AIBU to ask for reassurance re BF(22 Posts)
DD is almost 4 months. Going back to work early May so introduced bottle of formula during day and continued BF in eve and overnight. DD has taken to bottle and drinks 4oz each feed. Tonight she was really restless on the breast and fed several times on each side but took a while to settle and go.back to sleep. This is unusual for her. She winded and brought a little milk up so I know she is getting some. I am paranoid now that my milk supply is dwindling and she is not getting enough. Breasts are no longer hard (sorry if tmi) and so no idea if they still fill up... please reassure me. I don't want to stop BF when I can. I also have a sore throat and have had for about a week. Could I be dehydrated? Am on ADs too... could this be a factor? Any advice ... including advising to go all formula feeds if you think thats best for DD welcome. Thanks for reading.
I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along in a minute but sounds like you should express during the day if you want to keep up your supply. I believe the law states employers must accommodate you expressing and give a safe space. However the time can be unpaid. Again hopefully someone more knowledgeable can help more.
If you want to continue bf please don't give up yet.
I read a great book called "The womanly art of breastfeeding" terrible title, but great book if you can get hold of it. It talks very clearly about the need to keep breast feeding if you want to keep making the supply suited to your baby. If you have stopped breast feeding during the day, your milk supply will have reduced as it works on supply and demand.
Do you feel as if you're not making the same amount anymore? (You said the fullness feeling is going?) this could be a sign you are producing less. It's completely up to you what you want to do next. I tried expressing and bottle feeding, formula, then expressing etc etc and just got in a complete mess. So when I went back to work DD was 9 months, and we just had to try and swap one feed for a bottle, and then two for a bottle, and then completely formula. I hated it 😭 But it had to be done.
Try and ring the breast feeding support help line. they might have some ideas for you. But by the sounds of it your milk supply is changing, it takes 24-48 hours to respond and change- both to make more and for your body to produce less. I'd say if you're heading back in 3 weeks or less, maybe it's time to stop to let your breasts return to normal before work. I stopped early November and went back late November xxx
Don't know the answer to all your questions, but just a couple of thoughts on bits you mentioned - your boobs really shouldn't be hard anyway so I wouldn't worry about that.
There is quite often a sleep regression at around 4 months, so wonder if this may be having an impact?
Over what time period have you been switching over to formula?
It sounds normal to me. Your supply is just adjusting. Generally, if you're regularly feeding overnight then your supply will keep up.
I find my lo goes through random periods of bad sleep - colds/ teeth/ random who knows what! She might be unsettled for a few days, then goes back to her regular pattern.
The only thing you might want to think about is whether you'll be able to keep up night feeds once you're back at work. I have and it's so hard that I'm planning to nightwean soon (lo is 10 months). I'd love to have let her stop naturally, but it's too much on top of working full days.
Thanks for your replies.
planestrains I swapped a breast feed for a bottle every two weeks to enable my breasts to adapt without risking mastitis (which I had read is a possibility if you replace bfs too quickly). So we have been bottle feeding for about 1 month now. 2 or 3 formula bottles a day and the rest bf.
mysterycat and WS with previous DDs 1 & 2 I went back to work at 4.5 months and tried to express but to be honest I struggled. Amount of milk extracted got steadily less and less and I began to get quite disheartened and gave up.
planestrains I hadn't considered sleep regression.... could be that? DD is peacefully sleeping now so cannot be too hungry still?
It doesn't sound like there's anything to be too worried about. Babies are sometimes just unsettled. There's no reason for you to swap to formula full time unless that's what you want. You have done a great job in bf this far and can carry on if that's what you want. I've just read the womanly art of breastfeeding and it has advice on how to manage going back to work. Alternatively, you might want to see if there's a la Leche league group near you where you can be supported by a real life person. There's a section on here specifically for infant feeding.
hamsolo DD sleeps well usually from 9 or so in the eve, waking at around 3am for a feed and then again at about 6am ish. So only a couple of nightime feeds. Im ok with sleep deprivation though as DDs 1&2 frequently wake me at night!!! In fact they are more disruptive to.my sleep than DD3!
WS and testing I will see if I can get a hold of that book. Thanks.
I went back to work and just did feeds at 7.30 and again at 17.00 without expressing. Probably got lucky but supply maintained itself along with oatmeal biccies and fenugreek tea. I was cosleeping though so DD was helping herself between 9 and 6.
I think you do what works best for you: your supply theoretically meets the demand put on it so if it's dwindling because she's not on much then putting her on more at night will help but if you are knackered, touched out and feel like bottles would be better all round don't feel bad about it
Gin might try fenugreek tea if it helps.
How old was your DC when you went back to work?
Hi, im not sure if it would be relevant in your situation but I found that when my periods returned I had a lower supply in the few days prior to it arriving each month. During that time my little one would feed far more often and seem a little unsettled. I also used to drink fennel tea as I found it helped my supply.
I also found my periods made my supply drop. You can express at work as they legally have to allow you time to do that. At her age though if your supply is dropping she's still young enough to cluster feed and bump the supply back up.
It sounds as if you have everything under control, and you have past experiences so that's great! I think maybe you're just panicking a bit. I know when I was breast feeding everything that my DD did was "is it my milk? Is she getting enough". It's so easy to worry and beat yourself up, it's what us mums do best.
I think your little one and your own body will decide what is right for this situation. I cried when I stopped breast feeding, it was he hardest thing ever. I went back to work with the intention of carrying on evening and night feeding, but I was so tired from work, it just didn't work out that way. I'll keep my fingers crossed it all goes well for you. 😊💐 xxx the book we've mentioned is really good, it changed my whole perspective on breast feeding, and it really kept me going. I'd recommend it as there's lots of advice for all different situations xxx
You definitely stop getting that 'full' feeling as your body adjusts to feeding and you drop feeds. By the time DS was 1 he was only on 2 feeds a day, sometimes 1, and I felt the same as I did before starting feeding, I didn't have that fullness any more, but was definitely still producing milk for his needs.
rabid and user periods have not returned yet. Have that joy to come!
WS thank you! I am most likely panicking due to returning to work soon (sooner than id like). DD is much more settled this eve.
jed thanks. That's reassuring to know. I didn't remember the feeling of fullness going with my last DD but it was 2 years ago now.
Lucky you not having them back yet. Bloody witch came back at 8weeks with me! I'm still feeding at 2yrs and was promised they would stay away till I stopped! LIES ITS ALL LIES 😂
Commiserations plain not looking forward to it. Haven't had periods for years due to having babies and/or having Mirena. It'll be weird to have them gain.
She was 12 months so well established. Periods did not come back til she was 18 months iirc.
^ this is what I used but much cheaper where I am. If you can't get them in the UK superdrug/nature shops then maybe you could go to fresh tea shop and ask them to mix you one?
OP you sound like you are doing great. There is a growth spurt around 4 months so baby will appear unsettled and demand more milk but give it a few days and your boobs will adjust to the extra demand. It is totally normal.
Thanks gin I will have a look and see where I cam get gold of some.
wigbert I think you are right. DD does seem to be wanting more milk at night and has upped her feeds. We are also giving larger bottles of formula during the day.
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