Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Summer days shouldn't be gloomy. It just isn't right. Yet, today is a gloomy day. I'm a bit glad, though, because it helps give me a day off. With it being rainy, I don't have to work in my garden or hang clothes out to dry. I kind of need a day off because I need to work on my milk supply.

My poor daughter ended up gulping down 2 ounces of formula last night. I was feeding her every hour in the evening, but it was obvious very little was coming out of me. In between feedings, I hand-extracted milk (I do have an electric pump, but I get better results by hand) and I got very little (less than an ounce) and it was really watery. The poor dear was so very very hungry. So, I caved and gave her formula, but spent a good portion of the night hand-extracting to make sure I keep making milk. And I put her on to nurse at our usual nursing times.

I'm not sure why my milk is wasting away. I nurse on demand around the clock. I don't pump. I eat a varied, healthy, high fat diet. The scale isn't dropping, so I'm not losing weight. I drink plenty of water, but not too much.

The only thing I can think of is that I've been really stressed out lately and short of temper. So, today I'm relaxing more. Tomorrow, when I do grocery shopping, I'm going to buy some quinoa and fenugreek. Both are supposed to help milk supply. Of course, I'll continue to nurse baby girl on demand.

I only made it 4 months with Bubby, but I had a TON of misinformation about nursing, so I attributed it to that. This time around, I had much better information and nursing has been going fairly well. I was hoping to make it at least 6 months. However, it does seem that milk-making is not in my genes. My mother wasn't a very good milk-maker either.

Of course, I'm taking this to the Lord in prayer. Formula is not only expensive, but not really very good for our children. The soy base in every formula I've seen is NOT good. Soy is not a food, despite what people think, and it can be dangerous to our children. Soy can be attributed to early puberty in girls and delayed puberty in boys.

If you have to use formula, then don't stress out about it. Just limit or eliminate soy in other areas as your children grow.


Veiled Glory said...

Have you tried Brewer's Yeast? My mother would give it to all the ladies she knew as part of their baby shower present. She nursed me for 18 months without a hitch.

Just a thought.

prayzgod said...

If you're just getting the thin, watery milk, then you are only getting out the foremilk. The fatty, thick hind milk comes out after the let down reflex happens.

I always had trouble getting the letdown reflex. When it would happen, my babies would often be shocked at how fast the milk would come out, so they'd stop nursing for a moment, and milk would squirt out on their cute little faces.

The let down reflex is important, else, baby doesn't get much milk, and the milk baby does get is pretty much skim milk.

I guess relaxing is the key to having a let down. I still hadn't mastered let downs, and I've nursed 4 children so far.

As for formula - there are recipes for homemade, healthy formulas in the Nourishing Traditions book that you may want to check out.

I tried the goat's milk formula on my youngest - but she didn't like it.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem to make such a difference now but I remember in the early days, what I did while nursing made a difference. The first few weeks I was reading various baby care books with no problems but then once I finished those I thought I'd use the time to start learning the Westminister Shorter Catechism. I guess concentrating on that rather than thinking about babies meant I wasn't eltting the milk out as well as my daughter started to become discontented so I went back to reading things about babies and everything was fine. I do read other stuff now (such as blogs) without any problems but I try not to do anythign which requires too much concentration.

Also, when expressing you don't always get out everything that is there and the baby is usually more efficient than a pump. I used to express morning and evening so my husband could do the last evening feed with a bottle. The morning feed was always really easy as I was so full but the evening expressing when there was less was more difficult. I put a load of photos of our daughter on a CD and used to watch them on our TV. That helped most of the time but sometimes it didn't but my husband would talk to me about our daughter which would sometimes help on those occasions. Sometimes I would have tried both sides and be on the second attempt before stuff came out. Also massaging the breast while expressing can help although that may be harder with a manual pump (I used an electric one).

Hope some of that is helpful.

Susan. :o)

Present/Mother said...

Oatmeal is also supposed to help milk production.

I worked outside the home when my daughter was still nursing and found that pumping on the weekends in addition to nursing would help keep my milk production up for the work week. You could likely adapt that and add 1-2 pumping sessions a day at times that you don't usually nurse. If you get really desperate, you could try having a nurse-in, putting the baby to the breast every 30 minutes for a couple of days and running the pump for a few minutes if she won't take it. My midwives suggested that to me when my baby was 8 months old and my supply began to drop, and doing that once every few weeks helped me get to a year without using formula.

Good luck!

KitKat said...

I am a Hashimoto's Disease patient so I am not able to nurse exclusively. I always nurse for as long as my milk lasts (with supplementation) and then I switch solely to a milk based formaula. I was curious about your formula statement. I always read that a milk-based formula had no soy in it. It is very important that my children NOT have any soy because soy is goitogenic (sp?) and could affect their thyroid function in the future. So are you saying that ALL formula has soy in it, or do you use a soy based formula? Do you have a link with the info if all formuila has some soy in it? Thanks! :)