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newmom1978
Supply getting low??
January 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Just when I think I have BF'ing figured out, I worry about something new. Lately I have been wondering if my supply is running low. My LO is now 5 months old and I know she is growing and her appetite is growing too, but I feel like nursing her isnt enough, she is a hungry baby.. I have tried introducing 1st foods but after a few tiny nibbles she cries but behaves as she still wants it. I BF on demand but 45 min to an hour she is hungry again, feeding times are from just a few minutes to about 10 minutes. I have been doing 4 to 5 oz of breast milk that I have stored with 2 tblspns of rice, that does ok but she really seems saatisfied with formula, I give her that sometimes. I pump first thing in moring, and when she is given a bottle. I have noticed that I am pumping less and less out. Is it possible my supply is starting to run low? How can I increase it? Or is it time to just move on to something else, such as the stored milk with rice and then eventually formula? I have worked so hard with BF'ing, it was a struggle for me but I never gave up but I know the most important thing is that my daughter gets what she needs when she needs it. Also, she cant nap as long after nursing compared to when she is fed from a bottle. What should I do?

Replies

  • fortressmom
    January 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Okay mama, take a deep breath.  Babies are supposed to act hungry a lot. It keeps your supply where they need it to be. She's getting you ready for the 6 month growth spurt that's looming. By nursing more frequently she's starting to boost your supply. The bottles are stretching her tummy out so that when she's nursing and getting a normal amount, she still feels hungry. Also please do not put cereal in bottles. It's a choking hazard and offers no nutritional value as well as blocking the absorption of the iron in your milk. Bad stuff all around. She naps longer and seems more "satisfied" with formula because it sits in their belly like a brick. It is so hard to break down and digest that they basically hibernate to let their body work as hard as it needs to digest a little of the formula. Pump output means nothing. Many moms quit responding to a pump after a little while but baby still gets plenty. I'm nursing my 4th LO and have never been able to pump worth a darn, but all of my babes are well nourished and healthy:) As they get older they are more efficient when nursing which explains the shorter nursing times. So, just nurse, nurse, nurse and forget cereal, formula, and solids. They do nothing to help you out in this situation. She's fine and you're doing a great job!!

  • newmom1978
    January 25, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    thank you sooooooooo much!! that makes me feel so much better simple smile

  • melindabelcher
    mel
    January 25, 2013 at 11:24 AM
    I agree with fortressmom
  • K8wizzo
    by K8wizzo
    January 25, 2013 at 11:31 AM


    Quoting newmom1978:

    Just when I think I have BF'ing figured out, I worry about something new. Welcome to motherhood :) 

    Lately I have been wondering if my supply is running low. doubtful, but let's see.  Remember that low supply is determined by not seeing enough diapers--if it's coming out, it must be going out.  Baby's behavior isn't an indicator of low supply unless you're seeing quiet lethargy. My LO is now 5 months old and I know she is growing and her appetite is growing too and your milk is changing to meet her needs perfectly at every step of the way, but I feel like nursing her isnt enough, she is a hungry baby..Your milk is perfect for her body, and as long as you're nursing on demand and not supplementing you have plenty.  Baby's daily amount of breastmilk doesn't change between 4 weeks of age and 12 months of age (19-30 oz, 25 oz is the average) because your milk changes in composition.  If you had enough milk before, you should still have enough now.  I have tried introducing 1st foods but after a few tiny nibbles she cries but behaves as she still wants it. 5 months is too early for solids--she needs to be at least 6 months, sitting independently, able to pick up small objects, and have lost the tongue thrust reflex.  Until then, nothing but breastmilk.  Baby food whether jarred or cereal is lacking in nutrition, has far fewer calories, and can cause anemia in breastfed infants because it prevents absorption of natural iron.  When you do start solids, consider just cutting up some banana or sweet potato (or even steak or chicken) and putting it in front of her--it's a much healthier way for babies to learn to eat. I BF on demand but 45 min to an hour she is hungry again normal , feeding times are from just a few minutes to about 10 minutes.wow, she's a quick nurser! :) I have been doing 4 to 5 oz of breast milk that I have stored with 2 tblspns of rice, woah woah woah!!!!  no cereal in bottles--that's a choking hazard and those bottles are too big for a breastfed baby--3 oz tops, okay?  and only when you're not in the same building.  Nurse when you're together.  Giving bottles when you don't need to WILL eventually hurt your supply.  that does ok but she really seems saatisfied with formula, I give her that sometimes. Are you pumping while the formula is being given?  If not, you're hurting your supply.  Yes, baby seems more satisfied by the formula because her tummy is struggling to digest it.  It's just sitting in there like a lead weight. I pump first thing in moring, and when she is given a bottle.good I have noticed that I am pumping less and less out. Is it possible my supply is starting to run low?It's normal for pump output to descrease over time.  Normal pump output is 0.5 oz to 2 oz from both breasts combined.  The way that you are giving bottles now is very likely hurting your supply. How can I increase it? No more bottles, nurse on demand, and count diapers.  As long as she's making 5-6 per day (3T is a wet, really wet counts as 2, poopy counts as 2), she's getting enough milk.  If she's not making enough diapers, nurse more often, consider taking fenugreek, and supplement just enough to get her diaper count up.  Good info here: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basics/decrease-formula/Or is it time to just move on to something else, such as the stored milk with rice NO! NO! NO!!!!  That rice is taking up space in her diet that should be filled with nutritious milk.  By doing that, you are putting your daughter at risk for malnutrition.  Either unaltered breastmilk or formula MUST be the basis of her diet until her first birthday. Solids are just for fun until then.  and then eventually formula?If you choose to wean and go to formula you certainly can, but I think we can help you continue to exclusively breastfeed.  I have worked so hard with BF'ing, it was a struggle for me but I never gave up good for you!  so many women don't make it as long as you have but I know the most important thing is that my daughter gets what she needs when she needs it.Breastmilk is absolutely what she needs, anything else is a poor substitute.  You can do this!! Also, she cant nap as long after nursing compared to when she is fed from a bottle. After that large of a bottle, she's napping longer because her body is basically shutting down just to be able to process that milk.  What should I do? Invest is a sling, meitai, or ergo, and wear her during the day.  Nurse on demand.  No more bottles.  You two will be just fine.


