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Thread: 10m and I think it might be over :(

  1. #1

    Default 10m and I think it might be over :(

    So i'm a long time lurker here, but never posted. But I'm just about at my end here, and i need to vent and get some advice.

    My son is 10m old. We've been BF since birth, with solids introduced at 6m. He's up to 3 meals a day now with sometimes a snack, and loves his solids. He's a little guy, only 14% or so at his 9m appt, and when I weighed him last week he was still at 17 .5lbs, so probably a little lower % now. His doc has never been concerned even when he went from 50%->20% in 2m-6m, because she said he's clearly developing well, happy, just on "his own curve." She's always been very supportive of anything I want to do with BF, solids, formula, whatever. Of course I'm always sensitive of his weight though.

    I went back to work at 3m and at first had a major oversupply and was pumping 18oz a day while he ate 12-16oz. Around 6m this went down a bit, and I was pumping 12-14oz a day and he started eating 12oz regularly (morning, lunch, afternoon 4oz bottles). Around 8m my supply REALLY started struggling, and most days I was only getting 10oz, so I started fenugreek/blessed thistle (which never seemed to help much) and waking myself up in the middle of the night to pump since he sleeps through the night and it was the best way to make up for the missing milk. That plus extra pumping on the weekend helped me maintain my 12oz with only dipping into the freezer a bit.

    At his 9m, my pediatrician said to give up the night pumping to keep myself sane, and that it should be perfectly fine to drop down to 2 4oz bottles at daycare and just make sure to nurse when I get home. She said if we wanted to try a few oz of whole milk (not as a supplement but just to get used to it) so we can transition right at 12m we can. My plan was to struggle through with the night pumping to 10m (he just hit 10m yesterday), then sometime soon drop to 2 bottles at daycare, and around 11m start experimenting with whole milk (we have vacation and lots of holiday in Dec, so he'll be with me or family a lot, not too much daycare).

    My plan was always to make it to 12m, and then pump wean with whole milk at daycare lunch, and then nurse morning and evenings with him. This was my goal, my reward... no counting oz, no pumps, just me and my little guy snuggling and nursing for enjoyment and "extra bonus" with no stress.

    But this weekend I got the stomach flu. I tried to nurse through it, but was so weak I could barely sit (he doesnt like side lying) and my husband ended up giving him a bottle of formula saturday. Yesterday I was feeling better, trying to rehydrate, but it was completely clear he was not getting enough. After multiple attempts at nursing we gave him a bottle, and he wolfed down 3oz. Same thing later in the evening... another 4oz wolfed down. I know supplementing when you're trying to get your supply up is BAD. But he's older now, he won't put up with no milk from boobs. He gets mad and pinches/bites (which he normally never does), and fusses. He just sat there screaming and crying at me and I COULDN'T keep him hungry like that. He's normally the happiest little guy ever and doesn't cry unless he NEEDS something. I've had trouble pumping enough for daycare for awhile now but this is the first time he's been clearly unsatisfied when nursing (normally weekends/work from home days he's totally content at breast).

    Today he's at daycare so I can rest, and we sent him with the milk I had from friday, but only had 2 bottles, so we're picking him up early. I'm trying to pump but so far I've only gotten .5oz when I pump. Weakest let down ever. I'm supposed to be resting but now all I can think about is how we'll never make it to 12m. I only have about 24oz in the freezer, because I used up most of my supply when I had to go away for a night a few months ago.

    I'm afraid the supply won't come back... and I don't know what to do. Every time it's dipped since 6m, it won't come back. I can't keep him hungry. I don't know if it's worth it to keep going. Maybe I should send formula to daycare, and try to nurse morning/night like I had planned at 12m? But I won't know if he's getting enough when he's nursing, and I don't know how much to send. Formula bottles are bigger, I don't know how much he'll need. I hate this. On the one hand, I don't want to sabatogize us by supplementing TOO much, but on the other, I worry that I'm keeping him from the nutrients he needs because I'm too stubborn to just give up and move to formula.

    I should be napping and resting before he gets home in a few hours but all I can think about is milk and bottles and formula and crying.
    Last edited by @llli*alski; October 21st, 2013 at 12:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    Welcome to the forum, mama! I'm so sorry about the pump slump. A lot of moms find that pump output declines significantly in the 8-10 month range. Maybe because the baby is nursing less as solids start to cut into his breastmilk intake, or as he just becomes too busy to nurse. Or maybe because pumps wear down after heavy use. Anyway, combine the common slump issues with the stomach flu... No wonder your supply went down.

