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Thread: Giving bottles / supply questions

  1. #1

    Default Giving bottles / supply questions

    Hello all

    I have a 5 month old and for the past month or so I have started giving him a bottle of ebm once a day. I have done this so that he gets used to taking a bottle so that i can have some freedom from him once in a while and don't have to worry that he will starve! I also find it easier to bottle feed him in public as he such a nosy nurser that feeding him out and about is nearly impossible! I want to continue giving him a bottle a day as in the past when I do it infrequently he has not stopped taking it.

    My question is... Will expressing once a day affect my supply? I usually do it for his midday feed. I am wondering if the pump is not as affective at removing milk as my baba is that going to mean that if for one day I breastfeed for this midday feed he won't get enough from me? I usually express between 3-4oz.

    Also if I have a couple of days where I don't express will my milk dry up? If we are out and about and I give him a bottle, I don't express. I know that if its once in a while it won't matter but am wondering if it was for a couple of days do I risk my supply? I heard from someone that after 3 months if you loose your supply you can't get it back again.

    Would love to hear people's advice/ experiences.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: Giving bottles / supply questions

    Any time you pump rather than nursing, there is potential for your supply to be affected; as you said, the pump is not as effective at removing milk as the baby. How likely is it that what you're doing will cause a problem? Not very. Your baby is 5 months old, which means your supply is probably pretty stable and your baby is an able nurser who can make up for supply dips by nursing more and draining the breast more thoroughly. And you're pumping just 1x per day, rather than relying heavily on the pump, and the amount you are pumping is good.

    Now, if you skip pumping sessions, the potential is much higher for you to have a decrease in supply. Again, doing this once in a while- almost surely not a big deal. Doing it several days in a row... That could cause you a short-term problem, which your baby would likely remedy by nursing more. If you are going to be out and want to use a bottle and not pump, that's probably okay- just don't make a habit of it and nurse or pump ASAP. And if you find that your supply is dippi due to skipped nursing/pumping sessions, then find another way to manage your outings.

    It is completely untrue that if you lose your supply after 6 months, it's irretreivable. Milk supply can be increased at any time. My mom was actually forced to wean my sister at 3 months due to some bad medical advice. She was unable to maintain supply by expressing, and did not have a pump, and consequently her milk dried up competely within a few weeks. She was given the go-ahead to nurse again at 6 months, and solely by allowing my sister to nurse, she managed to regain a full milk supply and nurse my sister until 18 months.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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