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Breast milk supply is reducing - please help

(8 Posts)
Ayana19 Tue 18-Mar-14 16:15:47

Hi I have been ebg my lb for 12 weeks but suddenly I feel my supply is reducing my breasts don't feel heavy with milk. However when I feed my lb he seems ok he's not crying after the feed to indicate he needs more. I've also introduced bottle feed for his bedtime feed to ensure he gets sufficient feed around 4oz since Satutday not sure if this could've had some affect on my supply as my lb sleeps through between 7-8 to 1-2am then I bf him again. Am trying to increase my food intake as I probably haven't been eating as much as I should. Can anyone pls offer me any advice? I really want to continue with bf it's upsetting to think my bf time might be over sad thanks.

leedy Tue 18-Mar-14 16:22:43

Ok, first of all your supply is probably not reducing at all - with both of mine I stopped feeling really heavy and engorged around three months, while the babies continued to pile on the pounds. It's really very normal and doesn't mean your supply is gone. You say that baby seems happy, pooing and weeing as normal? However, adding a bottle feed will have an effect on your supply, in that you're not telling your body to make milk at that time. Keep it up if you feel you really need the break, but not just because you want to make sure baby gets "enough" on top of your own milk: baby is probably doing just fine without it.

Really, all you need to do is keep feeding. Keeping up your own food intake is mainly for you, not baby, as your body will prioritize making milk. And try not to worry!

outtheothersidefinally Tue 18-Mar-14 16:23:31

If your baby is happy after each feed, then it should be ok. Keep going! Talk to La Leche League if you're worried.

jwpetal Tue 18-Mar-14 16:28:06

It is normal for your supply to adjust at this point. Your indicators are that he is weeing/pooing and is content, which is what you are saying. He is also becoming more efficient at breastfeeding so could be finished sooner. Your body will start creating milk at this point that meets the needs of your lb. so your breasts will not feel as full. Earlier milk supply is based more on your body just creating milk now it will respond and create milk based on the needs of the baby. It does not mean that you do not have enough milk. Of course, getting as much rest as possible and eating well does help in your own well being. As your lb, reaches a new growth spurt, you find that they start feeding more and this will be an indicator to your body to create more milk. All normal in the process. It is always worth a visit to a local breastfeeding group, if available. You'll find many mums in a similar situation.

dannydyerismydad Tue 18-Mar-14 16:32:38

There's a fancy medical term for this, that I can't remember, but basically there are "switches" in your breasts that turn on when milk is removed, and turn off when the breasts are full to stop you leaking/exploding. These switches don't work immediately, so most mums experience cluster feeding to get supply up in the early days and/or oversupply in the days after that.

When the switches start working, your breasts start to feel much like they did before you started feeding. No heaviness, engorgement and so on. Your breasts are full of milk, but not overfull. Everything is working exactly as it should.

There's absolutely no need for formula. You're doing brilliantly.

BertieBotts Tue 18-Mar-14 16:40:02

This is normal happenings for 12 weeks and doesn't mean your supply is reducing smile Well, it is, but all that's happening is that it's switching from OVERLOAD OVERLOAD ALERT MUST FEED BABY HOW MANY BABIES DO WE HAVE? NOT SURE YET LET'S MAKE MILK FOR FIVE to "Oh okay. There's just the one baby. With a pretty normal appetite. I think we've got the hang of this now, OK, got the milk order sorted smile"

If you think about it, some people breastfeed for years and years, if you were engorged and leaky for all that time it would get pretty annoying, so for the vast majority of time breastfeeding your breasts will actually feel pretty much normal. In the stage that you're in, you'll still notice some engorgement and leaking if your baby goes without feeding for a longer time than usual or if their demand goes down a bit (for example following a growth spurt) but most of the time, you'll be comfortable and leak free. What's not to like? smile

This explains really well why your breasts "feeling full" isn't something you want to aim for and shouldn't worry you if it's not happening (past those first few months.)

BertieBotts Tue 18-Mar-14 16:43:07

And I agree that you probably don't need the bedtime top up, if you don't want to give it, just feed instead. The link should explain why you can't "run out" of milk.

If you want to keep the bedtime top up that's fine, but make sure that all of your other feeds are direct from the breast even if he seems unsettled (you can switch sides again and again as many times as he wants in one feed) if you don't want to impact on supply. If you're looking to move to mixed feeding that's possible too but make sure you get advice about how it all works first.

Good luck!

Ayana19 Tue 18-Mar-14 18:22:05

Thank you very much I really appreciate all the feedback you ladies have given it has certainly helped to reassure me. I've had an anxious day today which has lead to me feeling emotional - think it was the realisation of how precious these times are. Thank you xx

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