    In order to get supply back, you have to convince your body that there is a ton of demand. You do that baby increasing the frequency and completeness of milk removal. Every time you really drain the breast as much as possible, that's a cue to your body to make more milk. So check your pump, make sure it's in prime working order and that the shields are correctly sized. Maybe consider bumping up to a hospital-grade rental pump for a while. And use the pump frequently, both day and night. Your doctor told you it was "perfectly fine" to ditch the nighttime pumps, but i think she should have told you that ditching nighttime pumping/feeding is not something that ALL moms can do. Some moms- particularly working moms- really do need to keep the nighttime stimulation going in order to ensure good daytime supply.

    Don't get too discouraged, mama. If you have to use some formula, that's okay!!! Think of it as something that may be necessary in order to get you over the hump as you rebuild supply. And also remember that you are SO close to your 12 month goal. If it takes a little formula to get you there, that's really fine. Giving your baby mostly breastmilk with some supplemental formula at 10 months- not many moms make it that far, particularly when they are working.
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    Definitely try a few simple pumping rehab measures, like changing out membranes, and possibly valves and flanges. And pump as you can (if you can continue with the nighttime pumping I agree that would be beneficial, especially now) but definitely nurse as much as you can too, as that will generally stimulate your supply more than pumping. I realize right now that that LO is not happy with your lower supply, but I think if you pump and get the supply back up somewhat he will get back on the breast. But you might want to limit how much he gets at one time with formula so that it more closely mimics what he gets at the breast. And use breastfeeding-friendly bottle-feeding techniques, as described in these links:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    And if baby continues refusing the breast, here are some tips for dealing with that:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    And I definitely agree that even if you can't get your supply back up to where it was, that does not mean that end of your nursing relationship. Remember what baby is going through right now is a STRIKE, not weaning, and usually baby can be brought back to the breast when there is a strike. And even if he does need a bit of formula during the day, you should be able to continue nursing when you are together for as long as mutually desirable. Hang in there mama, you've done wonderfully well so far!

  4. #4

    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    hi guys!
    thanks for your replies!
    it actually got worse today. I was home 8-3:30 and tried to hardcore hydrate, oatmeal, and pump. I only ever got .25 - .5 oz each type i pumped.
    i only sent 2 bottles to daycare and husband picked him up early today to bring him. he refused to nurse so after waiting til 5:30 i gave him a bottle of formula and pumped. he wolfed down the bottle (at least he cuddled with me while he drank it like nursing) and i only got about 1oz pumping (it had been 4.5hrs since i last pumped because i had fallen asleep right before he got home).

    now my flu feelings are back and i'm feeling lost. i'm about to go nurse him before bed but i feel like it's hopeless. on top of that, his daycare sheet had weird oz reportings (said 2oz on one bottle when I know i sent 4oz) so i can't even trust that they are treating it as precious as it takes me to make. they are a good daycare and his teacher loves him so i'm sure it was no big deal but it's just hard to feel like all this heartache might not even be going to him.

    so now im thinking about sending formula to daycare, maybe pumping still as much as i was and hoping it goes up, and sending the milk for one of his bottles or sending them to my moms (she has him on thurs and i know she will take care of it like it should).

    just feeling so bummed. i'm trying but i just dont think it's going to work. feels like if i was a good mom i'd be home with him instead of working, and this pumping business never would have been an issue.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    When you are away from baby each day, how long is that separation? I do not understand why 10 ounces per day was considered inadequate pump output.

    When you say baby sleeps overnight, how long a time is that?

    Forget pumping for a minute- was/is nursing an unhappy or difficult experience for you prior to being ill? If so, that is an important issue to figure out.

    for now, I would suggest that if you really do not have enough milk right now, it is almost surely due to the illness and dehydration and is temporary. You can keep nursing AND supplement (if supplementing is needed.) When you are rehydrated & feeling better your milk production should jump back but as mommal says, nursing and or pumping would be needed to help do that. If you then find you still need to supplement, ok. I would certainly argue that preserving the nursing relationship overall is number one. if that means baby gets some formula because mom cannot keep up with the pumping or cannot nurse temporarliy for whatever reason, ok.

