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Thread: help....weaning not producing enough milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Unhappy help....weaning not producing enough milk

    i had my first baby in august, shes 5 mths now and had to start weaning at 4 mths as she wasn't gaining as much weight as the health visitor wanted. now i dont think im producing enough. she's on 1tbsp of dried powdered food at two feedings (plus both sides-though she's not feeding for long) but only going about 2-3 hrs between meals....was told by a friend that it should be longer.she used to go 6-7 hrs at night but now its about 3-4hrs at most.
    ive tried to express but get nothing out.....its making me feel like a failer

    what can i do?
    Last edited by stickers; January 10th, 2007 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    2,178

    Default Re: help....weaning not producing enough milk

    i had my first baby in august, shes 5 mths now and had to start weaning at 4 mths as she wasn't gaining as much weight as the h.v wanted. now i dont think im producing enough. she's on 1tbsp at two feedings (plus both sides-though she's not feeding for long) but only going about 2-3 hrs between meals....was told by a friend that it should be longer.she used to go 6-7 hrs at night but now its about 3-4hrs at most.
    ive tried to express but get nothing out.....its making me feel like a failer
    Before I answer, I want to clarify a couple of things...is h.v. "home visitor"? like the home health nurses that the hospital sometimes offers to send out?

    If it is, I guess I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in what this person said to you. There are alot of different things you can do to help baby gain more weight without supplementing with formula(which is what I assume the 1 tbsp is...dry formula powder mixed with the appropriate amount of water?)

    I would suggest seeing an actual doctor or pediatrition if you have concerns about your daughter's weight gain.

    I guess my suggestion would be to always nurse before you supplement with any formula at all, not the other way around. Any supplementation can cause supply issues for you, so you may have some low supply problems, but many times that can be corrected by nursing your baby more often and pumping if you have a breast pump or can buy one or rent one from a medical supply store or hospital. Sometimes the baby is just alot better at getting breastmilk out, and a pump won't really show you how much baby is getting...although I do think that a pump is probably more efficient than trying hand expressing to tell how much is really "in there".

    Nursing every 2-3 hours at 5 mos. is totally normal. Don't listen to your friend on that one. Frequent nursing is really common, and both of my sons were frequent nursers...usually every 2 hours during the day until they were much older than your baby. My youngest, just started spacing his feedings out a bit longer than that a few weeks ago, and he's almost 10 mos. old. He is also a particularly short nurser...he only nurses for a few minutes at a time but you can tell that he is swallowing, and I know he's getting milk when he's nursing. He is growing well on his own curve on the growth chart, and meeting all of his developmental milestones. Those are better indicators than actual weight I think...is your baby growing at a steady rate and meeting all her milestones?

    Its also pretty normal for baby to have disruptions in their sleep cycles about this time period. Do you know if your baby might be starting teething? That's one reason for a disruption in sleep at this age. It could be also, that baby is going through a growth spurt and needs a little more breastmilk to keep up with her growing needs, and so wants to nurse more frequently even at night to up your supply!!! That's a good thing if you want to eliminate the formula and breastfeed exclusively! I'd continue to nurse at night, as this will help increase your supply too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    12

    Default Re: help....weaning not producing enough milk

    I understand how you are feeling because i am in the same boat. my baby is 4.5 months and use to sleep through the night but all of a sudden he started getting up every 2.5-3 hours at night. I am also questioning my milk supply. i have tried pumping but get very little out. I have also started him on rice ceral because he was ready at around 4 months old. everyone that i have talked to about bf says that it changes daily. my baby is doing the same thing your baby is doing, he only sleeps between 3-5 hours at night max and he feeds approx every 3 hours during the day but not for very long. I have tried a natural supplement to increase my breast milk (mothers lactation tonic). i dont know how long you have to take it but i think it is helping a bit. i pump when i can if there is long enough between feedings. drink lots of water! Every womans baby and breast milk are different. Keep up the good work. Breastfeeding is hard work.
    I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I to have the same questions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    2

    Default Re: help....weaning not producing enough milk

    ive not yet started to give powdered milk though hubby keeps mentioning it....also my sis, who fed her litle boy for six mths, suggested just bottle feeding at last feed (as she did) to get her to sleep longer........its tempting as bfeeding is tiring....but i feel guilty for wanting a few extra hrs sleep.
    i cant nap in the day as shes awake most of it.

    thanx for your help it makes me feel better knowing im not alone

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: help....weaning not producing enough milk

    Can you give us some more specifics about your situation? What was your baby's birth weight, lowest weight after birth, weight now? When you say you had to start weaning at 4 months, so you mean that you started cereal? Your baby's feeding patterns sound pretty normal to me. 2-3 hours between feedings is perfectly fine. It is also common for babies to change sleep patterns as they get older. This often means waking MORE not less. That is not a cause for concern. There is a lot of pressure in western culture for babies to sleep through the night, but there is no medical basis for this and MANY MANY babies do not. For a slow gaining baby, the best approach is usually to try to address the issue through management of breastfeeding first, before going to supplementation. There are many things to try. Weaning is not necessary to address weight gain and is often counterproductive. Give us some more info and maybe we can help you figure out a course of action. Also, you may want to post this on the Infant Breastfeeding section for more responses.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    86

    Default Re: help....weaning not producing enough milk

    Just a few thoughts
    She could be waking because of teething for sure. My baby got his first tooth at 5 months. Also my baby was a very efficient nurser. He was usually done in 5-10 minutes on each side. Nursing every 2-3 hours sounds about right to me too. Nursing her this often should help keep your milk supply up. She may nurse more often (the night waking?) because of a growth spurt too.
    I could never hand express my milk either. And the pump was not as good at removing the milk as my baby was (my friend couldn't get her milk to let down with a pump even when she felt full) so don't worry about that. It's easy to feel like a failure when breastfeeding is going rough-I have felt that way before too. But you are doing your best. If your milk supply is a problem there are ways to increase it. Please send more details our way!

    By the way-my 2 year old has slept through the night (6hours) maybe 3-5 times in his life! Most babies just don't naturally fit into our culture's idea of "normal" sleep patterns. They are all different.

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