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Thread: Transitioning to EBF at 10 months.

  1. #1

    Default Transitioning to EBF at 10 months.

    Hello,
    This is my first post after months of reading. I have quite a long but complicated breastfeeding story and really need help. For the last 10 months I have read very book, forum and site and am stuck. My midwife said I should become a LC!

    My daughter was born at 41 weeks by ventouse. We started out bf really well. Enthusiastic and good latch. Three days in due to weight loss in I had to give extra syringes of colostrum and she picked up. At home a week later things started going downhill, baby very fussy, long feedings, weight loss so was told to supplement with formula but was not told about pumping (sigh). A week later told to supplement with 4oz of formula. Not knowing much about bf and worried about babe I did it. Of course this resulted in almost losing my supply and a baby that would not suck. Keen to bf I started out on a long journey of bf education to win it back. I always put her on the breast and have done for everyday of the last 10 months. I started pumping and saw a return to suckling and reduction in bottles. At 6 weeks I called in a llli LC and we worked on a programme to get back to EBF with an intensive life of pumping, supplementing and bf. It went really well but after a two week lack of weight gain and a dropping milk supply, adding pumps (12 a day!) working with a SNS which failed as babe hated it, a suspected tongue tie was confirmed by a specialist. A sub-mucosal tie and a short tongue which was too fleshy to operate on for fear of creating more damage than good. (Turns out hubby has the same but did bf) Now at 10 weeks and pumping full time/snacking and comfort bf and all cried out I decided this was my lot. Bf slowly got a bit better but never enough to switch and also I was too scared knowing the tongue issue. Worked my ass off to get my supply up, increase the lazy right boob and dump the formula. Hard work after so many factors affecting my supply in the first month. I have quite small boobs, average output (3 to 4 oz very 3 hours, 5/6 at night but can provide all she needs.
    Moving on...
    Started baby led weaning at 6 months and noticed that the popping and clicking with bottles had stopped (have always used Medula Calma with great results) and that DD was .sticking her tongue right out to her chin. Also drinking increased amounts before a nap and especially at night/early mornings. Managed to drop two bottles for bf but still pumping 7 times a day to provide 6 x 4 oz bottles. DD will never take more than 3-4 oz at one go. She is small but feisty, goes all day and is gaining well. I am a SAHM, co-sleep and give DD 24/7 access to me. She will only go to sleep on the boob!

    Last month we had a 7 day bottle strike due to ears and I was able to EBF to keep her ticking over.
    Less nappy output in the beginning minimum but by end of week much improved and she really seemed to be understanding she could get more than a snack.

    Since then I am stuck in two camps. Still pumping 7 times a day but DD is wanting boob, refusing more and more bottles or only taking one oz. Bottles are going down the sink. The milk is piling up in the freezer but she will not take it in a cup, off a spoon or in any other form than the odd bottle or from the boob. I have tried for 4 months and she just goes mad and bats it away? Same with water... will only blow bubbles into it or wash her hands. We are teething, on the move and it is the 10 month discovery explosion so need to add that to the mix. But still both hubby and I (and even sceptical parents) are getting convinced she wants the boob.

    Even with all the teething she is still just off her bottle and perfectly healthy.

    She is playing with my boobs all the time and experimenting with positions and bf well during night and mornings in bed. (I give her a dream feed at 4am before I pump and she drains one boob.)

    I have read so much about switching to ebf but is all about premies and supplements. So my questions are.


    Can I switch to EBF at 10 months? I am fed up with pumping if it is not being drank and just when I have pumped, you can bet she will want something. A the mo it is a full time job doing bf, pumping and bottles and like having a new born again.

    How do I reduce my pumping but keep a good enough supply up? ( I am still willing to pump but must have a bit too much at the mo as DD is feeding and I have bottles and a freezer supply. Would like to get down to 4 times a day).

    As I am doing BLW I know how important her milk still is and don't want to force solids on her so how do I ensure she has enough milk? Some days she eats well and others not at all. Still playing. Refuse to give in to parents who say she is weaning and needs spoon feeding. Still offering water with meals with limit success.

    Is it worth visiting a cranial osteopath? Het latch could be better I think, especially on the right boob which is the smaller producer and I have no idea what the tongue situation is.

    How do I plan my pumps and feeds in so that she can have a good drink without having to work too hard or get a just empty boob.

    How do I encourage more feeding than snacking? I know it's good to keep offering but I am worried my boobs won't get emptied. Although I don't care if she wants to drink every 30 mins or reverse cycle. I am committed to bf her.

    How many feeds and milk is reasonable for a small drinking 10 month old. She has plenty of wet nappies even when she has had no bottles and still plays all day from 9am to 11 pm with two naps!

