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Breastfeeding tip : Recognising a growth spurt

* You feel as though you haven't got enough
* Baby getting upset at the breast (though can be a sign of other common problems)
* Baby is breastfeeding often or almost nonstop (feel like baby is always wanting to feed)
* A baby who was previously sleeping through the night is now waking to breast feed several times
* Baby will latch and unlatch, fussing in between

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big boobs and little boobs

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Post by Kaelsmom on Sun May 18, 2008 6:18 pm

OK...I know that the size of the boob does not determine whether or not you will make enough milk to feed your baby, but I really wonder something, especially based on what I see around me.

I have tiny boobs. My lovely little brother used to call them mosquito bites. Razz Even now while they are bigger than they have ever been in my life, I am barely filling an A cup. I have breastfed all of my kids and I believe they have been satisfied. But, I will say, that I don't think I have as much storage space in my boobs for milk. Here's why I think this:

1) My kids never slow down on their feeds. I am still feeding Kael every two hours or sometimes even less time between. When dh gives him bottles in my absence he only takes about 4 ounces to this day but wants to eat every couple of hours. scratch

2) I become engorged easily and often. I always leak milk from both breasts if they are full. Even at almost a year I still have to sleep in a bra with nursing pads or we will all be wet.

3) Even when they are painfully full and I pump and pump and pump until they fill absolutely empty the most I have ever pumped in combo of both boobs was 9 ounces (like only twice in my life). If I get 4 ounces from one breast you can bet the thing was about to explode and I will be sore for several hours afterwards.

4) My sister who got all the boobs, wears a DD, has a 5mo, and has always been able to pump 6-7 ounces from one boob in about 10 minutes. She has a freezer full. I hear this story from lots of bigger breasted women. I don't even know any other nursing women with bumps as small as mine. Shocked

Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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Post by SarahW on Sun May 18, 2008 6:53 pm

Can only tell you my experience when i expressed for my first (who down to lack of support struggled to feed for 2 weeks then put her on bottles of expressed milk) i could express easily 6+ oz every 2-3 hours and i am a 36DD.
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Post by Kasia80 on Sun May 18, 2008 6:56 pm

I don't thik size has anything to do with how much milk you produce or can store. Size breast depends very often on amount of fat tissue in it. Some ladies have small breasts with many milk ducts, alveoli- milk producing sacks but little fat tissue;some have little fat and little ducts and alveoli too; other have big breast with little alveoli and milk ducts but a lot of fat tissue- those find that they don't produce so much milk, and other have a lot of fat and a lot of ducts and alveoli.
I think you might find this very interesting:
http://www.biochem.biomedchem.uwa.edu.au/Our_People/home_pages/academic_staff/hartmann/peter_hartmann/download
http://www.radmid.demon.co.uk/breast%20anatomy.htm
http://www.medela.co.uk/UK/en/breastfeeding/img/bre_breast_oldnew_en_l.jpg

I'm myself DD now, after kids were born I went up to E due to engorgement. I have/had oversupply, block fed for 14 months before I've seen difference and strong let down.
HTH

I'm sure more mums will share their sizes and experiences.
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Post by emmiesmummy on Sun May 18, 2008 6:59 pm

Now im always being told by people ' oh theres no chance of baby going hungry is there' which is their polite way of saying im large busted, im a 34L. But my friend who is still feeding her 4 year old produced as much milk (when pumped) sometimes more and shes a 32B.In fact i get about 3-4 oz per boob and i have plenty of storage space !!! Im sure you just make what your baby demands & the older they get the richer the milk so i guess they need less as it richer. I get engorged & leak & cant imagine i will ever be able to sleep braless again !!
Im sure some of our experts will be on soon & give you soon good advice Jane x
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Post by Kaelsmom on Sun May 18, 2008 7:46 pm

Wow...I found that article to be very interesting. I am in medical school and I can tell you that we are still looking at the old picture.

I do not have a lot of fat on my body in the first place and probably do not have a lot of fat in my breasts. When I am not pregnant or nursing, I don't have boobs. Seriously, not even a AA cup's worth of flesh.

I have some hormonal issues. We have not completely named them, but it is apparent with my pg history. I have lost five pregnancies and while I now have three lving children, each pregnancy was difficult and only my last was a full-term delivery accomplished by major hormonal supplementation. The going theory is that by some mechanism I have decreased hormonal receptor function for progesterone definitely, probably estrogen, and it makes sense that there would be more.

I just wonder what role all of this plays in my breast development (or lack thereof) and my trouble with pregnancy and even though I have successfully breastfed, it has not really come easily. I am just crazy determined...in all of it, I guess.

It sure would make life easier if I could get more milk out in one sitting and if my baby could go a little longer between feeds. I love nursing him, and I don't mind at all doing constantly all day when I am home, but it makes it really hard on him and dh when I have to be gone.
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Post by Kasia80 on Sun May 18, 2008 8:00 pm

I admire your determination.
When I read about your angels I feel so sad. I'm so sorry for your losses and I know no words will make you feel better about that but then I see how great mum you are to your 3 wonderful, miracle babies and how great job you've done bf them... my heart grows!!!!
You should be proud of yourself for overcoming all obstacles and wining with your own body!

I too find issue of breast size and how much milk is being produced interesting. And I wonder too how hormonal imbalance is linked to breast development and pregnancy. I'll keep my eyes open and if anything comes up I'll get back to you.


