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  5. Running out of milk... a discussion on why!

Running out of milk... a discussion on why! Lock Rss

First of all I need to say I started this thread to merely try to increase my knowledge and understanding of a common statement.

I hear so often of mums who say their milk runs out. I don't get it.

How can your milk run out? Where does it go?
Why does it run out? What does it runs out mean?

Why do so many Mum's decide to comp feed with Formula? Is the decision to do this made to quickly?
Do they express when they comp feed to build up supply?

I am wondering if Mums who say their milk is drying up understand how the body hormones work to make milk?
Do you think running out of milk be stress, diet, exercize or weight related or even that our emotions and thoughts might affect our milk supply?

Do you think we are provided with enough information and support as new mums?
Does running out of milk start as a figmant of our imaginations?

I would love to hear from Mums who have had milk supply problems. What are your thoughts about the above questions? Do you have any questions you need answering?

I am hoping your answers will give me a better understanding of a problem I have never had. Thanks

Whataheart - Girls16/1/00, 28/4/05 & 04/09/08

hi, well my wee girl is 9 months and for the last month or so I have had to give her a bottle of formula at night before she goes to bed, not every night but maybe once or twice a week.

Some nights I would go to feed her before she went to bed at around 6-7pm and would have no milk at all, i couldnt even squeeze any out so I didnt really have a choice.

I think it was stress related as we had just brought a house and we were preparing to move in and as I was a stay at home mum I was left to do most of the packing and organizing, or maybe she was going through a growth spurt as well.

anyway I try not to give her a bottle as much as I can but like I said before sometimes I dont really have a choice when she still needs milk and I dont have any, I will have plenty again in the middle of the night when she wakes and all through the day but i dont get a chance to rest during the day so that is why I run out at the end of the day.

I hope this has helped you to understand a little bit more, i am so blessed that I have managed to breast feed for this long with no problems and I hope I can go on to breastfeed till my baby girl is at least 1 or maybe even 2.

2 little darlings 29/01/03 + 17/03/05

Hi there

I think unfortunately there is not enough support for new mums when it comes to breastfeeding and as such there are a lot of misunderstandings. Sure, there are plenty of horrible nurses and midwives who just seem to make new mum's feel bad and incompetent if they have trouble with breastfeeding, but the good ones who are supportive are few and far between. I was fortunate enough to have really good chn's at our local clinic and helpful lactation consultants when I was in hospital. I had my son by emergency c-section and nobody told me until I was tearing my hair out 4 days after he was born, that your milk takes longer to come in after a c-section. He ended up in the special care nursery as he had lost nearly 600g because I had no milk. Anyway I did give him formula a couple of times while in hospital as he was getting really dehydrated and was starving. I was determined to breastfeed though - thank goodness I had people around who supported me, I probably would have given up if it wasn't for them. I kept breastfeeding him all the time - somedays he would be feeding every hour, and taking around 40mins each time only left me 20mins in between. It paid off though, my milk supply gradually built up. I never got that really engorged feeling though. The lactation consultant told me only about half of all mums get really engorged and it's quite normal for your milk to gradually build up over a few days. Anyway I ended up breastfeeding my son until he was about 13.5 months old - I was then pregnant with my daughter and my milk had started drying up then, but he was only having one feed per day by then.

My daughter was also born by c-section - she was overdue so I couldn't be induced. So this time I knew my milk would take its time coming in and I didn't get as distressed. On the 3rd day after her birth she was constantly feeding, even though it seemed nothing was there. It all worked out, and my milk finally arrived. She's now 9 months old and I am still breastfeeding her. I have noticed, however, on the first day or two of my period my milk does dry up. My boobs feel really deflated and she doesn't have many wet nappies. It sometimes happens when I'm ovulating as well. I spoke to our chn about it - she is very pro-breastfeeding but very supportive - and she said some mums are really effected by hormones and that I would probably be one of the one's whose milk supply would be affected if I went on the pill. She said she was the same.

So I know from personal experience that milk supply can be affected by hormones. I just wish there was more support, understanding and info for new mums.

Sorry for the long post smile

Take care
hi there all

just thought i would share my story with you.
my milk supply dried up on its own for no reason (to my knowledge anyway). i breastfeed my daughter with no problems from day 1.

than at about 3 months my daughter was not sleeping for more than half an hour at a time. she began waking thru the night (she slept thru from 2 weeks) she just always seemed hungry all the time i thought she was going thru a phase of snack feeding so i tried expressing and feeding her from a bottle and this is when i realised the problem first morning feed i expressed from both sides and couldnt even get 100ml and from there it got worse i just wasnt filling up during the day i was lucky to get 30-40 mls from both sides during the day it didnt matter if i waited an hour or 4 hours between feeds this didnt change.

it didnt matter if i had a sleep/rest during the day
i wasnt on the pill i drank plenty of water i was doing no different than i was the previous three months. i rang b.f.a and spoke to c.h.n. and they told me that its not possible for my milk to just dry up and just keep putting her on and it would build up.

