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The Pressure of Production: how far does it go?

A text was followed by an email, with basically the same message.  Short, sweet, urgent: "What are tips for increasing production?"  Sent by my sister-in-law, first-time mom to a four-month old, now back at work as an elemtary teacher, she wanted to know every trick in the book to keep supply ample, abundant.

We have an archive chock full of advice for pumping, so look there for discussion on the classic working mamas nursing conundrum or for the mama who pumps a lot.

Does production wane as the babies age?  But, even more importantly, how we navigate and negotiate this constant pressure to produce, the constant burden to make more milk to nourish our young, the everyday need to make sure our babies continue to mark progress tracked by ounces and pounds.  It is a worry and a stressor, and it can certainly mess with supply.

At what point do we introduce supplements?  At what point to we throw up hands and say: "I just cannot make enough for you, baby girl, as much as I love you and as much as I want to make more."  It's not for want that many of us cannot supply.  Have you experienced this pressure to produce?  Have you accepted other non-nursing avenues to nourishment for our littlest ones?

Comments

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Yes, but it wasn't that I "couldn't make it enough". I made what I could, and there were other foods (we chose not to supplement with formula, but started feeding her nourishing foods early on, and cow milk in time) that completed her needs.

There is wayyy too much comparing of baby growth... all the moms whose kids were large early hit a plateau at one point and then all the others kept growing through that time and caught up. If your doc says you're on the growth curve, it really really does not matter how the other moms' babies are growing... esp. formula babies who follow a different growth pattern anyway.

In my case, there was a big push from my son for 'more' at around 3 months and then really badly at 6 months... at 6 months, I hit the 'can't keep up' for a bit... and then by 9 months, I had extra. Store up early when you can... I tended not to bother freezing and regretted not having saved something so valuable. Spending more time with the son helped as well at 6 mo... perhaps it was the busyness of work that made production seem to slow- the lack of direct contact when needed.

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