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Thread: Very distractible 4.5mo, decreasing supply?

  1. #1

    Default Very distractible 4.5mo, decreasing supply?

    Hi ladies. It has taken me long enough to join this wonderful forum, considering how many issues my beautiful boy and I have had breastfeeding since he was born! This latest one has been worrying me the most and keeping me up at night, so I'm hoping to get some advice here.

    My son is almost 5 months old and in the past few weeks, has become a very distractible nurser. I nurse in a quiet dark room, lying down on my side with him, and even then, he will gulp down the first letdown (which comes quickly) and then start getting distracted until he loses interest. He feeds for 3-5 minutes and won't take the other side. The only time I get a decent feed in is right before he falls asleep or in the middle of the night, or during a dream feed. So he's definitely capable of it.

    I think part of this is habit maybe. I had a huge oversupply and overactive letdown for the first few months. Constant engorgement, pumping 6-7oz from each breast between feeds, etc. I ended up doing 6 hourly block feeds to try and regulate and finally did around 3.5 months. This oversupply has meant that my son doubled his birth weight just before 3 months (born at 3.33kg) and currently weighs around 8.1kg. So he's thriving.

    I'm not sure if this is relevant but he had lip and tongue tie, which was revised at birth. It seems his lip tie has grown back a little bit but his latch seems ok (I am able to easily flip his lip out when he doesn't do it himself). Due to my oversupply, he's never been a comfort nurser. My right breast had an inverted nipple, which we corrected with the use of a nipple shield for the first 6 weeks. He weaned from the shield with no problems. He took a bottle a few times when he was younger but refuses it now. He just chews on the nipple; it's like he's forgotten how to suck it.

    My problem now is that there has been a decrease in his wet diaper output. His first diaper in the morning is very wet but subsequent diapers are much less wet. He has 5 a day max (no diaper changes overnight though), and they are not what I would call sopping wet and heavy like his morning diaper. On average they weigh around 100grams (20gram empty diaper). He poops once every 2 days (will do one or two big poops, recently the consistency of paste and nice and yellow), sometimes once a day. I'm terrified of him being dehydrated. Interestingly he has recently started spitting up a bit, which he never used to do. He is drooling a lot and always gnawing on whatever he can get in his mouth, yet no teeth in sight.

    For the first time since his birth, I no longer feel full, even overnight. He feeds once or twice overnight but sometimes sleeps through the night. I can barely pump 3oz between the two breasts between feeds. I'm worried his feeding habits and snacking have really affected my supply. I've tried mother's milk tea, lactation cookies, oats, water. I haven't checked his weight recently.

    I offer the breast every 2-3 hours. I don't think he has ever cried for food because I always made sure I stayed on top of his feeds. He never cluster fed. I woke him twice for a feed last night and he was not a happy chappy.

    Developmentally he is doing well. He sits well supported, hates tummy time but has excellent neck control and pushes himself up on his hands. Can't roll over back to tummy but has rolled over tummy to back a few times. Likes to babble a lot, laughs, smiles, barely ever cries.

    I really hope to breastfeed until 12 months. Before I had him, I really wasn't fussed on breast or formula but now that he's here and that we've overcome early challenges, I can't imagine giving him anything but the breast for a while longer. It makes me so sad thinking that we may need to stop soon for whatever reason.

    Sorry about the essay. I'd be grateful for any advice you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Very distractible 4.5mo, decreasing supply?

    I think at this point you can keep doing what you are doing and do not need to worry so much. Your baby sounds normal and healthy. The behavior at the breast is common for this age. Baby may really be getting all he needs in very short nursing sessions. No harm in offering frequently, and I assume you have stopped block feeding? But do not assume a short feeding means it was not a "good" feeding.

    Your milk production is in all likelihood fine. If you had OP before, then your production would naturally reduce considerably over time and still be plenty. Many moms notice changes in how their breasts feel and how baby nurses at around this age and assume it means they do not make enough milk, but in fact all is normal. Of course if baby is really not nursing frequently enough to maintain normal milk production going forward, you can consider pumping or hand expressing to ensure continued normal production.

    Dehydration is one of those concerns that, IMO, is overstated. Of course severe dehydration is very serious. But how often does that really happen in a healthy, well cared for baby in places where there is safe sources of fluids? Here are my thoughts. First, it is unlikely any overall healthy baby esp. one of this age will becomes dehydrated unless adequate fluids are withheld (baby is a victim of neglect) or lives where there are not safe fluids (and is not breastfed) or baby is ill with diarrhea or vomiting.

    Thirst is a great motivator, and if baby was thirsty, baby would presumably nurse more. Dehydration comes about gradually and there are many signs before it becomes in any way dangerous. In my opinion, diapers not all that accurate a measure. Type and size of diaper matters. Having used both disposable and not, I can say I never met a truly sopping diaper in a baby this age until I started cloth diapering and used a too small cloth. (When my kids were older and had larger bladders, and peed lots at night, then we got leakage- but rarely would I have said the diapers were sopping. Even if they leaked.

    Some babies pee larger amounts at a time than others. Some babies start peeing less frequently as they get bigger, in particular may hold it overnight. Other babies, perhaps like yours, hold more doing the day, and release at night when they are completely relaxed. Etc. Also, "sopping wet" is not an exact measure - it is subjective what constitutes soaking or sopping wet. I do not think many people would let their babies get what I would call sopping wet, unless it snuck up on them. Plus baby is pooping every couple of days, which is actually a lot at this age, when many babies go a week or more between poops.

    I suggest, Read the first part of this article on low milk production, and the other one on perceived low milk production, and let us know if you are still concerned that your production is too low: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/


  3. #3

    Default Re: Very distractible 4.5mo, decreasing supply?

    Thank you so much @llli*maddieb! Your lovely reply really puts my mind at ease. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, stop focusing so much on the bloody weight of his diapers and wait for him to get over how interesting the world is :P

    Thanks again, i really appreciate it.

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