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Thread: 7 month old... losing milk fast!

  1. #1

    Default 7 month old... losing milk fast!

    I've been breastfeeding for 7 months now, and I work full time. Pumping 5 times a day for 2-3 bottles (7oz each) for him at daycare. We started solids at 5 months since he was eating every 2.5 hours and I couldn't keep up (I preferred going to solids over supplementing with formula). He's just started crawling so I know he's going to be needing more nourishment to keep up with his activity level.... but I'm empty. Over Christmas when I was home with him I nursed on demand (and through the night) which is way more than I normally do (when working, he sleeps 11 hrs at night and I pump once during that time). I returned to work Monday and my pumping produces at most 2 oz every time (pumping 15 min).

    I am taking Mothers Milk Plus, Fenugreek, eating oatmeal and drinking water. I'm not sure what else I can do? I really wanted to make it to a year, but I have to be able to pump enough for his bottles at daycare and I'm just not doing that right now. Any ideas on what could be the issue? Do some people just stop procuding at a certain point? Yes, I did take a pregnancy test this morning -it was negative. I'm really at a loss for the reason behind the loss, and how to increase my supply back up. PLEASE HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,423

    Default Re: 7 month old... losing milk fast!

    You are pumping and giving your DCP 14-21oz a day?
    Breastmilk is not like formula. You don't need MORE as your child gets older. The composition changes. The only time they need more is during a growth spurt. If you are only away from your child for 8-12 hours a day you would NEVER need to feed him 21oz while away from you.
    My guess is that you were totally allowing him to be overfed. And since you were pumping your body had no way of knowing that. And since you have been home actually feeding him, you body has regulated to what he ACTUALLY pulls out of your breasts in a 24hour period. The outside MOST a child would need in a day would be 32-36oz. If you were still feeding while together, he should NOT be getting more than half of that while away from you.
    Also, you shouldn't get used to anything in terms of sleep when they are this young. 11hours of straight sleep sounds amazing and I am glad you go it but your milk supply dwindling is not the reason for night wakings. It may be teeth, it may be hitting developmental milestones like rolling over and learning to crawl, but the one thing you can count on the first year is for their sleep patterns to continue to change.
    I would pack your milk in Three to 4 bottles and have your DCP give your child less food more often. The rule of thumb is 1to 1.5 oz for every hour that you are away. So your child should be FINE with 12-15oz left in 3 or 4 oz increments. It's all supply and demand. In reality while with you, he demanded less. So you made less. They do NOT need MORE milk as they get older. That is a formula thing that is NOT true for EBF babies. You can do this. You can. It's going to be fine.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3

    Default Re: 7 month old... losing milk fast!

    Ok this is a big help... I'm one of two mom's in my son's class who breastfeeds (the other works there and nurses throughout the day) so being a first time mom I just listened to the daycare people when they said he was still hungry. They are definately used to the bigger bottles/lesser feedings of formula fed babies, which is probably why they kept telling me he needed more milk in his bottle.

    Thank you... I really needed some support to keep going. I figured our 2 week break from pumping was probably a part of this, but I didn't realize how much less he actually needed. At least I can try to stop worrying about my supply so much -and stop thinking that I'm pregnant again!

    I'm still a little unsure on amounts of milk and how much he needs in combination with solids... but maybe I'll save those questions for another day. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    4,984

    Default Re: 7 month old... losing milk fast!

    You are actually pumping a TON by my standards, and I was always a good pumper. Babies will drink more from a bottle than they really need, so it's easy to overfeed. But I gave my husband three FOUR ounce bottles for my days away at work, and four bottles for days when I had evening meetings, and that was fine. My baby DID nurse at night, but also, he was at the top of the charts for weight and height, so he was not suffering for lack of milk.

    I know it's hard to give up good sleep, but I do think night nursing makes it easier for working moms to maintain a high supply, because night-nursing triggers more prolactin and nursing hormones than day-nursing.

    So I would recommend that you package milk in smaller amounts, instruct your DCP to give your baby a little while to digest after each bottle before deciding he's still hungry, maybe "dream-feed" your baby before you go to bed and in the early morning if possible, and mostly ... relax, it sounds like you are doing great.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: 7 month old... losing milk fast!

    As others have said, you're actually pumping a ton! I wouldn't worry about your supply. My 5 month old gets three 4 oz bottles per day at daycare and usually nurses 4 or 5 times when we're together (including 1-2 times overnight). I generally pump 14-16 oz in three pumping sessions per day at work, so I'm blessed to be able to freeze a little extra each week above and beyond the 12 oz that she usually eats at daycare.

    I don't mind that she gets me up overnight to nurse. I'm used to it by now, it's nothing like when she was a newborn and I was up feeding her every 2-3 hours, and I think it helps keep my supply strong.

    It's very easy for a breastfed baby to be overfed EBM. Just on Monday DD went back to daycare after 2 weeks home with me over the holidays, and they had just warmed her last bottle at 4 PM when DH picked her up. He got her home, fed her the bottle, and I got home 15 minutes later - guess who demanded to nurse, did so, and then immediately spit up a ton of milk? My kid! (I knew it would happen like that but she loves nursing and is used to doing so as soon as she and I are both home.)

    I know from talking to my friends who are also nursing working moms that some daycare providers are used to formula fed babies or will immediately give a baby a bottle if they fuss/make noise. We're lucky that our daycare center has had breastfed babies before and understand hunger cues. DD also makes her wishes abundantly clear by trying to latch on to anything and everything.

    I'd recommend slowly scaling back how much you send to daycare, educating them on the nutritional needs of breastfed babies as opposed to formula fed babies, and maybe trying a dream feed before you go to bed.
    Katie - mom to Lily, 8/5/2010

  6. #6

    Default Re: 7 month old... losing milk fast!

    Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement! I really had no idea how much was normal for a breastfed baby, but now I do. I did scale back to 2, 6oz bottles this week, but I think I will do the 3, 4 oz bottles from now on. I guess the best thing to come from all of this is that I thought I was ready to be done breastfeeding after the holidays... but this scare of losing my supply has made me want to keep going to a year!

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