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Q&A:
Why doesn't my body adjust to my daughter's breastfeeding schedule?

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Question


My 4-week-old daughter seems to be gaining weight appropriately on breast milk. However, she feeds only every three to four hours, and then often only on one breast. I seem to have what I've heard called an "overactive milk supply" as the milk lets down very fast and there's too much of it. Why doesn't my body adjust to the schedule my daughter is setting up? And also, should I wake her up more often to feed? She just won't take the breast when I try that.

Answer

Sometimes it takes a few days or weeks for your milk supply and your baby's appetite to catch up with each other. Your baby may have just finished a growth spurt and now you have an oversupply of milk. During this transition time, you may experience some discomfort with leaky or engorged breasts. You may feel the need to nurse, but your baby may be full and happier just to sleep. If your breasts become engorged and uncomfortable when your baby is full, you can manually express just enough milk to relieve the discomfort. If you express all of your "excess" milk, your milk supply will increase even more, as if you were feeding twins! Be patient with nature and your body will adjust to your baby's appetite.Also, as long as you have a good milk supply, your baby should continue to gain weight feeding from one breast. Be sure to alternate the starting breast at each feeding so that both breasts receive equal stimulation. Using something such as a safety pin pinned to your bra strap will help you remember which breast to start with.

 
 
 
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