Does It Mean You Have Low Milk Supply?
The fact that your baby will take a bottle after breastfeeding does not necessarily mean you have low milk supply.
For instance, imagine a baby who just finished breastfeeding, he wailed and acted frustrated so the mother concluded that he’s still hungry. To test her theory, she makes a 4 ounce bottle of formula and he drinks it all then blissfully falls asleep. The mother’s worst fears are confirmed. Her baby is not getting enough milk at the breast and she may have to switch to bottle feeding.
Meanwhile what really happened was that the baby experienced gas pain after he finished nursing and flailed in frustration because he wanted to comfort suck until the pain went away. The bottle was put in his mouth and he happily sucked, which is what he wanted, but then the formula was suddenly flowing. So he swallowed and swallowed and swallowed becoming so overstuffed that he simply passed out from the overfeeding.
Poor little guy.
Poor mother too. She’s making perfectly reasonable conclusions about what’s going on. Unfortunately she’s utterly wrong.
You see, all babies love to have things in their mouth – it’s how they eat, it’s comforting to them, it helps with teething, it’s how they explore and learn about their world. Getting things in their mouth and sucking on them is what babies do.
So if you give a bottle to your baby, he’s as likely to suck on the nipple out of fun, comfort or a sense of exploration as he is because he’s hungry. And if he sucks, fluid will flow and he has to either swallow it or choke. This will go on as long as there’s fluid in the bottle or until baby feels so overstuffed that the discomfort of drinking any more outweighs his desire to continue his favorite activity.
The moral of the story is that just because a baby will take a bottle after breastfeeding it is not a good indicator of low milk supply.