Following is a conversation between Medela Mum Lisa and our lactation consultant, Katie. This conversation took place about 27 days after the birth of Lisa’s daughter, Sophie.
They have also added a few additional thoughts at the end of this article to help you understand the context of their conversation. We hope that you find it useful as you continue your own breastfeeding journey.
“Hiya! I’m up and awake. So free to chat if you want at some time in the next few hours?
“Hi Katie, sorry just leaving the hospital now. We have just hit birth weight… yippee! Sophie is still off the charts low in weight though so the paediatrician has suggested like you did 20 mins feed each side, express both sides 10mins each and then if she is still not content after top up to give a lactose free formula.
What do you think about that? Oh and he has also said to try the Zantac for a week to see if it makes a difference.
At different times of the day I’m getting different amounts from expressing. For example this morning I got 110ml in under 10 mins but this arvo struggled to get 40 ml in over 20mins.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write back, I greatly appreciate it!
“Great news! Well done! You are doing so well, honestly.
Ok here’s the plan:
Continue what you’re doing with the switch feeding. There is no need to time the feed on each side. Watch Sophie and, when she is sleepy, switch her to the next breast and keep repeating as you’ve been doing already.
Basically keep doing what you were doing. It’s working! No need to change anything. Your milk supply is obviously increasing. Don’t worry that you get different amounts at different times of the day. That’s NORMAL.
I would say, if you’ve got enough expressed breast milk for Sophie, keep topping her up with that. No need for formula. If Sophie asks for a little more milk than you have, then maybe you will need it. But it looks to me like your milk is/will be enough.
Also Sophie is about 2 weeks behind on weight gain, so, of course, she will be low on the charts. Don’t think too much about charts etc. This will all even out over the next month. It’s fine as long as she keeps gaining weight and is healthy, which the doctors have said she is.
Remember to rest! Oxytocin, that wonderful “love” hormone, helps your milk flow and it’s highest when you’re rested and “loved up” in skin to skin contact.
You are doing great. Keep going it’s going to get better very soon.
A Few Additional Thoughts from Katie
So, why didn’t I change the feeding plan here?
Well, because everything was working. Sophie had gained 90g in three days which showed that Lisa and Sophie were doing well.
As Lisa was expressing enough milk for Sophie, I didn’t feel that any benefit would come from topping her up with formula milk instead of Lisa’s expressed breast milk. Sophie was settled now and there were no concerns from the medical health professionals that there was anything medically wrong with Sophie.
I didn’t reduce the number of expressions and top up feeds in the feeding plan at this stage as we needed to make sure Lisa’s milk supply continued to increase in line with Sophie’s needs. I would be able to tell this from how Lisa would feel over the next few days and from Sophie’s next weight assessment.
A Few Additional Thoughts from Lisa
Hooray! Our next weigh in and she has gained 90g in 3 days. We are back to birth weight, finally. It has been an exhausting, worrying time. To finally be on the right track is amazing.
I start to feel like all the hard work is paying off and hope we can cruise from here on.
What breastfeeding questions would you like to ask Katie? How would you describe your own breastfeeding experience? Please join the conversation here or on our Medela Australia Facebook page.