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Thread: what does an established supply mean?

  1. #1
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    Jun 2007
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    Default what does an established supply mean?

    I have heard the term 'established supply' but I am not sure what it means.

    I only question this bec. so often I see posts about women thinking their supply is dwindling and I know I am always worried about my supply.

    Why would supply dwindle and how can you 'establish' it?

    Lauren

  2. #2
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    Supply, from what I understand, is established by how much nursing your LO does. At least, if everything else is going well, that is. The more your lo nurses, the more your body will make milk to keep up with how much s/he needs. Dwindling happens the same way- the less they nurse, the less milk your body will make. So, when babies are brand new and they go on a huge nursing marathon for like 6 weeks, they are helping themselves to grow, and they are also establishing the supply of their mom's breasts for future nursing. I think it takes your body about 48 hours to detect changes in milk demand and adjust accordingly. At least after supply is established, that is. If I'm wrong, someone correct me!

    Now, some other things can affect supply, like for some, getting pregnant reduces supply or having certain herbs can do so. To increase, some have tried getting their LO's to nurse more often or even used things like mother's milk tea, blessed thistle, some meds can help, I think and also pumping can sometimes create more milk supply.

    If your LO is nursing on a regular basis, your breasts should continue to receive the message to make more milk for the next feeding every day! The body is so amazing!

    Not sure if I answered your questions, I hope that helped a little!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    Thanks- that helped a lot.

    My 8 week old seems to be changing her eating habits and doesn't seem as hungry to eat during certain times. I do worry that my supply will decrease due to this especially when I go back to work in Sept. and I have to pump 3x during the day. I hope I can keep up with her!

    Lauren

  4. #4
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    At 8 weeks old, I think it is fairly normal for babies to grow out of that feeding-round-the-clock faze. Some babies take longer, some get into a routine sooner. She will start to go longer between feedings (2-4 hours maybe) and will probably have one stretch that can last up to 5-6 hours. Hopefully for you, that long stretch is at night!

    HTH!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    I was one who was frantic about losing and getting my milk... now I still worry but not as bad because my milk is established! you can tell this by the weight gain and (any one wasn't to second this go ahaead) the little milk mustaches! how cute! but that's how you know... you will also hear ur LO swollowing so when ur milk is established and your baby is thriving that have no fears your doing just fine

  6. #6
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    Thanks !!

    I am so glad to hear that some babies start to go longer between feedings at this age- I was worried she was sick!

    We have gone to 8 feedings instead of the 10-12 that were previously happening. Should I pump in between the longer stretches (3-31/2 hours)??

    And yes, LO went 5 hours of sleeping last night!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    yeah! Good for baby, expect that to change,they all have days and nights that they want to nurse more then others.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    I don't know that you need to pump between feedings. What is your main concern so I understand? That your LO will not have milk when she wants some? Because she is 8mo, she's probably slowing down in the amount of milk she needs throughout the day and is efficient in taking what she needs when she does nurse. So, I think that unless you expect a sudden turn in her eating where she will increase quickly, I wouldn't mess with nature. She's keeping your supply at what she requires, KWIM? By nursing when she does, she's telling your breasts to make milk that often, so unless you need to stock up on frozen milk for some reason, or you anticipate her having to nurse more frequently in the future, you probably don't need to pump. Even if she does need to nurse more frequently in the future for some reason (who knows why she might, it's probably not likely) she will re-up your supply within a day or so just by starting to nurse more.Am I making sense? Her nursing more frequently will send the message to your breasts to make more milk tomorrow etc. I hope I answered that ok?

    Yay on going 5 hours last night! That's okay!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    I know I am a little supply crazed so when I feel like dd doesn't empty me, I feel the need to pump to make sure no dwindling occurs. If I stop doing this will my body just regulate to meet dd's needs??

    I do have to go back to work in Sept. so I have been building a stash.

    Actually dd is 8 weeks old (not 8mo) not sure if you meant to say weeks instead of months but if you meant weeks and you're saying that she will be slowing down with eating- I feel so so relieved!! I feel like I made it through with milk! (had lots and lots of supply problems with baby #1 who is now 5yo).

    Thank you!!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: what does an established supply mean?

    Sorry I didn't come back sooner! Oh gosh, I couldn't figure out why you were concerned with supply with an 8mo old! Duh, sorry- I think I misread your mo/week deal.

    Yes, your body will regulate to meet your DD's needs! Your body is kind of like a self-adjusting milk machine, whatever cues it gets from your DD, it knows to make that much milk (plus a bit more) automatically. Actually, you're telling it to make more milk than your DD needs because of pumping, so you are wayyyy golden at this point, it sounds like. Also, your DD doesn't ever empty you because from what I understand, we really don't totally run out of milk no matter how much they drink at any one sitting. There are times that LO's go through growth spurts, and your body already makes a bit too much in anticipation of that and will adjust quickly to that if she has one. Really, though, your LO shouldn't need much more milk than she's asking for right now. That first 6weeks really gets your supply to where she needs it for the next bunch of months, so your body knows to have milk ready at the intervals she's asking for it. Am I making sense? I can see why, if you had trouble with supply with your first, you might be concerned, you're being a good, caring mommy! From what I understand, though, your body should be making enough now (after the 1st 6wk of establishing supply) for your LO to be fine.

    Oh- also, why are you building up a stash to go back to work? I mean, if you don't mind, that's cool. But I always hated pumping. One thing I didn't think about back when Aaron was tiny and I was pumping is that you will have to pump each day, too, and will be bringing fresh milk home for your LO each day and probably not using the freezer stuff too much. Just a thought, keep pumping if you want to, though!

    You are obviously a very concientious mama who wants to give the best to her DD- give yourself a pat on the back for 8 weeks of going strong! (9 weeks now?) It's ok to be pondering all of these things, having LO's is always a mystery and that's why we're all here to try to help each other out.


    Quote Originally Posted by lrosen8750 View Post
    I know I am a little supply crazed so when I feel like dd doesn't empty me, I feel the need to pump to make sure no dwindling occurs. If I stop doing this will my body just regulate to meet dd's needs??

    I do have to go back to work in Sept. so I have been building a stash.

    Actually dd is 8 weeks old (not 8mo) not sure if you meant to say weeks instead of months but if you meant weeks and you're saying that she will be slowing down with eating- I feel so so relieved!! I feel like I made it through with milk! (had lots and lots of supply problems with baby #1 who is now 5yo).

    Thank you!!!

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