    Behavior aside (and there are many, many reasons the behavior you are describing could be happening) It really does not sound to me as if your child is starving or anything like it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    Oh ok just saw your last post which came in while I was typing before.

    have you considered that your pump is not performing adequately?

  7. #7

    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    He wouldn't nurse before bed. Put him down and he cried til I brought him a bottle. I gave it to him curled up against my breast and when he finished half the bottle he pulled away and did like 30s of nursing and passed out. Broke my heart to feel him nurse and then stop.

    Anyway my work schedule is usually drop off at 8a, pick up 5-5:30. So 12oz was right around 1.5oz/hr. I thought this was good especially because he normally sleeps 7:30p-6:30a without feeding. So he has 2-3 nursing sessions and 3 bottles at daycare. It seemed to follow the Kelly mom calculator.

    I only started waking to pump about 2m ago when my suppy started going below 8-10oz a day. I think the doc was just saying that it would be ok to go down to only 8oz for him at daycare with the assumption he would just nurse more in the evening. So that's why I could drop the night pump which was helping boost to 12oz/day.

    As for pump I know it's not bad. I got a new pump about 2 months ago. I change the membranes often and changed them again last night. It's possible a hospital grade might help so I might look into that. But replacing the pump didnt help at all.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    Oh and the bottles of formula I've been giving have been 4oz which is same as his pumped bottles were. I know if we switch more full time formula he probably needs more but I didn't want to get him used to bigger ones yet.

    I've been trying to either attempt to nurse first and/or pump when I give him a bottle to stimulate, but it's hard because of the flu and energy levels.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    Are you using hormonal contraception? Some moms find that there's a negative effect on supply even for the supposedly breastfeeding-friendly options (e.g. Mirena, the minipill).

    Having a baby who is a "good" sleeper is sometimes unfriendly to breastfeeding, particularly when mom is at work. All those hours of no milk removal, no stimulation- it can affect your daytime supply, particularly if you are relying primarily on the pump, rather than the baby, during the day.

    Would you be willing to take the baby into bed with you and nurse at night? A lot of babies who resist nursing during the day will nurse at night, when they are too sleepy and too relaxed to fight. Night nursing might remind baby why nursing is fun, and make him more likely to continue on during the day. And night nursing might also help bump up your daytime supply. Of course, it means giving up some sleep, which I know is not easy for any mom, particularly one who must function at work during the day.
    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!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 10m and I think it might be over :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*alski View Post
    He wouldn't nurse before bed. Put him down and he cried til I brought him a bottle. I gave it to him curled up against my breast and when he finished half the bottle he pulled away and did like 30s of nursing and passed out. Broke my heart to feel him nurse and then stop.

    Anyway my work schedule is usually drop off at 8a, pick up 5-5:30. So 12oz was right around 1.5oz/hr. I thought this was good especially because he normally sleeps 7:30p-6:30a without feeding. So he has 2-3 nursing sessions and 3 bottles at daycare. It seemed to follow the Kelly mom calculator.

    I only started waking to pump about 2m ago when my suppy started going below 8-10oz a day. I think the doc was just saying that it would be ok to go down to only 8oz for him at daycare with the assumption he would just nurse more in the evening. So that's why I could drop the night pump which was helping boost to 12oz/day.

    As for pump I know it's not bad. I got a new pump about 2 months ago. I change the membranes often and changed them again last night. It's possible a hospital grade might help so I might look into that. But replacing the pump didnt help at all.
    So, remember the rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 oz per hour apart. So while 12 is within that range, so is 9 oz. And even 8 oz would be fine, IF baby is doing lots of nursing the rest of the time. But I agree with mommal, that very long stretch of sleep is a red flag - which I think was why you were favoring more during the day too, right? Is cosleeping an option, as she suggests? Or at least having baby nearby in your room? Or doing a dream feed before you go to bed?

    There are moms who notice a difference going from a high-quality personal use double-electric to the hospital grade, so that is something to consider.

    The return of your flu-like symptoms, coupled with baby nursing less, makes me wonder whether you might have a touch of mastitis?

    I see no reason to increase the amount of formula in the bottle. Just because babies WILL take more out of the bottle - whether breastmilk or formula - does not mean they NEED it. What happens is babies start drinking more out of the bottle because it's there and it's easy, and then it becomes a habit for them to get bigger bottles. But I think it would be better for your breastfeeding relationship to continue to try to mimic what's happening at the breast, with smaller bottles.

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