About to be new mum will I have enough milk?

(24 Posts)
Purplecatti Tue 26-Feb-13 09:49:22

Buy some nipple cream and some shields just in case.
I was in agony with sore cracked nipples from constant feeding and if it hadn't been for those I'd have given up.
Breastfeeding can be a bugger to get started but once you're away it's so easy. No faffing with bottles for trips out or in the wee small hours

minipie Mon 25-Feb-13 13:55:55

What I didn't realise pre DC is that there are many reasons why women may not be able to breastfeed or find it a struggle - it's not just a question of whether your boobs are producing enough milk. In fact the issues are often with the baby not with the mother, if that makes sense.

For example I had loads of milk to start with (despite small boobs and slimness!). However, BF was still very difficult for me, as DD was too sleepy to feed at first and also found it very difficult to latch on due to undiagnosed tongue tie (which also gave me very painful nipples). we have carried on BF despite these issues and it is now a lot easier, but I nearly gave up many times.

There is relatively little information given to first time mothers about these kinds of problems, so lots of women don't recognise them when they occur (and may switch to FF as a result).

I agree that you need to read up on what is normal for a newborn. Your milk won't "come in" for a few days, and in the days leading up to it you do not have to "top up" with formula. Colostrum is amazing stuff, there is absolutely nothing else like it, and your baby will only need the equivalent of a couple of teaspoons to keep it going through the early days. The constant suckling is just baby's way of stimulating your milk and is perfectly normal.

It can be really tough in the early days, so make sure you have good support about you, find out where your nearest breastfeeding support group is and maybe even visit them before you give birth.

Stock up on chocolate cake and wine (yes you are allowed a small glass!), ensure that you have someone else to do the cooking for the first 2-3 weeks or prepare some frozen meals/easy meals.

Good luck.

TheBookofRuth Mon 25-Feb-13 09:53:59

The misconceptions can be quite stunning, can't they? When DD was 3 months and EBF the health visitor told me to restrict her feeds because her weight was a tiny bit over the normal range, and even suggested I switch to formula so I could "limit" how much she had! My MiL wanted me to start her on solids when she was just 5 weeks because "she's crying all the time, she's obviously hungry" - er, no, she's crying because she's only 5 weeks old and has no other way to communicate - and that she started DH on solids when he was about that age and "it didn't do him any harm" - except that he's been overweight his entire life and is the world's fussiest eater! Even my mum, who was very pro-breastfeeding, would say things like "she can't possibly still be hungry, take her off, she's just using you for comfort" when DD was cluster-feeding.

With all that to contend with it's a wonder we're still happily breastfeeding a year on - although that causes even more controversy!

Good luck with it OP! It can tough to get started - it took DD and I five days, which isn't at all bad in the grand scheme of things, but felt like the longest five days of my life! - so make sure you get plenty of support. I found the community midwives were brilliant, as was the La Leche League website for advice. But the best thing for us was just spending lots of time cuddled up together skin-to-skin - the first breakthrough we had came when DD wriggled her way down my body and helped herself, after that it all started to come together.

It's a really special time. Enjoy it!

KatAndKit Mon 25-Feb-13 09:15:20

yep, boob size is irrelevant. There are a very small number of women whose breasts didn't develop properly although I expect given you are a D cup this is unlikely to be the case for you. The overwhelming majority of women can produce enough milk for their baby or babies provided they don't follow duff advice from well meaning but ill-informed relatives and health visitors.

I recommend reading as much as you can in advance. Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and also Baby Led Breastfeeding. both of these are available to download off Amazon. Alternatively I am sure if you got in touch with your local branch of La Leche League a local leader might well lend you one. Once you have read up and you know 4 hourly feeds are not normal for a newborn and they are supposed to feed lots to begin with, you will be able to brush off comments such as "oh you mustn't have enough milk if he's hungry again, why not try him on a bottle.." and so on. Knowing what is normal in the early weeks is very reassuring.

