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Diminishing Milk Supply

  1. #9
    jools is offline Registered User
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    Hi Bee,
    I will try to help if I can:
    1) There are a number of reasons why babies start asking for more milk. Your daughter might be on a growth spurt and therefore the demands of growing mean that she's asking for more milk. When my son was on a growth spurt he used to feed every hour for about 24 hours. She may also be preparing for the evening and getting ready for bed. The milk in the evening has a greater fat content and therefore babies can sometimes want this milk more before they sleep. In my daughter's case we call it 'carbo-loading'. I feel that it is very important to feed on demand and if your baby is asking for more then that's OK. It doesn't mean that your milk is diminshing. As they grow their need for food changes, so you need to keep pace with them and take your cues from her.
    2) Personally I fond it helpful to express at the same time everyday, just so that I have a routine for myself and I don't forget in the business of the day. I find that I produce the most milk first thing in the morning after my daughter's first feed. You don't have to worry about your daughter not having any milk after you have expressed. Firstly your daughter is MUCH more efficient at getting milk out of the breast than any pump, so she will be able to get more out. Secondly your breast doesn't stop making milk. It is making milk all the time. The only time it stops making milk is when you are engorged (usually when your milk first comes in). As I said the breast is constantly making milk and your daughter suckling is the signal for the breast to release this milk (the let down feeling you get). So even if you expressed and then put your baby straight to the breast she would still get a full feed. So don't worry about your expressing interfering with your baby's feeding.
    3) I think this may be a case of trial and error. I know I find it very difficult to throw my expressed milk away. Recently my freezer broke down and I lost my complete supply. I was mortified, but with a bit of effort I had my stocks back within a week. Now if my daughter doesn't drink some of the milk I'm not so worried because I can always make some more.

    I hope that helps. One more thing if you haven't got time to attend a LaLeche league meeting you can always telephone one of the leaders, they will be very happy to help, I'm sure. Good luck

    Jools

  2. #10
    minono is offline Registered User
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    It does help Jools. It does.

    Little advice help us to relax about this wonder of nature that is motherhood.

    Good luck with your own kids.
    Bee

  3. #11
    ggrizzy is offline Registered User
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    diminishing milk supply after starting solids....

    i am presently breastfeeding my son (8.5 months) and he has started solids (2 meals/day) since 6 months old. i breastfeed him in the morning and before i sleep around 11pm. during the day, he gets around 4oz after his lunch of solids around 12 noon, then around 7oz around 4pm, then another 4oz after his dinner solids around 7pm. (that makes a total of around 4 bottles of 7oz/day). however, at a recent checkup, nurse said that he's gone from 95percentile baby at birth to 10percentile now! i feel that my milk supply is really diminishing and i've recently started to drink mother's milk tea to help boost the supply! during the day, i pump once at noon before i go to work, and once around 4pm at work. i'm only able to get 9oz expressed per day so my stock in the freezer is slowly diminishing too i would like to feed my son for as long as i can but i'm so afraid that he's not getting enough nutrients as he's not too much of a good eater with the solids too!

    when i was breastfeeding my elder son (now 2.5yrs), i didn't have such a problem around 8 months. i don't know if it's because my younger son was teething around 6 months, and started to sit and crawl around that time too so less apetite plus more expensed energy=less weight gain??? during the day, apart from his 2 main solid meals, he gets yoghurt, and fruit, and cheerios as snacks.

    anybody encounter the same problem with diminishing milk supply after starting on solids?

    frustrated mum.....

  4. #12
    minono is offline Registered User
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    Grizzy, may be I can bring another experience if it helps.

    Regarding growth: my son was a huge new born. Then he went under the 20% centile which did not surprised me as we are short people. Guess what, now at 2.5 y.old is is at 50% centile. So it seems that growth is not a rational linear science. May be you shouldn't be too worried if your doctor isn't worried. As my son was breastfed on demand, I have applied the same rule for meals: I trust him that he knows better than I do which quantity of food he needs. Of course I decide for the type of food and time of meal and he never ask in between meals but he decides alone which quantity he takes. We never argue on this. It is stressing out my Asian friends who are "running after their kids with a bowl and a spoon until all is empty". But it is more cultural than anything: no kids ever ever will starve himself and live hungry.

