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Supply dropping... self-weaning?

  1. #17
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    I don't think that a young baby or toddler is capable of making important decisions when it comes to what it best. Parents must use their knowledge and wisdom to make such decisions for them. For this reason I wouldn't allow my baby to 'choose' formula over breast milk. I would draw the line at forcing them, as this is not in my nature, I believe in more gentle and sensitive parenting. I would however do everything in my power to encourage them to continue drinking breast milk. If this means making the feeding environment calm and pleasant, singing, rocking, story time, or whatever.

    Of all of my family and friends who have or are breastfeeding toddlers, none of them are running after them trying to shove a boob in their mouth. Because the experience is made pleasant, the toddlers usually ask for it. Even if its only once or twice a day, the child is receiving essential fatty acids not found in formula (aids in nerve growth esp. in the brain which is growing as fast as it ever will at this age) and antibodies for immunity.

    We've decided that when our son is older, for example two to three years old, when his immune system is more mature and the most critical stage of nerve growth has passed, we will take the 'don't offer but don't refuse' route.

    If I did have serious problems breastfeeding which could not be resolved (most, but not all, can be), and had to choose the formula option, then that would be that. Cest La Vie. But I would still be an advocate for it, encouraging others to try. I doubt I would be so negative about it. Just like I am still an advocate for natural birth even though I ended up using pain medication.

    Cheers,

    Lali

  2. #18
    Sarah_Lotus is offline Registered User
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    Dear Gataloca,

    It sounds like you are giving him more milk in the bottle than he needs. Have you tried giving the milk in a cup rather than a bottle? You will probably find that he drinks less from the cup, maybe more like the amount he drinks from the breast.

    Remember that drinking from a bottle is like going to a buffet whereas drinking from the breast is like sitting down for a meal at home. One option is to pump less at work rather than working hard at increasing your supply when your baby is at an age to be cutting down the amount of milk he drinks.

    If your helper finds that he is still hungry and there isn’t enough milk then I’d consider giving more solids rather than formula milk. My idea of good nutrition is, “Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.” Formula is the world’s most processed food!

    Don’t worry about having enough milk when you are together - you will. Many mothers have stopped expressing at work by the time the baby is one year old but still have enough to feed the baby when they are together. This is because the breast works on the replacement theory. If you take milk out your breast will replace it.

    There is a difference between a baby weaning from the breast because he is ready to more on to the next stage of his life and choosing bottles over the breast.

    We usually encourage mothers to avoid introducing bottles until the baby is at least four to six weeks old as until the milk supply is well established we find that the breast just can not compete with the very fast flow from the bottle.

    But even if the baby is older the breast may have difficulties competing with the bottle’s fast flow. This often happens around the starting solids time as the mother’s milk flow slows. This is noticed especially for a baby who is more interested in the milk than the comfort and for babies who really like solids. The more solids the baby takes the less milk he takes – the calories the baby eats usually stays about the same before and after solids are introduced. This is often mistaken for the baby self weaning but in fact it is showing a preference for the bottle.

    True self weaning occurs when the baby no longer wants the breast or the bottle. Most studies show this to be somewhere between two and four years of age.

    SARAH

    Sarah Hung IBCLC
    www.lotuslactation.com

  3. #19
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lali07 View Post
    If this means making the feeding environment calm and pleasant, singing, rocking, story time, or whatever.
    This assumes that you are a SAHM that can have the luxury of sitting at home making the environment what it is so your child can feed properly.

    Of all of my family and friends who have or are breastfeeding toddlers, none of them are running after them trying to shove a boob in their mouth. Because the experience is made pleasant, the toddlers usually ask for it. Even if its only once or twice a day, the child is receiving essential fatty acids not found in formula (aids in nerve growth esp. in the brain which is growing as fast as it ever will at this age) and antibodies for immunity.
    That's great--but I have friends who do run around trying to shove their breast in their toddler's mouth while their toddler tries to struggle free. That's fine for them but I won't be doing that.

    We've decided that when our son is older, for example two to three years old, when his immune system is more mature and the most critical stage of nerve growth has passed, we will take the 'don't offer but don't refuse' route.
    Awesome. You say this is your first child, right? So, you haven't actually made it to the toddler stage. I'd be interested to hear what your experience is later on.

    If I did have serious problems breastfeeding which could not be resolved (most, but not all, can be), and had to choose the formula option, then that would be that. Cest La Vie. But I would still be an advocate for it, encouraging others to try. I doubt I would be so negative about it. Just like I am still an advocate for natural birth even though I ended up using pain medication.
    You are the one who keeps pinning this "being negative" thing upon me. That is your opinion and you're entitled to it. I could keep labeling you over and over again as "far too optimistic." What good does that do? It's just a silly label.