  • newmom1978
    January 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    thank you thank you thank you! im so glad and grateful for everyone's comments! so glad there is a place like cafemom :)

  • maggiemom2000
    January 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM


    Quoting newmom1978:

    Just when I think I have BF'ing figured out, I worry about something new. Lately I have been wondering if my supply is running low. My LO is now 5 months old and I know she is growing and her appetite is growing too, but I feel like nursing her isnt enough, she is a hungry baby.. I have tried introducing 1st foods but after a few tiny nibbles she cries but behaves as she still wants it.

    No solids yet. Giving solids now can actually lead to your producing less milk.

    I BF on demand but 45 min to an hour she is hungry again, feeding times are from just a few minutes to about 10 minutes. I have been doing 4 to 5 oz of breast milk that I have stored with 2 tblspns of rice,

    Stop putting the cereal in bottles! There are lots of reasons why.

    that does ok but she really seems saatisfied with formula,

    The formula is heavier and harder to digest leaving her "full" longer. Giving it to her will decrease your supply.

    I give her that sometimes. I pump first thing in moring, and when she is given a bottle. I have noticed that I am pumping less and less out.

    Normal. Most moms report pump output decreases over time, regardlesss of supply.

    Is it possible my supply is starting to run low?

    How can I increase it?

    Easy peasy! Stop pumping, stop giving bottles, stop all solids, and nurse on demand. Yep, it is that simple!!

    Or is it time to just move on to something else, such as the stored milk with rice and then eventually formula? I have worked so hard with BF'ing, it was a struggle for me but I never gave up but I know the most important thing is that my daughter gets what she needs when she needs it. Also, she cant nap as long after nursing compared to when she is fed from a bottle. What should I do?

    See above :-)


  • maggiemom2000
    January 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Giving formula, solids, and even pumping and bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding directly can lead to lower milk supply. Stop doing those things and your body will do its job!

    FYI

    http://theleakyboob.com/2011/10/help-my-milk-supply-is-low-or-is-it/

    Help, my milk supply is low! Or is it?

    By Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC

    Ever wish your breasts had little ounce markings? If so, you’re not alone. One of the more confusing things about breastfeeding is determining how much milk you’re making. You can’t see how much is going into your baby, so how can you tell if your milk supply is enough for your baby?

    On this page we share the best ways to determine if your milk supply is in fact low, and describe the many things that can make you think that your supply is low when it actually isn’t.

     

    Below are some normal experiences that can trick you into believing that your supply is low:

    “My baby wants to eat all the time.” It’s normal for babies to eat frequently, generally in the range of 8 to 12 times in 24 hours for many months. This means many hours of feeding a day, and it may feel constant at times. It’s also normal for babies to “cluster feed” at times during the day. If your baby is feeding significantly outside of the 8-12 times range, contact a lactation consultant or other breastfeeding support person.

