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Thread: Did I miss the milk-supply window? 8 weeks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Did I miss the milk-supply window? 8 weeks

    My son had an undiagnosed mild tongue tie, which was caught and clipped at 8 weeks (this past Thurs.). Prior to this, nursing was going okay. I had some soreness. He nursed 10+ times a day, but he tired out easily, usually after the first let-down. I didn't think there was a problem until he stopped gaining weight around 5 weeks. Doc suggested I supplement and referred me to a specialist to clip the tongue tie. I have been giving 4-6oz in 1 oz increments via SNS prr day (here and there I have been giving a bottle). My older daughter also stopped gaining weight around 6 weeks, which makes me wonder if I have insufficient glandular tissue (I have some of the outward signs). Or if she had an undiagnosed tongue tie as well.

    Anyway, my question is- is there a window of time, up to 8 weeks, where your milk glands are stimulated, and if they aren't, you can't produce past a certain amount? I believe my son wasn't effectively removing all my milk due to the tongue tie, so I wonder if my max capacity, so to speak, has been set at a lower level. When I saw an LC with my daughter, she told me this, and encouraged me to supplement.

    Now that my son is latching deeper and I feel no soreness post clipping, I wonder if I can try weaning the supplements. But I don't want to try it if it is probably too late to build a bigger supply. Here are the weight checks, if it matters- He wasn't a fast gainer before I supplemented either.
    birth 7lb 12 oz
    3 days 7lb 6oz
    10 days 7lb 10oz
    3 weeks 7lb 15oz
    7 weeks 8lb 10oz (started supplements after this weight check)
    8 weeks 9lb 1 oz
    9 weeks 9lb 6oz (today, tongue tie fixed 3 days ago)

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Did I miss the milk-supply window? 8 weeks

    You're not using a ton of supplements - baby's probably getting around 80% of his milk from you. My guess is that with a little effort you probably could eliminate the supplements. Definitely worth a try at least! Are you pumping at all when supplementing?

    Here's an article from kelly mom about weaning from supplements:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/

    Of course you'll want to keep a close eye on weight gain and diapers as you do this. It looks like in that last week baby gained 5 oz which is on track (http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/, even without a full week post-clipping. So I think that's very encouraging. And it's great that latch is improving.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: Did I miss the milk-supply window? 8 weeks

    There is no window of opportunity for creating adequate supply. It is certainly a little easier to build supply in the first few weeks/months after birth, but it's not impossible thereafter. Remember, after the first few days, milk supply is literally in your head! Stimulation of the breast by nursing or pumping sends a message to the pituitary gland in the brain, causing the pituitary to pump out prolactin, which signals the breast to make milk. Want to make more milk? In general the best way to go about it is to give your pituitary more signal by nursing or pumping more.

    I think it's a great idea to work on weaning off the supplements at this point.
    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
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Did I miss the milk-supply window? 8 weeks

    Thanks so much for the responses- very encouraging! I am pumping about once a day, usually after the morning feed when he takes a good nap. It is so difficult to coordinate pumping after feedings when I have a 3 year old to take care of on top of his erratic schedule.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Did I miss the milk-supply window? 8 weeks

    It is hard to pump on top of taking care of a newborn and a 3-year-old! A lot of moms worry about being "empty" if baby wants to nurse right after pumping. The lactating breast is never empty though - at most baby just has to nurse longer to get all the milk he wants - which of course is great for further stimulating supply.

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