i had given her comp feeds of formula before and i always expressed if i did this. i had expressed and and sored it in bottles so her dad could feed her and had no probs getting 200ml which is at least what she drank every feed.

so i tried to continue to feed her like this and she began losing weight until i had enough n thought stuff them they are wrong she needs something else so i formula feed her except for the very first morning feed i breastfeed that 1 until she was just over 4 months.

if i could of continued to breastfeed i would have loved it but that wasnt possible

my daughter is now 6months and a very healthy 10.2 kgs

i also dont think that we are told enough about the inbetweens of breastfeeding its usually either breastfeed breastfeed breastfeed or if there is a problem from the start than formula feed but its not a good thing. but thats just my opinion.

anyone i have rambled on enough now hope my story helps you understand that it can just happen or if you have suggestions on what the problem could have been feel free to put your ideas forward.


danielle nsw dd 24/6/05, dd 26/7/06

My son was born 2 months prem in fact im at my due date now. I wanted to breast feed but he was too little, so i expressed and bottle feed, after about 2-3 weeks we managed to get him on the breast only to have my supply deminish by the week until I have next to nothing!!!! I was told that becoz I did't express more than I needed in those first 2-3 weeks that my supply just got less and less, I also think the stress of having a prem baby didn't help. So he is now 9 weeks old and on formula independantly and I kinda feel abit like a failure, but at the end of the day my baby is healthy and well and he had a great head start.

Will, NZ 9 wk baby

for any mum out there that is going to give up becaues of milk drying up
try this

feed you bub for 3 day when ever he/she wont to when he crys feed even if it's only for 5 min's you can use a brest milk spay as well if you wish to help they do work for most peopel but not all drink lots about 2L of water of squosh fill a sports bottel up and carry it around with you.
alsoeat if you can a hand full of penuts a day for the 3 days or other form of protin
and only if your bub can not get any milk from you give 2-3 oz no more than 50 ml then 20 min's or so later you will have za good bit for him her keep swapping sides when you feed to make sure you have feed all you have and just keep going for 2-3 days
then if bub is under 6 mths feed evry3-4 hours
with no breast milk inbetween at all not even to go to sleep with
under 4 mths
feed evry 2-4 hours no milk in between at all
4-6 mths
feed evry 4 hours
somthink like this
7.00am milk
11.00am milk
12.00pm small dinner
3.00pm milk
5.00pm small dinner 2
7.00pm milk
then cluster feed if you wish 9.00
then when ever bubs feed most will sleep to 4.00am or 6.00am

6.9 mths
7.00 am milk
8.30 am breakfast
11.00 am milk
1.00 pm dinner 1
4.00 pm milk
5.30 pm dinner 2
7. 00 pm milk

i am from uk and this is what we are told to do we have a good bit of help in uk with breast of bottel i got on well with my health visiter HV i was going to give up and she to me the 3 day plan then to pub bub in a rutein like this and my milk was fine i found what i was doing evey time bub cryed i would feed and thought my milk was drying up but it was there it just had not had time to bild up to a full feed and bubs was snacking
this may not wark for evry one but this is what we do in uk so give it a go if you think of giving up but realy wont to carry on feeding if it does not work your bub will be fine on baby milk

mother of 3

i have been lucky so far when i ever i stress that i am running out i go see my doctor and it is just the change in feed sizes and than i stop steessing and it starts flowing really well agiain. my doctor says that is why peoples milk stop because they think it is so it happens, but logically while bub is sucking the milk is comming.
As this is such a long topic, I will admit I have not read most of the posts.

I expressed every feed for about 4 weeks. I would take expressed breast milk in the bottle where ever and only used maybe one feed a day of formula. (my son was not strong enough to feed from the breast himself, fortuneately he is now back to the breast.)

It frustrated me so much, people presumed that I had stopped breast feeding and it was just formula, because i was 'bottle feeding'. And that somehow it was 'less' or i was lazy for not breast feeding. (my hat goes off to formula mums, bottle feeding is so not easy.)

To increase my milk during the 'expressing month', i would put bub to the breast about 3 times a day, i expressed every 4 hours (even setting the alarm clock for 2 am and then 6 am, and taking the portable pump on outings), took fenugreek and maxolin (anti-nausea drug with the side effect of increasing milk supply) but maxolin also makes you very tired for several days. And tried to avoid stress.
I gave up b/f when our little boy was six weeks. He was a very colicy baby and used to feed every 1 1/2 hours. By the time he hit 5 weeks I was so tired and stressed that instead of frustrating myself and him I decided to express. I found that because of all of the stress I was feeling my milk had dried up. It's not that I didn't like breast feeding actually I loved it. I never got sore nipples or lumps. But in the end I just couldn't produce enough for him. He's been on formula ever since and he's been a godsend.

all of us

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