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Thread: Should I finally supplement at 9 months?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    60

    Default Should I finally supplement at 9 months?

    I posted here before about my low milk supply and solids, but I am really feeling discouraged and need some support.

    My daughter is 9 1/2 months old. She has never been supplemented with formula. We started solids at 6 months and she was READY. We did baby led weaning, started slowly for the first month with mostly fruits and veggies, and have advanced since. She loves to eat food, and a lot of it.

    The first month after solids I did not notice a big supply drop. However, since then her solid intake has gone up more and more. Consequently, my supply dropped. I freaked out and started trying to nurse her more, but this was really hard because she almost seems uninterested in nursing anymore. She nurses once in the morning and I put her to the breast multiple times a day, but it is like wrestling with her to even get her to latch for long enough for my letdown to come. I think she truly nurses and swallows/drinks about 3 times a day, and that's it. The remainder of her calories are from food. It's almost like she self-weaned, very early.

    Her growth is great, she is healthy and having normal poops. But my breasts are soft and almost as small as before I was pregnant, my pumping output at work is negligible, and this morning when I changed her diaper it was barely wet, after 10 hours of sleeping (she also started waking up 0-1 times/night about a month ago, on her own, so I imagine my supply drop had something to do with this).

    I'm worried about her hydration and nutritional status with so many solids and so little breastmilk. I tried pumping more at work, nursing her more, and taking fenugreek supplements, and nothing has worked. I'm starting to consider formula, if nothing more than to take the stress off of me. I worry about it all the time. I saw a lactation consultant who basically told me not to worry about it, that she is getting plenty of nutrition from solids. She also told me "I hear that you're mourning weaning", which might be true but frankly, I'm worried about not making any milk! Any words of advice or kind thoughts? I've been really stressed about it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    NOVA
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Should I finally supplement at 9 months?

    Hi there! Kellymom's article says that there should be a slow supply drop as solids increase . . .there's an article on it but I can't link right now. I can find it for you later if you like. I think anytime we see a drop of anything though, it's really easy to freak out. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't be worried . . .just saying that it's probably normal, KWIM? It sounds like you've been doing everything you can, and it's frustrating to think that it isn't enough. But is it not enough? You said growth is okay.

    So I thought I remembered from your other threads that cosleeping isn't an option for you an your baby because she's a restless sleeper (although I certainly could be wrong with that), but how would you feel about waking her up once or twice a night to nurse? I'm noticing that my 8 1/2 year old is getting more distracted again, and thought I read somewhere that nursing can be difficult during the day again between 8-9 months or so because of the distractibility increasing again around that age. My daughter luckily will eat in her sleep and with more distraction she's been nursing more at night. So, maybe with the distraction and the drop in her night nursing that's part of the issue? Also, I know that babies don't technically need tons of water while bf in the first year, but could offering water with meals help with the diaper output a little? I'm only talking at most a few ounces anyway, and I don't know how your daughter likes water, but ours loves it.

    I don't have an answer for you about the formula. I think it's really your decision based on your understanding of how you feel, how your daughter is doing, and your pediatrician's advice. I can tell you that we combination feed our daughter but only at daycare and only because I have never been able to pump enough. I don't truly feel I have a supply problem, as I can get away with just bf when she and I are together, but she did have trouble gaining weight while she was still a newborn, and once I went back to work it was clear pumping wouldn't be enough to make sure she kept gaining. I just don't respond well to the pump, which is frustrating but it is what it is and I've just learned to be okay that baby is getting what she needs even though I'd prefer not to give formula. If you really want to explore all avenues before trying formula, what about trying a few weighted feeds? It might help you determine what she really is or isn't getting and either ease your mind or help you decide baby needs it.

    Nothing about parenting seems to be easy is it?
    & working mom of one sweet baby girl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,374

    Default Re: Should I finally supplement at 9 months?

    Excellent advice above. I don't think it sounds necessary for you to supplement- her growth is great, she's having normal poops, and dry diapers are normal for babies who sleep long stretches at night. But you do what feels best to you- you know your baby best!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Should I finally supplement at 9 months?

    Thanks for the kind words. Yes, good memory...we coslept until 6 months at which point we moved her into a crib next to our bed, and then eventually into her own room. She definitely slept longer stretches at night that way and I was way more rested in the morning. It's funny, we hit the Holy Grail of sleeping a few times and yet...this is definitely a part of my supply issue (I had been forewarned, but sleep deprivation is no joke for a busy mother).

    After I wrote that, I kind of gave myself a pep talk and realized that yes, although my production is low, it has to be possible to increase it again. So I set my alarm to wake up and feed her, but not necessary since she got up anyway. I am making a conscious effort to nurse her as much as possible, and pumped at work an extra time today too. I'm just going to nurse, pump, nurse, pump, and try to increase it just enough to keep her hydrated and healthy. I think I can, I think I can...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    NOVA
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Should I finally supplement at 9 months?

    sleep deprivation is no joke for a busy mother
    Absolutely no joke! I just noticed I said my 8 1/2 year old above. Yikes! She's 8 1/2 months old. Apparently in my sleep deprivation I fast forwarded my daughter by years.

    I agree, you can do it. I keep seeing reminders from moms on here that babies are only this little for a short period of time. In some ways it feels like forever and in other ways it doesn't. If it helps, I've gone through stages where I've been so ready to quit--a lot of us probably do. Here's how my thoughts go: She gets formula, so what's the big deal of stopping bf entirely and just letting it go? Pumping sucks, nursing can be hard (although it's easier now. I cried buckets when she was a newborn and we were struggling with latching) . . .but there are times I've gotten through a day by encouraging myself. "Just one more pump. Just one more nursing session." And you know, then it gets a bit easier and I can say, "oh, just one more week, one more month" . . . and now we're at 8 1/2 months and I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel where nursing can just be whatever my daughter and I need it to be and not a requirement. I'm sure I'm going to have to give myself more pep talks before the year is up, but it's encouraging to see how far we've come.
    & working mom of one sweet baby girl

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