    I am being realistic and real about my experience which was a negative one and I do believe the points I bring up are valid, legitimate points that need to be considered by women who are breastfeeding. Basically, I see myself as the "other side of the coin" and I think women, if given the right information, are intelligent enough to make decisions for themselves--both when it comes to breastfeeding and to giving birth.

    My problem is that when it comes to giving birth, a lot of the information is withheld and downplayed. When it comes to breastfeeding, the negative aspects are often glossed over as well. And you've mentioned, local doctors don't give accurate support or information for women who do want to breastfeed. But, personally, I'm removed from that because I don't put much stock in what local doctors say anyway.

    I am all for being open about the real experience and what is available in both cases. And I believe I have the right to tell my story as it is because I am certainly not the only woman who has suffered because of breastfeeding only to realize later it would have been better for me, personally and for my child if I had gone to formula sooner. So, for the women who have my story but labored under guilt because breastfeeding was not the best option for them, I want to say that I've been there and done that and it's okay.

    Part of the problem I have with "lactivists" is that when I was in the throes of breastfeeding problems with my first child, along with the help they offered (some was helpful, some was not) they also dished up a big portion of guilt and unrealistic expectations for my particular situation. So, instead of just supporting me as a mother they pursued this breastfeeding thing with religious fervor to the point that left me feeling even more isolated.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #20
    Gataloca's Avatar
    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah_Lotus View Post
    Dear Gataloca,

    It sounds like you are giving him more milk in the bottle than he needs. Have you tried giving the milk in a cup rather than a bottle? You will probably find that he drinks less from the cup, maybe more like the amount he drinks from the breast.

    Remember that drinking from a bottle is like going to a buffet whereas drinking from the breast is like sitting down for a meal at home. One option is to pump less at work rather than working hard at increasing your supply when your baby is at an age to be cutting down the amount of milk he drinks.

    If your helper finds that he is still hungry and there isn’t enough milk then I’d consider giving more solids rather than formula milk. My idea of good nutrition is, “Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.” Formula is the world’s most processed food!

    Don’t worry about having enough milk when you are together - you will. Many mothers have stopped expressing at work by the time the baby is one year old but still have enough to feed the baby when they are together. This is because the breast works on the replacement theory. If you take milk out your breast will replace it.

    There is a difference between a baby weaning from the breast because he is ready to more on to the next stage of his life and choosing bottles over the breast.

    We usually encourage mothers to avoid introducing bottles until the baby is at least four to six weeks old as until the milk supply is well established we find that the breast just can not compete with the very fast flow from the bottle.

    But even if the baby is older the breast may have difficulties competing with the bottle’s fast flow. This often happens around the starting solids time as the mother’s milk flow slows. This is noticed especially for a baby who is more interested in the milk than the comfort and for babies who really like solids. The more solids the baby takes the less milk he takes – the calories the baby eats usually stays about the same before and after solids are introduced. This is often mistaken for the baby self weaning but in fact it is showing a preference for the bottle.

    True self weaning occurs when the baby no longer wants the breast or the bottle. Most studies show this to be somewhere between two and four years of age.

    SARAH

    Sarah Hung IBCLC
    www.lotuslactation.com
    Thanks a lot, Sarah.

    I wasn't really sure how much milk I should give my baby, specially because I don't know how much he drinks when he sucks directly on my breasts. And since my baby is a little bit underweight (probably around 10 percentile or less), I was concerned that he might not have enough (specially because he usually can finish the 2 bottles of 6-7oz milk that I can hardly pump and save during the day).

    I have a question regarding using cups to feed the milk... isn't the flow from a sippy cup sprout faster than a bottle teat? I have never tried giving milk from a sippy cup.. but when my baby drinks water from it, he sometime sucks more than what he can swallow and end up spitting it....

  5. #21
    Sarah_Lotus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gataloca View Post
    I have a question regarding using cups to feed the milk... isn't the flow from a sippy cup sprout faster than a bottle teat? I have never tried giving milk from a sippy cup.. but when my baby drinks water from it, he sometime sucks more than what he can swallow and end up spitting it....
    If he can't manage a sippy cup without spilling the contents try a normal cup/glass and have an adult hold it rather than the baby. I had a friend who never used bottles, sippy cups etc but used a normal cup which she held until the baby was able to do so.
    SARAH

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