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Thread: lowered milk supply!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    201

    Default lowered milk supply!

    hi! i'm a working mom and i've been pumping since my milk supply came in. my son is 5 1/2 month now and during the day he drinks from the bottle (breast milk) and when i pick him up, i nurse him. up until now, i'm usually able to pump enough for his one day feeding but now, my milk supply is decreasing and i have to take an extra 4 oz from my stock pile in the freezer. that stock pile is diminishing and i'm worried that i won't be able to bf him for long. i try pumping more at night but that doesn't seem to help. i'm thinking of supplementing with formula when my reserve in the freezer run out. i really don't want to give him formula even a little bit. what can i do?!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: lowered milk supply!

    Hi there,
    I can tell you are concerned and want to continue to BF your ds. Rest assured that you CAN!

    I would like to ask a few more questions, though.

    Has ds started solids yet?
    Could you give me a rundown of the time before you leave ds and then after you pick him up? (When he nurses-times, amounts and numbers of bottles)
    Is he at a daycare or babysitter near where you work?
    Is he sleeping through the night?

    Sorry to bombard you with lots of questions. I just want to get a better picture before I help you figure out what is going on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: lowered milk supply!

    i started him on baby cereal 2 weeks ago and he loves it! i dropped him off at his grandparents at 7:30 am and pick him up at 4:30 pm. i pack 4 bottles with 4 oz of milk and leave some extra packages in their freezer. sometimes he'll take an extra package before i get there and usually i have to feed him before we leave. he 5 1/2 month and he weighs around 20 lb. it's not really conveniet for me to leave work to feed him. i want to continue bf for as long as i can but don't think it's possible unless i'm constantly pumping every hour when i get home.

    he still not sleeping through the night yet but only get up once to twice to eat.

    Thanks for your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: lowered milk supply!

    Hi again,
    The reason I asked more about your situation is this:

    Some moms find it helpful to leave a bit earlier and nurse the baby at the sitter's. That way, the sitter will not need a bottle til a little later in the morning. See what I mean?

    So, I was wondering when ds took his bottles, because I thought maybe you could try this:

    Leave a half-hour earlier than usual. Get to grandparent's house at 7am (or as late as you can possibly manage). Sit down there and nurse ds. The later the better. This will push back his first bottle of the morning. So if he is done nursing at 7:30 and you leave at 7:45, could that work? Then maybe he would take the first bottle at 9:30. And the next one around 12 noon. At some point in here does he nap? If so, when he wakes up say around 2 or 2:30 he could have another bottle. Then see if his grandparents could hold him off until you get there at 4:30 and nurse right away! Do you see how this might help them use a little less milk?

    Also, if he is eating some cereal, are they giving it to him while he is there? This may be something to consider, and that way you could save a little milk as well.

    Also, you may want to try putting 3 oz. in a bottle instead of 4. He may be satisfied with that amount. With all due respect to his grandparents, I know the older generation is often tempted to get just "this last little bit" into the baby, even if the baby is finished. (I saw this with my mom when I left her with a bottle for dd!)

    Some other things to consider are: you might want to remind his GP that they don't have to dump out the milk if he doesn't finish it. Formula will start to grow bacteria as soon as it is opened. Not true for bm. They could set the bottle down and give him some more a little later and it would be fine.

    Another thing is to make sure that they are reading his cues clearly. Oftentimes caregivers just don't know what else to do when a baby is fussy than to feed. You might suggest some other things that make him happy, such as, walking around outside, dancing in arms to music, walking in a stroller, etc. Sometimes babies need a little more in-arms time and it doesn't always involve eating.

    Finally, I should have asked you this before, but are you pumping at work?

    I hope these suggestions are helpful to you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: lowered milk supply!

    thank you for your suggestions but unfortunately, i have tried all of your suggestions!!! it's very difficult with the GP and i do pump at work. 3 times in an 8-hour period and would only get about 12 ounces so i try to pump more when get home so that i don't have to dig into my freezer stash.

    when my stash is completely gone, would it be so bad to supplement with formula? it would only be about 4 ounces of formula.

    again, thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: lowered milk supply!

    Of course it would not be that bad to supplement with formula when your stash is all gone! That is what formula is for-those times when we have no other choice!

    A very wise and knowledgeable LLLL and IBCLC in my area once commented on a situation very similar to yours by stating: the baby is at the half-year mark and beginning solids, which can be considered a "supplement". So mom can look at the formula supplement that baby needs as another "solid", instead of something that he is getting that is not BM.

    So, just look at the formula you need to use as a "solid supplement" and keep nursing/pumping. Using a little bit of formula by no means suggests that BF is over for you! Just keep BF your ds whenever you are together, pump when you are separated, and things will continue as you wish!

    Good luck to you!

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