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September 04, 2007


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Bravo. Just, bravo.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everyone able to grasp this . . .

This is a great article, thanks for that!!
All we need is more encouragement and more knowledge about breastfeeding. Too often I see that women just give up because they don't have the right type os support and they lack the knowledge.

Bravo. Clap, clap, clap. And very useful information for those who want to use it. :-D.

And I love this - "the introduction of a potent allergen with a high potential renal solute load". I want to be able to write like you...

I did e-mail you back but not sure you got it, btw, since I sent it from my other e-mail address.

All my my babies started going downwards on the chart between four and six months, I never knew that was normal.

I like you so much. You have an amazing ability to be a breastfeeding supporter without turning women off (well, except for that one blogger) with a holier-than-thou attitude.

Not that I really need the information at the moment, but I'm fascinated by the bit about storage capacity. I'd never even thought about the issue of in-breast storage, but now that you've explained it, I can clearly see that I was a small-storage lactatress. (So based on my example, you could change that sentence to "you can be an H cup with a teeny tiny storage capacity." My nursing boobs were ridiculous.) This explains why my son nursed so very often and why I never managed to pump more than 4oz, no matter how long it had been since I'd last emptied the breast, and why it took me nearly 12 months to get my period back.

FWIW, I also liked the trick of pumping one breast while nursing on the other. (I was using an Isis hand pump.) I was already sitting down with my shirt hiked up, and I was able to get the milk out the most quickly if I was nursing on the other side.

I, too, was fascinated by the storage capacity part. And oh I wish I'd known about power pumping when I was pumping! 5 minutes here or there would have been perfect rather than the 3 20-minute snooze fests I took in the beginning. Yawn.

Thank you, thank you so much. It never occurred to me to give up on breastfeeding, from difficulties getting started through clogged ducts, mastitis, family and social pressure to wean, and random scoldings from people in the natural food store. I really really appreciate the supportive attitude and good information you offer to women who were not as fortunate as I in fellow-lactating-mama friends and La Leche leaders and other breastfeeding advocates.

I need to bookmark this post for if I ever have another baby. Thank you, CJ.

The power pumping idea is great. I wish I would have felt free to cut my pumping sessions off without fear of wreaking my supply. (I pumped exclusively as my daughter never made the transition to breast after a NICU stay.) The only bummer was that I had a huge supply, so it often took 30 minutes to empty the gals. Oof, I tells ya.

I heartily second the recommendation to rent a high quality pump. It *is* cheaper than formula and your breasts will thank you. A great pump is the only way I managed to keep at it as long as I did.

Can I just say how much I love you?

Hey, I have a four month old and boobs that don't seem to be doing the work they were doing a few weeks ago... Thanks for the ideas (and assurances.)

Perfect timing. I was just perusing the CDC charts, even though I know breastfed babies don't follow the curve (and even though I don't know what my 3-month old weighs, since his appointments are at 2 and 4 months).

Great info! I'll also add that if you had high supply or oversupply AT ALL, the difference in the growth pattern can be super scary - huge growth to almost none... but that's also normal, and we're evolved to kind of 'grow ahead' when the milk runs high, and even out as the supply adjusts to normal. My first gained a pound a week in the first 3 months. Sudden plunge in gain around 6 months... And gained only 1 ounce a month in months 9-12. Normal, and fortunately, our doc said 'chart correction in the first 12 months in breastfed babies is normal, he's happy, he's developing fine, don't fret.' If my doc had looked worried, I'd have weaned in a heartbeat, because that much change just seemed ... WRONG.

thank you SOOOO much for the info...it was just was I was looking for. I suspect that I have the low-storage models. Unfortunately I have to work outside the home and a colicky baby, so I don't quite have the opportunity to power-pump like I'd like to, but hopefully I will get the chance to try soon.

Completely and totally off topic, but did you used to have, uh, another blog? (being incredibly vague because I don't want to out you or something). If not, you remind me exactly of another very talented blogger I used to really enjoy reading. If so, yay and glad to have found you again :-).

Thank you thank you. If only I had known all this when my baby was 4 months and our ped was telling me she wasn't gaining quickly enough and I should supplement. I didn't listen to him (and worked on increasing my milk supply instead) but I was worried for months that I was starving the little one even though my instinct was telling me she was doing fine. Now she's 16 months and eats like a horse (as well as still breastfeeding), still petite, but as our (new!) ped says, a very healthy happy baby.

This could not have come at a better time for me. My 3-month baby is tiny - barely on any chart - and I am feeling panicked despite knowing we have a good nursing relationship. This helps calm my nerves.

YAY for a breastfeeding post from you!! I also didn't know about the storage capacity thing. My breasts are teeny tiny, smaller than an AA perhaps, but have good storage I guess, coupled with a very strong letdown reflex. That didn't stop my youngest from nursing every 2 hours around the clock until he was 5 months old -- he's ALWAYS hungry that boy, to this day.

