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Breastfeeding: The First 6 Months

Dana
DANA
Lactation Consultant
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Feeding baby isn't always smooth sailing—especially when you're just starting out. But, no worries! We're here to support you during these first six months. (And beyond, if you need it!) Led by Dana Czuczka, Tinyhood Breastfeeding Expert and Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

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DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Is my milk drying up cause of
MICHELLE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have been breastfeeding for four months now and just had my first period and now my baby won’t stay latched for more that a few seconds. Is my milk drying up and if so how Can I get it back?

Dana
DANA

While your menstrual cycle can affect your milk supply, this seems pretty sudden and I'm guessing could be coincidental. Has nursing been going well until now? How often do you nurse or pump each day? Have you started a new medication?

MICHELLE

Nursing has been fine up until a few days ago I put her on and she pulls away and starts crying I don’t know what to do. No medications only change is my period. I did have diarrhea from a stomach bug for a few days.

Dana
DANA

Try pumping a few minutes until milk is flowing and then see if baby will latch (the instant reward usually helps!).

MICHELLE

Thanks for the suggestion but it did not work she still pulls off almost immediately

Dana
DANA

Is baby feeding ok on the bottle? Do you think she could be sick? If things are normal with bottle then I’d suggest working on boosting your supply + doing some cuddling with baby without your shirt on. See if he’ll look to latch on his own. Don’t force it.

To boost supply let’s start pumping every 3 hours during day for approx 20 mins.

MICHELLE

Yes she is taking the bottle just fine no problems at all she gets very upset when I try to breast feed though I will try your suggestions luckily I have a ton of frozen milk!!! I just pumped and only got 50 ml. You have been a huge help thanks so very much!!!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Latching my 6 month old back on to breastfeed
LATISHA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I was breastfeeding til my son turn a month then i fell and got a compound fracture i had to stop breastfeeding for awhile then i started back breastfeeding last week he latch on then he just stop all he want is the bottle i need help latching him back on please

Dana
DANA

Good morning. Hoping your fracture is healing! To coax baby back to breast let's work on making sure your milk supply is nice and strong (so, pumping consistently until baby is nursing consistently). Also, let's do a lot of cuddling without your shirt/bra on. Allow baby to lead the way...if he wants to latch even at non-feeding times, let him. I would also try starting your feeds with the bottle (3/4 normal amount) and then offering the breast and seeing if baby will finish there. This way, baby is relaxed and patient to suckle at breast and both you and baby will have good experience. Hopefully the time at breast will become longer and longer each time until youre back to full nursing!

LATISHA

Thamk you so much for your concern about my fracture and i start on that today I appreciate your help thank you

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Breastfeeding issues
FARAH, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is three weeks old. I was both breast feeding and giving her formula, soon enough it was more formula than breast. I want to exclusively breastfeed her again, but my milk supply is low - my breast no longer have that full feeling and do not leak anymore. How can I replenish my supply ??

Dana
DANA

Congratulations on your new baby! Since milk supply is based on theory of supply and demand, we'll want to tell your body (ie "demand") the milk so that you produce (ie "supply") more milk. This means nursing or pumping more frequently. The more you nurse or pump, the more your body will make. If baby is too hungry to begin a feeding session at breast, try starting with bottle and once baby is relaxed move feeding to breast. You could also try pumping every 3 hours for 20 minutes for next few days to boost supply and then work on getting baby back to breast once milk is flowing again.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Breastfeeding troubles
JESS, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby there’s five months old and he has been breast-fed since he was three days old after they took his feeding tube out once I went back to work we started bottlefeeding and breast-feeding strictly in the evening and throughout the night and that was going really well but all of a sudden about three weeks ago Mason refuse to breast-feed and still today when I try to breast-feed him he will not latch and he just screams and moves his head back-and-forth I am not ready to stop breast-feeding.. I know that he still wants my breastmilk because he will lick my breast it is like he doesn’t know how to latch anymore or he just wants the bottle Moore what can I do to get him back into breast-feeding this is breaking my heart

JESS

Also I have tried pumping and feeding but I cannot seem to get more than 1 ounce with both breast combined but I am definitely still producing milk

LATISHA

Jess hi eat oatmeal twice a day pump every 2 hours and get the mothers tea that will help

JESS

What about getting him to latch? Anyone have any suggestions?

MEG

My baby did a similar thing around 4-5 months. We went back to using on Size 1 nipples for his bottles while I was at work. I think he started to get a little bit lazy because breast feeding is harder than drinking from a bottle. Good luck!

JESS

Meg , did you ever get back to breastfeeding

MEG

Yes, he settled back into the breastfeeding (morning, night and weekends) once our nanny went back to the slow flow nipples on his bottles.

Dana
DANA

Good morning! Are you pumping consistently while at work? It sounds like maybe your supply has decreased and baby is noticing. In order to boost your supply you'll want to increase the frequency you nurse or pump. Even if you don't get much from pump at moment, keep it up. You're sending a message to your body you need more. Baby will likely be more content at breast with increased milk flow.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Snacking
ABBEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have an 8 week old boy and the last few days he has resorted to snacking vs fully eating. I exclusively pump so I know the amount he’s getting. His normal is 4.5 oz but now he eats 1-2 oz and then passes out to wake up in 30 mins screaming bc he’s hungry again.
How can I break this snacking cycle he’s begun and go back to full feedings?!

Dana
DANA

I'm guessing you are undressing him, changing his diaper and doing everything in your power to get him to finish the feed? What size nipple are you using and how long is feed taking?

ABBEY

I’m using Dr Brown bottles and the first sized nipple there is... he still spits up from them and has a river flowing out of his mouth when eating.
I change his diaper but I dont undress him, he hates being naked. Would he still eat if he was mad?
And feedings can vary from 10-40 mins pending if he decides to snack or actually eat

Dana
DANA

I was wondering if the nipple was too slow and that’s why baby was snacking/giving up but it doesn’t sound like it.

When babe start falling asleep on bottle burp him (sitting up not nuzzled in over your shoulder). You may have to undress him a bit and really annoy him. Really proactively push him so that you break the cycle.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Milk supply vs teething?
HEIDI, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have a almost 3 month old (my 3rd baby) and in the last week or so he has been chomping his hands a lot. Fussing like he’s still hungry right after eating and wanting to eat every 2 hours. If I try to give him more too eat either by feeding him longer or with a bottle, he pukes it back up. He sleeps all night 11 hours. He is gaining weight and has plenty of wet/dirty diapers. Is he just starting to teeth early? Or is he not getting enough? I didn’t have this issue with my first two kiddos who were also exclusively breastfed.

Dana
DANA

Hi mama -- it's really hard to say! It could be early teething (though it's pretty early!) or it could also just be that baby found his hands! or, maybe baby is tired and searching for a thumb to self soothe and go to sleep? No matter the reason, I agree with you to offer babe more milk -- be sure to pace the feed if it's a bottle and of course, you'll end with some good burping/keeping baby upright for 15 mins after a feed to minimize the spitting. Good luck! My guess is it will pass soon...

HEIDI

Anything I should look for to know if my milk supply might be low? Or a sign I need to do something?