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Thread: I guess my body is finished?

  1. #1

    Default I guess my body is finished?

    I apologize in advanced for this being a long post. I've been lurking for awhile trying to find help and I finally decided to post. I am a FTM and my DD will be 7 months this weekend. We've bf exclusively except for her starting solids around 6mo. I work FT and went back to work after 3 months, but fortunately my DH is a teacher so he got to be home with her until she was 5 1/2 months. Then once we started daycare everything went downhill.
    First of all the dcp has a policy where they throw out any unfinished bottles after an hour...whether it's BM or formula. I fought them on it but they wouldnt budge. All summer long DD was great with 12oz while i was gone (4 3oz bottles). I'm gone 10-11 hours with my commute. She didnt always finish the full 3 oz at once but my DH was great with the BM and none ever got wasted. However as soon as we started daycare, all the sudden she's drinking 1oz and falling asleep the rest is being thrown away. I tried sending 5 2.5oz bottles to see if it helped, then 6 2oz bottles but somehow milk got thrown away everyday. Then she'd be hungry for more (b/c she needs 12 oz) so they started in on my frozen stash. Anyway thats not even what this post is about but i wanted to give a background.
    After only one week at daycare, DD got sick. Then I got sick. Then my DH being a teacher got strep throat and we all got sick again. So August was terrible and it affected DD's eating habits, and I think my supply. Since labor day weekend (which i exclusively BF, no pumping) all the sudden I can't pump anymore. If I'm lucky I get 6-7 oz after 4 pumping sessions at work (double pumping). So then i've had to supplement from my frozen stash for the other 6oz. Well my frozen stash will be gone by this Thursday.
    I've changed all my pump parts, I've been taking fenugreek for a week, I've always done compressions while I pump, and Ive been drinking mothers' milk tea and eating oatmeal since DD was born. And Ive been putting her to the breast as much as possible when I'm with her but she's crawling now and is "too busy" to nurse much.
    I am absolutely devastated. I wanted to end nursing on our terms, not because my frozen stash is gone before I have time to work my supply back up (which probably isnt even possible now). And I know DD is going to be devastated too if I have to wean completely. I'm nervous she won't even drink formula.
    I guess I just don't understand why my body isn't producing even close to enough milk. Not sure if there's much advice you can give me...this was probably just a venting session.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Are you nursing at night? Do you think your period is coming back?

    How are her wet and dirty diapers? How much is she actually drinking while you are away? What kind of pump do you have?
    Tracie

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Most of us hit a wall at like 8 or 9 months, all the issues you mentioned may have contributed to an early issue, but I will say that most of us who pump during work have experience a similar situation. Hang in there. For a distracted baby you just have to offer continually and she will come around. Also add pumping sessions to pull you through I pumped 2 extra times in the car and one at home at night because I was only getting 1/4 of what he needed. Like you I also checked all parts and connections, took mothers milk, water and oatmeal. I think the idea of 2 oz bottles is a great idea, do you have any idea why she's so sleepy at DCP? Is she reverse cycling? How is her diaper output?
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,860

    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Welcome!

    I'm so sorry you had such a rough experience with your daycare. Unbelievable how dumb people can be about their precious "policies", even in the face of all the evidence of what real best practices are.

    It's very normal for pumping moms to hit a slump in the later part of their babies' first year. The overproduction that most moms start with eventually disappears. Many moms get their periods back, and their supply doesn't always bounce back easily after their periods conclude- so every month they have a decrease in production and then a hard climb back up to the necessary level. Older babies get distractible and start solids, which often means reduced overall supply and a harder time pumping.

    So the slump in the second six months- normal. But what do you do about it? He's a list of things to try:
    - A better pump. Now might be a good time to experiment with a hospital-grade rental.
    - Pump rehab. I know you've changed all the parts on your pump, but have you changed the motor? Those di wear down with heavy use!
    - More pumping sessions. This may mean pumping in the middle of the night or after feedings when you are with the baby, or on your commute to and from work using a hands-free pump setup.
    - Night-nusing. If your baby is sleeping long stretches at night, you may want to start waking her to nurse. Night-nursing is exhausting but good for supply, and the more calories you pump into baby at night the fewer she'll need during the day.

    Since you're close to the end of your stash, I'd go out and buy a can of formula. You need to know if your LO will drink it. Ideally, she'll take a bottle of plain formula. The storage guidelines are different for brestmilk and formula; unfinished formula must go down the sink, while unfinished breastmilk can be reused (unless your daycare has some stupid policy about that ), so you don't want to mix breastmilk and formula in the same bottle. You want to offer the breastmilk first and then give formula as a chaser, because who cares if the formula goes down the drain? Not as ideally, she will reject the formula unless you mix it with breastmilk, and then you have an issue to deal with. You want to try offering different ratios of breastmilk to formula: 1/2 and 1/2, 2/3 and 1/3, etc., until you find one baby will take. Then you slowly start reducing the amount of breastmilk in the bottle until baby is drinking on that's all formula, and then you move to 100% breastmilk bottles followed by formula chasers.

