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"I feel that I don’t have enough milk. My baby cries very often, and I ended up giving the bottle"

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

first published in TBAN (facebook) on 1 Feb 2015

I get the following very very frequently: "I feel that I don’t have enough milk. My baby cries very often, and he sometimes suck for a while and cry and refuse to continue to suck. I ended up giving the bottle."

When you use the bottle before breastfeeding and direct latching is established (usually around 3 weeks old, you are teaching your baby that breast is for comfort but the real food comes in a bottle. After sucking on your breast for a while, he will want the bottle. And when he starts crying for the bottle, you think you don’t have enough milk, and will end up giving the bottle.

Also, the way the baby sucks at the bottle and from the breast is very different. And your bottle-fed baby may actually not be stimulating your breast well and thus your supply cant increase. And the vicious cycle continues. Every time you give the bottle, you are decreasing your BM.

You have 3 choices :

1. Only DL, no more bottle FM or EBM. whenever he screams, you just DL DL DL. Even if he sleeps for 10 mins, and then want milk, you DL only. Your breast may 'feel' empty, but it's not!! You just keep DL. Yes baby may cry, and you may feel frustrated, but (sorry to say), you made the first mistake of giving the bottle too early! Cuddle him, shush him, talk to him and just DL!

2. You DL then top up with EBM/FM. But use this method to top up :

But everytime you top up, even if you have just DL, you must pump for 20 mins BOTH breast.

3. You pump only. No need DL. But the pump is not as effective as baby sucks, so you might have to pump more than the baby feed. Initially you will have to pump every 2 hourly, even thru midnight. You count from the start of one pumping to the next ie if you start pumping at 12pm, the next session is at 2pm, 4pm etc. When milk increases, you can pump every 3 hourly.

The above may or may not work depending on your unique circumstances. But I really pray that you'll be able to eventually supply your baby with your own breastmilk.

To decide which method is best for you, do get the guidance from one of the TBAN Breastfeeding Counselors, or from me directly.

Even one bottle a day is better than nothing. Don't give up. Breastfeed till the last drop.

Additionally : Babies cry for many reasons, and not just because of hunger or dissatisfaction of the amount of milk consumed. if you have given baby, say 90ml of milk (via option 2 or 3), and your baby still cries... you KNOW it cannot be because of hunger. Check for:

  • tummy wind

  • wet/dirty diapers

  • baby needing a cuddle

When it comes to baby needing a cuddle, some babies do need to be cuddled more than others, Are you ok to carry and cuddle your baby? Consider this :

❣️Gina Yong Breastfeeding Consultant Nurturing Parents Coach

If you would like to support my work in helping more families, you can do so via PATREON Pls follow my YOUTUBE Channel. Here's a FREE CLASS for you.

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