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Thread: Breast milk supply vs demand, formula, solid food---for 6-month old baby page

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    mcgruff's Avatar
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    Breast milk supply vs demand, formula, solid food---for 6-month old baby

    Primal Fuel
    Hi. I'm a longtime MDA fan but first time poster.

    My wife and I are the proud parents of a beautiful six month old girl, our first child. With the exception of some formula given at the hospital right after our daughter was born and added to breast milk to increase its calorie density in the first few weeks of daughter's life, our daughter has lived pretty much completely on breast milk. (However, daughter won't take straight from the breast. Her milk supply comes pumped and bottled.) We are now experimenting with solid food---sweet potatoes, avocado, tiny bits of ground beef, but breast milk still accounts for almost 100% of my daughter's food intake. Our girl was born healthy but six weeks early, with a birth weight of 4 pounds. She is now over 14 pounds and is very strong, healthy, and lively.

    Lately, my wife has become worried that daughter's appetite may overtake her milk supply. Although we take a dim view of formula, we aren't absolutists against it, and given my wife's supply concerns, we have been trying to give daughter some formula, both mixed with breast milk and by itself. Our daughter seems to hate it; she won't take formula straight, and she only takes it mixed if it is so heavily diluted with breast milk so as to not make much difference to the supply issue. And of course, we're not excited to be giving her formula, so if we can do something else, great. But it does seem that we do need to figure out something so that we don't reach the point where daughter is hungry but we don't have anything to give her that she actually wants. My wife plans to provide breast milk for daughter at least until twelve months and seems less eager than I to add solid foods in any significant quantity. However, it seems that my wife's breast milk production may not necessarily always meet the demands of daughter's voracious appetite. I'm wondering what we can do to keep daughter's tummy full and her growing body's needs met.

    FWIW, my wife eat a mostly primal diet.

    Anyway, what's the best thing to do in our situation? Thanks.

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    Zach's Avatar
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    Is your wife eating enough calories and carbs to produce enough breast milk? Breast feeding is not the right time to try calorie restriction and low carb. You want to supply that milk with as much nurishment as you can get i. Your wife.

    As far as supplemental foods, breastmilk is mostly saturated fat and sugar with just a bit of protein so it would be best to mimic that. 6 months is pretty young for ground beef because its a meat that can be contaminated easier. Try egg yolks hard boiled and mashed, really ripe bananas, apple sauce, sweet potatos, maybe a bit of dairy from cow or maybe goat would be better.

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Make sure wife is eating enough, and try pumping for longer periods more frequently. She could also try some lactation supplements like fennel essential oils, fenugreek, more milk plus, and mother's milk tea. Just tossing some ideas out there. Worse comes to worst, you can look up to see if there is a local chapter of eats on feets.
    --Trish (Bork)
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    Ditto on the fenugreek supplement! I used it because I didn't feel as though I was producing enough breastmilk at the time. It really worked. Although, it made me smell like liqorice.

    I wonder if you could use coconut milk instead of the formula? Isn't it suppose to contain elements similar to breastmilk?

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    Thanks. My wife does take fenugreek and blessed thistle. Are other supplements likely to help more?

    My wife, like myself, probably eats about 100g of net carbs a day. We cheat with pizza about once a week, but her diet consists mostly of organic yogurt, organic coconut flakes, almonds, meat, poultry, grass-fed butter, cheese, EVOO, eggs, dark chocolate, apples, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and green veggies. She is a type 1 diabetic (diagnosed about two years ago) and has excellent blood glucose control largely because she eats low-carb. It's possible that she should eat more carbs right now although she eats as much total food as she can take (as do I) and seems to enjoy her present diet.

    Like most nursing women, I suppose, she struggles to get enough sleep, given the physical and scheduling demands of lactation. She tries to get up in the middle of the night to pump and usually does, but sometimes she sleeps through that time (as a guy who loves sleep, I totally can't blame her). Naturally, sleeping through the night helps her sleep better, but that additional pumping time does seem to be the difference between staying ahead of daughter's appetite and falling behind. After going through the long, difficult period of pregnancy, I don't want her year of nursing to be all miserable and exhausting too. So, whatever I can do to help my wife keep our daughter fed while reducing stress on my wife, I'd like to do.

    Also, I'm intrigued by AuroraB's coconut milk suggestion. I would think somehow giving her coconut milk or oil would be a great way to add calories to help keep her satiated and growing. I would imagine that, within reason, pretty much any infant would benefit from increasing their lauric acid consumption. Anyone have ideas on whether it's a good idea to give a 6-month old significant amounts of coconut and, if it is, the best way of providing it?
    Last edited by mcgruff; 01-31-2013 at 08:53 AM. Reason: clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
    Make sure wife is eating enough, and try pumping for longer periods more frequently. She could also try some lactation supplements like fennel essential oils, fenugreek, more milk plus, and mother's milk tea. Just tossing some ideas out there. Worse comes to worst, you can look up to see if there is a local chapter of eats on feets.
    Eats on feets is awesome! My midwife friend started it (unbeknownst to me I was the first donor!). It is international. Your daughter sounds smart in rejecting formula! Honestly neither of my kids really ate food during their first year! Played, yes! Even well past their first year....

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    If you go with the coconut milk, find canned milk in BPA cans or make your own. If you buy it, I'd make sure it's organic and full fat. You'd have to dilute it, obviously.
    You could also mix it with goat's milk if your wife's breastmilk supply diminishes too much.

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    Native Forest uses BPA-free cans.

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    Mcgruff, congrats on the wee daughter. I have had 5 premies, and aren't they the cutest wee things !!!!
    IMO when a child gets to about 6 months of age, to continue to grow at an optimal level, you must introduce solid foods, and this must form a major part of their diet. I am led to believe that up until about 6 months of age breast milk has all the goodies to sustain and nurture said babe, however beyond this point we need to introduce the nutrients that a child needs to survive optimally.
    Personally I wouldn't be adding formula, I would continue with the breast milk, and also water.
    If you boil up potatoes or kumara, coupled with carrots and peas - drain and then mash in a little butter and salt, add in a protein if you want....... this was always a great starting meal for my young uns. Also because a baby learns through putting things into its mouth, another really fabulous feed for her would be a cooked chop. They love all the fat and juices from the meat etc....
    Anyway good luck, and make sure your wife enjoys that breast feeding quiet time, its all over too quickly !!!!
    "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

    ...small steps....

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