Am I losing my Nutrition in my Breastmilk??

Megan - posted on 04/08/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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My 8 Month old daughter has been super grouchy lately. She has developed this absolutely horrible cry/scream! Sometimes when I am trying to feed her, she absolutely looses it! She wont even take her suckie, which is very odd, as she ALWAYS wants it!

My breasts dont feel as full anymore. Last time my supply went down I took Fenugreek. It upped my supply within days! I actually had to stop after taking it for 4 days because I was too full.

I've been taking it for about a week now, and don't seem to see a change.

Every time I try to nurse She just cries and cries. I gave her 2 oz of formula i mixed to see if she would take it, and she just gulped and gulped it. I think she is starving, and my breast milk isn't cutting it for her anymore :(

Have any of you had any experiences with this? or any advice on what I should do? Should I just start giving her Formula?

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Michele - posted on 04/12/2011

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You need to have a heart to heart with yourself. Nursing when it goes well is the most relaxing and rewarding experience in the world. Nursing going badly can really be a game changer. Once you firmly commit to whether you either believe the research that indicates breast is best OR to supplement is perfectly fine-you'll feel better about your decision. I can tell you that IF you really want to BF you will significantly decrease your supply with supplementing. When the baby has to work harder to get the milk from a decreased supply, they feed less and less, further decreasing an already lowered supply. Just know your heart--it's hard to go backwards and regret makes a less enthusiastic mommy. I made my choice there and when things weren't going so well, I continued to nurse. I'm glad I did. Nature has been at this job a lot longer than you or I. It's perfected its recipe. For good scientific data, see http://www.drgreene.com/article/essentia...



Regarding the grouchy baby--sounds like acid reflux, ear infection, or your milk gives your baby discomfort potentially from a lactose-intolerance or some other food in your diet. Contact the local chapter of La Leche League for some assistance or call your local hospital and ask for a consult with the lactation consultant. Most insurances pay for this visit.If the Ped is not a fan of BF, you'll have half-hearted support.

Also consider this, for your baby to get the milk she must do something--it's not for free-she has to facilitate let-down. With the bottle, well it's just there for the taking. Two thoughts-life requires us to participate. We need to do something to get something. Philosophical point really. Second point, if suckling to encourage let down hurts-she's going to be grouchy. Think ear infection, teething, mouth ulcer, etc., she is less likely to want the milk she has to work for...visit with a Ped who is supportive..Good luck!

Merry - posted on 04/13/2011

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Way to go Megan! I'm glad it all worked out. As she gets older your breasts will gradually feel less full over time. This is because they get better at making just the right amount instead of overproducing like they do in the beginning. By about a year I barely felt full ever! My body just had perfected it so well that I made only what he needed each time. So don't be surprised if you start feeling 'empty' at some point. If you ćan still squeeze a stream out, you don't have to worry! But I hope it all stays on track and you two enjoy a long time breastfeeding!

Merry - posted on 04/12/2011

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She actually said she was feeding her three meals a day. So I think it might be more needed to cut back on solids until breastfeeding becomes better established again.

Kimberly - posted on 04/11/2011

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I need to correct the person who says that breastmilk never loses its nutrition.. That is false, if you dont have enough nutrition in your body to begin with, your breast milk wont have alot of nutrition either. Tha doesnt mean that its not going to be enough to keep your bby fed and alive, though so yea the baby would be just fine if the nutrition levels were down in your breast milk.. She is correct about the lack of fullness just meaning you just arent producing enough, and you will probably need to supplement with formula or food.. etc. I was also thinking she may be teething too. I hope the best!! ♥

Angela - posted on 04/09/2011

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I have another vote for what Laura and Carolyn said.

Only would like to add: while the ped is highly trained, some pediatricians are more BF friendly and BF educated than others. If yours isn't with it, he or she may say to just give her what she wants, give her the formula, don't worry about BFing or something. While formula isn't poison, it's nowhere near comparable to your milk. She seems to be preferring the bottle because it's a quick delivery system for nutrition. Babies are smart. They eat what they can easily get. In this respect, I see formula as being similar to fast food. It's a quick fix and keeps you full but isn't as good for us, costs more money, is wasteful and can cause problems down the road.

I hope you're able to continue BFing, it really is the best. She'll take the boob if that's all you offer her.

