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Is she reverse cycling? If so, what can I do about it?

(5 Posts)
amijee Mon 15-Nov-10 14:59:39

Hi there

My dd3 is nearly 5 mths and up until a week ago was exclusively breast fed. Recently, I had a nasty gastro illness and became very weak and dehydrated so decided to substitute her daytime feeds with a bottle as I am due to go back to work in a month anyway.

Surprisingly she didn't reject the bottle - she takes it fine but has never taken more than 3oz in one sitting. ( sometimes she takes only 1oz) I offer her a bottle every 3-4 hrs and it is made up of either formula or a mixture of breast milk and formula. Her total intake in the daytime ( approx 10 hrs) is about 5-6 oz.

I breastfeed her at 7pm, midnight, 3.30 and 6-7am. She has a large feed each time and sometimes even soils her nappy ( so she is woken up by me changing her) Overall however, her sleep is much better than when she was totally bf as she has a big feed and goes straight back to sleep ( my boobs felt very small overnight before with not much in them but now they are much fuller)

I don't mind feeding her twice overnight for now but would like to get her to only wake once or not at all when I go back to work. I'm also not ready to give up breast feeding yet as I fed my other two kids for so much longer as well as the obvious health benefits.

Do you think things will settle down if I just continue as I am? Or should I be more strict about how much breastfeeding I am doing? I actually like feeding her overnight but am getting more and more anxious about how tired I will feel when i go back to work. I can seem to remember my dd2 did something similar but she was also taking solids with water so had more calories in the day.

thanks for your help x

MumNWLondon Mon 15-Nov-10 15:47:54

Presumably at 6 months when you go back she'll have solids, which may fill her up a bit - you haven't said whether she'll be having EBM in the day or formula.

If you are planning to give EBM then probably worth trying to get her to feed in the day again to boost supply - even if you only express once at lunchtime.

Her daytime intake looks quite low for a baby not having solids. Perhaps she'd drink more from the breast directly? As its not very much should be easy to go back to full breastfeeding if you want.

Could you try feeding her at 6pm and then 10pm in her sleep - perhaps this would result in only one night waking?

DS2 is 7 months I am BFing at 7am, 6pm and 10pm and my supply has seriously dropped in the last month since I went back to work, but I am happy that he consistently sleeps all night. He is loosing interest due to the lower supply. Now wondering whether I should have expressed at lunchtime.

He has 3 meals in the day PLUS 2 x bottles - offered 6oz but sometimes only drinks 4oz of afternoon one.

amijee Mon 15-Nov-10 17:02:41

hi mumNWlondon

thanks for your prompt reply. I will not be expressing when I go back to work so she will be having formula and not EBM.

Also, I will not be able to bf her at 6pm as I will not be back from work.

I am only expressing to reduce the engorgement - not to boost my supply ( I want this to go down in the day)

Interestingly, I have just fed her 3 oz from a bottle of pure EBM and she drank it all! Could be a coincidence - not sure. I actually gave her my breast afterwards and as it is still full she probably only had another 1-2 oz off it so she may just be a very small eater. ( she is on 9th centile, only 13 pounds a few weeks ago)

My main aim is for her to feed normally from a bottle in the day ( and not be grumpy as she is now!) and also continue to bf off me outside work hours. I may try to give her more EBM in the bottle to see if it's a taste thing and then dilute it very gradually ( I had to do this with my ds1 who was fine with EBM in a bottle from being a newborn but rejected it when I gave him formula)

will let you know x

MumNWLondon Mon 15-Nov-10 18:56:56

If you are happy to give formula and would prefer her to sleep, I'd try in the meantime to increase the amount she is drinking during the day by whatever means you can - probably from you. And try and reduce lengths of night time feeds.

If you go back to work and still have too much milk in the day can always pump to relive engorgement. I think much better to focus on more milk in day and less in night as you'll need your sleep when you go back.

Either way once you introduce solids she will be getting more to eat in day so hopefully will be less hungry at night.

amijee Mon 15-Nov-10 20:53:43

thanks for your help - it's such an anxiety isn't it? It doesnt get any easier going back to work - it's my 3rd time and I'm still dreading the first few months.

good luck with your ds x

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