I knew the charts used by pediatricians in this country were no good (OK, based on formula-fed babies), but I didn't know that the WHO had their own!! Good! thanks for the link and all.

Thanks so much for this, I only wish I'd thought to look for it sooner - like when he was 4 months old and we were having problems but my PED and LC assured me that by looking at him even though my LO wasn't gaining he was still ok.
Now he's 6 months old and we're still struggling and having to resort to supplementing. I plan on trying some of your ideas, especially the power pumping - what a great idea! (I really hate having to clean all those little parts only to turn around and clean them again an hour later!)
Again thanks so very much! :D

I can not thank you enough for this great information. I have been worrying myself sick about not giving my 3 1/2 month old baby enough when I nurse him, he wants to eat more often than other nursing babies I know and when I pump I don't get more than maybe 2 oz at a time if I am lucky. The storage info was great and I really appreciate your ideas on the power pumping I will give that a try. This is my third baby and I wish I would have known about this information with my second child, I was going through this same issue at the same age with my second and just gave up on nursing because I thought I was losing my milk supply and it seemed like I had no support from anyone to help me fix the problem. Now I know its normal and understand the supply and demand thing more. Wish me luck. Again thanks a bunch.

Thank you so much for this. Google led me right to you - and I plan to power pump in a day or so - a little here, a little there, absolutely. I didn't realize I could leave the milk out for up to ten hours. (My husband remembers our lactation consultant saying five hours, but whatever - it's just good to know I can leave the bottle and come back to it!) Tonight I had to come home early from teaching my class, my child didn't have enough pumped milk to get through another hour! Talk about feeling like mother of the year...my supply has been low and I'm taking fenugreek, drinking more water - and Googling. Thank God for Google, and for you, for all this good information!

My baby is 18 weeks, my milk supply has gone down - baby is still hungry after feedings. I started to pump again after feedings (nothing coming out of breasts) I have not given up, however, I know my son is still hungry after I nurse. I have seen a lactation specialist, I am doing what I have been told, nothing seems to work. I started 4 oz of formula at night to help sustain his hunger. He wakes ever 3 hours at night to feed. Am I doing something wrong? I tried rice cereal, he spits most of it out. Not sure what to do at this point. I would like to continue nursing my son!!! I don't like the idea of formula

Right on. I'd read Moxie and I'd read this months ago - sure enough today at the 9 month check up, he's coasted down to 25th again and the doc is using the chart with the big ole Emfami1 logo on it. I come home, check the WHO chart - he's in the 50th. Thanks :)

Hi! I greatly appreciate what you have written. It is ironic because my son was born on the day this was published! He is a very slow gainer and it was at our 4 month appointment that we discovered he had only gained 8oz in 2 months. Our pediatrician was concerned, but willing to let us work it out until he comes back for his 6 month check-up. I have no plans on introducing formula to him, as I know my milk is best. :) I plan on bringing a copy of this article to show her! Thank you for the time, effort, and research you have put into this piece. Blessings!

Thanks for the info. My son dropped from the 75th percentile at 2 months to the 50th percentile at 4 months. I started really doubting myself and considered if I should supplement, but I'm going to tough it out and try to increase my milk supply.

Thanks again!

THANK YOU SO MUCH. Finding this post could not have come at a better time. I spent most of this week sobbing after my son nearly 4 month old had slipped on the percentile chart and his doctor was downright alarmist at his last visit. I had no idea that this was normal at all.

I am pumping while my 5 month old twins are asleep as I read this. Thank you for this info. They were 3 weeks early (term for twins, but technically 4 month olds gestationally) and I have been concerned about my supply the last 2 weeks. This makes me feel really good with how things are going and what I can do to get back on track and continue to exclusively breastfeed my babies.

Wow - what useful information. My son just turned 4 months and your post has answered a lot of the questions that have been flooding my mind. THANKS!

Thank you so much for your post! I am linking to your blog from mine.

This is very useful information and you have the intensive study to back it up.

In my experience (not a ton of study -- 7 breastfed babies), this weight-gain slowdown is part of a big picture.

Children normally slow one kind of growth while another speeds up. With babies it's drastic sometimes, but as you gain experience with older children you realize it happens all the time. A 16 year-old thins out because he is at the threshold of a new part of his life.

A four-month old baby is vaulting into a whole new world for him (boring and uneventful as it may seem to mom!). He gets distracted at feeding (as you mention) and his mind is exploding with all he has to learn.

Mom has been wanting to get back to things -- and this is worse the more children she has - -but she should try to take this stage as a challenge to adjust to his feeding needs and enjoy seeing him take everything (not just milk!) in.

Patience! I wish everyone would learn to be patient :)

I like you so much. You have an amazing ability to be a breastfeeding supporter without turning women off (well, except for that one blogger) with a holier-than-thou attitude.


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