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Thread: Supply Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
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    259

    Default Supply Questions

    So, I've struggled with supply since day one. I've sought help from the amazing women here and have followed all the advice I've been given. I also hired an IBCLC who was absolutely horrendous. Within the last month we had DS's ULT and PTT clipped, and while he is no longer nursing constantly like he was (which is an amazing improvement), my supply really hasn't gone up like i was told (by the IBCLC) that it would. I'm still just scratching my head about why my supply is so much lower than every other woman I know personally.

    Ive read that most women's s supplies regulate to where they only make what their child needs, yet all of my friends and fam currently nursing make 8 or so ounces every 3-4 hours. And these aren't mama's to new borns... Their babies are anywhere from 2-7.5 months old. Post tie revision, I did weigh feed weighs for a few says to get a ball park figure of how much my then 5.5mo old DS was taking and it was between 28-30oz per day... But he wasnt gaining weight. I know this amount is average, but it's not enough for him. We have introduced solids due to his lack of weight gain and it's helped but I just can't figure out why my 'average' milk supply isn't enough and why I make so much less than LITERALLY every other nursing mom I know. I was thinking about asking to get some bloodwork done for my thyroid levels. What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Utah
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    103

    Default Re: Supply Questions

    8oz every 3-4 hours is not average! It'd be ideal for lots of moms (especially those who pump), but 2-4oz per pumping session (when you are away from your baby and not ALSO nursing full time) is pretty average.

    Is your boy not gaining weight at all? Is he losing? Can you share his weight history with us? How much solids is he eating as well?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: Supply Questions

    i can't remember all of his weights... i'll spit out the few i remember.

    Aug 14- 10lb 11oz
    Aug 18- 9lb 13oz (hovered here for a few weeks despite following all the advice i received here... no weight gain, no pooping.... had to start supplementing)
    (i supplemented between August and Oct, but stopped supplementing after the Oct 17th appt)
    Oct 17- 14lb 5oz
    Dec 18- 16lb
    Jan 18- 16lb 5oz
    ULT and PTT revised on 1/23
    Jan 29- 16lb 15oz (The horrendous IBCLC had recommended that DS get 6oz at each feeding. Despite contradicting everything I'd read here, i figured she was the professional and i should to listen to her. Needless to say my supply went DOWN because she instructed that I pump LESS than I was and to not worry about pumping/nursing at night. I immediately went back to my old routine.)
    Feb 14- 17lb 10.5oz

    Right now I wake him up at 5am to nurse, I nurse him again for maybe 10-15min at 630am (def not a full meal for him) at daycare before I have to leave, I pump between 820-830, at 1030, at 1230 and at 230, nurse DS at 430, nurse to sleep between 7-8pm, dream feed at about 11pm, and typically he'll wake up at 2am and 4am to eat. I send four- three ounce bottles to daycare for DS.

    He gets a small jar of homemade applesauce in the morning and a small jar of mushed avocado at lunch time. When with me, he always gets solids after nursing.
    Last edited by @llli*alilwest; February 15th, 2013 at 02:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2012
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    Utah
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    Default Re: Supply Questions

    It sounds to me like he is getting plenty to eat!

    Is there any way that the Aug 14th weigh in could have been a little bit off? Maybe the scale wasn't calibrated correctly or something. It seems very dangerous for a young baby to lose almost an entire pound in just three days. His weight gain from there actually looks great to me!

    If it makes you feel better, your 5.5 month old weighs more than my 10.5 month old!

    You are doing a fantastic job!!! You know what you are doing, just trust yourself!
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  5. #5
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    Jan 2011
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: Supply Questions

    The Aug 14th weight was his birth weight. I was only on an IV for about 10 minutes when he was born , so I don't think it was too inflated. Later that day, after three large meconium poops he was weighed at 10lb 5oz. I should have specified that that was at birth.

    I just had this dream of having this plump little EBF baby... He was never plump, besides at birth. I guess we did make it through almost six months with only using two cans of formula, despite all the problems we had... I just feel like a failure because I'm convinced the only reason he's gaining so well now is because of the solids. We never were really successful at breastfeeding. He always gained less than average and fell in the charts by about 40%.... And even if my production is average, we are reliant on solids for appropriate weight gain. I keep reading that solids are for fun and experimentation between 6mo-1year of age, so I feel inadequate knowing that we're relying on them.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Supply Questions

    Oh that makes so much more sense! He was a big baby!!! I think in larger babies a drop in weight like that is normal and expected over the first few days, I think it's safe to say that ALL babies lose weight in the few days after birth.

    Really though, you are doing a great job!! I don't see any reason to worry. All babies grow on their own curve, and he has gained at every single weigh-in. He sounds like he is thriving and hitting milestones and he probably would whether you choose to feed solids or not. Many solids made for babies have very few calories. Food before 1 really is just for fun!

    You are not inadequate at all, you are doing absolutely fantastic!!! I commend you for sticking with pumping and a great feeding schedule even after going back to work.

