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How long can I maintain supply?

(2 Posts)
mrsjuan Sun 11-Oct-09 21:25:59

Me again (DD 5 months: small, fussy, breast refuser)
Since she was 3 months I have been expressing - at first 6 times a day, then 5, then 4 and at the moment 3 times. She's currently having 2 bottles of EBM & 3 bottles of formula per day.

Although she is occasionally feeding directly from the breast it isn't much and I'm getting to the stage where to be honest I think there's more to her life than breastmilk.

I'd like to keep a small supply (if there is such a thing) for if & when she wants to feed at night & I'd also like to keep giving her 1 bottle a day of EBM for the immunity benefits.

Will I be able to keep up a supply doing just 2 expressing sessions a day (morning & evening?) or will it slowly dwindle?

rlp Sun 11-Oct-09 21:46:12

My understanding is that if you feed, or express, just morning and night, it should have the effect you expect. i.e. supply dwindles but remains enough for the demand. I have never been very happy expressing so I am speaking more from a knowledge of directly breastfeeding. Expressing is generally less efficient but may be your only option sometimes.
I went back to work when my daughter was 6 months and maintained adequate expressed milk for her childminder days until she was past 12 months. She has still fed when with me until 3 years old (I am now pregnant and milk has dried up.) In the last couple of years I know I had some milk as she would stay at the breast until recently - but I couldn't effectively express even on the days I was away from her.
I think the real answer is: don't set time limits or targets. The supply will dwindle but just be aware that you have done a great job getting this far. If you are concerned about dwindling supply then I would advise an extra pumping session - you will work it out.

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