Breastmilk supply decreasing? Help!

Richain - posted on 01/13/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I have been breastfeeding for the last 8 months. My child has not had formula since he was released from the NICU at 2 days old. We started solids at 6 months and I still breastfeed him about 5-6 times a day. It seems as if my supply is decreasing...and he seems to be a bottomless pitt! He is always hungry and willing to eat. I have been feeding him about every 3 hours.. very rarely does he make it to four hours. I also pump every night before bed just to keep my supply up, but I fear that my supply is decreasing. Any suggestions on how to increase my supply? Or is my supply fine and my kid is just a good eater? (I could also be worried about nothing...typical first time mom worry wart!)

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Chelsey - posted on 01/14/2010

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I have the same problem as well but my son is 4 months old. Something I have found that helps is drinking lots of water, milk, or I like lemonade. Just keep a glass with you all day, and when you sit down to nurse try drinking a full glass then. I hope this helps!

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Alexis - posted on 01/14/2010

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My daugter is 7 months and I thought the same thing, I went to a breastfeeding support group where they weigh the baby I nurse her and weigh her again to see what she took in it was only about 2 oz, and when I give her a bottle she will take about 5 oz, so clearly I didn't have enough milk for her, I tried fenugreek as well it did help I spent a couple days giving her bottles and pumping every two hours to get my supply back, it worked a little but I still don't have enough, If I nurse her all day she is so cranky (because she is hungry) she is on solids so that helps, I feed her solids then nurse her then offer a bottle just to make sure. I am very sad that I don't have enough milk but I am not ready to start waking up every three hours again either, before bed I give her solids and offedr her a bottle she usually takes about 4-5 oz and sleeps though the night. Thankfully I have enough milk that if she wakes up I can nurse her back to sleep.
Good luck

Theresa - posted on 01/14/2010

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If you are worried about your supply of milk (Been there too hun) I would recommend expressing what you can into a bottle so you can see how much is there. At 8 months though I would have thought he should be going longer between feeds. My son stopped breastfeeding at 6 months, he just decided he wanted solid foods then. But he started getting up every few hours in the night and I was really struggling for sleep then. I actually bought a book and did some controlled crying with him, three days and that was sorted.

The book I had was by Jo Frost (Aka Supernanny) and it was brilliant. As mentioned above I would recommend increasing the solids you are giving him. Baby rice and breastmilk is digested so quickly it can leave them still feeling hungry. You could try giving him something that is a bit more filling like mashed peas and potato, scrambled eggs or even something like Weetabix. By 8 months I'm sure my son was having things like Bangers and Mash (mashed of course) Blended shepherds Pie, sweet potato, carrot and chicken blended together. And don't forget fruit, my little boy loved bananas and still does!

Yes breastfeeding is great and so good for babies, but remember to make sure he gets his fill and variety of foods because apparently at 9 months they get fussy about what they choose to eat. According to this book I read you should try a variety of foods to set a good basis before 9 months when they start to hone into what they want rather than what they are being given :D

Justine - posted on 01/14/2010

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I would recommend you try fenugreek if you are concerned about your supply - I found it worked within about 24 hours for me. It can help relieve the stress you feel about supply - because it can give you excess milk, it enables your body to readjust to your baby's demands. As long as your baby is happy, healthy and gaining weight as he should, I would try not to stress about it (stress can reduce your supply - this is what happened to me). I would also try to increase the amounts and types of solids you are feeding him - my son needed alot more food than was recommended because he is a large baby, and is also extremely active.

I hope this helps. :)

Hailey - posted on 01/14/2010

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You are lucky to have been able to feed him for as long as you have. Most of the women I know, including myself, never made it to the 8 month mark. They say the first 2 weeks of breast milk are the most important. So you are doing great! Congrats on that. If you feel like your milk is decreasing then I would def talk to your doctor about it. I don't know if there is anything you can do to increase the amount you produce. Maybe it is time to switch to formula or supplement a little with it. Always be sure to talk to your dr about that first though. You sound like you are doing everything that you can to help the situation. My son is 10 months old and wants to eat ALL the time. It is crazy how much they can hold. lol. Anyway, good luck and I hope you get things figured out.

Alicia - posted on 01/13/2010

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Richain,
As far as your supply goes, you're most likely doing just fine. Breast milk is more quickly digested so he may feed more often.
My DD is 11 months old and she probably nurses around 6-8 times a day and eats all kinds of stuff during the day also.
If he were fussing and screaming at the breast that would be a sign that you're not producing enough milk for him, but chances are that is not a problem. Your body will make more milk if he needed it.
As far as the fighting to go to sleep, we had the same problem. Try starting the bed time routine even earlier than 8:30. We usually start ours around 6:30 with a bath. She nurses from around 7:30 until she falls asleep.
Good luck,
Alicia - Lactation Consultant in training.

Naomi - posted on 01/13/2010

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it could be a growth spurt :)
why are you worried about your supply, does he cry at the breast (making it seem like he wants more and there isn't any)?
it could just be that's how often he eats

Richain - posted on 01/13/2010

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I should mention that he isnt a great sleeper either. He is a night owl and we have to fight to get him to bed before 10pm. Believe it or not we start our night time routine at 8:30 (and yes, I do feed him before he goes down). I am just worried that he isnt getting enough food...and since no one else in my family breastfed this long (or at all due to their own issues) I am just worried. I want to make it to a year if possible.

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Three hours is actually a pretty long stretch for a breastfed baby. Breastmilk is digested pretty quickly. My daughter eats about every 2 hours, 2 1/2 is a stretch for her...haha. I'd say your supply is fine.

Nikki - posted on 01/13/2010

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I worry about my supply all of the time as well, at one stage when I was sick I really did have some problems and a friend gave me some fenugreek, it worked straight away it was fantastic, I spoke to a natrapath before i began taking it just to be sure it was safe and she said as long as I wasnt pregnant it was great to take and it has heaps of other benefits as well. Good luck

Sherwood - posted on 01/13/2010

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I realized that my daughter was still waking-up three times a night at 8 mos. and that I was sick of that so I started giving her all kinds of food and she loved it, now, at ten months, she only wakes up once during the night and my supply has decreased a bit, but that's the eventual goal. He's just hungry!

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