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Thread: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Washington DC
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    Default hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    This week, baby boy (21 weeks) has seemed hungrier than ever. I've been back at work for about 6 weeks and he has slowly increased the amount of breastmilk he takes during the day. He went from 3 4-oz bottles to now sometimes more than 4 4-oz bottles (yesterday he had about 22 oz between 8:30-4:00).

    This worries me because:
    1. My supply is not increasing to keep up with his desire to eat more, so I've been taking from the freezer stash for the past couple of weeks.
    2. My freezer stash is gone, as of this morning.
    3. I'm worried he's eating more in the day because he's not getting enough at home (my supply is lowest at the end of the day, after I've pumped 3x at work).

    He has been frustrated, and I hear his hungry cry from about 6pm until he goes to bed. When I try to nurse, he gets frustrated after not getting milk immediately (as he does from his daytime bottle), and pulls and jerks his head back and forth at my nipple. This week I've taken to giving him a bottle at nighttime, and he calms down immediately as soon as I do that. Last night he ate 2.5 oz bottle, the other night he had 3.5 oz bottle.

    I pump 3x a day at work, drink tons of water, started fenugreek last week, eat oatmeal for breakfast...can I do something else to increase my supply?

    He is 5 months this sunday, and has always been a little chunk of a boy (18 lbs currently). Is it time to start supplementing with formula? Solids (ped said we could start rice cereal if we wanted to, but I wanted to wait until 6 mo.)? Should I work on increasing my supply to match his needs? Something is going to have to give soon!
    Last edited by @llli*jtdc57; April 11th, 2012 at 09:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    If I were you, I would not give any bottles when I am with him. Not ever. I would also talk to whoever is taking care of him during the day and tell them that 22 ounces between 8:30 and 4 is WAY WAY too much.

    I think he has developed a bottle preference and that he is getting overfed while you are away. Is he fussy on weekends when you are nursing?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,006

    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    Sounds like there could be some overfeeding going on at daycare. According to this link: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/ average daily intake for an EBF baby is in the 19-30 oz/day range. 22 oz just at daycare... If he nurses just a couple of times when he's with you, he's probably exceeding that 30 oz maximum amount.

    I am that banning bottles when you are with baby is a good idea. He could be learning that bottles deliver easy rewards, and working himself towards total breast refusal.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Washington DC
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    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    Thanks for your replies.
    No, he is not fussy on the weekends, just in the evenings. I can't believe he'd develop a bottle preference - we had to work so hard to get him to even like it! How ironic. But it may be true, now that I think about it. I'll have to have a little chat with the nanny. We are part of a nanny share, and the other baby is formula fed, so she probably wonders why my EBF baby isn't eating as much as the FF baby. Thanks for the advice.

    How can you adjust an overfed baby to eat only the amount they're supposed to eat?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    I would probably start by leaving three 3.75 ounce bottles and one 2.5 ounce bottle. And talk to the nanny about overfeeding. It's really hard to pump that milk. He should only be getting between 8 and 12 ounces if you're away from him for 8 hours.

    Does he use a pacifier? Maybe she could offer him the pacifier after the bottle so he could still suck? 22 ounces is not something sustainable! How much are you pumping every day?

    Also, have you seen this link before: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    DD1 developed a bottle preference around 4-5 months old. It was a struggle every day when I got home to nurse her. But we perservered and now things are going well.

    22oz in 8hours is way too much! 1-1.5oz per hour.

    To adjust-first only give up enough milk for 1.5oz per hour (12oz for 8 hours). Spread that across small bottles (say 3oz). Give a backup 2oz bottle if you want. Tell caregiver to try alternative means of soothing rather than just feeding (walks, cuddles, singing, playtime). If baby takes a pacifier that is a method of soothing too.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    381

    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    great minds think alike-we posted at the same time
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*toddlerandtwins View Post
    great minds think alike-we posted at the same time
    That's what I was thinking too.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: hungry baby in the evenings, decreasing supply

    What kind of bottle do you use? I have a friend that switched to the Playtex nurser with the drop-ins when she had a DC overfeeding situation. That way they cant actually tell if there is 2.5 or 3 oz in there for example.

    I agree that you should ditch the bottle while at home. Get comfy and let him nurse as much as he wants.

    As for supply and the worry there you could try pumping after you put him to bed, you may only get an ounce or so at first but if you do it consistently you should get where you are getting a couple ounces. That might help you get the freezer stash back.
    I am Klisti, I married my best friend Kris two years ago.

    The love of my life, Wyatt 8-28-11 AKA the little dude

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