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Thread: Growth Spurt? Low Supply? Sick Baby?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Growth Spurt? Low Supply? Sick Baby?

    Hi Ladies,

    I've been breastfeeding baby on demand since he was born. He is now 9 months and 16 days (to be exact!). He started solids at 6 months, likes it and is good at eating. We normally give him 2 meals a day and a very small snack. Neither of the meals are huge and sometimes he only gets one (if we are out and come home right in time for a nap, for example). The last time we had him weighed was about 4-6 weeks ago and he had jumped from the 50th to 60th percentile (he was a little over 20 pounds). He has been feeding for shorter durations for a couple of months now--both because (I think) of improved efficiency and serious distractibility.

    I work part time, since he was 6 months. Mostly I work at home, one day a week at the office when I pump 2x in 6 hours. Sometimes he takes a bottle of BM from my husband and sometimes he waits until I get home. I always feed him right before I leave and when I get home. We cosleep and he nurses 2-3 times per night (between 7pm when he nurses to sleep and 5/6am when he nurses awake). When I am not working I nap with him a lot and he nurses then. I want to primarily BF until 1 year and then go as long as possible past (will follow his lead on weaning from BM after 1 year).

    I have been home for the past 2 weeks (no pumping). Yesterday, he was super fussy and wanted to nurse nearly every hour. He would latch on and off and on and off and not nurse long before he was crawling away and screaming if I brought him back. But, then he'd be fussing for food an hour later. My breasts never felt very full yesterday and though I can often hear him gulping the milk, I didn't hear that much yesterday. He went to bed without much nursing and then only woke up twice. Today, he slept a bit long for his morning nap and so my husband took a bottle of BM (freshly expressed) with them when they left for a daddy-baby group they go to. I could barely get 80mls (<3oz) which is weird and unusual (very low). Yesterday, I tried to pump in the afternoon as I was worried he wasn't removing milk with his finicky nursing and barely got 30mls. Also weird (low).

    He has a little bit of a cold. I don't think he is teething. Does this sound like aa growth spurt? I thought so yesterday, but my breasts aren't feeling any fuller today. Is my supply dipping? What would you suggest? I always get a little panicky when things aren't going as normal.

    His nappy output is normal. VERY wet first thing in the morning (around 6:30am), very wet about 10:30am, good and wet about 1:30pm, wet around 4:30pm, damp around 6:00pm, then naked time and bed.

    Am I over-reacting? Should I do anything?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    1,882

    Default Re: Growth Spurt? Low Supply? Sick Baby?

    This sounds like what my DS was doing when he was teething - it was just really uncomfortable for him to latch. And the teething went on FOREVER: I thought his molars were going to come through in June, and the last 2 finally popped yesterday/last night. I would just keep trying to nurse on demand, maybe switch a little bit to prioritize nursing before solids. If he was nursing every hour he didn't need much each time to keep him going.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Re: Growth Spurt? Low Supply? Sick Baby?

    Thanks for the encouragement. I do always BF before solids.

    Actually, just had a look at the calendar and it's been 5 weeks since I had my last period (which was my first postpartum). Maybe supply is low because I'm about to start menstrating? What do you about that? Just keep nursing? Will my supply go back up when my period ends? I don't have much in the freezer (300mls only), so I can't supplement that way and don't want to give formula. I guess it's just LOTS of nursing? Good think I'm off work the next few days!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    miles from nowhere
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    Default Re: Growth Spurt? Low Supply? Sick Baby?

    Many women experience a temporary decrease in their supply the few days leading up to their period. Just keep nursing on demand and it should bounce right back. When I was pumping I used to eat oatmeal on those days to try to give me a little boost.

    Also, I noticed your baby is 9 mos. Many women start to notice a decline in pumping output around 9-10 months. You can pump more often or add in pumping sessions where you can fit them. Or you can increase the amt of solids baby is eating while at day care (still sending breast milk of course) and see if you can stretch it until you are with them again. If you are feeding on demand and/or baby is still nursing frequently at night, this can work for some mamas.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Re: Growth Spurt? Low Supply? Sick Baby?

    Thanks. I guess I'll have to wait and see to figure out if my period is to blame! If it is my period, should I expect this every month? Does we all just have to accept that there will be a few days each month that baby isn't getting enough? Or, is he getting enough just not as easily? I don't really understand how breastfeeding works when your body is naturally decreasing milk because of your period or why your (my) body does this. It does sound like I'm going to have to steel myself for this every month--I recall a similar level of panic last month when my period returned! Must remind myself that things did go back to normal....

    In the meantime I have been eating lots of oatmeal in the past week anyway (it is getting cold here) and started taking Fenugreek again today. I'm home the next 5 days, so will try to pump as much as I can. Oh how I hate pumping.

    Baby is home with daddy while I'm at work. He doesn't often take a lot of milk (sometimes none) but this doesn't seem to increase night waking. Maybe he makes up for it in the morning and when I get home? Or, since it's only one day a week, maybe he just eats less that day? Who knows....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Growth Spurt? Low Supply? Sick Baby?

    Oh, they're still getting enough. They typically will nurse more frequently or for longer sessions. Most of the time if you're not pumping you don't even notice it happens. And the baby gets used to it too. At least my daughter did. The first few periods I had she'd get frustrated and sometimes spit my nipple out like she didn't like the taste (the hormones can have an effect on taste), but after that I really wouldn't have known it was happening if my pumping output hadn't taken such a hit.

    If you're only away from her one day a week I wouldn't even worry about it. Sorry I missed that detail when I read your post the first time.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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