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Megan - posted on 04/13/2011

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Also, I am now only feeding her lunch and supper. I cut out the breakfast. I think she was getting too full. She was also spitting up too, and she has NEVER been a peuker since she was born. We will try breakfast again in a month maybe.

Megan - posted on 04/13/2011

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Thank-You everyone for all your help! Looks like we are back on track! Been successfully breastfeeding without trouble since yesterday afternoon! Dr. Prescribed me Domperidone. I knew it was my supply! I just didnt feel full anymore! :) SOO Glad I stuck it out and didnt resort to formula!

Christina - posted on 04/12/2011

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You know, I didn't even think to ask if you're feeding solids yet, just read an above comment. My first daughter I breastfed for 22 months and she would have went forever on just breastmilk if I would have let her, she didn't start eating really good until about a year. My 10 month old however, who was born preemie, was interested in food early on! She's been on solids since a little before 6 months. I used to be a "wait on solids" type of person but my newest wee one sure changed my mind! This kid LOVES to eat LOL So maybe if you've not done so already, try some baby food : ) At first they won't eat much at a time so if it's jarred, spoon out some first so you can refrigerate the rest for later : ) Have fun and good luck...again LOL

Christina - posted on 04/12/2011

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My lil darling does this to me at times, she'll be 10 months tomorrow. She has been teething but I kind of think it happens when she's overly tired. If she keeps up I just wait, try walking around with your lil one and singing, go outside for a bit if the weather is good, then go back to nursing after you've both been able to relax your mood! Believe in yourself! I know how it is to start to worry about your supply when the baby is acting this way but don't give up! I'm thankful that I've read all the information I have or else I might have given in to doubts and temptations as well through these hard times. Oh and also, my breast (which are huge LOL) are also soft and not full feeling like the first few months of breastfeeding. Not at all an indicator of how much milk you have : ) Good luck hon and hope this little spell ends soon!

Savona - posted on 04/12/2011

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at 41/2-5 months (I know it was a little early) but I started giving my daughter pabylum mixed with my breastmilk and the odd little snack of baby apple sauce. Maybe shes ready for some sort of solids aswell as your breastmilk. It was at that time that it seemed that my daughter was actually hungry. Maybe this is the reason?
goodluck to you and your baby. =)

[deleted account]

It sounds to me like a nursing strike. It's something that is usually gone after a short period of time. It's temporary. A lot of babies go through a nursing strike at your baby's age.



In the mean time you can keep up your supply by pumping milk and then giving it to your baby. Make sure you are relaxed when your trying to nurse or pump as that can affect let-down. If you have the milk but aren't letting down it can seem like you aren't producing when you, in fact, are making plenty of milk.



Keep nursing. If you use formula to supplement (rather than pumping) it will affect your milk supply ... as someone said it is supply and demand and if your body isn't being told to make milk it won't.

Kimberly - posted on 04/12/2011

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Im not going to argue with you because clearly you are very concrete. You aren't reading what i wrote as a whole, WORDS MEAN THINGS "breast milk NEVER loses nutrition" is false. and that is the point I was making.There is no article you can find me that can back that up. PERIOD. Have a nice day, Im sorry to the person who posted this. Just wanted you to get the facts. Good Day.

Merry - posted on 04/12/2011

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Unless mom is literally malnourished the milk will be just as quality as if mom was a health nut. You have to be practically dying of malnutrition before the milk is affected nutritionally. I highly doubt the OP is malnourished. The only moms who have to worry about that likely live in places where they have no access to good food, and even then those moms shouldn't feed formula because if their food is so bad, their water probably is too so the formula would be contaminated.
There's really no instances where formula is healthier for the baby. With the exception of a galactosemic baby, which are very rare.

[deleted account]

No, Kimberly, hard to rub me the wrong way!
Just some more info:

"Do I need to maintain a perfect diet while breastfeeding?

The short answer to this question is NO – you do not need to maintain a perfect diet in order to provide quality milk for your baby. In fact, research tells us that the quality of a mother’s diet has little influence on her milk. Nature is very forgiving – mother’s milk is designed to provide for and protect baby even in times of hardship and famine. A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother than her breastfed baby."
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mom/mo...

