Breast Feeding Question

Mary - posted on 05/10/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My son was born March 9th, 2009 and I have been breastfeeding him since then. I have been transferring him over to cows milk this past week but he is still nursing and I am still pumping although I am not getting a whole lot now. Does anyone know how long you can keep breastmilk going and if you can still build after you have dropped supply? Reason I am asking is that we are thinking of adopting a third and I would love to breast feed just one more time. Any advice would be awesome...am I crazy?

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Michelle - posted on 05/19/2010

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i saw a lot of great replys on here as to what to do to keep your supply up. Can i make one comment on the cows milk? contrary to popular belief, cows milk is horrible for us!! your baby can get all the vitamins he needs to get from cows milk by eating brocoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cheese, and yogurt to name a few. i give my 14 almond milk which i believe is a MUCH better transition. breastfeed as long as you and the baby are willing and keep up the good work mama!

Rachel - posted on 05/24/2010

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A couple things:

As for cows milk, cows milk is for baby cows. not humans. When can they drink cows milk? Good question. When can they drink cats milk? Or goats milk? What about horse milk? Whales lactate - when can we drink their milk? There is no mamamal on the face of the planet that drinks another mammal's milk... except humans. Milk is not the miracle food people have been made to bvelieve it is.

For instance, calcium needs magnesium and vitamin D in order to be absorbed. PROTEIN INHIBITS calcium absorption. So you can drink all the milk you want but you will not get any of the calcium in it. Because cows milk is made for baby cows, it has animal amino acids and antibodies that human bodies are not designed to digest.

So, why on earth would we push our babies away from our own perfectly made, fresh milk made just for them, only to give them milk made for another animal - who has 4 stomachs and gains 300 pounds in the first 2 years of life? We do it because we are told to. That is the only r eason.

SO, to solve your problem, nurse your baby more! YOUR milk is better anyways, and it'll keep your supply up! It is supply and demand system.

Kirsten - posted on 05/23/2010

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You can keep breast milk going as long as you are breastfeeding or pumping. The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for up to two years (nothing wrong with feeding a bit longer) so you should still have a descent supply (even if it has reduced somewhat lately) for a while yet. That's fantastic that you wish to breastfeed an adopted baby... good on you! :). By the way, I am still breastfeeding my 14 month old. She was unwell a few weeks ago and started taking more milk from me so I noticed that my supply definately went up. It's all about supply and demand at the end of the day.

Anna - posted on 05/19/2010

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Any woman (or man... DO NOT GOOGLE IT!! o_O ) can produce milk, all it takes is regular sucking. A lady I know from church adopted a new born and breast fed it without ever having a child before. She prepared herself before hand by taking a nausea product available in Italy that has a side effect of lactation if taken regularly. She pumped regularly for 3 weeks before the baby's due date and got milk on the 3rd day.She breastfed her adopted baby for 2 years. Go for it!

Gretchen - posted on 05/18/2010

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I'm sure you can keep up your supply by pumping if you're very good about pumping like every two hours or so. Just out of curiosity if you want to keep your supply and your son is only 14 months old, why not keep breastfeeding him? He would still benefit so much from it, and it's way better for him than cow's milk.

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Renee - posted on 05/27/2010

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wow....can't believe a dr. would suggest that you stop nursing. Never heard of Vital Jr......I am assuming your little one is eating "regular" food and no longer on baby food. Is she a picky eater? Our daughter only weighed 19/20 pounds when she was 1. At 4.5 yrs. old she only weighs 33/34 pounds. My son is almost 15 months and weighs aprox. 25 pounds. He is a wonderful eater....has only turned his nose up to a couple of things.

Katie - posted on 05/27/2010

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i think that the continuation of bf is fine. you just need to amp the calories elsewhere. also,...i would consult a second pediatrition at least. 18 1/2 lbs is little. it would make sence if either you or dad were super thin as kids or if she is not getting enough real food. my boys have stopped gaining, well one of them. they tested him at 30% drop in weight for celiac spru disease which is a intestinal issue. causes bowel issues and malabsorption of nutrients. people with it can lose alot of weight fast. it was the first thing they thought of. they did bloodwork and the perk to that is they can do other bloodwork as well at the same time. sounds horrible but....so much better to know. did your daughter lose weight reciently or stop gaining. what are you feeding her. if you feed her anything with gluten in it- found in almost all products,.... except straight veg, fruit and RICE meat etc. oatmeal i think is safe too. look into it and ask questions. i wouldnt stop nursing because babies at this age are supposed to drink milk and water and if yours is bf and suppliment,...well then the hydration is the same and the breast milk has some good important qualities to it that obviously water doesnt have. definitely see another dr and I WOULD request some bloodwork. good luck. god bless.

