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Thread: Baby may be losing interest in the breast!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    32

    Question Baby may be losing interest in the breast!

    Hi,
    My baby started at his caregiver 4 days ago and so far I have been able to get about 5 4oz bottles of pumped breast milk for him to carry there. The challenge I now face is that he sometimes seems not too interested in breastfeeding, he sleeps for 4 hour stretches during the night and I am only able to pump once at work (midday) during my 8-4 workday.
    How do I protect my supply. It would absolutely hurt me to give formula.

    Chrislix

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Baby may be losing interest in the breast!

    Sounds like he may be overfed while at dc. 5 bottles in 8 hours just sounds like a bit much to me. How old is he?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Baby may be losing interest in the breast!

    He turned 4 months old 5 days ago and normally would breastfeed every two hours when he is at home with me.

    Chrislix.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: Baby may be losing interest in the breast!

    Hello and ,

    Five four-ounce bottles would be a lot of milk for a 4 month old baby to drink during an eight hour period. Babies this age do nurse often, but they usually only drink one or two ounces at a time. This link from Kellymom (not an LLLI endorsed site) may help you: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    Have you discussed this issue with your child care provider? Many child care providers are unaware of how much work a breastfeeding mother goes through to be able to pump enough milk to feed her baby. They sometimes encourage babies to finish the bottle even if they are no longer hungry. Often, milk that is leftover in a bottle from a feeding is dumped down the drain, because of concerns over possible contamination and bacterial growth. Sending your milk in very small quantities--one or two ounces per bottle--can help reduce this kind of waste. You might also want to discuss other ways of comforting and entertaining your baby that don't involve feeding.

    I would also be interested to know a little more about your work situation. Ideally, you should be pumping as often as your baby would be nursing. Many working mothers have come up with creative arrangements with their employers and child care providers that have helped them to keep breastfeeding. I'm sure some of the other working mothers here will share some of their experiences with you.

    Overall, the best way to increase your milk supply, and reduce the amount of pumped milk your baby needs, is to nurse more often when the two of you are together. Anything you can do to encourage your baby to nurse more will help. Night nursing is especially helpful, as your prolactin (milk-making hormone) levels are highest at night. Many working mothers find that bringing their babies to bed with them to nurse at night makes a big difference.

    Finally, here is a link with information that might help you to increase the amount of milk you are able to pump: www.llli.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html

    I hope that helps. Hang in there, and keep us posted!

    Tiana

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Baby may be losing interest in the breast!

    When he was at home with me and I tried him on the bottle, after getting a 4oz bottle he would still want to nurse. I have also heard that you cannot overfeed a breast fed baby. Is that true?

    Of late he has taken to sucking his fingers and I guess my child provider interprets that as hunger. I don't quite know exactly what to say to her because I never considered that he might be overfed. I have been worried instead that I am not sending enough milk.

    I go back to work in three days and will be only able to pump during my lunch hour as I work at a very busy maternal and child health clinic ( ironic eh?). I have tried speaking to my supervisor about additional time off to pump but the response has not been encouraging.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: Baby may be losing interest in the breast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrislix View Post
    When he was at home with me and I tried him on the bottle, after getting a 4oz bottle he would still want to nurse. I have also heard that you cannot overfeed a breast fed baby. Is that true?
    You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby, as long as they are being fed exclusively at the breast. Whenever there is a bottle involved, it is possible to overfeed a baby. This is because babies have a very strong need to suck, and cannot control the flow of milk from a bottle. When a baby nurses, he is able to adjust his suck rate and strength to get as much milk as he needs. A baby can "comfort nurse" for a long time without taking in much milk at all. That's the big difference.

    Of late he has taken to sucking his fingers and I guess my child provider interprets that as hunger. I don't quite know exactly what to say to her because I never considered that he might be overfed. I have been worried instead that I am not sending enough milk.
    It sounds as though your baby may be one with a high sucking need. Switching to a bottle with a very slow milk flow, and offering bottles with smaller quantities of milk in them can help. Be sure to allow him to nurse as often as possible when you are together. There is nothing wrong with allowing baby to "use you as a pacifier". Pacifiers are the substitute--you're the real thing.

    I go back to work in three days and will be only able to pump during my lunch hour as I work at a very busy maternal and child health clinic ( ironic eh?). I have tried speaking to my supervisor about additional time off to pump but the response has not been encouraging.
    Here is a link to a .pdf file from the California WIC department (again, not an LLLI affiliated site) that contains information for the employers of breastfeeding mothers. You might consider printing it out and sharing it with your supervisor: http://www.wicworks.ca.gov/breastfee...investment.pdf

    Is there anyway you could change your work schedule? Maybe part time for a few weeks, or a job-sharing situation with another mother of a young baby?
    It could help to explore your options a bit.

    Hang in there, mama!

    Tiana

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