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Thread: Weening Milk Supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Albany, NY
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    2

    Default Weening Milk Supply

    Hello. My son is 4.5 months old. when he was first born i had an oversupply of milk. The baby would gag on the milk and etc...I was instructed to try block feeding. I did this and to my suprise everything worked out.

    In the past week or so i have noticed that at night my milk supply has dwindled in the evenings. I nurse effectively in the mornings and early afternoon. If i breast feed my son at 4 or 5 pm, it seems that my breasts do not have enough time to recover to give him a 6:30 pm feeding (this is his bed time feeding). He cries, fusses, yanks my nipples, and eventually gives up and just screams/crys of what seems to be hunger. The first time this happened i let him cry and tried to nurse for an half hour. I started to get frustrated and hated to watch him cry. i gave up and i then quilcky got a bottle of expressed milk and gave it to him. He was mad because he wanted the breast and not a bottle. Eventually he went to sleep. Since then, i either give him expressed milk or formula at times that my supply seems to make him cry. If i supplement with expressed milk or a bottle of formula at his 4 or 5 pm feeding - i then have enough for him at that night time feeding. He sleeps all night and wakes around 5:30 ~630 am. I then have to wait 4 hours or so before i can express more milk for the following day.

    this makes me cry every night that i can not meet my babies needs. i get so stressed out. I try not to but i do. can anyone help with what i perceive a low supply of breast milk. I am currently drinking mother milk tea, i take fenugreek and it seems not to be helping. Any suggestions i can get to help with this situation, i would greatly appreciate.

    thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Weening Milk Supply

    Welcome to the forum!

    Are you still block feeding, or have you transitioned to using both breasts at a feeding? Once supply adjusts it is normal to use both. And even if you must still block feed, many moms find that they need to offer both sides in the evening when supply naturally dips.

    The best way to deal with this issue is to not offer bottles, and just nurse. If your baby is hungry, he will eventually be able to get a full meal. He may be fussy, but nursing is always the best solution to any nursing problem!

    Are you scheduling baby's feedings at all, or feeding on demand?
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Weening Milk Supply

    I tried to transition to using both breasts at a feeding because of the supply dip BUT in the mornings i tend to have ample milk. My DS prefers to be on one breast only and goes to town. When he is ready to burp, he is basically done. He has no interested in going to the other breast. He was never a big eater at any one sitting because of his relux when born and my over supply of milk. Smaller meals and eating more often to help with the reflux. Should i be insisting on using both breasts in the mornings? At night i tend to use both breasts because of the supply dip. I mostly nurse on demand but the demand is always the same - there for there is a schedule. He more or less eats every 2.5 ~3.5 hours. I can predict the times which all revolve around his naps. The only exception is in the eve. He is hungry between 4:30 and 5:30 and he eats again before going to bed between 6:30~7:30.

    The other problem is that we have been traveling alot on the weekends. Due to the traveling, i dno't want to stop while driving in the evenings. there are times that we are in the middle of no where and i dno't feel safe stopping. I know that he is hungry, there for i offer a bottle of expressed milk in the car to get him to our next stop.

    You say that he will eventually get a full meal. I dont understand how my baby will get a full meal if i dont have any more breast milk to offer? I understand that nursing is the best solution but when he has been screaming for over an hour, won't go to sleep, wont nurse and i have nothing else to offer but a bottle to calm all of us down...how is not offering a bottle not the best solution at that time? Don't get me wrong, he tries to nurse, he will keep trying the breast. Every time he tries and there is nothing the more upset he becomes. When this happens, should i pump immediatly after trying to nurse him? I have tried this but i don't get much other than a few drops. There for i have stopped. My baby prefers the breast, does not like the bottle, he does not really like formula, He takes it because he is hungry.