Cheryl - posted on 05/27/2010

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our baby 14months has a milk allergy and she is now on a supplement called Vital Jr. for more calories.The doct says she is dropping off the scale..she is at 18 1/2lbs..so Iam continuing nursing and add the soy supplement to her diet. I dont know why she is not gaining like she should. but we are still nursing eventhough the doct thinks we should stop and go to all supplement...dont make no sense to me.

Kim - posted on 05/24/2010

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As long as you continue pumping you will continue to make milk, although it will be less the less you pump, when baby # 3 comes along and starts nursing full time, you will start making more milk again. Also, talk to your ob/gyn about supplements to "restart" your milk. Many adoptive moms are able to nurse with a little perseverance. Best of luck to you

Katie - posted on 05/24/2010

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for those who have problems converting to cow milk or soy, both difficult to digest highly allergenic and not so good tasting to little ones used to breast milk, try rice milk. suppliment with yougurt and cheese. rice milk, -rice dream vanilla- has a very nice and mild flavor, still substitutes calories and all, and is easier to digest and is better for your kid than juice....oh if you only knew what we in the dental community thought of juice, soda and bottles,...koolaide etc,... ughhh

Katie - posted on 05/24/2010

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eventually all kids wean. usually when we arent looking or ready. my twins were born 3-16 and exclusively bf for almost 9 months then started taking food. they are 15 mo now and are just starting table foods like bananas and oatmeal. they just last week took a sippy for the first time successfully and now think it is great 2 or 3 times a day for a 2 oz or so sometimes 4 oz sitting. but, they still nurse at least 5 times a day or more. good luck and enjoy it while it lasts. yes they are spoiled, but what a better thing to be spoiled on than time alone with mom?

Katie - posted on 05/24/2010

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definitely not. you should be able to as long as you remember supply meets demand. you slow down and it does too. i had a couple slow weeks with my boys. 15 month twins and boy oh boy did they attack me last week all week. probably becasue we slowed down and i was available to them. now we are good again and they would definitely prefer to nurse than be forced to have a cup. they love their sips but they are only good so far and are more a novelty. i read a whole bunch of books on it when my daughter was born 3 years ago and read though that you have to nurse to maintain verse just pumping becasue of the hormones realeased when actually nursing stimulate actual production. now that said, if you pump alot,... then you should be able to maintain. but. with kayla i had a bad life situation at 10 months and has started to wean while pumping still. the ground i lost in those two weeks after cutting out 2 or 3 pumping sessions a day, was never regained and she was weened by 11 1/2 mos. completely. good luck.

[deleted account]

You're not crazy! You're wonderful! I kept breastfeeding past one year but gave up when my little guy lost interest. I'd had supply problems due to multiple surgeries and returning to work (and sleeping through the night!).

Have you tried breast massage/compression to make sure all the ducts are emptying? I got a little complacent about pumping (trying to multitask, not massaging) and I think that compounded my supply issues.
In Dr. Sears' breastfeeding book he and his wife wrote a chapter on breastfeeding an adopted child.
Best of luck to you with your children and adoption!

Juliana - posted on 05/22/2010

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agree with all the other, as long as you keep pumping your body will keep making. it's all about supply and demand! and i think you would be doing a wonderful thing by adopting and nursing that baby. i felt sad when my then 1 yr old weaning himself a week before his first birthday. i was allll ready to keep breastfeeding and it was so much painful for me than for him.....and no you are not crazy! :) Good luck!