Boob size has NOTHING to do with how much milk you'll have.

Your family and friends mean well, and maybe want you to know that it IS ok if it doesn't work for you. But chances are, you will probably be alright.

miniandfloss Sun 24-Feb-13 21:38:54

Breast feeding is really hard to get the hang of sometimes. I'm now 12 weeks in and loving it after a first 6 weeks of hell. If you really want to breastfeed prepare yourself that it might not be easy, develop a thick skin as you'll get 'well meaning' people encouraging you to move to formula to make life easier, and keep positive thoughts about how it is helping your baby.

I found my local support group brilliant and kept asking for advice and visits from the support workers. I nearly gave up so many times but can happily say persevering was the right thing for me all of a sudden things got easier. Good luck!

adagio Sat 23-Feb-13 13:33:27

I got a Bravado bra which is simply small/medium/large and each one covers a range of cups/sizes - got it late in pregnancy and really wished i had got it sooner! So comfy.
Just got measured this week (baby is 9 weeks now) as boobs seemed too variable in the early weeks and bras are rather expensive.

BertieBotts Sat 23-Feb-13 13:12:18

Breast size is actually related to fat/muscle and nothing to do with milk producing equipment smile I'm also ridiculously skinny and flat chested and have been breastfeeding for over four years now.

Make sure you have a read up of normal breastfeeding behaviour and what to expect (The Food Of Love is a fantastic book, or if you're short of money, read all the threads here and also make kellymom.com your bible!) because if you're used to bottle feeding (and especially if your family is used to bottle feeding) then the normal behaviour of a breastfed baby can seem worrying and make you feel as though your supply is lacking when actually it's totally fine.

Also if you have any breastfeeding support groups near you, they're great to go to and get support and reassurance (and help with any problems if you DO have any) smile You can start going before the baby is born to meet people and get a feel for the place.

Some good links on kellymom:

Newborn feeding
How to tell if baby is getting enough milk
How milk production works

stargirl1701 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:02:19

I would really, really recommend you read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I regret not doing so before I gave birth. I picked up the 7th edition for 99p on eBay but you can buy the 8th edition new.

Zara75 Sat 23-Feb-13 12:57:19

I am sure you'll be fine and If you need support do ask for it. The best encouraging support I had was from my local breastfeeding group. And if you need a bit of a boost of milk supply between growth spurts you can drink breastfeeding tea. Here is a good one I've used when I was breastfeeding. It tastes nice and helps with your supply: Neuners Nursing Tea

habhann Sat 23-Feb-13 12:46:17

I was all baby too. Started off at 8 stone ,at the end I was 10 stone. Boobs were 34c now am 36d. I now weigh 8 stone and have an over supply..good luck

glossyflower Sat 23-Feb-13 11:37:19

Thank you ladies. You've all been really helpful xxx

HabitualLurker Sat 23-Feb-13 11:27:34

I'm another skinny small-boobed one who had plenty of milk once it came in. I only went up one cup size in pregnancy and didn't leak at all. Then 4 days after the birth a 4 cup size increase and loads and loads of milk.

I'd second the suggestion of investigating local breastfeeding groups. Also, if there are any ante-natal breastfeeding classes available they can be very helpful. Just to help you know what to expect more than anything else!

Also, it might be better to hold off getting nursing bras until a couple of weeks after you've had your baby, as it really is hard to know in advance what size you'll be. I got some stretchy emma-jane nursing bras to tide me over for the first couple of weeks.

Good luck!

TheThickPlottens Sat 23-Feb-13 11:16:42

My breast size before having children was an AA. Think of fried eggs. Currently, I'm feeding DD2 and both dds never needed top ups with formula. They were 8lbs when born so pretty average sized babies. Nursed DD1 until she was 18 months.

My breasts increase to a B cup when nursing. I feel like Dolly Parton now! I didn't notice the bigger boobs until a week after the birth.

