Is your baby not full after breastfeeding?
Then listen up! This is for you. You grab your infant and snuggle them close during feeding time. You believe the “breast is best,” and though it physically exhausts you at times, you are trying to provide the nourishment that only you can. Unfortunately, after you’ve drained your supply, your little one may still be ravenous. What are you supposed to do when the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding? The piercing screams of a hungry child make you feel helpless, and you may feel like throwing in the towel. If the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding, then there are things you can do.
Dealing with The Perpetually-Hungry Baby
A baby that is always hungry (or no longer hungry) can be upsetting to a mom who is giving all she has. Have you ever wondered why it seems that a breastfed baby is never satisfied? A baby that gets formula often fills up quickly and is eager to sleep through the night.
Nursing a child is difficult. It seems that they are up every two hours. It’s easy to see why nursing around the clock can be physically exhausting. Just as you sit down to spend time with your other children, your bundle of joy starts wiggling, babbling, rooting, and head bopping, letting you know they are ready for food and that they love you.
How can this child still be hungry when you just fed them? You automatically assume that you are not producing enough milk to fill them up. As a mom, you automatically start blaming yourself and your seemingly inadequate supply. Stop questioning if your milk is the best choice for your little one, and stop asking yourself why your baby isn’t full after breastfeeding. The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to other mommies. You can’t possibly see what goes on behind closed doors. You need to perfect your nursing technique to ensure your baby is satisfied.
Am I Enough for My Child?
Most mothers surf social media while nursing or during a free moment. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you see other parents posting their victories. What you don’t see is the nights of endless tears, trips to the pediatrician’s office, and pleadings with the doctors because the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding.
People don’t usually post their inadequacies for all to see. Instead, they share their triumphs. They may boast that their three-month-old just slept through the night, but you are sitting there and haven’t slept or showered in two days. It’s easy to see how you might feel like you’re not doing a good job.
When you feel like you are on the threshold of death, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t let your emotions and lack of sleep get you down. Here are the questions you ask yourself, but you should be asking your doctor:
- Is my milk supply inadequate?
- Do I need to add formula to ensure my child is fulfilled?
- Am I failing my baby because I cannot provide what they need?
- Is something wrong with me?
Your doctor can help you get to the bottom of the reason why the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding. In most cases, it’s a simple fix.
What’s Wrong with Me?
It may appear that you are not producing enough milk, but your supply may be fine. It could be your technique that is all wrong. Have you ever wondered why some babies are satisfied after nursing, yet others are always ravenous? If the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding, then you may be doing it all wrong. The help from a lactation consultant is advisable.
You may think that you have this whole breastfeeding thing figured out, but there are many challenges along the way. Have you ever had your breast engorged to the point of pain? Many times, the breast milk is not emptying correctly during a feeding, and it causes this dreadful situation.
When the breast is already full, and you let the child nurse, you may think the breast is empty when it’s not. You may quickly switch to the other side not knowing there was still more milk. So if the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding, then you may have changed too soon.
Techniques to Keep Baby Satisfied
Breast milk is complex. The first bit of milk you produce, called the foremilk, is like juice. It helps to quench the baby’s thirst, but it won’t fill them. The hindmilk comes in after this, and it has all the fat and nutrients that will sustain your child. If you are pulling the child off one breast to switch them to the other one too soon, they may only be getting the fore-milk rather than the fat-filled nutrients they need.
That’s why if your baby isn’t full after breastfeeding, it may be that you are not leaving them on the breasts long enough to become full. It can have something to do with the way the supply comes in too. As the milk comes in, it moves out towards the nipple area.
The fatty hindmilk gets stuck further back in the ducts. So if your baby never gets to the supply in the back, then you are only wetting their pallet. They are not getting the goods that will fatten them up and make their belly full. Make sure to feed the baby off one breast till it’s empty before switching them to the next. If your baby isn’t complete after breastfeeding, then you may need to leave them latched on one side longer.
If you have problems remembering which breast you used last, then you may want to put a safety pin on that side of your bra to help you recall. It’s a simple way to keep track of the breast that needs emptied first.
Breast Milk vs. Formula – When to Add A Supplement
It’s difficult, but when it’s a constant problem that the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding, you may need to consider supplementing. Never do this without talking to your doctor and making sure there isn’t another problem. Once you have the green light, you can attempt the breast versus formula competition. It can be hard at first, but it will solve the problem when the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding.
Finding the Right Nipple
Some babies won’t go back and forth between the bottle and breast. Once they are acclimated to a human nipple, nothing made in the manufacturing plant can compare. However, there are some outstanding options on the market. It may take some trial and error to find one your infant will use with ease.
Learning to Use A Breast Pump
If you haven’t already invested in a pump, now is a good time to purchase one. Make sure you have ample room in your freezer to store your milk. You can mix the breast milk with the formula to ensure the child doesn’t prefer one type over the other. You may find that your supply increases the more you pump. For some mothers, going from total nipple feeding to pumping increases the volume of their supply.
Remember, any amount of breast-milk you give your infant is good for them. Though you may not be able to fill their bellies completely, remember you are giving them nutrients they need for survival. Your milk has leukocytes, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and is full of vitamins. Plus, because your milk takes on the taste of your food choices, your baby gets to experience variety.
Get the saying “breast is best” out of your head. If you cannot breastfeed, then there is no reason to beat yourself up over it. You must do whatever possible to ensure your child thrives. If the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding, then supplementing with formula is required.
Keeping Realistic Expectations
If the baby isn’t full after breastfeeding, don’t always assume the worst. A pacifier might be a great way to console them until the next feeding. They could be fussy from something else, like gassy build up from something you ate. Don’t quit just because you had a few bad days.
Most breastfeeding mothers have a hard time initially, but they soon get the hang of it. There are plenty of support groups and other people having the same problems as you, and they could use a friend to talk to about their breastfeeding woes. Breastfeeding is helping to prepare their immune system and give them a good start in life. Consequently, if you don’t produce enough milk or the child won’t latch, then there are great formula options too.