Nicola - posted on 05/21/2010

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My baby at 10 months suddenly stopped taking the breast and i tried everything to get her back on, I expressed for months and used fenugreek and the weleda breastfeeding tea to increase my supply as i found expressing really difficult, it worked wonders. Good Luck with everything

Sharyl - posted on 05/21/2010

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Yeah for breastfeeding! My son is 14 months and he still nurses morning and night. Like others have said, it is supply & demand, so you can keep the milk flowing if your baby keeps nursing or you pumping. Taking fenugreek and eating oatmeal can help keep your milk supply. And your baby does not need milk, but if you give it to your baby make sure it is hormone free and also do NOT give your baby soy milk. Most soy is genetically modified and soy increases estrogen levels which can cause cancer.

Carisa - posted on 05/21/2010

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I'm really glad to hear I am not the only one whose baby is still breastfeeding (born 3-25-09). I'm worried she will never wean herself! She's my second, so she's really spoiled. Good luck with the adoption!

Renee - posted on 05/20/2010

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Hey Amy,
My son eats yogurt almost every day as well as cheese. He eats just about every food put in front of him as well. Fruits, veggies, grains and meats. and I also give him fortified almond milk right now. I warm it just a bit and he seems to enjoy it. I have also given him Hemp Milk and Rice milk.

Amy - posted on 05/20/2010

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I am still feeding my little one (but hardly at all just once or twice a day). My little one too refuses cows milk and formula. We live in Peru and the ped doesn't thinks it's a big deal but I feel like if I were back in the States they'd be forcing milk or formula on her...are you saying your little one takes no milk at all. For calcium, does she just do yoghurt, cheese etc?

Thanks

Susan - posted on 05/19/2010

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Technically it's based on supply and demand but I had trouble keeping up supply with my 2nd son and had to quit bf around 11 months. I was at work and mostly pumping and had a lot of stress with it so I'm sure that caused a lot of my problems. There is an herb called Fenugreek that lots of women have success with. It did not help me. There are also Rx meds that your doctor can prescribe to keep up your supply so ask your Dr about them but sometimes once your supply goes down to a certain level it will not come back. Act now while you can still keep it up and maybe get in touch with your local la leche league for help. Good luck and great job!

Leslie - posted on 05/19/2010

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My daugher was born March 18, 2009 and we're still breastfeeding. A lot, lol. Recently I felt like my supply might be declining, so I started some natural teas for lactation support. There are several kinds you can find in any health food store. I do believe it's helping.
My daughter was diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance areoudn 6months so I don't know if she'll EVER get cow's milk. I lived off of almond milk for myself and have tried her on soy. I think a lot of the reason doctors recommend cows milk is not only for the nutrients, but to make sure our toddlers are getting enough calories. Soy and almond milk tend to be lower in calories, and finding some that are enriched with vitamins and minerals like cows milk can sometimes be hard. Just wanted to point this out even though it makes no sense to me that humans drink milk from a cow!

Renee - posted on 05/19/2010

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Michelle....I agree. Cow's milk in not neccesary. I think it's a shame that dr.'s push this. There are so many alternatives. And as long as your child is getting a variety of healthy, fresh, whole food, they won't be missing any vitamins.
Oh, and Mary-good luck with the adoption and the milk supply. Like many other women have said-supply and demand! I am still nursing my 14 month old 3 times a day and still have plenty of milk!

Nicole - posted on 05/19/2010

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Hi Mary!
I too am a breastfeeding momma for my son Xander who is 14 months old (born March 18, 2009). I think it is absolutely fantastic that not only are you considering adoption, but that you'd also breastfeed the new little one! To answer your question, you can keep breast milk coming as long as you are nursing and/or pumping. It is all about supply and demand, and your body will react accordingly. Both of my boys would go through periods of power nursing (during growth spurts, for example) but also slower times. It can almost be frustrating to see how little you are producing when pumping, but rest assured that your body will respond in either direction, producing more when asked for, and less when it isn't needed. I also started my son on cow's milk when he turned 1 and he isn't much of a fan :-(. At some point we will wean, but I'm not in any hurry, nor do I feel pressured about him stopping right away. We'll both get there when we are ready.

Congrats momma, and keep up the great work!!!