    Has his pediatrician expressed concern over his weight gain? Some babies are just born big and over time they even out with their peers. Some are born big and stay big just like some are born small and stay small. Every baby is different, but your son sounds very healthy and you are doing the very best thing for him by breastfeeding. Your supply sounds great!! Keep up the good work!
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: Supply Questions

    The last time we did breastmilk alone he stalled in weight around 16lb 15oz. That's when/why I started solids. Dr. Newman and a 2nd IBCLC I contacted both advised that there is no reason for a baby his age to get formula since he was old enough for solids. That's the main reason avocado was chosen as one of his first foods... For the extra fat and calories. I don't know. Thank you for the support and kind words. His ped hasn't voiced any concerns since his initial lack if weight gain... And that was mostly because he had jaundice. And it wasnt until he gained a mere 5oz between Dec and Jan that the red flags went up.

    I know I've read on Kellymom and other reputable sources that 3oz per feed is average, I guess it just doesn't seem right to me. Not only is that my average (what I can pump approx every two hours), but DS hasn't gained appropriately with that quantity, and, again, I don't personally know anyone else that was successful at breastfeeding that made that little. I'm not trying to shoot down what you're saying, it's more that this general info doesn't quite suit my life and experience. And if all my ducks are in a row, why wasnt he gaining? Maybe he's just one of those babies that needs closer to 36oz / day, and I can't provide more. Is there anyone here who has made so little milk yet your child gained appropriately?

    ETA: I know babies all have their own curve, and that there is no one size fits all approach to bfing but I certainly don't feel normal or average when everything that is normal and average doesn't work for us. And if everyone I know has an oversupply, why is that not considered average? Because they produce more than their babies need?

    I apologize for the pity party.. I'm at the point where, besides trying galactagogues again, there's nothing else I can do. I'm just left with this heartache that stirs up every time I see my friends' beautifully chunky, EBF babies. And I'm sick of the anxiety. I thought most women got to a point in nursing where they could relax and trust their bodies, but that just seems like a cruel joke..
    Last edited by @llli*alilwest; February 16th, 2013 at 03:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Supply Questions

    I would talk to your doctor to hopefully get some perspective. It might help to have your doctor print out your baby's growth charts. My daughter was born August 13 and my friend's son was born on August 11. Both are doing well - my daughter weighs in at 15 lbs 5 oz and her "due date buddy" is the same weight as your son and well above average for weight. It sounds to me like you know some moms whose babies and milk output are NOT normal (not in a bad way, but just not average). Not every EBF baby is super chunky. Some get fatter later in their first year.

    Your baby's weight looks totally normal and perfect for his age.

    Your pumping is totally normal. I get about 1 oz per hour that I'm away. I have never ever gotten more than about 9 oz an entire day of pumping. Yet my daughter is gaining perfectly (as it sounds like your son is).

    I would stop using words like "stalls" and recognize that babies grow in leaps and spurts. Some babies gain more slowly around 5 or 6 months, which my doctor said was totally normal because of how distracted they get at this age. Nursing in a quiet room can help.

    I guess my overall point is that I don't see anything of concern in anything that you posted, either in terms of your son's weight or your output. Therefore, I think it would be helpful to talk with your doc to get some reassurance about normal growth patterns and perhaps a more reasonable set of expectations for what is normal for both you and your babe. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: Supply Questions

    Thank you. I appreciate your support and your reaching out to help calm my nerves.

    i guess I know his weight is normal now, but that is largely due to the fact that he's been getting solids. He doesn't gain when solely on breastmilk. That's what I don't understand. Last time he was solely on breastmilk for a whole month he gained a mere 5oz... For the whole month. That is with getting 28-30oz/ day. From what I've read, between 4-6mo they're supposed to gain approx 5oz/ week. I guess the other thing is he did start off very big, so when you take a step back and look at the whole picture he's gained quite a bit less than other babies born around the same time. I would assume that most babies are born at least two lbs lighter than him.

    I don't know. I don't know what I'm looking for by writing. I've done so much research, posted here so many times, spoken to many different breastfeeding moms, have tried changing our routine around so many times, there's not a whole lot more i can do. I just still don't understand the supply and weight thing.
    Last edited by @llli*alilwest; February 17th, 2013 at 02:32 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Supply Questions

    You've been such a trooper, mama! I think it's just amazing that you have made it this far. I remember when you first started posting on the forum and you just seemed a hair's breadth from giving up... And now look what you have achieved!

    I have to agree with the PP that making 8 oz every 3-4 hours is wild, definitely in the oversupply realm! There's no way I made that much with my first chunky EBF baby, and while I probably made more than that at first with my second (due to a pretty bad oversupply problem), by about 3-4 months I was probably down to a much more normal 3-4 oz every couple of hours.

    It's totally normal for growth to slow in the second half of the first year. All those calories that used to get packed on as fat get turned into motion, instead- reaching, rolling, kicking, crawling, pulling up to a stand, etc.

    I think it's great that you're introducing solids and high-calorie ones at that- as long as you continue to give your baby that 28-30 oz per day, you know that he's getting most of his nutrition from your milk, and the solids are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing: providing "complementary" nutrition.
    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!"

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