Also:

"It is often believed that what a breastfeeding mother eats directly affects the baby's nourishment. According to breastfeeding expert Katherine A. Dettwyler, however, the quality of a mother's diet has little influence on her milk. Breast milk is designed to provide for and protect baby. If you lack sufficient nourishment, your body will make producing milk for your baby its first priority, and this will compromise your needs. A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother than her breastfed baby.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/91458-...

Kimberly - posted on 04/11/2011

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I agree that yes, the child gets whatever nutrition the body does have first. and if theres any left over the mother gets it. However if the mother doesnt have adequate nutrition to begin with, the baby may not be getting adequate nutrtion either. And I did read your whole post because if you read my whole post you will see that i also agreed w the fact that just because the child may not be getting adequate nutrition, doesnt mean they wont live or survive or be healthy enough. I am only disagreeing with the "NEVER loses nutrition" part. Hope I have not rubbed ya the wrong way.

[deleted account]

Kimberly, I think you were referring to me - I was the one who said that breastmilk never loses its nutrition. It doesn't. As I also said, women have been breastfeeding for centuries, through poverty, famine, disaster and good times and the human race is still going strong! Breastmilk is always there to provide nutrition or the baby.
If the mother has an inadequate diet, and does not get enough nutrition, the mother is the one who will suffer, not the baby.

Merry - posted on 04/11/2011

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She really doesn't need any substantial amount of solids at this age, definitely not three meals a day. Most. Important for solids to remember is that before one year they shouldn't get any of their nutrition from solids, solids shouldn't replace any breastmilk. Solids have less fat less calories less nutrients then your milk so too much solids will keep her from gaining weight, and will make her more fussy and crabby because they aren't as fulling as your milk. A few bites of solids here and there is all that's necessary for a baby under a year. Even after a year many babies are only eating one meal of solids a day. As long as breastfeeding continues as often as they ask :) my son barely ate any solids until a year, and then he didn't eat much until about 1 1/2. He just breastfed about 8 times a day and he grew just fine!

Candice - posted on 04/10/2011

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Just sounds like boobie strike,it will pass. Please wait it out formula is not the answer.Try pumping in addition to nursing also try a pint or so of dark beer,it's known to help milk supply.

Megan - posted on 04/10/2011

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I believe the issue is her not agreeing to the Fenugreek.
I read up and in 20% of moms that take it, their baby has GI troubles.
I am going to plug through. Alot of my family thinks that I am not going to be able to continue to breastfeed, but I am going to keep at it. I am determind to do it.
She may just not be hungry when i'm feeding her. Now that I am giving her 3 meals a day, maybe she is just more full then before.
I will go back and see how she is gaining in a couple weeks. My biggest concern is her not gaining weight. She has only gained 4 oz since the end of Feb

[deleted account]

Megan, the fact that your breasts feel empty does not indicate a low supply. It indcates that your supply is settling down. Don't be too quick to judge that a grumpy baby is a hungry baby - there could be other reasons, as suggested by other mums, and you really need to look into these other possibilities, for your baby's sake.

Megan - posted on 04/10/2011

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yeah I think she is having tummy problems .. I dont think I am having a oversuppy issue, as my breast feel empty .. and doesnt seem like I have very much :(

Carolyn - posted on 04/10/2011

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From what i know, its unlikely she is having a side effect from the fenugreek, but she could be reacting to your new smell , which i like to call "eau de Fendugreek" since you being to pee, sweat and smell fenugreek.

It could be causing some oversupply issues creating a too forceful letdown, which turns into a whole host of other problems. Upset stomach, gas, fussiness, difficulty nursing can be results of forceful letdown.

Megan - posted on 04/10/2011

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I have another question.. I have been taking Fenugreek for the last week, to increase my supply. She has gotten extreamly crabby the last few days. Could she be having side effects from it?

Holly - posted on 04/10/2011

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I just want to reinforce that supplementing with formula will only make the situation worse by decreasing your supply. she could definitely be teething. Another possibility is that she is so interested in the world that she doesn't want to spare the time to nurse. Around that same age my son would go half the day without nursing for very long if we were out and about doing something interesting. When he got more used to his newfound mobility he regained interest in nursing.

Carolyn - posted on 04/09/2011

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Laura said it perfectly,

Giving her formula is only going to make your supply lower, Just nurse and nurse.

