Posted by: Isis | 2009-09-16

Breast Milk production

Dear Cyberdoc

Please could you advise how long it takes for breastmilk to be made agan once baby has finished feeding and emptied the breast? My baby' s feeding habits vary from 3 hours to 4.5 hours - mostly 4 hourly though and i feed her on demand.

When she feeds soon after the last feed, she doesn' t seem satisfied so i am wondering if i have enough milk for her at each feed. I know milk is " supply on demand"  but i don' t really understand what that means - does it get made as baby sucks, so even if there is nothing, if she continues to suck does more milk come as she sucks?

Baby generally empties both breasts per feed, spending about an hour in total for a full feed including a nappy change and burping - i let her drink untl she stops by herself, when i burp her and offer the same breast to see if she is done, if she tries to take it but keeps spitting it out i assume it' s empty and offer the other breast, which i then do the same and let her drink until she stops by herself or falls asleep.

I know this is probably i really silly question but i am really trying to understand how it all works so i can be more confident in breastfeeding my baby - its really important to me that i get this right as baby will be going to creche in January and i want to give her the best start i can.

thanks so much for your help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Isis
Basically the more the baby suckles the more milk you will produce - usually 3-4 hourly feeds are perfect. The only way to determine if you have enough milk is to look at how she gains weight - if the clinic sister is happy with her weight gain, you have enough milk. A properly fed baby will sleep well inbetween, have wet diapers and a yellow soft stool once or twice a day
Dr Bets

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