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Thread: Milk supply issues w/ 7 month old HELP!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Milk supply issues w/ 7 month old HELP!!

    Hi, I am new here. I have actually come to the forums and read information many times but never posted. I am feeling so frustrated at this point and I need help, adivce and guidance! My baby girl will be 7 months old in about a week.

    I have had milk supply issues from the beginning, it took my milk 1 1/2 weeks to come in. I was drinking mothers milk tea and taking Fenugreek and it finally came in. We did have to supplement with formula briefly, but I stoppped using it at all once my milk came in. My baby had major difficulty latching on but by the time she was a month old, we seemd to have it down. My baby always nursed very frequently, sometimes every hour.

    We started some solid foods at 4 months as her pediatrician said she seemed ready. I did notice she started nursing every 2 to 2 1/2 hours once we started solids. We moved when she was 4 months old and it was a very stessfull time. I stopped drinking the mothers milk tea and stopped taking fenugreek around this time because I thought my supply was ok. After we moved I started nursing laying down which is something I had never done before. When she would wake up in the morning and the middle of the night, I would nurse her laying down and then she would nurse and go to sleep next to me. I didn't think this was a problem then, but I now think this was what started my supply problems.

    At about 5 months old my baby started nursing for 3-5 minutes on each side and she would scream and cry like she was still hungry. I would try to put her on the breast and she would just pull off, she seemed totally disinterested. She also started waking up several times throughout the night, which she was previously not doing. We took her in for a check up and she all of a sudden had not been gaining weight as well as she should. I determined that my supply must have somehow dwindled, possibly from nursing laying down. I wonder now if she wasn't getting as much milk as she used to causing my supply to almost diminish. I am a stay at home Mom, so I had not been pumping for a long time because there was never a need to. I came on the forums here and saw that I should pump after every feeding. I have the Medela pump in style so I have a good pump. I started nursing her as much as possible. I would just put her on the breast as much as she would take it. I also started pumping after every feeding. I started out pumping literally drops. It took about a month, but by the time she was 6 months old I was pumping around 2 ounces a day (several pumping sessions). My baby seemed happier and she gained some weight. She still was not sleeping well at all which meant I was not sleeping well. I gave in and started giving her 2-3 ounces of formula at bedtime and she started sleeping again. I still do this at night and give her either 3 ounces of either pumped breastmilk bottle or formula.

    Things were fine until about 2 weeks ago and she started doing the same thing again, acting hungry and yet disinterested in the breast. I still pump twice a day but right around this time I went from pumping 2 ounces per day to 1/2 an ounce per day. Nothing has changed. I am still drinking mothers milk tea, and taking fenugreek. I drink lots and lots of water. She nurses about every 2- 3 hours and eats solids 3 times per day now. I've started pumping after every feeding again but I am just getting exhausted. I just feel so frustrated. No matter what I do, my supply just stinks! I dont have insurance so I cant go to the doctor myself to see if they can figure out what is going on. I really want to continue to breastfeed my daughter but its getting exhausting to have to work so hard to keep my supply up. I am SO jealous of all the women who make enough milk for their babies because I know in my heart I am not. It has been such a struggle and I just don't know what to do anymore.... HELP!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,796

    Default Re: Milk supply issues w/ 7 month old HELP!!

    Welcome! I'm sorry you're having such a tough time with your baby. Can you share some more information with us, to help us figure things out? It would be helpful to know the following:
    - A weight history- baby's birth weight, lowest weight, and weight at each checkup.
    - Diaper output- how many wet/poopy diapers does your baby produce in a 24-hour period?
    - Your health status- in particular, do you have thyroid issues or PCOS?

    I know this is super stressful, but much of what you've written about can be normal, rather than an indicator of low supply. I'd write more but my baby just woke up!
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Milk supply issues w/ 7 month old HELP!!

    Thanks for your help!

    She weighed 7 lbs 12 ounces at birth. She weighed 7 lbs the day we left the hospital. She had a check up 3 days after we left the hospital and she weighed 7 lbs 4 ounces. At her 2 week check up she weighed 7 lbs 12 ounces. At one month she weighed 8 lbs 15 ounces, At 3 1/2 months she weighed 11 lbs 2 ounces. At 4 1/2 months she weighed 13 lbs 5 ounces. At 5 1/2 months she weighed 13 lbs 12 ounces. At 6 1/2 months she weighed 14 lbs 6 ounces.