    Am I mad to even try this? She has been on the boob since day one and loves it. Me too of course. I don't want to jeopardise the bf we have as we have come so far. But this last month has been madness.

    So there you go. As said I am really stuck between two camps and want to try and transition. I double pump 7 x 20 minutes including the 4am one.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long story, it's been a long 10 months!

    Sarah.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,593

    Default Re: Transitioning to EBF at 10 months.

    Can I switch to EBF at 10 months? I am fed up with pumping if it is not being drank and just when I have pumped, you can bet she will want something. A the mo it is a full time job doing bf, pumping and bottles and like having a new born again.
    Of course you can start trying to switch to exclusive breastfeeding at 10 months. Have you looked at adoptive nursing websites, blogs etc? These may have more suggestions that fit for bringing an older baby back to the breast exclusively. Ideas on nursing strikes are written for babies this age, so those would be possibly relevent for you as well. However it sounds like you baby wants to nurse, and you have milk. So, I am still not clear on what is the hold up?

    How do I reduce my pumping but keep a good enough supply up? ( I am still willing to pump but must have a bit too much at the mo as DD is feeding and I have bottles and a freezer supply. Would like to get down to 4 times a day).
    If you baby is nursing and getting milk, then you probably don't need to pump for that time. Basically, every time your baby nurses, that is stimulating your production just like pumping does. Better, possibly.

    As I am doing BLW I know how important her milk still is and don't want to force solids on her so how do I ensure she has enough milk? Some days she eats well and others not at all. Still playing. Refuse to give in to parents who say she is weaning and needs spoon feeding. Still offering water with meals with limit success.
    I think you will find lots of reassurance in an awesome book called My Child Won't Eat. it is not about BLW per se,(although he discusses it briefly) but it is ALL about the benefits of allowing/trusting a child in know how much food she needs. $10 US on Amazon and worth 5 times that, imo.
    Is it worth visiting a cranial osteopath? Het latch could be better I think, especially on the right boob which is the smaller producer and I have no idea what the tongue situation is.
    A few mothers I know found it very helpful for tight/painful latch, but that was with newborns. I guess you would have to think about your expectations. It certainly cannot hurt, if you see a good person who is exp. with babies. I am confused about the tt-was it ever 'clipped?'

    How do I plan my pumps and feeds in so that she can have a good drink without having to work too hard or get a just empty boob. ?
    You could pump right after she nurses. I don't suggest this for every time becasue then you might end nursing sessions prematurely worrying about getting pumping time in. But it certainly is one option. Or, If she has a discernable nursing 'pattern' you can plan around that. Otherwise? If you find she is wanting to nurse so often that this is a real problem, that is probably a good sign you need not pump so much.

    How do I encourage more feeding than snacking? I know it's good to keep offering but I am worried my boobs won't get emptied. Although I don't care if she wants to drink every 30 mins or reverse cycle. I am committed to bf her.
    Generally, Frequency of milk removal is more important for milk production than breasts being totally 'emptied.' So if both you and baby want to nurse often, you are probably fine. If you felt a nursing session was really 'short', you can try some very gentle methods to get baby interested in nursing longer, like switching sides or breast compressions. But if she is done I would not press it. If you are really concerned, this is another reason to maybe pump after nursing. I would not suggest trying to make a 10 month old nurse longer than she wants to. Snacking is normal. (as are very longer sessions and everything in between.)
    How many feeds and milk is reasonable for a small drinking 10 month old. She has plenty of wet nappies even when she has had no bottles and still plays all day from 9am to 11 pm with two naps!
    Well, this answer will be al over the map. Personally, My 9 month old nurses at least 10 times a 24 hour day. We bedshare and have few separations so she pretty much nurses as much as she wants. On the other hand we do run around alot with my older kids activities so sometimes it we 'miss.' We are also doing BLW so her solid meals are small to nonexistant.

    Am I mad to even try this? She has been on the boob since day one and loves it. Me too of course. I don't want to jeopardise the bf we have as we have come so far. But this last month has been madness.
    No you are not mad!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Transitioning to EBF at 10 months.

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! That's wonderful that you've stuck with BF'ing despite all the challenges you've faced!

    Okay, so... you write that she breastfeeds well during the night and mornings in bed. And if I understand correctly, she's not really very interested in the bottle at all. So I think you've actually already transitioned to EBF! And are maintaining some degree of oversupply by pumping on top of breastfeeding, resulting in the milk piling up in the fridge. It sounds like you can just go ahead and nurse... and gradually cut back on the pumping. Gradually is the key, you don't want to have plugged ducts, engorgement, mastitis. Like slowly cut out one pumping session at a time, or gradually decreasing how much you pump each session. If you pump right after she nurses, that might help with not offering an "empty" breast. Note, however, that the breast is never empty, even immediately after a pumping session.

