Childhood Diseases

Posted by: AngieDee | 2010-06-30



I have heard that drinking Guiness can bring on milk supply and a better milk supply? I am pregnant with my second baby, and had problems producing enough milk for the first. this time around my breasts have still not engorged leading me to think that the problem will persist with baby number 2. is there anything i can do?

Expert's Reply



You should address your question to our breast feeding forum on Health24.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2010-07-02

In those very few women who do have a genuine low milk supply, here are some of the causes. However, you should only start worrying about one of these if improving latching, demand feeding, expressing after feeds and avoiding dummies and bottles doesn''t work to increase supply - if it does work - then the things I''ve listed below are not a problem.

Underactive thyroid. This is something your doctor can test for. You also lose a lot of hair (remember though that hairloss is normal a few montsh after giving birth), have very dry skin, vry sensitive to cold, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, depression and swelling in the neck area.

Insufficient glandular development - breasts just haven''t actually developed. I''m not talking about small breasts here. They won''t have changed size or shape in the teen years or during pregnancy. when baby is born, the milk doesn''t " come in"  - so the breasts don''t get really big a few days after baby is born. Breasts are often very different in size and shape from each other.
You can still breastfeed, but will need help from an IBCLC as you will have to give some supplementary feeds with formula or an SNS with formula and it has to be done in a special way so as not to reduce what milk supply you do have.

a retained placenta.

extreme stress and fatigue (but don''t all new moms have that?), I think its extreme if you have had an additional traumatic event such as death of a spouse or parent or another child or you divorce or something like that.

Other things that can affect millk supply are limiting the amount of time you let baby feed for, using niple shields, using dummies and bottles, having excessive caffeine, drinking alcohol (though one or two wine spritzers per week is OK), feeding baby on a schedule, giving bottles of water, a very sleepy baby, anemia,.

It is not a sign of low milk supply if your baby feeds reallly often. During growth spurts your baby will feed as often as every hour and a half (that''s right, you will feed, put them down and 20 minutes later they will want to feed again). This goes on for 4 days to a week and happens at around 3 weeks, 6-8 weeks, 12 weeks and so on.
Its also not a sign of low milk supply if baby is fussy in the mornings and evenings and feeds really often. This is called cluster feeding and is quite normal and goes on until around 12 - 14 weeks.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: PUrple | 2010-07-01

As you already know everything as this is your second baby, I''m putting this info here for anyone else who has a similar problem and reads this.

Firstly ensure that baby is latching well. IF baby is latched well you won''t feel anything while they suck, though you might still have some discomfort if your breasts are engorged. If your nipples crack then please get help with latching. If baby is latched poorly they can''t empty the breast effectively - and it will hurt, and breastfeeding should not hurt, if it does, it is a sign of a problem, it isn''t normal.

Secondly, don''t wait till baby is screaming with hunger before feeding, when you can see baby starting to wake and suck on their hands, offer the breast, even if you odn''t change nappy first. Babies overriding need is to be fed and most will wait for a nappy change, though some babies want nappy changed first because they find the dirty nappy uncomfortable. Some moms find this too gross, but then you have screaming wanting to be fed baby which is stressful for you both and can make latching difficult.

Your milk only " comes in"  - changes from colostrum to full milk between day 2 and day 5 after birth, it doesn''t happen like clockwork on day 3 like people will tell you it will.
Your breasts might go like enormous watermelons and be tight and painful and hard, if this happens, use cold cabbage leaves to help (wash breasts before feeding though, and cut a hole out for around your nipple), or use hot face cloths to ease the soreness. Women who are also feeding a toddler or who are demand feeding might not get engorged to this point, however, there should be some increase in breast size and if there isn''t you need to contact a professional (International board certified lactation consultant) for help.

Here are the signs that baby is getting enough milk:
-baby feeds between 2 and 4 hourly (more often during growth spurts and during the morning and evening cluster feeding)
-baby has 6 - 8 wet nappies per 24 hours
-baby has 2 - 5 poo nappies per 24 hours (after 6 weeks baby might only poo every few days, this is fine)
-baby is generally happy and content
-baby settles to sleep well between feeds
-babies puts on an average of 150g - 400g per week

If these are met, you can be sure that no matter how much you worry, baby is getting enough milk.

Remember that expressing to see how much milk you have doesn''t actually tell you, as you express out a lot less than baby actually gets out by drinking.
Also, some nurses like to weigh baby before and after a feed to see how much they have had - this doesn''t tell you how much baby has had and is completely pointless. Be wary of any advice this nurse gives you about breastfeeding.

IF you are very concerned about how much milk you have, then immediately after each feed, express for 3 - 5 minutes on each breast. Do this for about a week and it will increase your milk supply.
You can keep this milk in your freezer to build up your breast milk bank for when you go out or return to work.

Remember that nearly everyone has enough milk for their baby and so few people don''t that it isn''t something worth worrying about.

If drinking apple juice or eating oats or whatever makes you feel that you produce more milk, then go for it, the fact that you think you are producing more actually does help you to produce more as you are relaxed about it. So long as what you want to try is not harmful, then there is no harm taking it. Milk stout and so on is harmful as its alcohol and it will reduce your milk supply.

Reply to PUrple
Posted by: Purple | 2010-07-01

If you genuinely want assistance with this, then please contact an international board certified lactation consultant or the la leche league.

Very, very rarely (around less than 1% of the population) some women do suffer from genuine low milk supply. They might have a hormonal problem that causes it, or their breasts never developed at puberty (I''m not meaning small breasted women here, as they produce just as much milk as big breasted women), these women''s breats don''t change during pregnancy either, and women who have had breast reduction surgery.
Everyone else is quite capable of producing enough milk but often cause themselves to produce less by getting bad advice.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Purple | 2010-07-01

Under Peer forums there is a breastfeeding forum.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: R | 2010-07-01

I hope that was the pregnancy hormones talking.

The breastfeeding forum is under the Talk Forums. It is called Breastfeeding Support. You can also get lots of help from the Parenting forum.

Don''t drink stout, because then your baby will get alcohol in as well from your breastmilk. Seeing that you already have a child you should now babies should not be drinking alcohol.

Reply to R
Posted by: AngieDee | 2010-06-30

there is no breastfeeding forum...

and as i said, this is not my first baby, got all the advice and tried everything to no avail...

so in short thanks for nothing to you both.

Reply to AngieDee
Posted by: Purple | 2010-06-30

Guiness or milk stout will not affect your milk supply. This is an old wives tale. It came about because alcohol has prolactin in it which makes your breasts feel fuller. However, alcohol reduces your milk supply.

Women who demand feed aren''t as likely to have breasts that get engorged because baby is drinking what is in there.

The best way to ensure a good milk supply is to demand feed your baby (feed whenver baby is hungry) which is around about every 2 - 4 hours (wake baby to feed if they pass 4 hours), and more often during a growth spurt.
Also, let baby feed for as long as s/he wants on each breast, never limit how long they are on the breast.
Keep baby close to you with lots and lots of skin to skin contact.
Don''t give any bottles of formula or water and don''t give a dummy as these can reduce milk supply because the baby is not stimulating your breasts to produce more milk as milk is made on a supply and demand basis so the more that you let baby feed, the more milk will be made.

Reply to Purple

Want to comment?

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.