Either my baby is weaning herself or I'm not producing milk!

[deleted account] ( 7 moms have responded )

My 9 and a half month old has always been too hyper-aware of things around her to be much into eating (nursing) or sleeping. But now at 9+ months I am hardley producing any milk any more! So, I've stared giving her formula once or twice a day and still try to nurse her three times a day. But even those three times a day I don't know if I have enough milk. She nurses for a very short amount of time and then quits. If I try to pump (over the past few months), I'll barley get an ounce out of each breast after 8 hours! (as opposed to 4-6 ounces from one breast after 4 hours earlier on). I really don't want to keep doing this formula thing. It's expensive and I feel like I"m ALWAYS washing bottles. I had planned on nursing for the full first year. I'm thinking about trying to take something to increase my milk supply (as well as trying to drink more water and start taking vitamins again. I stopped taking my prenatal after a couple months after my baby was born when I ran out.) Does anyone else have advice or been through the same thing? I REALLY appreciate any input. Thanks!!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ashley - posted on 12/30/2009

135

21

6

I don't really have any new advice, but I will add what I know. My boys didn't really start eating regular 3 meals consistently until about 10 months. And even now at 17 months they will nurse rather than eat a lot of the time.

I would get rid of the formula and bottles for a few reasons. Bottles are easier for babies of all ages. Even if she has been nursing well for so long sometimes the bottle can make her "lazy" and not want to nurse as long as it may take sometimes for your milk to start going. This is especially true later in the day. Also, formula isn't digested as easily or as thoroughly as breastmilk so it sticks around longer and she won't want to nurse as often as she would otherwise.

My recommendations would be to nurse more often, trade a snack or a meal with a nursing session. Until my boys were almost a year old I nursed them before solids. Even once they were eating regular meals I would nurse and then offer the meal or snack.

To help increase your supply: eat a bowl of oatmeal once a day, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, and nurse more often. I notice a decrease in my supply around my period and if I notice a problem with my boys not getting what they want from me I will take 2 fenugreek capsules a day for about 3 days. This helps me a lot. I also let my boys nurse at night. This helps keep my supply going.

Good luck. Don't wean her just yet. Try to stick it out. It's good for her and you.

Minnie - posted on 12/30/2009

7,076

9

788

What you have here are a few things that may lead to an early end to your nursing relationship. But with knowledge in-hand, you can set yourself about ensuring that you will continue.



-A distractible baby- which is very normal at nine months

-A well-regulated milk supply- you are producing only what is being removed by baby

-Supplemental formula



Short nursings and distractibility is normal for a baby your daughter's age. Try nursing lying down in bed in the dark. Offer your breast frequently, don't wait for her to ask. Carry her in a sling.



Your milk supply is probably well-regulated, to the point where you are only producing what your daughter is removing. Many mothers cannot pump much, and definitely not at nine months if you haven't been regularly pumping all along with an electric hospital-grade pump. Pumps are inefficient at draining and stimulating your breasts and what you can pump is absolutely no indication of your supply.



The formula is going to jeopardize your nursing relationship. Every ounce you are giving her is an ounce you are not going to make.



Nurse your daughter frequently, make nursing a priority over solids (she doesn't need them right now), offer your breast frequently throughout the day without waiting for her to ask for it, nurse in calm, quiet, distraction-free locations, and above all, stop the formula. The only indication that would mean your supply would not be sufficient for your daughter is if she was losing weight and was dehydrated.

7 Comments

View replies by

Minnie - posted on 12/31/2009

7,076

9

788

Quoting Karly:

Thank you everyone! To answer some questions... I feel like she is still hungry because I will nurse her first and when she starts playing around (like there is no milk left) and I give her a bottle, she will down at least a couple ounces. Especially at bed time (I always felt my supply got lower and lower throughout the day). I know that I shouldn't give her formula, but her weight IS concerning me. She was consistantly in the 50th percentile, but over the past 3-4 months has dropped to the 25th, then to the 10th, and is now below the 10th percentile. Her doctor isn't concerned, but that irritates me because I think she should be concerned. I am not that worried about her weight per se, but I am worried about her following (or not following) the growth curve! She is also not even on the chart for weight-for-length. I will try nursing her more frequently and doing better with the fluids (which I've never been good at). Thanks again everyone!!!



In regards to the bottle feeding, and how your daughter will take quite a bit after nursing- your daughter takes the formula from the bottle so easily after nursing because 1.  She doesn't have to work for a letdown- the flow is instantaneous and non-variable and 2.  It is a passive action- the formula basically dumps into her mouth whether she wants it or not



It doesn't necessarily indicate that she was still hungry- many babies will take a bottle even after a full nursing because they simply have to.



I can fully attest to the capricious nursing habits of a nine month old- nurse for two minutes, unlatch and play, then wanting to be back up in-arms to nurse for another couple of minutes, looking around, playing, latching on-and-off. This is very normal behavior. Not an indication at all that you are not producing sufficient milk.  But the formula WILL result in you not having an adequate supply.





Both of my girls were born in the 50th percentile for weight and remained there until seven months old whereupon they both dramatically dropped down to the first percentile. My non-nursing three and a half year old weighs in at a whopping 26lb and my 14 month old weighs 17lb. It is genetics- and also quite normal for breastfeeding. Breastfed infants grow as they are designed to. A drop in percentiles doesn't mean a weight loss, just a slow in weight GAIN. And a gain is a gain, even if it is a few ounces a month.

Emily - posted on 12/31/2009

2,233

8

295

It's normal for breastfed babies to be in one percentile for many months, then drop down. That is because those growth charts are based on formula-fed babies. Just as an example, my son started out in the 97th percentile for the first 6 months, then dropped down to the 50th percentile.

[deleted account]

Thank you everyone! To answer some questions... I feel like she is still hungry because I will nurse her first and when she starts playing around (like there is no milk left) and I give her a bottle, she will down at least a couple ounces. Especially at bed time (I always felt my supply got lower and lower throughout the day). I know that I shouldn't give her formula, but her weight IS concerning me. She was consistantly in the 50th percentile, but over the past 3-4 months has dropped to the 25th, then to the 10th, and is now below the 10th percentile. Her doctor isn't concerned, but that irritates me because I think she should be concerned. I am not that worried about her weight per se, but I am worried about her following (or not following) the growth curve! She is also not even on the chart for weight-for-length. I will try nursing her more frequently and doing better with the fluids (which I've never been good at). Thanks again everyone!!!

Karen - posted on 12/30/2009

95

14

8

If you did not continue your pre-natals because of cost issues most doctor offices will be able to provide sample packages at no cost, just ask. My daughter also slowed down BF on her own at 8 months and I believed it to be due to offering 3 solid food meals/day. I cut back to 2 meals and the occasional snack because I wanted to make sure she was not going to be dehydrated (shes not a big eater anyway and still working on taking a sippy cup with ANYTHING in it lol) I just try to keep mothers milk tea and oatmeal to have at least one serving daily to help keep my supply up if she is slow to nurse on occasion.

Becky - posted on 12/30/2009

230

27

47

I felt like I was losing my supply around that time too. I would try not to give her any formula, because that will make things worse. If you give her formula she will fill up on that and not feel hungry and ask to BF. If she is hungry she will nurse...and hopefully she will nurse more for a while to help your supply to increase. I have heard that over time some people start responding less and less to pumps, so that could be what is going on with the puming, too. I used mother's milk tea and then went to the supplements. I think it's easy to think that we aren't making enough and get worried when our kids aren't telling us that. What is different with your daughter that makes you think she needs/wants more?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms