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My question is: Can we trust that the baby will not starve itself and will eat as much as it needs, or is it a good idea to pump and feed the pumped milk to her from the bottle after the next feeding?

General Info:

  • Age: 7 days
  • Feeding method: Breast-fed
  • Gender: Female
  • Eating status: Pretty good - nurses for about 20 minutes every 2 hours

My wife wants to make sure that she's producing enough milk for the baby, so she pumps after feeding the baby so her body will produce more.

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FYI: My wife pumped and breast fed our 2 kids but dried up after a few weeks both times. My mom breast fed all 4 of us until we were blue in the face and still had more than we needed and didn't use pumps. Women are different, and if she ends up not producing enough even if you pump, just know that sometimes you just can't force it. Just a heads up, I don't want you guys to think you did something wrong. –  BillyNair Jul 24 '12 at 8:04
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I did this when we were at the stage because I needed to have a supply for while I was at work. It is also good to have an "emergency supply" for when you are on outings (separate from baby) etc. but if you have a few days worth already in storage, production is keeping up with baby's need and desire so you aren't needing to supplement, it is probably fine to ease off on the "topping off".

If Mom starts producing too much, it simply just gets uncomfortable. Most of the time baby's needs tell the body how much to make so that everything is in sinc between baby and mom.

The best person to ask is the Ped or the mother's Ob if there are other related issues going on or to help get ready for a return to work.

The "La Leche League" is also a very supportive group here in the states that can be a wonderful help to a new mother as well as provide play group friends. Just do a search for them in your area.

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One really good thing about breastfeeding is that children learn to self-regulate their intake of food. A baby will stop feeding when she is full, and ask for more if she is still hungry. Formula fed babies are often encuraged to finish the bottle, regardless of if they are hungry or not, and therefore lose some of this self-regulation. "Topping up" messes with the baby's regulation system, and may cause her to eat more than she needs. As long as your baby is gaining weight and wetting 6-8 nappies every day, you don't need to worry.

Also, be very careful about pumping to make your body produce more milk than the baby needs. I made this mistake, and when I no longer could keep up with emptying my breasts, I got bad mastitis and had to go in for surgery.

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You can usually start pumping once a day or so to build a "freezer stash" after 2 weeks. Before 2 weeks it will effect supply regulation. If in doubt, see an LC. But yes, as long as diaper output is good the baby will usually get what he or she needs. –  justkt Jul 31 '12 at 16:19
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She should pump if she feels engorged or if she wants to build up a supply. You'll know your baby's getting enough if the diapers are wet every 3 hours and if she's gaining weight.

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It looks as though you are a newer user - If you are, welcome! I'm loving your posts! –  balanced mama Dec 2 '12 at 14:20
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