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Thread: Supply decreasing so close to deadline

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy Supply decreasing so close to deadline

    Hello,

    I am a first time mom who has been breast feeding for 10 months and 3 weeks. My goal was to fully stop at 12 months, but my supply seems to be fading fast. I have tried continuous feedings, increase in my drinking of water, as well as consuming oatmeal every day for breakfast. Nothing seems to work. I am concerned because I would rather stick it out, than to have to go to formula, or start him on cows milk too soon. Any tips on how I can correct this? or some advice on my alternatives? Very torn :/
    Thanks for listening! Look forward to your replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Supply decreasing so close to deadline

    hi mama! congrats on making it so far. a few questions?

    how do you know your supply is 'fading fast'? is baby fully breastfed, or are you pumping and he's getting bottles some? how much and how often? is baby eating or drinking anything besides breastmilk? how is baby's weight gain? what do you mean by 'continuous feedings'?
    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 2006
    Posts
    19,905

    Default Re: Supply decreasing so close to deadline

    What she said.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Supply decreasing so close to deadline

    Hey, Thanks for your reply!

    Per my pediatrician, my son was to eat 3 meals a day (baby food) and have 3 bottles of milk after each feeding. I only supply bottles (usually 5-6oz - I had a stash which is basically gone) when I am leaving my home to run errands or when I leave him with a sitter, otherwise he drinks from my breast. I no longer produce enough to pump (maybe an ounce total after each feeding) where it used to be 5 every time. When I am home all day I try to feed him as much as I can (what I meant by continuously) to increase my supply. He doesn't really seem to stay focused. He gets distracted very easily, and doesn't stay on either breast long, and when I try to pump out whatever I can afterwards, I really get very little. His weight gain does not seem to be affected. He seems to be on target, but he is eating solids.
    He is very good at drinking from my breasts in the mornings, but the rest of the day it is sporadic with no set schedule, just whatever he wants to take (which seems very little). I am conflicted because I would rather breastfeed than provide cows milk or formula, because I know that is whats best. I am struggling, and have done all the "tricks" I was told to do, but have not seen any results in weeks. :/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,924

    Default Re: Supply decreasing so close to deadline

    Hi mama, as long as you are feeding your LO on demand, and he is gaining weight appropriately (which it sounds like he is), then everything is fine. Before a year, breastmilk is the mainstay of baby's nutrition. Solids are to get baby used to the new tastes, textures and motor skills which accompany non-breastmilk foods. After a year, solids gradually make up more and more of baby's nutrition, and breastmilk becomes complementary. To avoid solids playing too big a role prior to a year, many recommend nursing baby BEFORE solids in an infant who is less than a year old. And sometimes baby is also thirsty after the meal, so certainly fine to offer the breast after the meal as well.
    I don't understand your pediatrician's recommendation to give a bottle of breastmilk after each feeding - perhaps you can clarify what he/she has in mind with that recommendation? Normally there is really no need for a mother who is breastfeeding on demand to pump in addition. Yes, a mother who is apart from baby during the day, to go to work for example, needs to pump to maintain her supply and to provide baby with milk during the separation. Or in your case, perhaps occasionally when you leave baby with a sitter (although many babies this age are fine waiting for you to come back, providing the separation isn't particularly lengthy). But there is no need for you to pump instead of nursing when you are together with baby. And if you are nursing on demand, at this point in your nursing relationship your supply should be well-matched to baby's demand. Which could be one reason you don't get much out when you try to pump. Or it could be that your pump isn't that great. Either way, your pump output says nothing about your supply, which based on baby's appropriate weight gain, sounds fine. Also, it is completely normal for a baby this age to be distractible. You can try nursing baby in a dimly lit, quiet, boring spot to try to minimize distractions. Even then some babies this age don't nurse much during the day and make up for it by nursing a lot at night. Tiring for mama but just fine for baby. Keep doing what you're doing mama! It sounds like you are doing great. Feed on demand, offer often.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,905

    Default Re: Supply decreasing so close to deadline

    This doesn't sound like a supply problem. More of a breastfeeding management problem...? It seems like your pediatrician has you pushing solids harder than you need to be- at this age, solids should be for fun, and they shouldn't be given in quantities that cause the baby to nurse less. Nor should you need to supply breastmilk bottles with meals- it's so much simpler and easier to nurse!

    Pumping 5 oz after a feeding is not normal supply. It's oversupply. Once supply and demand have adjusted to be well-matched, most moms will pump 1-2 oz are feedings, at most. A lot won't be able to pump anything at all. If you're having trouble getting enough for bottles to leave with the sitter, try one of 2 things:
    - pumping 1x per day at the same time every day for several days in a row, and see if the added stimulation increases supply at that time
    - pumping after several feedings per day at more random times- more stimulation over all should result in greater supply and easier pumping

    Definitely try the anti-distraction measures that the PP mentioned. A dark, quiet bedroom is a great place to nurse!
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Supply decreasing so close to deadline

    also remember that as babies get bigger they get MUCH more efficient, so he could be taking a full feeding in just 5 minutes at the breast! short nursing session does not necessarily indicate low supply.

    i think if you want to continue to 12 months (and the recommendations around 12 months are to BEGIN weaning then, not END weaning then), you might simply back off on the solids a little bit - which could probably mostly be done by nursing BEFORE solids instead of after. then there is lots of advice on here about weaning, but generally you don't want to go cold turkey (either for your health or your baby's).

    good luck!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

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