    “My breasts feel softer than they used to.” Toward the end of the first month of breastfeeding many women notice that their breasts have decreased from the size they were when their mature milk came in. This is normal, and does not indicate anything about milk supply.

    “I don’t feel that ‘let down’ sensation.” Some women have a “let down” sensation when they make milk, and some don’t. It doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the amount of milk a mother makes, so don’t worry if you don’t feel anything.

    “My baby suddenly wants to eat all the time.” Babies go through growth spurts. They do this in order to increase your milk supply to meet an increased need for calories. To do this, they go on a feeding rampage for a few days – eating more often than usual and sometimes acting unsatisfied and fussy after feedings. During a growth spurt it’s common to question your supply. After a growth spurt you’ll find that you have more milk than ever!

    “I can’t pump very much.” Pumping output is usually not a good measure of milk supply. Why? Because your body doesn’t always make milk for the pump (it has to be tricked into believing that the pump is your baby!) and when it does the pump doesn’t remove milk as well as your baby does. So don’t gauge your milk supply based on your pumping output. You almost always have more than you pump.

    “My baby is fussy when she nurses.” There are many causes of fussiness at the breast. And while hunger is one of them, your baby may be fussy because of gas, pooping, a flow that is too fast or too slow, or a host of other reasons. If you believe that your baby is fussy because he or she isn’t getting enough milk, or if the fussiness is causing you distress, consult a lactation consultant or other breastfeeding support person.

    “My baby is suddenly waking up at night a lot.” Night waking can be due to hunger, but it can also be due to teething or “reverse cycling,” (when babies eat less during the day and more at night, often due to a change in routine like a return to work, or distracted behavior during the day).

     

    Here’s how to tell if your milk supply is actually low:

    1) Your baby’s weight. The best measure of whether your baby is getting enough milk is his or her weight gain.

    If you are concerned about your milk supply, have your baby weighed and re-weighed using a baby scale. Scales will always be a little different, so be sure to compare only weights taken on the same scale. Except in critical situations, weight checks every few days or weekly is generally sufficient.

    In the first three months of life babies gain an average of 1 ounce per day. That slows to at least approximately a half an ounce per day between 4 and 6 months. 

    Occasionally your health care provider may suggest a “test weight,” in which your baby is weighed on a sensitive scale before and after a feeding (with the same clothes on) to determine how much milk the baby received at that feeding. This can give you a snapshot of a feeding, but be cautious in drawing conclusions from the data. The amount of milk babies take in at different feedings can vary widely, so bear this in mind if you do a test weight of your baby.

     

    2) Diaper output. You can get a sense of how much your baby is taking in by what comes out. After the first few days, babies generally have at least three poops that are bigger than a quarter in size each day. This frequency may decline after several weeks. And your baby should have five very wet diapers per day. It can be difficult to measure output in very absorbent diapers, which is why your baby’s weight is considered the ‘bottom line.’

     

    3) Swallowing. You may also take comfort in how much your baby is swallowing when nursing. This is not a definitive measure of your supply and should be confirmed with information about your baby’s growth, but a period of rapid swallowing (one swallow per one or two sucks) during a feeding shows you that your baby is getting milk. To check out your baby’s swallowing, listen for a ‘cah’ sound or a squeak or gulp, and look for a longer and slower movement of the jaw, often with a brief pause at the widest point. 

     

    What to do if your milk supply is indeed low:

    If your milk supply is low, be sure to get help from a lactation consultant (IBCLC) or other qualified breastfeeding support person. There are many steps you can take to build your milk supply, and these support people will be able to guide you through that process. You can find a lactation consultant by going to www.ilca.org.

     

    Resources:

    The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk. Diana West and Lisa Marasco, McGraw Hill, 2009.

    La Leche League, International: www.llli.org

    Kellymom: www.kellymom.com

    Find a lactation consultant: www.ilca.org

  • mamabens
    January 25, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I agree with all the advice you've been given. Couldn't put it better myself.

  • aehanrahan
    January 25, 2013 at 3:36 PM
    I agree too! You have been given excellent advice!

    Quoting mamabens:

    I agree with all the advice you've been given. Couldn't put it better myself.

  • tabi_cat1023
    January 25, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    HUGS momma you have been given great advice, this is why we say formula is one step toward weaning

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