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Breast Feeding

Breast feeding help

09/07/2006

Question:

Hi. My milk just disappears and it is too little to feed my baby with. What can I do to make is more and to keep my milk from going away?

Answer:

Breastfeeding is a supply & demand situation, the more you breastfeeding, the more milk you will have.  A breastfeeding session will take at least 30-45 minutes each time. Also, milk will let down will occur more effectively if you are relaxed. So, when it is close to time to feed grab a glass of water, find a comfortable seat, and place your diaper clad infant skin-to-skin between your breasts. After some time of kangaroo care, which will help you relax and start the breastfeeding hormones flowing, your infant will work his way to your breast.  Let him crawl at his own pace and latch on when he is ready, after nuzzling or licking your breast. Let him suckle on the first breast until it is completely empty, at least 15-20 minutes (but don't watch the clock, just let the feeding happen). If he is still awake switch to the other breast and feed until baby is satisfied. If baby has received enough milk & the hind milk he will sleep for several hours. Baby's are receiving enough milk if they sleep peacefully after a feeding, if the have 6-8 wet diapers per day, & if they are gaining weight.

Just before a growth spurt your infant will cluster feed (feed frequently with only small naps in between). This pattern helps to increase the milk supply to meet the infants new needs. Go with the flow, the frequent feeding will only last a day or so.

In summary, feed frequently, at least every 2-3 hours, feed until the breast is empty, take time to relax while you are feeding (the breastfeeding hormone are helping you relax, and drink plenty of water (at least 64 ounces/day. Enjoy the time with your baby.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Barbara   Morrison, PhD, CNM, FNP Barbara Morrison, PhD, CNM, FNP
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University