WRT enough milk, It's all about demand and supply. The more the baby suckles, the more milk your body will produce to meet their demands. Even while the baby is feeding, the milk is being produced.

It's nice that people aren't putting pressure on you but it's also nice to have some others just believing that things will be fine. Could you ask them to be more positive thinking?

Pourquoimoi Sat 23-Feb-13 11:12:49

I'd just agree that size of boobs makes no difference and not leaking doesn't mean that you won't have enough milk. I only ever leaked once (in a bowling alley of all places, quite embarrassing with whole wet patches down my top) but had enough milk.

Also second the thing about milk not coming in for the first few days, don't be disheartened as it will come!

People aren't thinking you can't do it but acknowledging it's not always as easy as it may sound. I bf both of mine for a long time but with ds1 it was hard with ds2 it was easy. Also it's such an emotional thing, getting on with bf or not that they are just trying to take pressure off you in advance.

MousyMouse Sat 23-Feb-13 11:05:57

most probably you will be fine.
check out local breastfeeding support groups and helplines (la leche for example).

and your friends are right, if it doesn't work out you can switch to formula. that will not make you a bad mother!

tabulahrasa Sat 23-Feb-13 11:04:44

Different people's boobs do different things, some go huge, some don't change much at all - it makes no difference.

Indith Sat 23-Feb-13 11:04:25

Size has absolutely nothing to do with milk production, you will be fine. Not all women leak either, some never leak at all even when their milk comes in. The best way to make sure you establish a good milk supply is to put your baby to the breast regularly once he is born. Milk is all about supply and demand so the more he feeds and stimulates your breasts then the more you will produce.

WildRumpus Sat 23-Feb-13 11:03:36

Don't worry. Your milk will probably only come in 3 or 4 days after giving birth. I couldn't believe it first time round. Woke up one morning with boobs that would put Dolly Parton to shame. They gradually settled down as feeding established. With DC3 the nurses kept suggesting formula top ups in the first couple of days. But I knew from experience that I just needed to keep feeding and feeding and after a few days, sure enough, football boobs bearing gallons of milk.

TheBookofRuth Sat 23-Feb-13 11:03:33

The size of your boobs doesn't affect the amount of milk you produce. Mine were a double F pre-pregnancy and a J/K post - so if it did, DD would drown! wink

OhThisIsJustGrape Sat 23-Feb-13 11:01:51

I'm a size 6 with 32AA boobs. I've successfully breastfed 4 babies, the last 2 I managed to continue feeding until they were 2 yrs old.

So, I would say that size makes little difference to milk production smile

Piemother Sat 23-Feb-13 11:00:30

Yes don't worry. I was 7st 11 when dd1 was conceived and I not ally have no boobs to speak of - when they milk comes in you will know about it!! I actually worried toward the end of pg with dd2 that they didn't seem to have ballooned in the same way but sure enough the milk came in grin
It will be fine good luck

glossyflower Sat 23-Feb-13 10:57:34

In expecting my first baby in April and plan in breast feeding. Lots of family and friends when I have told I want to breast feed immediately said "but if you can't get on with it don't worry or blame yourself"
I know their intentions are well but I almost feel like they think I can't do it.

Anyway my question is; I've always been slim and had small boobs. Before I got pregnant I was 9st 10 and boobs were 32DD (DD yes but they are not huge!)
Then I lost weight through HG, almost 2st.
I'm now about 10st at 32 weeks.
My boobs initially expanded a little and felt sore, and leaking but now my boobs aren't sore or expanding.
I'm wearing a 34D bra and just waiting until nearer the due date before I get measured a buy nursing bras.

Will I be able to produce enough milk? I'm sure it's nothing to worry about and once I have baby my boobs will be full but everyone I talked to said their boobs got really huge during pregancy.
Mine aren't really any different, I'm really skinny and all bump!

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