Milk Supply Drop?

More little BLWers in the making... <rubs hands>

Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kmac225 » 14 Nov 2014, 13:04

Just had a visit with my 8month old son with the pedi due to high fever. While I was there, I had his weight checked. He's 15lbs 9oz and had only gained 2 oz in one month. I have felt a little like my milk supply has dropped...(I'm not even sure if im just paranoid because I'm 8 weeks pregnant) but my pedi suggested I increase solid foods to 3 times a day, (I was doing mostly once a day) ....and check again in 3 weeks. She also mentioned I could supplement with formula. He's in the 5th percentile. And I hate that. I feel worried, like I'm not doing the right thing. Should I be supplementing? To me, once I start supplementing I look at it as the end of our breastfeeding relationship which saddens me....I want to breastfeed him until this new baby is here and then tandem feed.
Proud breastfeeding mamma of one with another baby on the way!

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Baby #2 due June '15
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kmac225 » 14 Nov 2014, 13:05

Also, he's not great with baby led weaning yet...still gags a lot so I can't imagine it'll increase his weight if I increase the solids...
Proud breastfeeding mamma of one with another baby on the way!

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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby issi » 14 Nov 2014, 13:30

Being in the 5th percentile isn't in itself a problem - I have a happy, healthy, chubby little boy who has always been on the 0.4th centile line!

I can't remember when this usually happens, but it is common to feel like your milk supply has dropped when really you've just adjusted to your baby's needs. I'm afraid it's too long ago for me to remember when I stopped leaking milk everywhere!

Having said that, it is possible that your milk supply has dropped - I know mine did when I was pregnant, but then my eldest was over 2 when that happened so wasn't feeding as much as your little one probably is.

I don't think there's any harm in offering food more often - practise is good! I'm not sure I'd bother supplimenting at this stage if the only worry is coming from the numbers on the scale. If your baby is happy and producing wet/dirty nappies then that's a good sign...
DS born March 2009. DS2 born October 2011.
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kmac225 » 14 Nov 2014, 16:00

In between feeds I've tried to pump and have only gotten 1oz combined. And I did just assume my supply has adjusted.
Other than that though, he barely cries or fusses...doesn't seem starving
And has wet diapers all day long. The poops are going on longer stretches though...he hasn't had one in like 2days I think.
Proud breastfeeding mamma of one with another baby on the way!

MacIlroy - March '14
Baby #2 due June '15
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Marrow » 14 Nov 2014, 16:24

Completely different situation but might be relevant...

Courgette had very poor weight gain in her first few weeks, and I ended up mixed feeding. As she started eating solids, I was very keen to drop the formula and keep the bf (rather than the other way round). At 7 months, I spoke to the HV (who seems pretty sensible), and her advice was to gradually reduce the formula and see how it went.

Still with me?

This is the relevant bit: her reasoning being that we weren't talking about a newborn. A newborn can end up being too tired and hungry to feed effectively, and intervention is required. A healthy 7 month old will let you know if they are hungry. They won't let themselves starve. Her advice was to gradually reduce the formula, bf on demand, and if the demands were too much for me (supply not keeping up) then I should use a bit more formula for a week or so then try reducing it again.
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby issi » 14 Nov 2014, 16:29

Pumping is not a good indication of how much milk you're producing.

I'm inclined to agree with Marron - he'll let you know if he's hungry.
DS born March 2009. DS2 born October 2011.
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kitcameron » 14 Nov 2014, 16:35

Kmac225 wrote:In between feeds I've tried to pump and have only gotten 1oz combined. And I did just assume my supply has adjusted.
Other than that though, he barely cries or fusses...doesn't seem starving
And has wet diapers all day long. The poops are going on longer stretches though...he hasn't had one in like 2days I think.


This would all suggest to me that you don't have a supply issue. As already said he'd let you know if he was hungry and pumps are highly inefficient.

If you are worried about supply I always recommend fenugreek capsules as I personally have found that they did increase my supply, which I could tell by pumping as I could pump more. But I wasn't pumping because I had a supply issue to start with just that I needed to express to give CM Gaviscon with her milk and I couldn't express enough, I'd have been fine if just feeding her myself.

Is he more active now than previously, could this explain his slower weight gain than in previous months? As long as he is still gaining weight and not complaining of being hungry then I should think he's getting enough.
Mummy to Slinky Malinky (Sept. 12) and Chunker Munker (June 14.)
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Treeb » 14 Nov 2014, 18:57

Kitcameron wrote:Is he more active now than previously, could this explain his slower weight gain than in previous months? As long as he is still gaining weight and not complaining of being hungry then I should think he's getting enough.


Yes, this is what I was going to mention. It is pretty normal at that age for their weight gain to start slowing down. As they start crawling and learning to stand/walk they suddenly start burning way more calories with all their activity, and many babies start to slim down as they get closer to a year.

If he is happy and healthy seeming, wetting diapers as normal, etc. I wouldn't worry at all. Less frequent poops is most likely a result of his body adjusting to the addition of solid foods in his diet. Of course, it can't hurt to start offering food a little more often, and you could attempt to feed higher-fat foods like avocado, cream cheese, whole milk yogurt, nut butters, etc. but I think he will take in what he needs and as your milk starts to drop he may naturally start upping the amount of food he eats.
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Rebeccs » 14 Nov 2014, 22:42

Has he always been in the 5th centile? Or has he dropped centiles. If he's always been at that centile, I wouldn't worry too much especially if he's just become more active. Also if he's had a fever that may affect his weight gain. If you're concerned that you may not be producing enough milk for him you can try supplements. You could also, if you don't already, try having at least one feed where you're lying down to feed maybe near nap or bedtime even if you don't feed to sleep. I think that helped me keep my milk supply up.

