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Thread: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old baby?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old baby?

    Dear mamas,

    I know there are a lot of resources out there for mamas who are trying to increase their milk supply by pumping or taking lactation supplements. But I see that most articles and forums are for moms with babies who are under 3 months of age (I may be wrong here). So I had a very basic question. Is it possible to bring back supply at 5 months?

    Since the body learns how much to make at 3 months and after that milk supply is a demand-supply phenomenon (and presumably not controlled a whole lot by hormones anymore), if I have lost some supply AFTER the 3-month mark, is it still possible to increase supply now (baby is now 5 months old?).

    Baby is very distracted these days and feeds for like 3min at the most until she moves on to observing the creases on my shirt (or playing with my boobs sometimes!!). And I KNOW she has left a lot of milk behind. I try to get her back to the breast after sometime, but she cries. Sometimes I'm able to pump to make up for not emptying the breasts well, but most of the time I'm not. My supply has now reduced somewhat.

    Can I still pump and bring the supply back up (or have I started to "lose the hormones" since it's 5 months pp?). I'm wondering if I may have to EP at this rate (I'd hate to do that).

  2. #2
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    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/
    It is possible to increase supply at almost any point. However, I'm wondering if your supply is really low or if the typical decrease from newborn oversupply to perfect supply for your baby's demand has you worried. Many babies are very efficient at this age and do not feed for long sessions. How many times during the day does she nurse, even just for a few minutes and does she nurse overnight? How are wet diapers and weight gain?

  3. #3
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*zaynethepain View Post
    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/
    It is possible to increase supply at almost any point. However, I'm wondering if your supply is really low or if the typical decrease from newborn oversupply to perfect supply for your baby's demand has you worried. Many babies are very efficient at this age and do not feed for long sessions. How many times during the day does she nurse, even just for a few minutes and does she nurse overnight? How are wet diapers and weight gain?
    Thanks for taking the time to respond, zaynethepain!

    I have read the Kellymom article you shared and am aware that I have lost the "over" part of the oversupply of the first few months. My current concern is that my "supply" itself may not be enough for LO, partly thanks to her not feeding so well in the last few weeks (after her weight was checked). The weird thing is that her weight gain has been fine so far, but she doesn't have enough wet diapers - I have no idea what that means!! Obviously the morning diapers (maybe about 2) are heavy and the evening ones (another 2) are superlight. The doctor also asked us to start solids since she seemed hungry after drinking milk at night too. Sure enough, she wolves down the solids after feeds. And she's been finding it painful to pass stools, I think it's because she's not getting/taking in enough milk (or is slightly dehydrated). I do think my supply has dropped somewhat. It's not concerningly low, but I do want to give it a boost. She does nurse overnight about 2-3 times, but even then it's only for a few minutes and she then nods off. I'd say that including night times she nurses about 8 - 10 times.

    The Kellymom article you shared (with tips to increase supply) also seems to be for newer moms - that's the impression I get -- am I wrong then? Can I still give my supply a good boost? It would also be ideal if I can pump a decent amount after a feed so I can freeze it or mix it with her cereal. I'm willing to do the pumping work.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    NY
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    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    Supply can definitely be boosted with more nursing. My baby is over a year old but each time he is teething he nurses for much longer than usual (because sucking is comforting to his gums) and therefore I get much fuller. It's interesting that this still happens even when he's at this age!

    I found my baby was SUCH a distracted eater at that age! I know what it's like. I can only nurse him then in a quiet darkish room with the door closed and no sounds. If my husband would call out to me, he knew that if I didn't answer him I was nursing our baby!

    Diapers don't have to be soaking, according to my baby's pedi. They just need to be noticeably wet each time you change (every 3-4 hrs or so).

    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,360

    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    with the excellent advice above. I just want to point out that the reason that many increase-your-supply resources are geared to moms with younger babies is that so few moms in our society make it past the early stages of breastfeeding. By the time you have been nursing for 5 months, you are in a select club of moms who are generally quite successful and relatively confident in their ability to breastfeed.
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    Both my boys went through very distracted phases at that age. I hope it's the same for you and her behavior changes in a few weeks. I do agree that a quiet room or sometimes a sling can be very helpful. Any removal of milk stimulates supply so if you feel like pumping is feasible, then it will definitely help so go for it. Have you thought about using a lactation aid to supplement your milk if needed? It works for some mothers to remove any bottle preference and add in extra breast stimulation but others find it a hassle.
    Was she having stool issues before starting solids? Not many of your average first baby foods come anywhere close to the nutrient or calorie density of breastmilk. It's generally recommended to increase bm and decrease solids. Or at least focus on naturally laxative foods: plums, pears, apricots, prunes, kiwi. Sweet potato, cereal, apples, and banana are all constipating. For what it's worth my son can't get enough solid food either since he started at 5 months but I still have way more than he needs so it's not a definite that liking solid food equals low supply.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    @ruchiccio: That's exactly my problem! My LO is barely on the breast and is always excited about looking around! I can only achieve it with pumping I guess. But good to know that I can get it back. I do the SAME thing btw! Darken the room and not reply to anyone who calls out to me (my mom or husband) and they understand

    Also, thanks for answering the biggest question on my mind -- that supply can still be boosted at this stage
    Last edited by @llli*toastedpea; December 16th, 2014 at 11:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    @zaynethepain, LO was having some stool issues before solids as well. Stools have always been preceded by a lot of crying. That's great that you have more than your son needs. Is this because you have a naturally good supply or are you doing something to keep it up??

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is it possible to increase milk supply for a 5-mo old ba

    It's a combination of things but I also had oversupply with my first so it's mostly natural.

    Otherwise, I'm tandem nursing so while my youngest gets priority, my eldest does nurse several times a day (getting too be very short sessions though-woohoo! ). You could recreate that extra stimulation with a pump though. When my baby was first a newborn, he nursed all day long. As in every 20 minutes to an hour and I let him nurse in his sleep for as long as he wished during nap times. That, plus the toddler, made for an ample supply that keeps the flow fast so he gets a lot out quickly which helps when he's really distracted. It really hurts when he pops off before the let down though.

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