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Thread: Decreasing Milk Supply vs. Growth Spurt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    50

    Default Decreasing Milk Supply vs. Growth Spurt

    I know my 5 week old is due for a Growth spurt but I'm worried about decreasing milk supply. My breasts feel "empty" and soft and my ds is hungry every hour to hour and a half. How can I tell if it's a growth spurt or decreasing Milk Supply? Is it just output of wet/dirty diapers and weight gain or is there another way to tell?...I can't even eat 3 meals b/c he is always nursing So I'm concerned that is also contributing to dec milk supply. thanks for any advice/input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    509

    Default Re: Decreasing Milk Supply vs. Growth Spurt

    I don't remember exactly when it happened, but early on I too came to a point where my breasts were no longer hard and heavy (and leaking) all the time, it felt like there wasn't any milk in there most of the time. I called a lactation consultant and also read about it, and both sources said it was totally normal and lots of women panic about it - its just your body tapering down to make what is needed (instead of being engorged all the time like in the first month). I was told over and over that if the output is there and the weight it being gained, my baby was getting enough. And he still ate every 1 1/2 to 2 hours until 10 weeks, so that had nothing to do with it. I'd feel free to stop by your pediatrician's office and weigh him as often as you want so you feel reassured, I did and they were more than happy to weigh him - I explained I was nursing and they completely understood. You could also go to a breastfeeding group at your hospital, they generally have baby scales to check the weight gain. Doing that too often can be misleading I think because of normal little fluctuations, so I would tell the doctor how many wet/poop diapers there are and if she's says its ok, just trust that your body is making enough. That was really hard for me to do, but when I needed reasurrance I got it and then I just stopped worrying about it so much.
    I'm proud to be first woman in my family to breastfeed!
    cloth diapering convert!
    Loving the homemade baby food!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Decreasing Milk Supply vs. Growth Spurt

    Good for you paying attention to your milk supply and your own health! This is a critical time for your milk supply - it's worth gold! I used to tell my husband, "It's precious to me!" like is said about the Ring in Lord of the Rings. (Okay, maybe that's only funny when you're never sleeping because of needy newborns.)

    I agree with the previous poster about your body regulating how much milk it's making. Aren't our bodies amazing?

    Remember the signs of a baby getting enough milk:
    - Nursing as long as he wants 8-12 times per day;
    - 6 to 8 wet and 3 to 4 messy diapers per day; and
    - Gaining weight appropriately.

    I ate a lot of protein and granola bars the first few months after my babies were born. I also invested in bottled water so it would be easy to grab. Yogurt and cheese are also good, easy snacks to eat while nursing. Meals are a luxury afforded to people who aren't parents of newborns!

    Have you tried nursing in a sling?

    This may not apply to you, but I'll comment anyway: I have had a hard time adjusting to parenthood, and I've been at it for over three years! It has been only recently that I have given up on getting my previous life back, of eating when I'm hungry, peeing when I gotta, sleeping when I'm tired. I guess, finally, I'm content to adapt to my kids' needs, rather than expect them to adapt to my preferences -- and then of course be disappointed when they don't! To a lot of you this comes a lot easier and more naturally than it does to me! I'm still working on it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Decreasing Milk Supply vs. Growth Spurt

    I did try nursing in a sling but my ds hated being in there and I just got all stressed and sweaty trying to get him to latch on while sitting in a sling. I dunno if I was doing it wrong.

    Last night he seemed to latch on every hour and finally went to sleep at 6:30 am..right when my second has to get up for school!

    Anyway, Thank you for reassurances and advice! It's just so stressful constantly worrying about milk supply let alone everything else! I just really want to get this BF thing this time around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Decreasing Milk Supply vs. Growth Spurt

    It's really normal during a growth spurt to feel like your lo is nursing all the time and your breasts feel empty. Remember, milk is constantly being made, so your lo is still getting milk and the more they nurse, the more your body makes. It will even out in a few days. I got to where I hoped that DS would at least be nursing on my left side during meal time b/c it seemed like for a while, he wanted to eat every night during dinner. Here's some info on growth spurts if you haven't seen it already. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/growth-spurt.html

    About the sling, did you have your lo in the sling before he got hungry? Trying a new thing when all they want to do is eat may not work out the best. Check out the baby wearing forum for more tips.

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