    Hopefully all the above is academic and you'll have your supply back in the black really soon!
    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

    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I am using a Medela PISA. Her diaper output has been fine. She doesn't cry to be changed so I'd say we get about 6 good wet diapers a day. She only has a BM every other day or so, but that's normal for her.
    I've been nursing once over night. She is a very slow eater so she eats around 9pm or so, and that means we don't finish until about 9:45 and that's when I put her down. Then she's been waking around 1 or 2am for a night nursing. She sleeps in a crib but when she wakes at night I just bring her to bed with me. Then I wake up for 4:30am to pump for 30 mins and at that time I'm up for the day. I get a shower and myself ready for work, then wake her at 6am to eat and then try to head out the door by 6:45-7am. I can't really fit another pumping in during the night because I'm already not getting enough sleep. If I'm lucky enough to fall asleep by 10:30 I maybe get 5 1/2 hours of solid sleep. It's affecting my work and my life.
    This morning i double pumped at 4:30am and got a total of .75oz. I usually get at least 1.5oz. I just dont understand why my body isnt producing what my baby needs.
    My period could be coming back. I have been extremely emotional this week about this whole situation but it could also be PMS. It's been so long, I forget what it feels like.

    So I was going to try to send 3 bottles of BM and then make her 4th bottle formula...but you think it's better if i do 4 smaller bottles of BM with top-off bottles of formula?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    How much milk do you have in the freezer? I would probably make the 4th bottle formula, if I were to go that route.

    What if, instead of pumping at night - that was never going to be my suggestion - you nurse her at 4:30 AM instead of pump? Do you side-lay nurse with her at all?

    Can you tell us more about the number of nursings a day? I'm sorry to ask you all these questions, I'm just trying to see if there are other times when you can increase your number of nursings per day. What about cosleeping with her full time? You could go to bed at 9 pm with her. Why are you staying up until 10:30 pm? I don't know what you mean by solid sleep, but I haven't had 5.5 hours of sleep in a row in almost 4 years. It's doable because I go to bed at 9 pm and have to be up at 5 am. Trixie sleeps in a 2 to 4ish hour chunk starting at about 8 pm and I join her after her first night-waking and then I guess she wakes up every 2 hours or so.

    I know it must sound crazy, me suggesting that you give up that 5 hour chunk of time that she is sleeping by herself in her crib. But your supply is taking a hit for some reason and the best thing for your supply is to nurse nurse nurse. If she was waking up every 2 hours or something, I wouldn't even suggest it. But she is sleeping a 5 hour chunk there at the beginning of the night. What time do you get home? Does she cluster feed up until bed time, or is she too busy?
    Tracie

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

  7. #7

    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Tracie,
    I don't mean 5 hours in a row...that hasnt happened since before she was born. I mean 5 1/2 hours total. I'm not one who can just fall asleep right away. I need to wind down and relax before my body calms down enough to fall asleep. So currently I put her down around 9:45, do my bedtime ritual and try to get myself to fall asleep by 10:30. Then I'm awake again around 1 to feed her, so thats about a 2 1/2 hour chunk. I do bring her to bed and try to side-lay nurse. She likes it, but I am not always so comfortable. My arm ends up in a weird position and I can only fall back asleep if I'm SUPER tired. Otherwise I'm kind of just resting with my arm in pain until she's finished. So even if I can get myself right back to sleep by around 1:15ish I'm up for the day at 4:30. So thats where the 5 1/2 hours comes in.
    On a weekend day where we dont have to do bottles, I nurse around 1am, 6am, 9am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm. Usually 9 total feedings. Every once in awhile if we go out for the day, it'll cut back to 8 and she'll have a bigger gap between feedings because she's busy playing or taking everything in.
    On a weekday we have the 1am and 6am nursing, and then we can't nurse again until 5:30ish, and then her 7pm nursing ends up being a battle because she wants to play. And then she nurses to sleep at 9pm.

  8. #8

    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Oh and I have about 20 ounces in the freezer. I've had to use about 6 ounces a day to supplement. I'm taking off from work this Friday and will nurse all day, but I'm planning on having to use formula next week.
    I guess I'm just frustrated because this drop happened after I had a 4 day weekend over labor day of some pretty great nursing and no bottles at all. Thats why I don't understand it. Then I spent all last week doing some extra pumping sessions after nursing and taking the fenugreek and I dont even see the slightest increase. I feel like my body is turning on me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Please don't feel like your body is turning on you. I think that your period is probably about to show up. Also, pump output is not a predictor of your supply. I have been nursing Beatrix at night and on weekends since January and not pumping - I bet I couldn't pump very much right now, but whenever she wants milk, it's there.

    What happens if you tell them that you are only sending 12 ounces (or 9 or whatever you pumped) and then she's hungry when you pick her up? Maybe she would nurse more then. Are you happy with her care at this place other than the feeding issues?
    Tracie

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

  10. #10

    Default Re: I guess my body is finished?

    Well I'm definitely not going to cut back on any nursing at home, and I'll still pump as much as I can. Maybe after trying formula she'll want to just nurse more at home.
    Yes I actually really like the daycare except for their stupid bottle policy. The ladies who work there are super nice and I can really tell they care about my LO. And she seems genuinely excited to get there in the mornings.
    I've thought about just sending what I pump, which I would consider with 9oz, but now that I'm down to 6-7oz I just dont think that's enough. Maybe i'll be able to get my output up enough to where I can do that though? Maybe she can add more solids and just do 9oz...but right now me pumping 9oz/day is wishful thinking.
    Do you think I should continue the fenugreek even though I havent seen any improvement?

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