Also not pooing everyday is normal when breastfed. If he's weeing lots, that's more important.

Also, how does he behave after a milk feed? Does he act satisfied and/or go to sleep? Is he happy or miserable?

If he's happy and not acting like he's still hungry and meeting all his milestones he may just be naturally small.
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kmac225 » 14 Nov 2014, 22:59

During maybe 1 or 2 times a day, he has become frustrated and indicted he doesn't want to nurse. So I'll pick him up and switch sides and he will be happy to eat off the other side. He will either fall asleep after a few minutes or be done with it and want to sit up. But he's fine and will play and get busy with something else. Sometimes I think I just offered too soon, like he wasn't that hungry. And when he falls asleep on the breast it's usually when he goes down for a nap. Today he missed his after noon nap and around 5pm he fussed at the breast and fell asleep but went down for an hour. So I don't know if I count the fussing at the breast low supply or tired from no nap. It's different all the time. Is it possible during certain times of the day my supply is low? And others not?

Also, I do feed whole milk yogurt, avacado on toast, bananas, apples..have tried meatballs..pasta is unsuccessful (gags and vomits)

And I do feed laying down in bed every morning...
Proud breastfeeding mamma of one with another baby on the way!

MacIlroy - March '14
Baby #2 due June '15
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kmac225 » 14 Nov 2014, 23:01

He was in the 11th percentile for a while and within the last month dropped to the 5th.
He only gained 2 oz in one month
Proud breastfeeding mamma of one with another baby on the way!

MacIlroy - March '14
Baby #2 due June '15
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kmac225 » 14 Nov 2014, 23:30

Is it common the older they get to nurse for shorter periods of time?

Also, he eats every 2 hours sometimes 1 and a half....should I be letting more time pass? Sometimes I find it stressful to increase solids when I'm still nursing that frequently....between naps, nursing, solid foods, cleaning up the mess on the high chair and him with a bath because of yogurt...I'm just going to lose my mind. When I was told to increase solids, my first thought was how? When? In my sleep?

I'm probably just a tired new and pregnant mom........venting... I have learned the new meaning of exhaustion...
Proud breastfeeding mamma of one with another baby on the way!

MacIlroy - March '14
Baby #2 due June '15
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Rebeccs » 15 Nov 2014, 00:34

I know. I was exhausted when I was pregnant the second time and my first was nearly 3 when I fell pregnant. I was still feeding her a lot at 10ish months but I'm not sure if it was that frequent. Perhaps you need to try space out the feeds a bit more and that way he'll eat more at a sitting. Perhaps.

Do you still feed on demand? Or are you like I was/am and feeding whenever you think the cry might mean I want food? Trying to verify whether he's crying for hunger or otherwise may help. I can't say I always got it right but it was easier when she started to be able to ask for it in more specific way.

Another thing to consider, when you give him solids are you eating with him? I trust you are eating at least 3 meals a day yourself? When you sit and eat, have him on your lap and let him share. No extra servings to consider just serve yourself a decent meal and he can try what he likes. No pressure on either of you. The high calorie foods already suggested for him would probably help you too. You need to make sure you're eating well if you're feeding him and a new baby. And also if you can, get as much rest as possible.

Have you got anyone who can help you with his solids meals and cleaning up the mess afterwards? Make sure you take advantage of any help you can get.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby Kmac225 » 15 Nov 2014, 01:38

I offer to nurse every time he seems to fuss (when I know his diaper is clean). I don't know any other way. I've done this since he was born. He started sleeping 10 hours at night since 2months old so I always fed him every two hours during the day to make sure he had adequate weight gain,since he missed feedings at night. I guess that's why I still just offer so frequently. He's never been "on demand".... I don't really know his feeding queues unless he was STARVING...which he is only like that when he wakes up in the morning. Otherwise, he is pretty content and easily distracted with anything if not content. If i were playing and entertaining he would probably miss a feeding without a care...
Proud breastfeeding mamma of one with another baby on the way!

MacIlroy - March '14
Baby #2 due June '15
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Re: Milk Supply Drop?

Postby DandelionFrosting » 15 Nov 2014, 02:33

When I was pregnant and nursing, I found that my boobs get much worse at storing up milk. No matter how long I went in between feeds, it stopped making a difference in how much milk was there. So I had to go back to doing what you're doing, feeding more frequently for less time. (As soon as the flow slowed down a bit, Saurus got obnoxious and started doing backflips and pinching me, so I had to cut him off.) I found it easier to stop making a big deal out of Breastfeeding Time -- I used to get all comfortable on the couch, get everything arranged and ready, go find something for me to read, etc., but when I committed to frequent and short, I just wore an easy access top and I would feed him wherever -- no preparation, no getting settled, just whip one out, feed, and done. It took less time and effort than going to the bathroom, and I stopped resenting the time spent on frequent feeds. That only worked for me up to a point, as Saurus started refusing to feed anywhere except his bed and then spoiled my tandem feeding plans by deciding he was all done, but that's a different story! LOs are all different. It sounds like yours is doing fine, and I wouldn't worry about the centiles -- I've heard those charts are based on mostly formula babies, anyway, and breastfed ones tend to have a bit of a slow-down around crawling that isn't on the charts. (Sorry I never remember where I heard all this stuff. I think it was on Kellymom. Or possibly here!)
Saurus (April 2012) wants to open all the cupboards to see the pipes.
Zilla (December 2013) is unstoppable. And really likes pizza.
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