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Thread: Low Milk supply @ end of day

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default Low Milk supply @ end of day

    I have been breast feeding and pumping for my baby boy for 5 months now. He gets three 4 oz bottles while I'm at work, and I nurse him on demand while home.
    I have tried pumping in the evening after his last feeding and sometimes I get NOTHING at all! During work I pump every 3 hours and usually get 1.5-2 oz's out of each breast. Is this normal to be completely empty at the end of the day? I have been drinking mother's milk tea for the past week ad that hasnt seemed to help. is there a way i can produce more milk at work also? He does nurse 2-3 times a night as well.
    Also, my MIL seems to think the 4 oz bottles are not enough. She claims he is still hungry because he keeps sucking on the bottle after the milk is gone. He is with his dad all day and my husband says he is fine with 4 ozs, but I worry and would never want my baby to go hungry. He does get a jar of baby food around 530 pm and we are going to start giving him another in the morning.
    And finally, he has recently started waking up 6 times a night. He isn't always nursing every time but I'm concerned as to why all of a sudden he would start doing this? Any advice would be helpful, I'm at my wits end, it's been a long road with breast feeding so far and I plan on going until he is ready to stop.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,476

    Default Re: Low Milk supply @ end of day

    I have tried pumping in the evening after his last feeding and sometimes I get NOTHING at all! During work I pump every 3 hours and usually get 1.5-2 oz's out of each breast. Is this normal to be completely empty at the end of the day? I have been drinking mother's milk tea for the past week ad that hasnt seemed to help. is there a way i can produce more milk at work also? He does nurse 2-3 times a night as well.
    Being able to pump 2-4 ounces per session is entirely normal. Many moms cannot pump that much, and it is not uncommon for a mom to need to pump 1.5 to 2 times to make enough for one bottle. That said, there are many ways to try to increase what you can pump at work. I think kellymom has good articles on this. Also it is vital to regularly trouble shoot your pump, change the membranes, etc. Pumps can and do malfunction and wear out. You can consider a stronger dose of herbal galactagogues as well, a capsule or tincture rather than tea, and/or, a different blend.

    As far as the lack of pump output at night, I would suggest see if there is any way to NOT pump when at home with baby and in particular, not at night. You are workign so hard for your baby and your job. Your body needs time to rest and relax and you need this time to nurse, reconnect with and enjoy your baby. Milk production does typically tend to slow in the evening and then increases overnight and in the morning. If you absolutely must pump while home with baby in order to have enough for when you are at work, I suggest try pumping in the morning or pump a few times each weekend/days off. And keep it to a minimum.

    Also, my MIL seems to think the 4 oz bottles are not enough. She claims he is still hungry because he keeps sucking on the bottle after the milk is gone. He is with his dad all day and my husband says he is fine with 4 ozs, but I worry and would never want my baby to go hungry.
    On the contrary, 4 ounces is on the large side for a single feeding. I don’t know how long you are at work, but it sounds as if baby gets 12 ounces of milk each day via bottles? As long as baby continues to nurse fairly frequently at night the rule of thumb would be baby gets 1 to 1.5 ounces of milk per hour of separation. Is it your mil or husband who is giving baby the bottle? Whoever it is, are they using paced bottle feeding techniques and cue feeding? This is important. Baby might prefer slightly smaller bottles given more frequently, or bottle 'meals' of varying sizes. Assuming baby is gaining and growing normally all is well with intake. Baby probably continues to suck on the bottle because baby wishes to comfort suck as he would nursing with you. So he can be comforted another way or given a pacifier.

    He does get a jar of baby food around 530 pm and we are going to start giving him another in the morning.
    I suggest, Remember that typically, solid foods are for fun and learning to bite, move food around in the mouth, chew, and swallow at this age. Ounce per ounce breastmilk is far more calorie and nutritionally dense than most baby foods. In other words, be careful about baby filling up on baby food and not wanting as much breastmilk. When this happens it can possibly impact milk production and even weight gain.

    And finally, he has recently started waking up 6 times a night. He isn't always nursing every time but I'm concerned as to why all of a sudden he would start doing this?
    Night wakings/nursings increase for many reasons. Teething pain or some other discomfort, tummy pain or gas (did this start after the intro of solids?) illness or fighting off illness, growth spurt, new milestones, an upsetting or overstimulating day, a day with too many (or too few) naps, etc. etc. Many babies who are separated from mom during the day nurse more frequently at night, presumably because they need that closeness with mom. Nursing overnight is good for milk production although of course tiring for mom.

    The hard fact is it can be difficult to maintain normal milk production when you are away from baby and pumping part time rather than nursing full time. So it is important to minimize the impact of other potential barriers to continued normal milk production, like over feeding with bottles, to early or too fast introduction of solids, and baby sleeping long stretches at night.
    Kelly mom increasing pump output article: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/p...ping_decrease/

    Paced bottle feeding

    Information sheet: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs (Don’t worry about what she says about time between feeds- typically, best to cue feed whether nursing or bottles.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,005

    Default Re: Low Milk supply @ end of day

    with LLLMeg.
    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
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Low Milk supply @ end of day

    Thank you for the reply. I do try not to pump on the weekends when I'm at home with him. To be honest I hate my pump and anytime I can take a break from it and nurse I do. The only reason I was going to pump in the evening is to have milk to mix with his rice cereal.
    My husband is the one feeding him his bottle but a few times my MIL has watched him and EVERYTIME I see her she must tell us how hungry he is and that 4 ozs isn't enough. It's very frustrating. My husband says he will take 4 oz every 2.5-3 hours just fine and doesn't seem hungry in between.
    As for the baby food his pediatrician suggested we start him just to practice but that breastmilk is the most important and main form of nutrition right now. He has started waking more frequently since starting solids and does seem gassier and fussier. I also think he is teething because he drools all over himself and gums my hand/knuckles very hard

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    514

    Default Re: Low Milk supply @ end of day

    Is your LO 5 months old? If so, that is earlier than the AAP suggests starting solid foods, though most pediatricians seem to continue to advise parents to follow the antiquated rice-cereal-at-4-months timeline. Your pediatrician was very correct in that rice cereal provides very little nutrition and is just a spoon feeding practice tool. If you think it is making him fussy and gassy, then stop, and try it again at a later time. His belly might not be ready for it yet.

    If I were you, I would tell your MIL that you don't want to hear any more opinions about bottle feeding, in a nice way, of course. Your husband thinks he is doing fine and is handling the bottle feeding well. MIL doesn't need to be planting seeds of doubt in your mind, or your husband's mind. Sometimes people give advice that they think will be helpful, but it is hurtful, and you should feel free to tell them to cut it out.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

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