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Old 11-28-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
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Need some encouragement and advice

I need some encouragement with my breastfeeding and some advice. So I thought I was doing well, and in a way I am. My DD is 7 months and sleeps through the night and has a nice big supply in the morning, which she loves, and throughout the day each nursing gets shorter and less milk (she only nurses 4-5 times a day now - it's been 4 times the last 2 days). I've been holding off food and not increasing it, trying to encourage her to want to nurse more still. I only feed her at night, because I definitely don't have enough milk to fill her belly all the way. So, first question, should I start letting my DD eat at lunch time too? I know she wouldn't mind, she enjoys food.
I for sure want her to nurse at least till 1 year, and more if I can keep producing, so I'm afraid of increasing food too quickly or too much.
So, my other issue: I went out with some friends tonight and DH gave DD some of the breastmilk I have frozen (I kinda treasure/horde it because I only have so much, kwim) and he said that DD didn't want to let go of the bottle she was eating it up like nothing else. She ended up drinking 10-11 oz and I KNOW she is not getting that much from me. And now I feel super guilty that she isn't getting enough and possibly hasn't been getting enough milk. And I admit, I don't want to supplement with formula or other mama's milk if I can help it. Is it possible to increase milk after 6 months? I heard that milk production peaks at 6 months and then goes down.
Should I be supplementing with formula after I nurse DD at night? I feel so bad that she was gripping the bottle so hard that DH couldn't pull it away and she cries half the time after I set her down after nursing (nursing is usually only good in the mornings). TIA for any and all help!

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Old 11-28-2011, 10:33 PM   #2
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IMO I wouldn't supplement. The less you nurse the less milk you will make due to supply and demand. To me that much milk for a 7 month old is too much. I bet she wouldn't normally eat that much. My first dd was a fatty and not much of a solid foo eater but the most milk she ever drank was still only 8 ounces. If she seems otherwise content, and I'd say she is if she's sttn, then I wouldn't worry unless she starts to drop weight.

Mama you sound like you're doing perfectly!!

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Old 11-28-2011, 10:39 PM   #3
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Re: Need some encouragement and advice

I am no expert but I have had a lot of the same things happen. First of all, I have heard that babies often drink more from a bottle than they would if they were BF. I know my son can down that much at once too when he uses a bottle and there's no way he's getting that much unless it's first thing in the morning. When they are BF the supply gradually slows down, I believe. At some point you are going to run out and it doesn't just happen abruptly like it does with a bottle. I think that's why they drink more. They don't have any subconscious cues that the meal is coming to an end and they don't always stop when they are full. It's sort of like how we will eat more if there is a lot on our plate where as if we had less and ran out of food, we wouldn't always go back for more.

I know there are a lot of ways to increase your supply and the mamas here know so much more than I do but my instinct would to be to increase the demand in order to increase the supply. When I notice a decrease in my supply I don't let myself go too long between feedings or pumping. My son sleeps 10-12 hours at night so I often go that whole time without pumping or feeding him. Most of the time that's ok but sometimes I see a difference, especially when he is about to have a growth spurt. I pump whatever is left before bed and sometimes again in the middle of the night. I also find that pumping in the morning helps. I pump a bunch and then let him get whatever he can and then feed him the milk that was pumped. I think I get more out that way rather than feeding him and then pumping. I don't know if that will help you or not but it's worth a try. You could also try pumping for a while after she is done nursing to stimulate production as well.

Of course there are the supplements too. Mother's Milk tea, fenugreek, oatmeal, etc.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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Re: Need some encouragement and advice

Also, sometimes when people (not just babies) are super hungry they eat really quickly and overeat before they even notice that they are full. They just fill up so quickly that their stomach's don't even have a chance to register all the food. I wouldn't worry the bottle thing too much.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your help and advice! I also started AF the next day, so I know that doesn't help. I think your both right about my DD eating more, because it was a bottle. I really am such a worrier sometimes. Thanks again!
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #6
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Re: Need some encouragement and advice

1 - Babies often eat more in a bottle for many reasons. The milk comes out fast and they don't realize when they are full, as PP said. Also, on the breast, baby is able to comfort suck after a feed without getting much milk, but with a bottle if baby wants to comfort suck they just have to keep eating. A typical bottle feeding lasts less time than a typical nursing, so a baby hasn't gotten all her sucking need fulfilled yet even though she has finished the milk. Many caregivers interpret this as wanting more food, as opposed to wanting more sucking.

2 - Babies typically don't take more milk per day after 6 months, but they also typically are taking more solids in addition to the same amount of milk. If your baby is not taking much solids, then perhaps her milk needs are increasing. If you keep her milk constant, but add solids on top, then you prob wouldn't need to supplement at all. Just make sure that the solids are in addition to, not replacing, her current milk intake. That means always nurse before offering solids. If you want to add a lunch meal, just nurse first.
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