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I'm a new mummy and my four-month-old son doesn't get enough breast milk. I weigh him before and after breastfeeding, and found out that he gets only 1-2 oz every 4 hours. He didn't gain that much weight this month as well.

I spoke to lactation specialist, and she told me to give him a bottle, but he didn't take it. I've been trying it for 2 weeks already.

Does anybody have the same problem? Could anyone help me out, please?

  • Welcome to the community Alex and thank you for your contribution. – balanced mama Jan 4 '14 at 17:22
  • Some moms pump, add a little rice to the milk, and feed baby later. There is milkshare where some moms share with other moms who need, if your supply is giving you challenges. Some folks recommend formula, some don't. Nipples can hurt - we only found one on the market (Phoenix metro) that our oldest would take. Formulas need to be right for the baby - we only found one on the market our oldest would take. – EngrStudent - Reinstate Monica Feb 14 '16 at 18:43
  • Getting untested milk from strangers is not a safe idea. – swbarnes2 Jul 26 '18 at 17:31
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How are the growth charts? Exclusively breastfed babies have their own growth chart but I never did bother to chart my daughter's on it.

I exclusively breastfed (save maybe 4x when I tried the bottle because of your exact same situation - feeling the baby wasn't getting enough) until just last December. My daughter will be 3 in April. She used to nurse for 30-60 minutes as an infant so I guess my flow was slow or she wasn't sucking hard enough yet. And she has always been in the single digit percentile for weight but always 75%+ for height. "Tall and thin" is just how she is was what the pediatrician always said. I didn't have an oversupply issue and I was definitely eating a lot to compensate for breastfeeding calories.

So long as they are peeing and pooping what they are supposed to at their age, I would not be concerned (in hindsight). I was like you too when I was going through it! You could try squeezing the boob while they are latched to get faster flow. Also you could express a little first before they feed so they get the hind milk (the fattier milk sooner). That is what my lactation consultant suggested to me, not a bottle. Good luck!

  • +1 for expressing first to get to the hind milk faster. Some kids just aren't interested in bottles and why stress yourself out about it if you don't have to? – Meg Coates Jan 4 '14 at 23:19
  • I didn't worry too much about it but my husband was such a worry wart about her weight he drove me batty. He still worries about it! – Rhea Jan 5 '14 at 2:22
  • And you are right some babies aren't interested in an artificial nipple. My daughter would never take a pacifier either. – Rhea Jan 5 '14 at 2:23
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If your pediatrician is happy with the rate he's gaining weight, relax. If you pediatrician is not happy, she may suggest putting him on some sort of supplementary nutrition.

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If gaining & growth is an issue & your little one isn't taking in enough, you can use a supplemental nursing system. It looks like an IV bag, but it has a smaller tube & you insert it into the corner of the baby's mouth while they are nursing. A breastfed baby should intake in a range of 19-35oz per day & the average range is near 25oz. I would personally be offering more often. 4 hrs is a long time between feeds for many breastfed babies, as breastmilk is easily digested. It's very common to see a breastfed infant eat every 2hr. If baby was fed every 2hrs & took 1-2oz that is no issue & you will see that he easily hits 25oz.

While it is okay for a baby possible to eat less than others, you have to also keep in mind fluids. So it's always good to keep an eye on diaper output when concerned on intake. A child this age should have 6-8 very wet diapers a day (per 24hrs) and you can count poops as a wet since they likely did wet that one too. Younger babies should have higher counts, as they get older it starts to drop a bit into the range of 4-6.

  • At 4 months, the baby should not be eating every 2 hours. I don't see how an average across all breastfed babies is useful. What's average for a 4 month old would be more relevant. – swbarnes2 Jul 26 '18 at 17:35
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I can't find any site recommending that a 4 month old eat only 1-2 oz a feeding.

https://www.healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/pages/how-often-and-how-much-should-your-baby-eat.aspx

4-6 oz a feeding is more common. So yes, if your gut is telling you that your baby isn't satisfied with the amount of food he's getting, then you should keep trying to supplement.

I'm sorry, there is no easy trick. Try different bottles, different nipples. Try a different brand of formula. Try having someone else feed the baby. Your baby will figure it out eventually.

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