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Thread: does age affect supply?

  1. #1
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default does age affect supply?

    Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm one of the few "older" mothers here, though I could be wrong. I'm 39 - anyone else out there an older mother?

    Just wondering if older mothers produce less milk. My supply is okay, I think, but I notice that so many women in this forum pump far more milk than I do. I usually only manage a couple ounces at a time, except for the first pump of the day. I know that pumping isn't a great measure of supply but it indicates something. Also I almost never leak and have to go for many many hours before I feel full.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    I'm with you - I was getting the same feeling - that I was older than most on this forum. I'm 38 - second time mom with dd#2 at 8 months old. I actually have more milk this time than with my first, but I've learned better pumping techniques and kept baby with me longer. My supply has adjusted to where I pump pretty much exactly what she needs. I certainly don't get much extra. I have felt that others pump waaay more than me, too. I get about 4-5 oz. per session (both breasts combined). But, my baby still does not take more than 4 oz. in one sitting. How much does your lo take from each feeding? Are you able to keep up with lo's needs?

    Amy

  3. #3
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    Wow, you pump a lot. That's great. I wish I could pump that much. My LO usually eats about 4 - 4.5 ounces at a time, although some afternoons, she breaks the feedings up into 2 ounces at a time. I have trouble keeping up with her schedule, especially since I"m working from home now and can't stop that frequently to BF her. Our sitter feeds her EBM and at least one bottle of formula because I just can't pump enough to get a good stash going (and my milk spoils after three days or so). I'm trying to get my supply up but I can't drink Mother's Milk Tea (makes the baby upset) and can't BF more than I am. Sigh...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    you know what helped me get more milk per session was to pump longer - for 2 let downs instead of one. I use a nursing corset (hands free) and work while I'm pumping (I'm pumping right now in fact). Anyway, I pump for about 30 minutes instead of 15 and I think I get almost twice as much as I would with only one let down and 15 minutes. Do you have a hands free corset or other type of set up so you can work and pump at the same time?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    It does seem like other moms get more milk, I'm 32 and I only just keep up with Danielle, Maximum of 4 ounces each time. I never thought to blame it on age. I wouldn't have had the good sense to breastfeed when I was younger.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    I was 37 when DS was born and am now 39. Early on I had alot of oversupply & overactive let down. My pumping was way ahead of what my DS needed at day care so I tapered back on pumping. I'm down to just one pumping session a day - and it seems like my milk has changed consistency and is "thicker" no matter when I pump or how much water I've been drinking. I'm assuming that this is a natural change to meet DS current needs. I still wear breast pads when I go out because there's a good chance I'll leak.

    I don't recall reading any articles on this, but my hunch is that is more depends on the individual woman than her age.

    Lynn
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    I am with you! I'm 45 and a first time mom to twin girls (they'll be 8 months this weekend). My low supply is relative since I am trying to BF/give EBM to two. I'm not sure how much of the supply issues are due to a poor start -- we had to supplement with formula at the beginning, I had retained placental fragments (discovered at my checkup at 7w pp) and one twin had thrush. I eventually weaned them from formula for a short period ot time by trying several nursing vacations, but went back to giving them one bottle of formula before bed when I went back to work at 6m-- otherwise they were demanding to feed almost every 2 hrs! I pump at work (I have my own office) so try to pump frequently (every hour if possible). I just tuck the "cones" into my nursing bra and the elastic keeps them in place for a hands free set up so that I can pump and work at the computer. I pump 24oz over a 12 hour period, which they take while I am at work for 8hr each day. I try to use compression (really helps) and lately have tried to do some hand expression after pumping. The twins are on solids now, otherwise there is no way I could keep up! I can't take fenugreek/mother's milk or goat's rue as it gives all of us really bad gas. I have tried Reglan (had to quit because of side effects) and am now trying domperidone.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    I am curoius how the mother's milk tea makes your dd upset, tummyache, gas. Just wondered, because I started fenugreek and my supply has gone up was geting 3-3 ounces per session..now I get 4-5. And I drink tons of decaf tea

  9. #9
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    I do have one of those corsets but I have misplaced it. I have to find it. Good idea.

    When I drank Mother's Milk Tea, my LO behaved colicky - lots of inconsolable crying, unlike anything else she had done before. So strange. Once I stopped, she calmed down. Such a shame because the tea really does work.

    I guess age really doesn't affect supply. Was just a thought...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: does age affect supply?

    Quote Originally Posted by emama View Post
    Just wondering if older mothers produce less milk.
    No, not simply due to age. An older mother might be more likely to experience issues that could lead to lowered production levels, though. And even if that were to occur, an older mother has no less a chance of increasing her production than a younger mother would.
    This resource might be helpful:
    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBJulAug02p124.html

    Quote Originally Posted by emama View Post
    My supply is okay, I think, but I notice that so many women in this forum pump far more milk than I do. I usually only manage a couple ounces at a time, except for the first pump of the day. I know that pumping isn't a great measure of supply but it indicates something.
    Pumping really isn't a good measure of production. You might find it surprising to hear that many mothers with babies who are thriving, gaining well, and growing cannot pump even one drop!

    You seem concerned about the amount you're able to pump. My best suggestion is to consider trying the techniques for a combination of pumping and hand expression as outlined in this video:
    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html (non-LLL resource)

    Quote Originally Posted by emama View Post
    Also I almost never leak and have to go for many many hours before I feel full.
    That doesn't really mean anything, either. Many mothers rarely (or even never) leak.
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/normal.html

    Over time, the milk producing cells become very efficient little factories and aren't producing a lot of "extra" milk. It's normal for the breast to feel softer after the initial weeks of breastfeeding. This information might help:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/breast-fullness.html (non-LLL resource)

    HTH!

    Please do keep us updated!

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