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Thread: Supply Dropping - EBF 12 MO - Need Ideas

  1. #1

    Default Supply Dropping - EBF 12 MO - Need Ideas

    Hi, I could use some help or ideas. I have a 12 month old, who is EBF. I work and pump during the day and send that milk with him to school. Over the past 3 to 4 weeks, I've noticed that my milk supply is not what it was. I nurse him in the morning, then do a morning pump (2-3 hours later) where I used to get about 5-6 oz. Then I would pump 2 more times during the day before he would come home. Each of those yielding 2-3 oz. I nurse him at bedtime and offer a bottle of expressed milk because I noticed that my milk was lower at that time of the day and he would often wake up a couple of hours later and be hungry. So we introduced a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime along with a nurse and that problem was solved. I would also pump once more before I went to bed (4-5 oz). He is sleeping through the night. Over the course of the past few weeks, I've noticed each of those pumping sessions reduce by a few ounces. Morning pump is maybe 3.5 oz, afternoon pump, I can only get 1.5 oz. My bedtime pump is maybe 2.5-3 oz (just 3 nights ago I was getting almost 5). I typically was sending 12 oz of milk to school, and had a stash of over 100 oz in the freezer that has now been depleted as of last Wednesday. I try nursing with him often (as often as he wants to) he's fairly active so if milk doesn't come pretty fast, he gets frustrated and pulls off and wants to go play. I noticed that it takes much longer for a letdown now. So I keep putting him back on in hopes of having a letdown. Sometimes it works, and sometimes not. I use a Medela Symphony that I rent. Even when I'm pumping, it takes a while for a letdown. I also noticed that my left breast never feels full and it used to always pump at least 1 oz more than my right side. Now it pumps 1 oz less and just feels empty. Even in the morning when I first wake, I'm used to having a fuller feeling and that's not the case on the left side, but I can tell there's milk there on the right. I feel as though I'm not pumping enough now to send with him to school. I figured that if I can continue to nurse him when we are together that would be fine, and I would introduce cows milk, but he is absolutely not interested in cows milk. Is it possible for me to get my supply back up or are there suggestions on getting him to take cows milk? I've tried mixing it with breastmilk and that's a no-go. I'm trying to pump as often as I can right now. He's getting more solids and water and whatever milk I am able to send with him to school, and we took out the bedtime bottle, so I just nurse him. I feel like I'm working harder than I ever had to, to make sure he has milk, and I'm getting a little tired. I'd like for him to take another kind of milk during the day and then I can just nurse him in the mornings and at night. Feedback, thoughts, ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Supply Dropping - EBF 12 MO - Need Ideas

    Hi, how has your baby's growth been?

    If baby is getting solids, water, or anything else besides breastmilk, they are not "exclusively breastfed." I take it your baby IS getting soilds, as of course would be normal at this age. Can you explain in more detail what solids baby is eating, how they are given and how much baby eats each day? Also, how much water?

    How many hours is baby away from you and how much milk does baby get over that time? What else does he get? Are you sure baby is actually drinking all you send to day care? (there is not waste?)

    At this point, how many times each 24 hour day does baby nurse, and how many ounces is baby getting in bottles, and how many times you pump and how many ounces you 'get" ?

    Aside from pump output being less, what makes you think you do not make milk? How long ago did you start giving baby a bottle at night because baby woke up?

    I am not sure how concerning what you have written is. You child is a year old, and no longer needs to live on breastmilk. If baby is getting breastmilk in a reasonable amount, baby does not need any other kind of milk. Also, baby's dairy needs can be fulfilled with other sources of dairy (cheese, yogurt etc. ) Of course, many children -even those who no longer nurse- eat no dairy and get what they need nutritionally from other foods. In other words, dairy is not a requirement for a balanced, healthy diet.

    Many children have less appetite around this age. They start growing much more slowly and are far more busy, and simply do not need as much as before. This is normal.

    From what you have written, your per pump output was previously on the high side of normal. Many moms see a reduction in pump output as time goes on. This does NOT mean they do not make enough milk.

    Breasts feeling "empty" is entirely normal at this age, in fact, this typically occurs far earlier than this.

    It is normal for one breast to produce more than the other.

    If you feel you need to increase milk production, here is what I suggest:
    Stop giving baby a bottle at night, and encourage baby to nurse overnight. I think that nighttime bottle did you no favors in the milk production area. Babies normally nurse overnight right into toddlerhood, and this is particularly helpful for milk production when a mom works and is pumping during the day.

    I wonder about that large stash you worked through. If baby was getting an overabundance, daily speaking, of your milk as a supplement, (instead of nursing) that would cause baby to nurse less, again, harming milk production. So running out of that stash may help your milk production because it will encourage baby to nurse more.

    Trouble shoot pump and, if possible, add a pump session to your workday.

    Encourage baby to nurse often whenever you are with baby.

    Babies nurse for hunger, thirst and comfort. Encourage baby to nurse for all three reasons. This would mean be careful about the timing of solids (nurse before solids when you can) and especially, water. Breast milk is very hydrating, so if you are with baby to nurse, offer to nurse instead of giving baby water.

    Consider galactagogues.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; September 13th, 2015 at 10:40 AM.

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