    Regarding your 8m. old, my son started to ask more breastfeeding at that age. I was worried i will not get through and just gave him more by changing breasts more than once while breastfeeding. Also all other tips below are valid. It works and my son breastfed until one year old but mind you only morning and evening at the end and formula for the day.

    You did a great job up to now and if all this breastfeeding stops at 9month or so, it is still fantastic you managed it so far. Remember that what ever your desires, you need to be two to agree on continuing.

  5. #13
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    Grizzy, I've had a similar situation recently with my 12-month-old (who took to solids late). She also went down to the 10th centile at about 10 months, then was diagnosed with mild iron deficiency. Since taking the iron drops she has been piling on the weight (not sure how much, checkup later this week, but it's certainly getting much more of a strain to pick her up!). So that might be something worth checking out with your doctor, if you're not already using supplements.

    Another idea is to offer higher-calorie foods. Yoghurt and fruit are what we eat to diet, right?! Maybe try cheese, egg (not officially recommended until after 12 months tho), fish and meat.

    My baby is now losing interest in breastfeeding altogether, due to increased solids volume and pride in her independence from walking! I'm desperately trying to keep my milk supply up for another month, as we're taking a long-haul trip to the UK and I'm sure breastfeeding will be most convenient and help comfort her. I took advice from a LLL leader and I was told to make sure I offer breastfeeding before solids, so that she's really hungry for the milk. And direct breastfeeding helps stimulate supply much more than expressing, though expressing does help. Are you direct breastfeeding on weekends, during the times when you would normally express at work?

  6. #14
    helena is offline Registered User
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    To increase milk supply, these can be taken:

    1. Fenugreek
    2. Brewer's Yeast
    3. Nursing Mothers' Tea

  7. #15
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    Dr Jack Newman has lots of information about herbal treatments when breastfeeding at Miscellaneous Treatments, http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/24.html
    (This page gives the doses and explains what to buy and what to avoid.)

    Remember! Herbal treatments are only part of the solution to “not enough milk”. Another good page to read is Protocol to Increase Intake of Breast Milk by the Baby, http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/notenough.html

    Best wishes,
    Barb

  8. #16
    mammalicious is offline Registered User
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    Jools

    i was reading your advise regarding expressing milk before a feed. you say that the baby can suck my efficiently the milk out of my breasts then a pump will, so if i feed her after i express, she can still get a full feed.

    my questions are :

    1) if i express from both breasts and immediately then put my baby on my breasts (switching still between the two for stimulation) will my body have produced enough for her full feed, or should i just express from 1 breast only?

    2) i always thought that my baby would need both foremilk and hindmilk. if i express from my breasts before i feed my baby, would that not mean i have expressed the foremilk and some hindmilk, so when my baby latches on, all she will recieve is the hindmilk? will she then be very thirsty without this foremilk? i'v been told i need not feed my baby water as my breastmilk's foremilk will quench her thirst.

    3) the books and nurses say that i should feed my baby until she falls off the breast, burp her and then offer her more to see if she still wants more. but they do say that a feed should last no more than around 45minutes. my baby girl however can suckle for much longer then that.. the longest i'v allowed her is 1hr 30minutes before i got so frustrated that i delatched her myself. does this mean she has not gotten enough milk? or is she, as i suspect, sucking for comfort. this becomes a problem when i am feeding her everyone 3 hours or so.. so the feed itself takes 1 hour (thats the max i allow now), play for about an hour.. and then settling for about 30-60minutes.. which means she wakes in 15min hungry!!

    4) because my baby is so fussy and so difficult to settle... we have resorted to trying a pacifier to help soothe her. she is unable to keep it in her mouth so everytime it falls out, she cries to have us put it back in. i know people have warned about teething problems when babies use pacifiers and also confusion with the nipple. i so far cannot see any problem with the confusion, but am worried abt any other problems this may cause. however, if we don't use the dummy, she will cry and cry for a long time and still not fall asleep (i can't bear to hear her cry for too long so havn't actually seen if she will sleep from crying too long). has anyone experienced this and have any advice?

    thanks for listening.
    stressed out mom

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