    Please help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Weening Milk Supply

    Make sure you are drinking pleanty of water and eating very well!! If you can get him to stay latched while he sleeps that is also good for your supply. Or pumping more frequently may help too. It takes a few days for your milk supply to 'fatten up' after a day where he drinks more. I agree with the previous comment to just exclusivley breastfeed. That is the best way to get your milk supply going. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
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    1,176

    Default Re: Weening Milk Supply

    There is no problem offering him one breast in the morning and both in the evening. Sometimes it helps to keep switching back and forth and back and forth between breasts during fussiness. My son was a bear from 4 to 5 months. It was definitely worst in the evenings. He would scream and scream at the breast and it had nothing to do with milk supply (I had a significant oversupply); it was just his age. 4 months is often a very crabby time for babies.

    Here are some things I had to do to keep my baby from fussing at he breast between 4 and 5 months:
    1) Nurse while walking - I tucked my baby in a sling or held him in my arms and walked around the room while nursing him.
    2) Nurse while bouncing - I would bounce my baby on my knee while nursing him. Some ladies sit on an exercise ball and bounce.
    3) Nurse outside - I would sit or stand out on my deck and nurse the baby. Fresh air and a change of scenery can do wonders to calm a crabby baby. I also go for evening walks and nurse the baby in a sling.
    4) Nurse in a warm bath.
    5) When baby starts to fuss, switch sides - you can switch back and forth as frequently as needed.

    Babies sometimes just need extra soothing in the evening to get them calm enough to nurse. Supplementing is just going to end up tanking your supply eventually. Your breasts never run out of milk. It may take several nights of non-stop nursing, but you can boost your supply back up if you just ditch the bottles.
    Last edited by @llli*phi; June 7th, 2012 at 12:59 PM.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Weening Milk Supply

    with Phi. The breast never runs out of milk. Sometimes supply is lower, and it takes baby longer to get all he wants, but the breast isn't empty because milk is always being made. In fact, the emptier the breast, the faster milk is replaced. So if you just allow baby to nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse... and then nurse some more, eventually he's going to get a full meal. Especially if you are using 2 breasts in the evenings. It's really common to have to feed on just one breast in the morning (when supply tends to be most abundant, since levels of the milk-making hormone Prolactin tend to peak overnight) and then use both breasts in the late afternoon-evening, when supply tends to dip a bit.

    If you keep on supplementing with formula, eventually you are going to need to use formula because you'll short-circuit the supply = demand equation. If you absolutely feel that you cannot get through an evening without using a bottle, make sure you pump while baby is having the bottle because that's the only way you'll maintain supply.

    I am not convinced that what you're experiencing is due to hunger or issues with supply. It sounds a lot more like normal (albeit incredibly frustrating) evening fussiness. Phi gave great suggestions for coping with "the witching hours", but here are a few more:
    - Calm house (low lights, and tv, stereo down or preferably off)
    - White noise (even static between channels on the radio can have a calming effect)
    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!"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Weening Milk Supply

    I agree with phi and mommal. It is VERY common for mommas to think they have low milk supply when in fact all is well. What happens in such cases is the milk supply is leveling off to normal levels. Normally, after about a month or so, milk supply stops increasing. It does not need to keep increasing. The daily volume needed to feed a 1 month old is the same as is needed to feed a 5 or 6 month old. So after ramping up for the first several weeks, the milk supply levels off and becomes the right amount for your baby (rather than too much in your case!)This can seem like milk supply is "down" or "gone" to lots to moms who have normal supply or, in particular, had oversupply and are used to having the breasts feel very full between feedings, and expect that to continue, when in fact, if baby nurses well and often, it is normal for the breasts to STOP feeling full after about a month or so (this varies greatly from mom to mom and some moms never experience extreme fullness.)

    If you are continuing to cue feed and allowing baby to nurse as long and as often as baby wants, not supplementing and not using a hormonal birth control, and baby is growing appropriately on your breastmilk, there is no reason to think your milk supply is too low. Since oversupply is no longer an issue, do not block feed anymore, rather baby can nurse on one breast at a time or switch several times a feeding as you and baby prefer, this can vary throughout the day.

    It is also normal for supply to vary from day to day and during each day. This is normal and does not mean baby requires supplemental feedings. It is also normal for a baby to be fussy during particular times of day and evenings are a very common time for this kind of fussyness. Fussyness does not equal no or too little milk!

    I suggest you read this article- it explains better than I can what the REAL signs of low milk supply are and what they are not. http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/

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