Leoni - posted on 05/19/2010

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Well done for breatfeeding for so long! My daughter was also born 9th March 2009...And I have just stopped breatfeeding 9days ago. She only had it in the evening before bedtime, but beacuse I had to start on medication, just had to stop cold turkey. After a few days she started to put her hand down my top trying to help herself to a feed... but things have settled down no and she is on full fat cows milk, and loves it bless her. Good luck Xxx

Elysia - posted on 05/18/2010

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bf works on supply and demand so the more your little one nurses or the more u pump the more u will make. remember to keep up the fluids and when your pumping drink a glass of water (u can use other fluids but water is best) it helps with the let down etc

Karen - posted on 05/15/2010

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Hi :) You're not crazy, you're awesome :)
I know from first hand experience that you can keep breastmilk going indefinitely with breastpumping and you can build your supply up again if it drops. My son suffered from a medical misadventure when he was about 3 months old which resulted in him not being able to protect his airway when he breastfed, but with careful management we were able to continue feeding him breastmilk by bottle with thickener (and a slow flow teat, and always keeping him upright). I have been pumping now for more than 11 months and while I am stopping soon it is from choice and not because I was unable to continue doing so. I think it is absolutely achievable (just make sure you stay off contraceptive pill because that will stop your milk -I think the mini pill is ok), it just takes commitment. Bringing your milk flow back up again just requires pumping for longer. I've found that if I'm not getting much milk, I just add 2 mins more pumping (per side) when I pump and it gradually brings the milk levels back up. If that doesn't bring it up enough then I add another 2 minutes (and so on), I find that 15 mins per side will keep you in plenty of milk. Also I believe that fennel tea (and I'm sure there are other natural teas and supplements) that will help with your milk flow.
And if you need to be in a holding pattern (just keeping the milk going while you wait for your 3rd baby) then you could probably reduce to pumping just once or twice per day (like night and morning) and you can freeze any milk you produce for either your second or third child :)
good luck :)

Katie - posted on 05/15/2010

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hi aparently if u take fenugreek it is supposed to increase your milk supply alot of my breast feedin friends take it and say it works wonders on there flow, i wish id have known that wen i was stil feedin my son cuz wen he was 6 months my supply decreased as much as 50% but i still managed to carry on without it but had very many times wen i was completely dry n he was screamin for more. congratulations for carryin on i really didnt want to stop but at 11 months my son learnt the word booby an he used to cling at my legs all the time shoutin booby at me so i realised that i couldnt do it anymore as he constantly wanted it, the unfortunate thing for me at the minute tho is my son refuses cows milk its like he doesnt like the taste :( so all he will drink is cordial juices which im not to pleased about

Jessica - posted on 05/14/2010

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Aw I just noticed Your and My son is born on the same day! Its wonderful isnt it? Yeah I have done a lot of research on the Breastfeeding starting the day I found out that I was Pregnant with my son Nicholas! As long as you Pump for 20 to 30 minutes a day your supply will stay in! Congrats on getting your son this far Hopefully you can do better at wenging him I dont thing my son will ever stop! But at the same time I dont know if I really want him to! If you do get your son to stop sucking what you do get from the sessions from pumping just store it for the baby that you are planning on adopting so he or she will have more to eat at the time the baby comes in to play in your home and with the baby eating what you pumped and sucking will make your production of milk supply come in so much more that just the little amount that it is at this moment! The pritty cool thing about breastfeeding that not every mother knows it that back in the 1800's the mothers that did not breastfeed or couldnt would hire wet nurses. You can look more of this up on bing.com under Wet Nurses and it will be in the wikipedia! It will actually go along with what you will be doing! So it is so Great!

Delina - posted on 05/11/2010

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well apparently aslong as ur baby is still sucking the milk will still produces.
My son was born 2nd march 2009 and is still breastfeeding and he hates the taste of milk. hehehe
but we are slowly getting there!

Hannah - posted on 05/11/2010

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My daughter ( born 10th march 2009) weaned at 10 months, i have noticed that i still have formilk in my breasts 4 months later, and have been told that if i were to begin pumping the supply would increase.

Marabeth - posted on 05/11/2010

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even if you just pump once a day your milk switch is on. and as long as you are producing some milk you have the capacity to increase your supply to the needs of whoever consumes it by letting them nurse on demand. i would say just keep nursing your son, most babies don't wean themselves until over the age of 2.

Brynne - posted on 05/10/2010

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I think theoretically you can keep your milk going until no one is asking for it... it works on supply and demand. As long as a child continues to suckle, it tells your body to make more.

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