    I don't know that much about tongue ties, but I agree that it would be good to get all that re-evaluated, including the latch.

    A ten-month-old will be drinking between 24 and 32 oz of milk per 24 hours - somewhere in that range. You say she will never take more than 3-4 ounces - well that's perfectly normal! That is a normal amount for a breastfed baby. Breastfed babies will continue to feed frequently, in small amounts, throughout infancy - a bit different from formula-fed babies, who will start to drink more out of the bottle, and spaced apart. So to get to the 24-32 ounces, a typical breastfed baby will usually nurse at least 8 times per 24 hours, but could be up to 10 or 12 times or even more. Perfectly normal! This isn't "snacking," it's just normal breastfed baby behavior, and you don't have to try to change it. Offering frequently is great; continue to do that. Also, it's really normal for 10-month-olds to be super-distractible, not want to nurse much during the day (so much else to do!), and to nurse a lot at night. You can encourage daytime nursing by going into a quiet, dark, boring room. Although even then some babies this age have trouble settling down for a nursing session. It's fine for them to nurse more at night. (Well, fine for them anyway - a bit tiring for mama, but it sounds like you understand that and are okay with it, which is great!) How do you know she's getting enough? Same way you always have. Watch the diaper output and weight gain. If those are on track, she's getting enough. If not, you might want to continue to offer EBM in a bottle after first letting her nurse. It would probably be a good idea to have someone helping you, like an IBCLC or your pediatrician/GP, while you're going through this process, to make sure everything is on track.

    In terms of breastfeeding and solids, up to a year, solids are for learning - tastes, textures, motor skills. Your milk is her primary source of nutrition. BLW is great. Nurse before solids to ensure that milk remains the primary nutrition. If she eats, great. If she plays with her food - fine! No need to switch to spoon feeding.

    You're doing great mama!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Transitioning to EBF at 10 months.

    Thanks so much for the great reply. I suppose a lot of it is trust and confidence but after so my set-backs it's tough. The tongue was never clipped as the doctor said it would cause more damage than good as it was more of a fleshy, tight connection to the lower palette and short tongue rather than a standard TT.

    In the beginning I could not see her tongue protruding over her bottom lip during bf but now I can, more when latched on the left boob.

    I know that pumping will still be part of my day especially with teething and her busy age so I will have to see how I can plan things and try and see if I can figure out her pattern.

    How would I go about reducing my pumping sessions now. Do I reduce time or frequency?

    I am wondering to just offer one or two smaller bottles a day so she can still go off with dad for a bit.

    I think I have OBD, obsessive breastfeeding disorder. Just can let it go!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Transitioning to EBF at 10 months.

    OBD - love it! Yeah, that's normal.

    I think you could reduce either time or frequency, but it's probably easier to reduce frequency. Start with your most-hated pumping session, reduce the time on that one, then eliminate. And so forth.

    It's fine for her to have bottles with dad. But you might want to wait until you complete this transition before you do that, just so as not to confuse the picture. I mean because at this point you want to make sure things are going really well at the breast, you know? Then once you are feeling confident about that, you can go back to her having some bottles. Depending on where you are in the process, those might be times that you would want to pump. I mean ordinarily if baby is having a bottle, you should be pumping to make up for the missed feeding.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Transitioning to EBF at 10 months.

    Thank you everyone!

    Have started on the road of slowly reducing one pump. Still offering a bottle if I think she is hungry but she gags after one sniff, gets angry, knocks it to the floor. Have wondered about lipase but it all smells fine. I hate ALL milk so hubby does the taste testing and tried different samples. Pumped and offered milk fresh from the boob today and got the same reaction.

    I felt confident a few days back but mega distractible baby fever is on an all time high this weekend... last night until 9am were fine but the daytime feeds were a right old battle. Just not interested for more than a few minutes but also moody. Could it be teething. I had to cry today. Feel like I am losing the bf relationship we just got. I am scared if we carry on like this and I am down pumping it will not be enough to maintain a supply. I wonder if she will only drink if I have a high supply due to pumping.

    I have tried different bottles and cups today too and even water was a nightmare. If she was eating more and drinking more fluids I would still be sad but less worried. I have had 4 very wet nappies today but that tailed off by 5pm. Just slightly dampish after that.
    It is getting really warm this week and I am worried about hydration. She eats grapes like sweets so stocked up on those...

    Everyone says not to worry but I do. She is just so uninterested and only had a quick slurp before she fell asleep tonight.

    The worst part is sitting here pumping each time knowing it won't be drank. I hoped to start donating but can't due to a blood transfusion 2 years ago. I would gladly give my freezer stash to a needy mom! Sigh...

    Well just going to plod on and work on not stressing and enjoying my DD. any tips or advice would be gladly appreciated.

    Thanks Sarah.

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