    She does have quite a few wet diapers but I am concerned most of them come from the food she eats during the day and the one formula bottle she has at each night. But she usually has around 7 wet diapers, and 2 poopy in a 24 hour period

    As far as I know my health is just fine. I do not have any major health issues that I know of.

    I have tried several things to increase my supply: mother's milk tea, fenugreek, alfalfa, eating oatmeal and flax seed. The tea and fenugreek help a little but nothing has given me a real big boost.

    My main concern is that my baby isn't getting enough milk. I worry that the solids she is eating are really the only thing keeping her full. She likes to eat and does eat a pretty good amount of food. For breakfast she has 5 tablespoons of oatmeal and 1 jar of fruit. For lunch she has 1 jar of a veggie and 1 jar of fruit. For dinner (1 hour before bedtime) she has 5 tablespoons of oatmeal and 1 jar of fruit. I have tried reducing her solids to get her to nurse more, but she is just REALLY unhappy if I do that.

    Not too long ago I gave my baby a breastmilk bottle instead of having her nurse to see how much I pumped which should tell me how much she is getting. I realize that she will get more from me than a pump, but I tried this to try and get some peace of mind. I pumped and got less than an ounce. I know she should be eating more than 1 ounce of breastmilk every 2-3 hours. I just dont know what to do to help our situation! I am lost...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,796

    Default Re: Milk supply issues w/ 7 month old HELP!!

    Thanks for posting a reply! Based on diaper output and your baby's weight history, I don't think you need to worry too much. You don't have a huge baby, but babies don't have to be huge to be healthy! Your LO seems to be wiggling around on the charts somewhere between the 50th and 25th %iles. Some months she's up, others she's down, but she's gaining consistently and not plunging off the charts. She's dropped down closer to the 25th %ile recently, but that's to be expected in a 6.5 month old- as a baby becomes increasingly mobile she's going to put her calories into motion instead of fat.

    My main concern is that my baby isn't getting enough milk. I worry that the solids she is eating are really the only thing keeping her full. She likes to eat and does eat a pretty good amount of food. For breakfast she has 5 tablespoons of oatmeal and 1 jar of fruit. For lunch she has 1 jar of a veggie and 1 jar of fruit. For dinner (1 hour before bedtime) she has 5 tablespoons of oatmeal and 1 jar of fruit. I have tried reducing her solids to get her to nurse more, but she is just REALLY unhappy if I do that.
    How many times in a 24-hour period is she nursing? And are you nursing before offering solids?

    One thing I notice from the above is that the solids you're offering are all pretty low calorie compared to breastmilk or to some other solids. If you're concerned about your baby's weight, give her avocado instead of fruit, give her whole milk yogurt instead of cereal... But- obviously!- nurse first and offer solids only after she's tanked up on milk.

    Not too long ago I gave my baby a breastmilk bottle instead of having her nurse to see how much I pumped which should tell me how much she is getting. I realize that she will get more from me than a pump, but I tried this to try and get some peace of mind. I pumped and got less than an ounce. I know she should be eating more than 1 ounce of breastmilk every 2-3 hours. I just dont know what to do to help our situation! I am lost...
    One issue with pumping is that it allows you to measure how much you're producing- or how much you think you're producing. Pump output varies a lot based on when you pump, how you respond to the pump, your level of skill when it comes to pumping, and what sort of pump you have.

    I don't mean to just dismiss your concerns- you know your baby and your body best! But everything you describe sounds pretty normal. Fast feedings- normal at 6.5 months. Fussiness- normal, particularly when baby starts to teethe. Increased night-waking- totally normal and almost never an indication of low supply. Declining on the charts- normal, particularly after 6 months.

    A couple things that could impact supply- pregnancy, hormonal contraception, thyroid issues, nursing on a schedule, supplementing...
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Milk supply issues w/ 7 month old HELP!!

    Thanks for all your help. Maybe I am just worrying for nothing! Its just been very difficult as I am the only person in my family who has breastfed and none of my friends have either. So I don't have anyone to ask questions! My daughter's pediatrician isnt the most supportive of breastfeeding either, which makes it all the more difficult!

    She nurses every 2 -3 hours. She nurses the best the first time she nurses the morning and before bed at night. I am assuming thats because she is sleepy and less distracted. Sometimes she nurses for a minute and other times 5 minutes, but she never really nurses longer than that except for the first and last feeding of the day.

    I always nurse her before giving her any solids. Sometimes she isnt very interested before its time to eat, but I at least always try!

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