Supply decreasing/Increased demand — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Supply decreasing/Increased demand

(DS is almost 5 months old, and we are just starting rice cereal.) 

DS has been eating 3 or 4 five ounce bottles of EBM at daycare each day.  I'm pumping 4 times a day and only getting a total of about 15 total ounces everyday.

I was getting more at the first morning pumping session; however, DS has started to wake up more in the early AM hours to eat, and I'm now only able to get 2 - 3 ounces during this session.

My freezer supply is decreasing rapidly!  Do you think it's time to start supplementing with formula?  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

TIA!

DS, June 2, 2008, 8 pounds, 4 ounces, 21 inches DD, May 21, 2011, 9 pounds, 21 inches

Re: Supply decreasing/Increased demand

  • Have you looked at either kellymom.com or workandpump.com?  They both have good suggestions for increasing supply.

    I'm kind of in the same boat.  I'm just barely able to keep up with him.  What helps me is pumping first thing when I get to work, then at least 3 other times during work.  I pump on the weekends (usually just once in the mornings about an hour after he eats) to get a little bit extra to make up for what I can't pump during the week.  Sometimes I will also pump a little at night.  I take more milk plus, eat oatmeal, try to get a lot of protein and water.  Also, I let him eat as much as he wants to in the evening.  This weekend, I pumped for 10 minutes after a couple of feedings and that helped my supply increase a little.

    I'm not sure about the supplementing or if it's better to use up all the bm before using formula.  I think I'll have to eventually, but I'm hoping to hit the 6 month mark first.  Good luck!  I'm trying not to stress about it.  You're doing the best you can and your baby will be fine either way.

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  • Have you tried all the tricks to boost your supply like oatmeal, eating more protein, more water, etc. I wouldnt' supplement just yet since that will only further decrease the 'demand' on your boobs....the opposite of what you need right now.

    I had a drop off around 5-6 months as well. That is also when we started solids, and know that they *do* start taking less milk in as they start eating more 'real' food. Maybe increase the cereal just a bit to see if that helps hold him over, and soon you'll be on to more 'filling' things. 

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  • I clearly have way too much to say on this issue!  But another thing I've read is that if you have your daycare provider do most or all of the solid foods, your DS may drink less milk during the day and more in the morning/evening. 
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  • I pump before work, 10:30, 2:30, and before bed.  Sometimes, my "before work" pump is in the car on the way to work!  I get a maximum of 5 ounces IF it has been at least 4 hours since DS ate last or 4 hours from the last time I pumped.  I eat oatmeal, drink water, and I've been on Fenugreek since I went back to work.  Since day 1, it has been a rare occasion if I'm able to pump more than 5 ounces.

    To be honest, if the answer is adding a 5th pump session to my day, I don't think I can accommodate it!

    Last night DS got up 6 times to eat.  He seems to want more & more at night.  I was considering increasing his bottle quantity to 6 ounces while he's at daycare, but my supply is not accommodating since he wants so much more now at night.  I will defintiely try getting daycare to give him the rice cereal though.

    I appreciate all of your suggestions!

    DS, June 2, 2008, 8 pounds, 4 ounces, 21 inches DD, May 21, 2011, 9 pounds, 21 inches
  • Oatmeal worked wonders for me.  Not instant oatmeal or 1 minute, but the kind you actually have to cook for 5 or 10 minutes.  I also drank Mothers Milk tea.  Fenugreek would work too, but I don't think you're supposed to do that WITH mothers milk tea.  Also, I know it may be hard since you are working, but my La Leche League leader told me to pump 10 minutes past the last drop every time I pumped.  It really worked.
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  • I'm at that point now.  Pumping is just not as effective.  If you get 5 ounces at pumping he's likely getting 6+ when he nurses, so he'll want that from a bottle as well.  I'm going to start having them give her 1 bottle a day of formula.  I had to do the same with my first daughter, also right about 4-5 months.
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