Here’s another email request that I’d like to share. Again, thank you so much to my friends and readers for wanting to hear my opinions on these things!
Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
I’m currently breastfeeding my first baby but I’m planning to supplement because I’m worried the milk I produce isn’t enough. My 4-week old baby is always crying, it’s like he’s never full. He nurses almost every 2 hours and I don’t get any sleep in the wee hours of the morning. What’s your advice? Thank you and God Bless!
My Mommyology says…
First of all, congratulations on your first baby! I can relate to what you’re going through because Sam was like that. She would feed almost every hour, so I wouldn’t get any sleep either for the first month or so. I feel that it is normal, since their stomachs are so small (I was once told that it’s the size of a golf ball at that age) and breastmilk is easily digested so they poop a lot of it out right away and empty their stomach.
If you want to increase your milk supply, you can check the post on Breastfeeding prior to this one as a reference. Sometimes it takes a while to build the supply — with Sam I started to pump after a month and I could only produce 1 – 2 oz per pumping session. Eventually as she got bigger the amount of milk I would pump increased as well.
My doula also told me that when babies are born, they come with an excess amount of Melatonin (the sleepy hormone), and they naturally lose it after about 2-3 weeks time. Since they still don’t produce enough of their own and they don’t know how to self-soothe, it’s generally around this time as well that they’re awake more, even if they don’t want to be.
I’ll say it again, breastfeeding (especially if it’s your first time) is a painful process… but if you can push through the pain, it will be worth it!
Lastly although most importantly, take the advice of your pediatrician. If he says he’s healthy and not losing weight, then maybe there might not be a need to supplement. We were at the pediatrician’s office almost every week for the first 6 weeks of Sam’s life because I was concerned that she kept eating (and I wasn’t sleeping), but her charts showed she was steadily gaining weight, so they said there was no need to supplement her milk supply.
You will get the hang of it, I’m sure! It takes time (to survive with minimal sleep — I am still trying!) but eventually it gets easier. Good luck! 🙂 I hope that was helpful!
If you feel you need to supplement, and would still like to supplement with breastmilk, you can check for a milk bank in your area and I’m sure that they can help you too. 🙂