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So Owen is at daycare from about 9:30-4:30 5 days a week. I feed him right before dropping him off (no solids at breakfast, just milk), then I pump at work three times a day and produce between 15-18 oz for the following day. That has been enough until this week.
Our daycare provider has been running out of milk, despite even feeding him lunch. I am wondering if she's overfeeding him or if he's just drinking more than normal because he's growing and guzzling a bottle. On the weekends, I never have trouble with my supply and there's always enough when he needs it.
So basically now he's going to start needing at least one bottle of formula most days until I get home from work at 6:30 because my freezer stash has dwindled. I know it's not a huge deal, but I was really hoping I'd have enough milk until he was a year old and could be weaned.
Any thoughts on this? Oh, I've also stepped it up and have added an extra pump sesh right after he goes to sleep, but it's such a pain in the butt and I worry that he might wake up and want more milk and I'll be drained. So maybe I just give him the formula as needed and not care so much?
It's up to you. I get how it feels - you want only breast milk. I think you should do the extra pumping session for at least a week and then decide before you switch definitely to one bottle of formula. The reason I say this is bc you seem really dedicated to breast milk (like me) and I don't want you to give up before you're ready.
I'd keep up with the pumping session after he goes to sleep--between both boobs, you should have enough milk for him after he wakes up-- presumably he sleeps at least a couple of hours. You may not feel engorged, but there's definitely milk in there.
First, I totally admire you and Erin80 (and other pumping mamas!). It's so much harder to pump than just stick them on the boob. I just posted in counting our blessings thread about this. Pumping caused my supply to seriously dwindle but I have to admit I wasn't always Johnny on the spot with it. As long as you keep your pumping routine I don't think one bottle will hurt your supply. My problem was he rejected the boob and then pumping became my only option.
Anyways, he's probably drinking more because its offered to him. I've read that bottle fed babies drink more because its there and just easier to get. Don't beat yourself up about having to do a bottle of formula. It's taken me awhile to come to terms with it but I have gradually accepted.
Melissa, Mommy to Grady James, 4-4-13
Can you add in one more pump while at work? The more you pump, the more you're telling your body to make. It can take a week or two to see an increase, so stick with it. I'm somewhat (and that may be an understatement!) obsessed with Lilah getting only breast milk, so I've been super careful with my pumping habits. I do it 4 times a day now, and still make lots to freeze. I want to drop down to 3 because my freezer is FULL, but I'm scared my supply will plummet maybe. If there's anyway you can do another one while you're away from him, therefore guaranteeing he won't need to nurse, I'd do that. Do you have a hands free pumping bra? I use one and pump in the car - seriously a great time to pump....you can even cut holes into an old sports bra and use that but I think it would have to fit pretty snuggly.
Anyway, that's all I can think of......another pumping sesh while you're away from him.
I guess Id be asking the daycare some specific questions to decide whats necessary. Is he simply willing to take more when offered or does he truly seem hungry immediately after eating a bottle as if hes not satisfied and needs more? Are they feeding him any closer together? If so why-because he seems to need it sooner or are thwy just trying to feed all the babies on the same schedule? Id also make sure to use the slow flow nipples. Hes use to getting it from the breast slow and if its fast flow he may just be sucking the milk down too fast and still wanting more before his tummy can tell his brain hes full. If you do have to add another bottle ask them about his spitting up to be sure hes not being over fed.
My MIL watches Claire one day a week. She keeps a little log of Claire's eating/sleeping times for me (because I'm neurotic I guess?). I've noticed that she has a tendency to overfeed her. At home, I go 3 to 4 hours between bottles. MIL goes every 2 to 3 hours (even though I've reminded her again and again that it's at least 3 hours, and she does fine with that schedule at home!)
I think some caretakers assume that fussy baby = hungry baby. In my experience, fussy baby = TIRED baby. I'd much sooner try a nap than a bottle.
Sorry I never responded to everyone's posts. I got super busy here at work and then was so tired at night. Anyway, I added in another pump session after Owen goes to sleep and am trying to pump a little longer at my desk and my supply has definitely picked up. I also think maybe Owen was having a little growth spurt that week, because he seems to be drinking less this week. Anyway, thanks for all the feedback. I really appreciate it!
Oh, and Erin - yes, I've got the hands-free bra. Definitely couldn't pump without it! And I pretty much pump and drive every day on my way home from work. I've got it down to a science, at this point. :-)
Been a while since I posted, but I've had issue with making enough milk here lately. I pump while he eats and that generally produces another bottle for him. Also, I pump early mornings on the weekend to boost the freezer supply slowly. I only pump once at work and can get 1-1.5 bottles...4-6oz. I pump after I get home since his last bottle is usually a hour before I get home.