Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Stressed! Low supply or false alarm?

  1. #1

    Default Stressed! Low supply or false alarm?

    My son is 6 months old and we've never had any major issues with breastfeeding. The last few weeks I've noticed some changes that are stressing me out:

    - I nurse him every 2 to 3 hours during the day (lately, closer to 2). He sucks for about 2 minutes, just long enough to get the intial flow going from the let-down, drinks vigorously, and then pulls off. I offer the same breast again, which he aggressively "attacks" and sucks from a few times. Pulls off again. We repeat the on/off cycle numerous times until I finally give up. He whimpers a bit until I offer the second breast. He aggressively goes after it. Sucks and stays on while he gets the initial flow of milk. Once it seems that the flow of milk has slowed (2 min) he starts the off/on cycle again. Occasionally he will even try to nurse my arm -- that kind of makes me wonder if he isn't getting enough?

    That is the biggest issue. Does this sound normal? A couple other things that might be relevant:

    -He is fussy all day now. Not just at night or at a certain time of day, but all day. Very out of character for him. I know it could be the start of teething - but how do I know the difference? He doesn't seem to be chewing on things more than usual.

    - Wet diaper output appears to be on the low end of normal. Not entirely sure because they don't always seem super saturated. He has one very wet diaper in the morning, and then about 4 moderately wet diapers the rest of the day.

    - Bowel movements have slowed to every 5-10 days. (A couple months ago, he was going at least once very day, if not more) The consistency is like peanut butter. I noticed him straining to poop and his face got very red.

    - He had been sleeping 6-8 hour stretches without issue. The last couple of weeks he has been waking much more frequently to eat.

    Tonight, before bed, I nursed him normally (same on/off scenario happened again) and then offered him a bottle of formula just to see if he would take it. (He's only ever had 2 bottles of formula his whole life, and only when I was gone.)

    He attacked it and patiently sucked down 4 ounces, even with the slow flow nipple. He seemed very hungry! I know they say that sometimes babies will take a bottle after nursing even if they are full -- but how do you know the difference??

    Thanks for reading and thanks for any help (emotional or otherwise!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,006

    Default Re: Stressed! Low supply or false alarm?

    Welcome! It's great that it took you 6 months to come up with a breastfeeding issue! Most moms have them within the first week...

    It sounds like your baby is probably teething, and that's what's causing the increased fussiness, the odd nursing behaviors, the increased wakefulness, etc., although I would definitely take him in to the doc to have an ear infection ruled out. At 6 months, I'd be surprised if your baby wasn't teething!

    So long as diaper output remains adequate and you continue to feed on demand (no bottles!), I do not think you need to worry too much.

    Don't worry about the slowed-down pooping- at 6 months that's quite normal. At a certain point, a baby's digestive system matures and uses breastmilk extremely efficiently, without a lot of waste left over. At that point, pooping often slows waaay down. You should only suspect constipation if a) baby goes over a week between poops, b) the poop is pellet-like in consistency, and c) the baby seems extremely uncomfortable when pooping. If in doubt, though, save a diaper and bring it in to the pediatrician.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Stressed! Low supply or false alarm?

    Thanks for replying. It definitely seems to be teething (I can see a lot of white right underneath his upper gums) but I am wondering: if he keeps popping off my breast due to teething pain, why would he happily suck away on the bottle nipple? I use the bottle nipples with the very rounded shape, similar to the breast shape.

    For that matter, why is he ok with the pacifier?

    Wouldn't that sucking hurt him, too?


    p.s. I did have a terrible, awful, painful milk blister early on that lasted for weeks... so I guess I haven't been completely unscathed during this whole breastfeeding thing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,006

    Default Re: Stressed! Low supply or false alarm?

    Teething babies are a mystery. Why do they gnaw on chair legs, stereo cables, and book covers but refuse the breast? Who knows? I suspect that some babies take pacis and bottles and refuse the breast when teething because they do not have to be as careful about how they latch- with a paci it doesn't matter and with the bottle milk comes out even with a careless latch, but with the breast the baby has to be on just so in order for milk to come out. And maybe that "just so" latch is the painful one.

    p.s. I did have a terrible, awful, painful milk blister early on that lasted for weeks... so I guess I haven't been completely unscathed during this whole breastfeeding thing!
    Sorry to hear that!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •