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Thread: Milk Running Out at 7 months?!

  1. #1

    Default Milk Running Out at 7 months?!

    Hello all,

    This is my first time posting. I have been EBF since baby was born. My baby girl turned 7 months last Thursday. I returned to work around the time she turned 4 months. I work part time (between 4-6 hours a day, but am out of the house ~between 6-7 hours per day). I pump at least once a day sometimes twice. My baby used to take one breast per feeding and was perfectly satisfied. Hence I would only pump one breast at a time. Recently I have started offering the second breast because she didn't seem satiated and would cry and come off the first boob. So I started pumping both boobs simultaneously. My period returned about 1.5-2 months ago. I've also noticed that my boobs feel much softer and it seems like there is less milk in them. What really got me suspicious about a low supply is that baby starts crying after taking both boobs. Although, I will squeeze my boob and see a little milk come out after she's come off and crying. I have to give her a bottle of stored breast milk and she will drink another 3-4 oz after eating from the breast. I am now wondering if I need to start supplementing with formula. Any thoughts/input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by @llli*ysandigursky; June 20th, 2016 at 07:37 PM. Reason: Incomplete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Milk Running Out at 7 months?!

    Hi! Just to clarify: is your baby's fussing and crying your only reason for thinking your supply is dropping? Because from what the ladies taught me on here, the main gauge of baby getting enough milk is poop/pee out put and weight. How are both of these?

    In terms of the bottle, babies will often gulp from bottles when they aren't hungry, so I don't think that is a reliable metric of baby's hunger.

    Boobs normally feel softer around 7 months!

    I definitely have my freak outs here and there that baby isn't getting enough because he is crying/fussing, but I just try to look at diapers and he has a LOT of them! My son went from one boob to two around 7 months, too!
    Last edited by @llli*scoob4751; June 20th, 2016 at 09:59 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Milk Running Out at 7 months?!

    There are two possibilities. One is, this is a false alarm as scoob4751 suggests. This is pretty common- that moms feel they do not make enough milk when actually all is well. If this is the situation, then you want to stop feeding your baby bottles when you are home to nurse, as doing so will act to harm your milk production.

    The other possibility is that your production is actually low to the point it is not quite meeting baby's needs. If you have been back at work and not pumping as often as needed over 3 months, then I am afraid it is quite possible your milk production has been harmed. Pumping once or twice over 6-7 hours 5 days a week and only pumping one side at time is not going to be often enough for many moms.

    If your production has truly reduced, the good news is that milk production can almost always be increased by removing milk from the breasts more often and more efficiently. In practice, this means, encourage baby to nurse more often, day and night, while also increasing your pump frequency when you are at work. For a separation of 6-7 hours, pumping twice over every work day both breasts at a time should be often enough to help your production. Once production is in good shape again, you may be able to reduce pumping, especially if baby is nursing lots when home with you.

    It is also possible that pumping while you are home might be needed temporarily. It really depends on if you can increase baby's nursing frequency enough.

    Be very sure your pump is a good pump and is in perfect working condition. If you are not currently using a good double sided electric pump, consider getting one. Also make sure the flanges fit correctly, the appropriate size may change over time.

    These articles may help you figure out if your production is really low or not, and what to do about it if it is.

    http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/

    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/perc...fficient-milk/

    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...ping_decrease/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 21st, 2016 at 12:18 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Milk Running Out at 7 months?!

    Scoob4751- Thank you for your response. Yes, she latches on for a while and starts to cry even before the letdown can happen. I know the best way to gauge sufficient milk consumption is through wet/dirty diapers and weight but I would imagine the situation would have to worsen for a period of time to see weight and # of wet diapers drop. I wouldn't want to wait until that point. Not to mention, baby is having stored milk while I'm away with the babysitter so # of wet diapers wouldn't be accurate anyway.
    Last edited by @llli*ysandigursky; June 21st, 2016 at 06:46 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Milk Running Out at 7 months?!

    MaddieB, thank you so much for your response. I guess I didn't realize I was not pumping enough at work. I'm taking on the challenge of increasing my milk supply. I've pumped multiple times today and offered the breast as frequently as possible. Baby is still latching on just for a few minutes, sometimes long enough to take some milk and other times just latches off and loses interest and/or starts crying. Before bed, I gave the boob and after sucking for ~15 seconds (?) she came off and started crying. I gave her a bottle of 4 oz because I didn't want to put her to bed hungry, which she drank without hesitation. But then I went to pump and 3 oz came out! Why didn't she drink that milk? I know it's said that babies will drink a bottle even when they're not hungry but earlier today she only drank an oz from the babysitter and left about 2 oz in the bottle. I think that perhaps a low supply is not my only problem? We use the smallest nipple size (0) when feeding her from the bottle and have gone through phases of her preferring the bottle over the breast but ultimately she continued to breastfeed without issues. So I guess I'm confused if she's frustrated with feeding from the breast or is it truly a low supply? Or both?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Milk Running Out at 7 months?!

    Something to keep in mind is that babies cry and fuss at the breast for a variety of reasons, and it is not safe to assume that baby crying=mom has no milk available. The more bottles you give, the more likely that the baby will start to prefer bottles. She may have learned that if she cries at the breast, a bottle is coming her way and she will get a faster flow of milk from the bottle. Giving the bottle only continues this cycle, and you risk reducing your supply that way. I think it's important that you work on increasing your pumping frequency, and just nurse as much as possible when home with baby. Try to avoid going for the bottle, because it will not be the solution to your problem.
    First time working mom to Zachary, 11/20/2015

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