I have a LOT of questions that i'm hoping someone can help me with.
My baby is 15months old. From when she was roughly 4 months old it felt to me as though my milk supply wasn't as much as i'd like it to be, so i have taken various herbal supplements and expressed a LOT to keep the supply up. Lately i have found the expressing too much, too slow, too frustrating, so i've stopped. If for any reason we need her to be given a bedtime feed by our nanny, then we give her goats milk (about once a week) and she is fine with it. I also find that my left boob seems to have the most milk but needs time and stimulation to let down, while the right boob doesn't have very much at all but she can get that amount immediately. As you can imagine this causes a bit of an issue and sometimes she wants more milk than i have (OR she's lazy to keep sucking for more)
Here are my questions:
1) How often should a ±15month old baby be feeding during the day/night? I feed her whenever she asks but lately it seems like she wants it less and less. (about twice a day) Co-incidentally she also started to wake up 2-3 times during the night and demand a feed (this started after she had her first nasty teething cold, at which time i demand fed her any time day or night to boost her immune system)
2) On the advice of our midwife i've started to supplement her milk with goat's milk (100ml 3x/day). She suggested that maybe she's not getting enough liquids during the day and so has transferred that to night feeds. It seemed like a brilliant idea BUT now i've found that at bedtime she's even LESS willing to work at getting the milk out (i can hear her swallowing so i know if the letdown has happened or not) because she knows dad's coming afterwards with a bottle! So it seems to me that what will ultimately happen is my breast milk will dwindle and she'll end up drinking goats milk alone. I just dont know how i feel about that... Why drink the milk from a goat if yr mommy has milk that is perfectly designed for you, albeit less than you might want? Surely the milk is less but the nutrients therein are exactly right? & Is the lessening of the milk not natures way of slowly weaning a baby off mommy's milk? Surely if baby was meant to have more and more milk as she got older then the boobs would produce more & more and get gradually bigger, not smaller?
I feel as though society has been completely brainwashed into this mindset that babies MUST drink lots of milk, even cows milk (!?) because they need to get all the various nutrients/calcium etcetc from it but in the research i've done, cows milk is said not to be thaaaat good for human beings in the first place. & i dont understand how it is that the "experts" say "Every single baby MUST drink SOME form of milk until they are 18-24months" without paying attention to what the body is doing? (A good friend of mine stopped at 13 months and her now 19month old baby is in perfect health)
OR are my boobs just giving up the ghost and maybe i just need to get over myself and supplement until she's 18-24months? (cos some women feed until baby is 3 yrs etc so does that mean that they still NEED milk then?)
ALSO, my little girl is rather small and wiry, has been since the day she was born - very busy, energetic, eats solids WELL but like any baby sometimes she doesn't eat and other times she eats like a pig. She's gaining weight and height appropriately to her OWN curve, has a killer immune system and is a happy baby, but because she's not a chubby baby, there is so much more pressure on me to keep giving her extra milk...
Can anyone advise me or refer me to someone who can help? (Ironically i have managed to miss the last 3 la leche league meetings at a time when i need them most, for stupid reasons! But i dont want to wait til the next one to find a solution.)
Thanks in advance X