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Will my supply dry up?

(20 Posts)
ColdCottage Sat 12-Jul-14 08:15:33

If I am away from DS (@ 4 months) for 4 1/2 days (EBF) or will he get too used to the bottle (expressed) and reject breast on my return? confused

(My other thread has got me worried).

westcountrywoman Sat 12-Jul-14 08:18:01

At 4 months it should be ok. You will need to express regularly during this time to keep your supply up and it would be worth thinking about introducing a bottle maybe once a day for a few weeks beforehand as otherwise he might not take to the bottles.

ColdCottage Sat 12-Jul-14 08:33:39

I knew I was going since he was born so introduced a bottle occasionally since 5 weeks and he takes it no problem.

People have worried me that he might not want to take it exclusively for such a long time though.

ColdCottage Sat 12-Jul-14 09:50:26

Have you had such a long break while EBF? Did anything happen to your supply? Or did you have any issues with them latching back on when you got back?

ColdCottage Sat 12-Jul-14 10:15:08


tiktok Sat 12-Jul-14 10:35:40

ColdCottage, I don't think there are any guarentees with this....your supply can be maintained by expressing several times each day, so if you can do this, that side of things should be fine.

The unknown part is your baby, just as you say.

At that age, he is going to miss you and miss the breast. He is going to know his life is different, and of course at this age, be unable to understand or have any notion you will come back. It's this that would worry me, personally, to be honest. This is the sort of thing that leads to 'nursing strikes' when the mum returns, and while they are over-comable with love and patience, it's not a happy time. It's not so much the baby has got too used to the bottle and 'forgets' to breastfeed, but that he has had a major experience of loss and he reacts to that. Yes, he will get over it, as will you, but is it essential to leave him?

I don't know your circumstances, sorry - maybe this time away is truly unavoidable.

BertieBotts Sat 12-Jul-14 10:48:18

4 and a half days is quite a long time at four months. I think you would have to go with the acceptance that it might spell the end of breastfeeding. I haven't seen your other thread so not sure of the circumstances.

ColdCottage Sat 12-Jul-14 11:42:35

It is one of my best friends hen do in France.

When I signed up for it I just thought it would be a case of if I could leave DS or not. Now on top of that my main worry is if I would be able to continue to EBF on my return which is very important to me.

westcountrywoman Sat 12-Jul-14 11:56:21

I have had a 3 day break but my LO was older, 8 months ish. She wouldn't take a bottle but would happily drink expressed milk from a sippy cup. And of course she was eating solids. She was fine to continue with BF on my return. It took a few days to get my supply up again as I was a bit lax about expressing - I just expressed enough for comfort rather than to encourage production. We carried on BF to 13 months.

SIL left nephew (who was mixed fed) at 5 months and he wasn't too happy about BF when she got back but she didn't offer a bottle for the first few days after her return so he had to get used to it!

ColdCottage Sat 12-Jul-14 12:38:23

Thanks West that makes me feel a little better, would feel even more so with a few more examples from others.

Anyone else had a similar experience??

tiktok Sat 12-Jul-14 12:45:47

Cold, no example will replicate you or your baby or your situation exactly. I left one of mine overnight at 8 mths and we were fine but 8 mths is different from four mths and one night is different from four nights

Speaking directly to you here, and a bit bluntly, it's too long for a baby of that age and you and he/she will be unhappy. You will both recover from it, but it will not be a happy memory for you. At least, that is the risk you run.

tiktok Sat 12-Jul-14 12:47:32

I think I would feel the same about a baby who was ff, actually.

ColdCottage Sat 12-Jul-14 13:00:28

Think I am going to try to pump and bottle feed for a few days to see how he is.

Then if that goes well think about reducing trip to Sat (9.30am) - Mon (2.30pm) if I can change my flight home if I am still going to go.

Wish I could take him with me but not really fair on other hens plus not likely to get him a passport in 6 weeks!

fledermaus Sat 12-Jul-14 14:03:32

I left a baby for a weekend at 6 months and he was fine. However, I agree there are no guarantees and you should probably only go if you are ok with the possibility of not returning to full breastfeeding afterwards.

Rockchick1984 Mon 14-Jul-14 10:27:50

I think you need to decide how you'd feel if he won't latch on, compared to how you'd feel if you miss the hen do to be honest. If going is important enough that you'd be more gutted to miss it than you would if you get home and he won't latch any more, then you go. If breastfeeding is more inportant then don't go. No judging, it's a personal decision to you.

I was mix feeding DS until 3 months, had 2 days off from breastfeeding and he refused to latch again, although I wasn't overly concerned as I had accepted that was a risk I was taking.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Mon 14-Jul-14 11:28:46

I think part of the issue OP is that not many people will have left an EBF baby for that long at that age (no judgement by the way, it just isn't common). Most of the stories you will get will be shorter periods with older babies. As others have said, you just can't know how he will react. I have an acquaintance who unavoidably had to leave her baby for about this period at three months (sudden bereavement overseas) and ahe never got back to full feeding, though did mix feed. Her baby had had formula while she was gone so bit different there though. It wasn't a supply issue, the baby just wouldn't take a full feed anymore for some reason.

I think if you go it needs to be with peace at the idea that it might be the end of ebf.

ColdCottage Mon 14-Jul-14 15:25:47

I have made the decision not to go. As much as I want to and know he will be fine even if there is a small risk of not being able to EBF on my return I'm not prepared to take it.

My friends was lovely about it as I knew she would be and I did she'd a few years as she is one of my dearest friends and I have been planning this for her for months.

Her cousin who she is also very close to cant make it so I am going to invite her to mine and we will Skype in for one of the games (Mr & Mrs!) so we can share part of it with her.

At least I can make the wedding and there will be lots more girls weekends away.

ColdCottage Mon 14-Jul-14 15:29:20

Oops...and I did cry as as not "and she is years"!

leedy Mon 14-Jul-14 15:53:31

I think that sounds like a lovely compromise, you and friend's cousin should treat yourself to some nice sparkly drinks etc. to fully participate in the event - hopefully you can have a few good girly nights/weekends with your friend when LO is a bit older.

ColdCottage Mon 14-Jul-14 16:43:00

Think 2 of the other girls and the hen will now do something plus hen wants to have a special day with me.

I'm so lucky to have such great friends smile

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