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Thread: Still confused at almost 5 months

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    30

    Default Still confused at almost 5 months

    Hi,

    I've had a problem w/ judging my milk supply ever since about 8 weeks, when it's likely that my body 'adjusted' and my supply tapered to my baby's intake (this is what I was told was happening). I woke up one morning after having had a bunch of wierd hormonal hot flashes/sweats and there was a lot less milk in my breasts and my lo seemed unsatisfied. Anyway, I panicked and started extra pumping/feeding frequently and got the supply back and then some. Ever since, about every three weeks I start to taper and think I'm losing my supply and then I do this feeding/pumping thing until it feels 'normal' again.

    I'm exhausted from this cycle and from insecurity about my supply. I know all the facts about how breasts can feel empty, it's only weight gain that matters, etc. I do perceive lower output during these episodes, and more night waking, but we always end up coming through the episodes w/out his weight suffering too much.

    I would love some input on people's experience of a 'normal' supply. For instance, when I think I have a healthy supply, I wake up w/ full breasts, my son takes one at the first feeding, the other about an hour later. Then, throughout most of the day, one has filled up enough that he eats on just one about every 2 hours. By the end of the day, he's taking both and at the last feeding, he really cleans me out, going back and forth between to get as much milk as he can. But during morning I have a feeling of some fullness in my breasts, which fades by afternoon.

    I had been doing an extra pumping at night, but I recently let myself get full at night w/out pumping much so that I would taper to match his 10 hour sleeping pattern (well, he was sleeping 10h before this episode, now it's less b/c he's hungry I think, not just a developmental wakeup; we were past those). A few days later I woke up w/ drastically less milk in the morning, and a lot less all day, supply definitely down. What I don't know is if I previously had an overample supply, or if I now have a legitimately low supply. I do have to feed more frequently now, but who knows if that means anything.

    So my question is, I know it's different for everyone, but in general do people really feel 'empty' all day and that's normal? Or do most people have some feeling of milk in the breasts (not engorgement, just a full feeling) at least in the first half of the day? Is it really normal to walk around feeling flat as a pancake?

    Thanks for any input. I have to figure out what's normal b/c I can't keep doing this pumping cycle w/out going crazy...on the verge of quitting if I'm indeed low. It's very hard to tell from lo's behavior; he does seem unsatisfied,e tc. but I am feeding him so often b/c of trying to 'up' it that he never really gets a big meal that would allow me to judge his behavior vs. previously.

    Right now it's messing up everything! Naps, nights, everything. He was a good sleeper and now the funky eating is screwing everything up. Blech.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,399

    Default Re: Still confused at almost 5 months

    My LO is 6 months old. I feel empty except for first thing in the morning. I consider it a good thing!

    Trust your body, trust yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Still confused at almost 5 months

    Oh, and to clarify my question in case anyone else is willing to input (thanks for the previous post!!), I mean *empty*. Like you can't tell that the breast has been softened from a feeding b/c it feels pretty much as empty before the feeding as after.

    p.s. I just pumped (and I'm a 'good' pumper w/ a hospital grade) and I got a little less than 3oz. after ~1hr at midday. I know you can't tell much from pumping output, but I think I'm fairly practiced at draining my breast well w/ a pump. Too bad it was 1 oz. from left and 2 oz. from right! He's been even fussier at the left breast, so now I'm even more confident that his fussiness has been about low flow. Of course, if I've been artificially amping myself, I've probably trained him not to like a 'normal' fullness breast.

  4. #4
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    444

    Default Re: Still confused at almost 5 months

    Ever since my LO has been sleeping thru the night, I've felt less full and pump about half of what I used to. It worries me but I always try to remember that it's rare for a mom not to have enough milk. Your LO is probably getting enough. I was astonished the other day when my daughter accidentally latched off with milk in her mouth and I could tell she had a lot in there! So much more than drips from me while pumping!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Still confused at almost 5 months

    I never feel full in the morning because he eats so frequently before we wake up for good. And if you have bigger breasts like I do, you won't feel as full as smaller breasted woman will, I think someone correct me if I'm wrong. But I don't worry about it at all and I certainly don't get up at night to pump.

    I know he is happy and fine after he eats cause he would be wailing at me if he wasn't done eating and needed more. And yesterday he kept on popping off to look at me and was letting milk dribble down his mouth, so I defiently know he is getting some. And his diaper output has been perfectly fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Still confused at almost 5 months

    My son sleeps about 9 hours at night and, when he sticks to his normal schedule, I don't really feel full in the morning. If he sleeps a little longer than normal, then I feel full. It is totally normal to feel empty. As long as you can tell that your baby is swallowing when eating and gaining weight at a good rate, then don't worry about it. I would stop doing the extra pumping/feeding every 3 weeks or so because you are probably right...you're getting him used to an over supply and so he gets mad when it's not shooting out at him. The reason you supply goes back down after 3 weeks is because it's adjusting to what he actually needs. Just relax. The worrying about it is going to make it difficult for you to get a let down. Your body knows what it is doing so just trust it. If you are still worried about your supply, then make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

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