Last edited by Bad cop on Sun May 18, 2008 8:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Kaelsmom on Sun May 18, 2008 8:08 pm

Thank you so much. Lord knows I don't always feel like a great mom. It's easy to see how my body has failed us in many ways...I need to be reminded to focus on what it has done right!

I think the issue is interesting. It seems intuitive that size would matter but I am always reassured that it doesn't matter. I know it isn't prohibitive, I just wonder what exactly the deal is and what is going on in there! Thanks for keeping your eyes open about it. Smile
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Post by kay on Sun May 18, 2008 8:09 pm

Im HUGE bust - 34L - and I have to say, Corey is always full and can go hours between feeds.
I only leak if he has slept through the night - but i have only recently been able to pump more than 2-3 ounces per sitting - I overfilled the last bottle Embarassed

My sister in law is small - B/C cup - and her baby is 4 weeks older than Corey, and she still feeds 2 hourly day and night.

Thats just my experience though Razz

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Post by Helen on Sun May 18, 2008 9:24 pm

Well i am big boobed (36H) and i have only ever managed to express about 4oz off one boob and only 1 or 2oz off the other. And Bethany rarely goes 2 hours without screaming for a feed lol. So i dont think size matters Surprised
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Post by Kaelsmom on Mon May 19, 2008 2:06 am

Well....hmmm....from our very small little sample survey,Smile it looks like size is not the deciding factor (like they have been saying all along Wink) so I wonder what is the thing that makes the difference. Why do some women seem to have an over abundance and others not so much? I can't buy that it is simply more nursing/suckling/pumping alone that is making the difference either because I know that do all the above A LOT! I never have surplus. :/
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Post by rhi'smummy on Mon May 19, 2008 9:00 am

I'm a DD and Rhi fed constantly, it felt like it anyway. Whe she got to about 9 months she settled down a bit more and now feeds 3 or 4 times a day, as well as twice at night, and when ever she's fallen over or bumped herself. I've never managed to pump much, 2 or 3 oz was about usual, even when full. I think some women are just better at pumping, and the more they do it the better it gets. I never leaked much either, but then she always fed lots at night so I rarely got that engorged.
The only times I did leak was when I heard her cry, or if I'm at work and I start thinking about her and cant wait to get back to her. So maybe its not about how much milk your body is making, but how your body reacts to you love for your kids. Not so much a physical thing as an emotional response.
One other thing I think, dont think about having surplus, you dont need surplus, you need what they need. When Rhi is teething, overnight she goes off food and nurses more than ever, but she's never gone hungry, she still gets loads of wet and dirty nappies, so she's getting plenty. My body delivers what she asks it for, it wont run out for her, but it might for a plastic pump.
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Post by Kasia80 on Mon May 19, 2008 9:04 am

I would like to remind that pupming output is never an indication of level of supply gals Wink
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Post by angpixi on Mon May 19, 2008 12:07 pm

ive got really small boobs (not sure what size i dont wear bra Embarassed ) all my babies have fed at different rates, aeryn was little and often and willow tends to feed longer with bigger gaps, ive nevr been able to pump off more than 3oz!! my boobs usually stop leaking after a month or so except for the occasional squirt now and again!! i guess it depends on the mother and the baby rather than size!
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Post by Kaelsmom on Mon May 19, 2008 6:15 pm

So...really all of this goes back to my original problem. I can't pump enough for Kael to only have breastmilk when I am gone. I have to be gone. I have to pump. But I cannot pump as much as he would eat if I were at home. I cannot seem to get caught up. At one time I had enough milk to leave some for him....now I don't. It's frustrating.
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Post by Natasha on Mon May 19, 2008 8:54 pm

I was a 32 a and went upto a 34b and I have stayed there.

I only ever managed most 5oz, but that was out of the bigger boob Laughing

I stopped leaking a few months into bfing, and hardley ever squirted.

Kaelsmom have you been taking the fenugreek?

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Post by rhi'smummy on Tue May 20, 2008 8:01 am

Kaelsmom wrote: But I cannot pump as much as he would eat if I were at home. I cannot seem to get caught up.
How often do you leave him? I used to leave rhianna on a tues thurs and fri. I'd pump on sat sun and mon mornings, to have enough for tues, then pump while I was at work tues and then weds morn for thurs milk, and pump thurs at work for fridays milk, i had a short day fridays. But even though I always left her plenty, she often didn't drink it, only as much as she needed, she much prefered to wait till I got home and then had a big fill up. Does Kael drink lots while away from you.
One thing to bear in mind is that in a month when he's one you can give him cows milk as a top up.
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Post by Kaelsmom on Tue May 20, 2008 7:31 pm

Yes, I have been taking the fenugreek. I just pumped and I got 8 oz. combined from both boobs. That is an improvement, although I have been away from home since 7am and it is now 2:30 pm.
I have to leave home everyday except most weekends. I have to be gone for at least 8 hours. I have only been getting one break (lunch) that is long enough to pump these days.
He does eat more than I bring home. He is usually one to two bottles (4oz each) ahead of me. He has had to take formula a lot of times. He doesn't do as well with it. I think it upsets his tummy a bit and he is fussy. He doesn't like it in the bottle and although he cries to eat, he tastes it and throws it down.
I wish I could always leave enough for the whole day. Maybe I will get back there.
I am skittish about giving him cow's milk even though he will be 1yo in less than a week. He is a small 1yo...my gut tells me he is not quite ready.
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Post by SarahW on Tue May 20, 2008 7:59 pm

stick with your gut instinct a mothers intuition is usually always right.
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Post by just Rachel on Tue May 20, 2008 8:05 pm

Mum always knows best.
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