecially worth it when you have been sick, because having been sick, your milk supply has probably already dropped so that your body can recover or fight.
Anti-galactagogues List (Avoid when breastfeeding)
- over-the-counter cold, headache or allergy medicine
- many prescription medications
- shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, essential oils, essential oil blends and mouthwash with peppermint in them
- mints, breathmints, gum, candy canes, mint chocolate chip ice cream, peppermint ice cream, thin mints, or anything containing peppermint
- Asian soups and chicken or vegetable soups containing sage
- Sage in anything
- Any rice mixes, buillon (especially vegetable buillon), decorated at restaurants with little greens on them, croutons, and the like, containing Parsley—–Note: At restaurants, they have put parsely on my pizza, cubed country style fried potatoes, in the salad bar on garbanzo beans. I have found that telling the server right up front that I cannot have parsley because I am breastfeeding helps me and usually edcucated the server.)
Sleep and de-stressing will increase supply. Drink enough water. Get away from little with a sitter’s help sometimes, and go out on walks with baby to get out of the house. Go visit friends. Happiness will increase your supply. If your load is to much to handle, get help. Your sleep is more important than you think. It helps so much. Take naps whenever you can. If you are not getting 8 hours of sleep in 24 hours, make that your ultimate goal.
I have found that my milk supply increased a lot when I stopped caring about breastfeeding uncovered in public places so much. I have recenly breastfed uncovered at Thanksgiving Point. I also recently breastfed uncoved at my son’s birthday party. I do prefer the mother’s room if it is best for the moment. At church, I use the mother’s room.
If you still need to formula feed, supplement feeding is totally cool. You breastfeed some, pump some, and formula feed some. I like this option, even though it is a lot of stuff to do, because breastfeeding so important, pumping helps lots, and formula fills in the gaps.