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Thread: How to maintain milk for the long haul?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    112

    Default How to maintain milk for the long haul?

    Hi there Mama's and friends! Been away for a few days and glad to be back into the forum.Really enjoying these recents posts and discussions. Thanks for the updates and discussions on the "newish" research.That is why I love this resource here at LLLI- it is reliable and informative as well as easily accessible. I was just telling my husband if it werent for this site and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, I would not be sane! I felt like I was so prepared before I gave birth 6 weeks ago...Took several bf classes, read A LOT, watched a lot, asked a lot, but I wasnt really tapping into the organic essence of what makes nursing successful. Not that I am a pro at this by any means! I am still having days where I feel clueless- I am so thankful for the range of questions and answers on here! My big question now is, 6 weeks in, no pumping anymore (created more probs then not) exclusively bf on demand, co sleeping, how do I know that my milk supply will maintain? I feel silly asking these questions but I am still a little nervous about it. I have been trying to relax over the past few weeks, trying to enjoy this wonderful bonding experience and not worry so much about times, and keeping notes...etc, I was quite neurotic about it. I still feel like the little babe is not nursing long and only takes 1 breast a lot of the time. Actually he has always been a quick little feller from day 1. I want to continue to ebf and just want to ensure my supply is maintained. My breast arent very full feeling now, only in the mornings. I know that is normal according to TWAB. Just wanting to succeed at this! I am so attached to this child and my main priority in liife is to feed and care for him! I dont seem to care about anything else! I I still even set an alarm at night to make sure he doesnt sleep too long. anywhere between 2-5 hours through the night. Im one of the weird ones who dont want their baby to 'sleep through the night' for fear of poor growth and loss of milk. He is gaining well, lots of wets and poopies, and seems overall happy. But I have noticed just in the past few days, a few less poopies, but more in an episode. ave 8-12 wets, 6-8 poopies. By the way, over the past few days, he seems to be doing a lot better with the evening fussies/ reflux/ growth spurt challenges. Thanks for the great advice once again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: How to maintain milk for the long haul?

    Also, forgot to mention, I have called 2 different LLL leaders listed on this site under my state, to ask questions and see if there are any groups near me, but I havent heard back from either. I am REALLY wanting to connect with a group, but the closest one is 1 1/2 hours away. If there is anyone from Ky,OH area with any advice please feel free to jump in. I even mentioned it to a few friends and they said, you know those LLL ppl are really out there! HUH! Yeah, maybe so, but I am right with them- I said! Coming from a girl who actually did breast feed! So unsupportive.OH! by the way, she asked me about how many times little babe nurses a day, I said, well, I really dont know, around 10-12 tirmes? Its maybe more on certain days- I just nurse on demand... She looked horrified and said that it was too much. I was so disappointed in the lack of the support of a former bf mom! Just venting a little here- wht is wrong w ppl!!! WTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: How to maintain milk for the long haul?

    You maintain milk for the long haul by continuing to nurse on demand. That's it. That's how it has been for the duration of human history. Your body makes the milk that your baby needs, and as long as you don't schedule feedings or limit time at the breast then your body will know exactly how much milk to make. If you have to go back to a job or need to be separated from your baby for other reasons, then you pump to replace the nursing, which is more complicated but certainly doable.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: How to maintain milk for the long haul?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*phi View Post
    You maintain milk for the long haul by continuing to nurse on demand. That's it. That's how it has been for the duration of human history. Your body makes the milk that your baby needs, and as long as you don't schedule feedings or limit time at the breast then your body will know exactly how much milk to make. If you have to go back to a job or need to be separated from your baby for other reasons, then you pump to replace the nursing, which is more complicated but certainly doable.
    x 1000.

    If you happen to know a lot of people whose milk "just dried up", there's usually a good reason for that. If you probe just a little deeper, you'll probably find out that they misread normal supply adjustments for low supply, or they adhered to a rigid schedule, or they supplemented with formula, or they relied on the pump rather than the baby, etc.

    Nurse on demand and you will have milk for as long as you want it (unless you get pregnant again or choose a form of hormonal contraception which interferes with milk production).
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: How to maintain milk for the long haul?

    with what phi and mommal have said. It's hard sometimes to just trust your body but you are doing great. After about a year I finally trusted my supply but I, like many of us was constantly protecting ot. Not letting him get bottles when I was there, nursing first then solids when that time came and pumping religiously at work. You and baby are a nursing team! Don't forget that. Your body works with baby to create exactly the right amount and the right composition of milk for baby.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,912

    Default Re: How to maintain milk for the long haul?

    Yes, I often think we have to work at it to reduce supply. My saying is “Mother Nature just does not mess up that badly.” By which I mean, biologically, the majority of mother’s bodies are willing and able to make enough milk needed for baby/child as long as baby/child needs it. It would not make sense, from a survival of the species perspective, for this to not work. Not always, of course, but most of the time, where there are low supply issues after milk supply is well established, it started due to something the mom was told/encouraged/admonished to do that goes against biology and that she did not realize could hurt supply-like meal and sleep scheduling, trying to lengthen times between feedings, trying to get baby to sleep “though the night,” pushing solids too early or quickly, that kind of thing. These are all developmental things that happen, more or less on their own, when baby is old enough. Then there is the situation where a mom is back at work or school and pumping when away from baby to maintain her supply. This can affect milk supply, but there are many way to minimize the impact. And of course hormonal birth control methods can hurt supply.

    BTW I am sorry you have not gotten a call back from you local LLL Leaders. Please, keep calling, even if you have to call Leaders further from you. It looks like LLL of Ohio has a main contact number on their webpage-if you are not getting a call back from a listed Leader, call that number and let them know! As you know, LLL Leaders are volunteers with their own families, jobs, etc. So sometimes it takes an active Leader a few days to return a call. Also I have personally had calls where I could not understand the phone number left, or the message was cut off, or where I understood it fine but when I returned the call the person’s voice mailbox was full or they were for some other reason unreachable. What you may not know, is that sometimes a Leader’s contact info may be out online or passed out by hospitals etc. past the time she has retired, taken a leave of absence, moved, changed her phone number, or even (I have seen this) passed away!

    There is no central office which keeps track of Leaders and their current contact info. Each LLL geographic Area has to do this for themselves-one set of volunteers is checking up on the others in their Area. It can turn into a lot of work and things fall through the cracks.

    If LLL is not meeting your needs, look around for another breastfeeding support group-sometimes a hospital will run a weekly mommy and me support group, there is also the new organization Breastfeeding USA, which, like LLL, offers evidence based information, phone help and meetings to moms, or there may be someone who has set up some kind of local group in your area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: How to maintain milk for the long haul?

    I'd just like to share 2 don't do's I did with my LO #2 Supplement with a bottle, and take benadryl to help with sleep and allergies. It can dry up your milk. I was only able to breast feed for 4 months. =(

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