Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the beginning of the end?

As I've mentioned here before, I've started thinking lately about weaning D off the boob, but I haven't meant to start that until after his first birthday. However I'm starting to wonder if my boobs have other plans...

I've been wondering about my supply for the past couple months, feeling like I'm producing less than I used to, but it hasn't seem noticeable and there's no real way to quantify how much he takes in anyway, so I haven't thought much of it. At D's well-check last week his pediatrician suggested I start drinking Mother's Milk tea, wondering if low supply might be part of why he's not gaining weight. I've started having some twice a day, and then the other night decided to try pumping a couple hours after D went to bed to see how much I could get. Even a couple months ago I'd get 4 ounces, combined, which seemed decent knowing that he was most likely getting more than that at each feeding. But this last time even with the tea I barely got 2oz combined.

His feedings have gotten shorter, so I've been timing him the past two days, and he spends between 1-2 minutes actively drinking on each side. I don't know how normal that is, or whether it's reasonable for a 10 month old to be able to take down a decent amount of milk in that short a time.

According to Kellymom, if baby's producing 4-5 wet diapers a day, they're probably getting enough milk. The past few days D's been hitting that 4 diaper minimum, but while I used to never get dry diapers before (changing him every 2 hrs during the day) he now sometimes goes up to 3 hours totally dry. (This seems to have started in the past couple weeks, which is also when we started limiting night feedings... which could very well be affecting my supply.)

He seems otherwise happy and active and is hitting developmental milestones, so he must be doing ok... but do I want to wait for him to start getting hurt by it before I do anything? I don't know how much to worry about this. We've started offering him formula in a sippy cup at meals sometimes, and he'll drink a little, but not more than maybe a couple oz in a day (about as much as he'll take of anything in a sippy cup). I'm wondering if maybe we should take advantage of grandparent help over the holidays to try to get him to drink more from his cups.

I don't want to go back to feeding him every 3 hours at night. I don't know if I'm ready to wean him (honestly, part of me would feel relieved to do so, but it also feels like "giving up"... which is kinda silly, isn't it?). But I also want to make sure he's getting the nutrition he needs. I could go all-out trying to get my supply back up, but if I was gonna start weaning him in 6weeks anyway...

I'm feeling kinda lost on this. It's also difficult to get much information from online sources, as most breastfeeding sites are so pro-breastfeeding that their answer will always be to keep it up if possible, and besides D has been such a particular case (or at least it feels that way) that generic answers rarely fit. So I'm seeking advice from you real, live moms who've hopefully been here and have some wise words to share.


  1. What about just leaving it as is until he turns a year old, then weaning? So he's not getting as much milk as he was before; he's still getting some. And maybe your body is telling you that it's time to ease off a little on the breastmilk.

    I don't know if that makes sense, but that's my two-cents' worth.

    Also, if he's not breastfeeding as much as he used to, he's only 6 weeks away from being a year old (when you were going to stop anyway). If he's getting less milk at ten and a half months, his world is not going to collapse.

  2. Since both your Swiss pediatrician and now your US pediatrician have expressed concern about the lack of weight gain if it were me I would start supplementing with formula. Why wait when it is only 6 weeks away? If it would do him good now, go for it.

    I lot of women I know switched to formula at 6-12 months, but continued to breastfeed once or twice per day for the bonding and immunity boost benefits. (Generally first and/or last feedings.)

  3. I'd keep offering formula instead of juice or water and let him nurse in your current pattern. Sounds like you're doing the right things and perhaps he just weans early. It's not giving up, you're just feeding your kid and that's the most important thing.

  4. I like GL's comment. Since I don't have experience, I can't say from that but...

    It seems that weening, with formula and still giving him a bit of milk would be best... Then you can also take advantage of the family helping out and jump start more formula...



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...