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Thread: Enough milk

  1. #1

    Question Enough milk

    I know..I've read that it's very rare for real, inherent (not due to outside reason, but actually due to inability to produce enough) supply issues to actually happen, and I do wonder how likely it is this far down the road, but I am starting to worry. For the last week-ish, my daughter (5 mos), has been hungry just about every hour (at night we do get one 3 hr stretch followed by one to three 1-2 hr stretches). And like the frantic kind of hunger, flailing, grunting, crying as I'm pulling out my breast, freaking out while waiting for the first let down, unlatching and crying in between subsequent let downs. I've never tried to schedule or limit her; we've always fed on demand. I have not started a calorie-restricting diet (though with all this nursing, I barely find the time to eat...or do much else. Even our 2 hr daily walks have been cut to 45 min and they were so relaxing). Just now, after yet another freak out, she's semi-sleep nursing, I think she got too stressed out and just fell asleep. I'd been waiting to see of it was a growth spurt, but she's been particularly frantic as the days roll by, and I'm getting very concerned, Her diaper this morning was darker than usual.

    So, long, babbling story short, I am very worried that we've reached an age where perhaps my milk supply alone is not enough for her, and I'm thinking about supplementing maybe an ounce or two of organic formula after a feed or two a day and seeing if it helps. Do any of you have experience with this (our issues, supplementing, or both)? Any input is really appreciated. **Please refrain from berating me for considering this; I know breast is best, and if I do this I plan to make sure that my milk stays her primary source of nutrition for a while longer **
    Thank you for reading and any comments

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Enough milk

    If you could make it through the first 5 months without needing to supplement, there's no reason to think that you need to start doing so now. A breastfed baby's milk needs peak during early infancy and actually slow down a bit as time goes on and growth slows down- a fact which suprises many moms because we live in a formula-feeding society and the norm for a formula-fed baby is to eat more and more and more as the first year goes on.

    Your baby's behavior is funky but also within the normal realm for a 5 month old, who is likely to be distractable, fussy, and teething. The best way to get through it is to keep on doing what you're doing- nurse on demand, don't schedule, just keep nursing her when she fusses. I personally would also take her to the pediatrician- have someone look in her ears and make sure a stealth ear or throat infection doesn't explain the fussiness.

    If you're concerned about supply, now might also be a very good time to take an inventory of your general health. Make sure you're not pregnant- pregnancy can sink supply. If you're using a hormonal contraceptive, now might be a good time to switch to a barrier method- even the supposedly "safe for breastfeeding" hormonal contraceptives can sometimes impact milk supply. Get your thyroid tested- IMO it's a good idea for all women to have this done overs he course of the postpartum year.

    Finally, don't freak out! I know it's really hard to face a fussy baby and not think "I will do ANYTHING to make this baby happy. I will feed her formula, I would feed her a burger and fries, I would buy her a pony- just make this STOP!" But seriously, if you got her to 5 months on your milk alone, there's no reason to think that you're not enough for her now. 1 more month and you can introduce solids- that's going to take some of the pressure off you, too!

    It might help for you to post a complete weight history on your baby- that might help us pick up on any trends.

    You're doing great! Don't panic!

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