11 months in, at a BF crossroads...(10 Posts)
I have just started back at work, 4 days a week. Work hours mean feeding twice a day, morning and bedtime; ds started sleeping through about 2 months ago and hasn't woken for night feeds. I'm offering 2 other day feeds when I'm at home, but ds isn't overly interested.
Problem is, I think my milk supply is dropping too much; I've had to top up with cows milk in a cup a few times to get him to sleep at bedtime. And in the last couple of weeks only, I don't generally feel the letdown or get any leakage (I've always had to wear breastpads until now). And today my period has returned for the first time.
When people asked when I was finishing BF (and they do ask!!) I have been saying I'd wait until everything had settled with my return to work and then we'd see, and I was just playing it by ear. But I don't think I'm ready to stop, or that ds is either.
Does this sound like the beginning of the end? Would it help to start the process of expressing at work (I'd really rather not if I can avoid it, it won't be straightforward)? Or is there anything else I can do?
If you top up, your milk supply will rduce, simple as that.
If you want it to increase, simply feed more, but as you say, you can't force them.
I b/fed for years after going to work f/t but was prob. feeding 4 times a day.
He doesn't need you to express, but if you want him to have only b/milk it's an option.
My other baby self weaned at 11 mths old too.
Thanks moondog. I kind of knew top-ups weren't going to help the supply, but when he's crying and I want him to go to sleep.... If he woke hungry in the night, that would be fine - he used to have a really good feed at between 1 and 2am, until he was 9 months. Though I like the undisturbed sleep now!
I'll have a think about how to get him to have better day feeds on my days off; if I feed him when he's tired before a nap, he tends to feed a little longer.
in the evening feed will he not stay on boob longer?
ooh just a thought actually, i get a slight dip in my supply when I get my period.
so, perhaps the return of the period has caused a dip (hence needing to top up a bit) and him being a little disinterested?
rather than the other way round??
He's always had a really good feed at bedtime; in the last week or so he's fussed more as if he's trying to get milk that isn't there, stopping and starting, seeming to get frustrated, and then tugging at my t-shirt if I stop, which he has never done before.
The idea about the period affecting supply does sound interesting though, I hadn't heard that before.
I wouldn't worry about the number of feeds. I fed my ds on demand and at 7 months he only had 3 feeds a day through his choice. Soon after that he dropped to just feeding morning and night. I did feel like I had no milk left cos like you I stopped needing breastpads, but ds didn't seem to indicate there was a problem.
I would not stop the feed - let him feed as long as he wants.
You can easily keep feeding at this stage - have confidence in yourself. I did not express at work at this age. I expressed at home small amounts and stockplied them. Baby had EBM if I was at work - topped up with water for volume if I hadn't managed to leave enough.
Most likely your period has had an effect. You do not need to strat expressing at work.
You can offer extra feeds when you are at home though - you do not need to be rigid.
Thanks all; mears, I think you're right when you say about confidence. There's so much going on emotionally with me starting at work and ds starting at the CM, that I think I'm getting disheartened too quickly.
Don't be disheartened. I went through similar doubts at the same stage and TBH am feeding more than ever now! At 12mo...
We worked on building up supply in the evenings a bit... Started to squeeze in an extra feed here and there: eg a quick one after his tea and then again before bed. I'd then feed again if he stirred a bit an hour or so later. It was kind of laid back cluster feeding.
My littlun is still feeding in the night though also (wish he wouldn't in some ways) so he's still getting 5-6 feeds every night. We do co-sleep after he wakes first time in the night, which makes it easier to feed him. Am very tired but am glad to do it because I want to hold off the night cough in the winter that the other two were plagued with.
I think you'll probably find this is another phase, and it doesn't have to be a 'winding down' if you don't want it to.
Sorry - still got my silly afternoon name on, will change...
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