I have dealt with a few nursing strikes, and learned that if after about 5 minutes of fighting and crying not wanting to nurse, set her down and try again in 20-30 minutes. The more upset she gets, the more frustrated you get and then the more upset she gets picking up on your stress and it just compounds from there. So set her down, each of you take some time to relax and try again with calm and cool heads :)

Try giving her a frozen washcloth to chew on and sooth her gums abit before trying to nurse. Or try giving her some tylenol/ibuprofen before putting her down for a nap and nurse her when she wakes up.

You can also try latching her while she is alseep, she will be less likely to fight you. This trick as worked well for me.

If you really cant get her to nurse, then pump and bottle feed epressed milk, and bypass formula alltogether. If you dont have a pump, learn to hand express. Also use the slowest flow nipple you can find on the bottles, or a breastflow bottle if you can so baby doesnt get spoiled by the flow.

This way you can keep your supply, or even up it if you can find time do pump 2x the rate of her average feeding routine, and she can get her nutrition without compromising your nursing relationship

Merry - posted on 04/09/2011

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Between 6-9 months many many bf babies don't gain one single pound. That's normal. When they learn to crawl and walk most babies don't gain anything for a few months. And some lose a few pounds. Diaper counts are best indicators if she is getting adequate nutrition. Also has she gained height? Many times babies stop gaining weight and only gain height for a while around that way.

Megan - posted on 04/09/2011

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I am just very concerned, as she will fight and fight me to nurse. It is a absolute nighmare. I try and feed her lots, especially before meals, so she is full on my bm first. She has only gained 4 Oz since Februrary 22nd. That is my main concern.

Merry - posted on 04/09/2011

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Breast milk never loses it's nutrition. It never dries up for no reason. Ever!
If she is fussing at the breast and won't take the pacifier she is likely teething, or could have an ear infection. She took the bottle because it practicly dumps the formula into her mouth, no real need to suck, so it doesn't hurt.
I personally never keep formula in the house. It's bad to be tempted by it because you are a mammal, we make milk, and our bodies went through pregnancy and birth and they are prepared to feed the babies they create!
Any amount of formula will only make your body produce less milk. More formula,less breastmilk until you have to out her on formula entirely.
It's not worth it!
What is worth it is sticking to it, making your milk work and not throwing in the towel and using formula.
Lt her bf as often and as long as she will allow. She will make it work, babies have natural instincts that help them regulate milk supply. They will bf more often if there isn't enough milk and that will make more milk be made! The problems arise if we as moms think we know better then our babies instincts. Don't give her formula, formula is really only a good option for babies who have no access to breastmilk. Your body won't fail her, it will make milk, your milk is healthy. Trust yourself and trust her instincts.

Carolyn - posted on 04/09/2011

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It's your choice to switch your daughter to formula. I had a problem producing enough for my last child and I called my mom whom nursed 4 kids and asked her what I should do. She said again it was my choice I could supplement formula if I wanted but what that would do is lower my supply more. I decided to try to continue nursing. What I did was take a warm shower to get the juices flowing and sat on my couch with the baby for 3 hours continually trying to get her to nurse. I was prepared to do sit there forever if I had too. But that's all it took, she fell asleep for the night and hasn't had a problem nursing since. The more a baby nurses the more milk you produce. It's supply on demand. But you may be having a different problem. Is your baby drooling? If so she may be teething. Explore all the possibilities. But if you still don't think it's enough and you chose formula then that's your decision. Anything YOU decide will be right for YOUR baby.

Megan - posted on 04/09/2011

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Thank-You everyone! I just dont think I am able to produce enough for my daughter. If i go the route to formula, I am still going to breastfeed her and just supplement her with formula. I have a Dr. Appt for her on Monday. So I guess I will see what he says and go from there.
My daughter has been teething for the last 4 months, but has been fine nursing since. And no way possible i'm pregnant. :)
I hope to figure it out soon!
Thanks ladies :)

[deleted account]

Megan, breastmilk NEVER loses its nutrition. Wom have breasted their babis for centuries through poverty, famine, disasters etc, and the human race has surived!
The fact that your breasts don't feel full any more is only an indication that your supply is settling down.

There are possile reasons she is unsettled - Perhaps she is teething? Is there a possibility that you could be pregnant, as this sometimes affects the taste of your breast milk. Could she have an ear infetion or a stufy nose?
It's a good idea to investigate all possibilities before going t the extreme of weaning her on to formula.
This site from Kellymom has some useful information:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby...

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