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almond milk, safe for babies?
Posted: 02 July 2010 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I probably should have checked before but to cut short a long story I am trying to carry on breastfeeding my 5 months old daughter but I don’t produce enough milk. As she was hungry again and I had two flat boobs I gave her organic almond milk with some water and she drunk it. I eat well and drink a lot but I haven’t had a proper sleep in 7 months. She has been growing a lot the last two months and my body struggles to keep up with her appetit. I am trying to express a bit after each feed but I get barely nothing. I don’t want to wean her too early so I was thinking giving her almond milk at night to give me some time to recover. I have been advised to use formula but I don’t want to give her something unatural made in an obscure lab somewhere! 
Advices needed and lots of them smile
xxx
celery

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Posted: 02 July 2010 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Your body will catch up with her demand, honestly, and just because you can’t express doesn’t mean there is nothing there - I almost always have flat boobs, but grace gets plenty out!

You need to keep feeding, particularly at night, if you want to keep your supply up, as that’s when the happy hormones really come out to play.

The best yhing you can do if you think you have an undersupply is to go to bed with your baby, and let her feed, feed, feed whenever she wants, even if you think there is nothing there. She will build your supply up like nothing else can.

Personally, I wouldn’t give a small child anything nutty, for fear of allegies, but that may just be me - I don’t know shat others think.

Don’t panic about udnersupply though - it can be sorted - and definitely don’t worry about not getting any expressed milk - I rarely do these days. I seem to remember that it was about 5 months when my supply “settled down” and I stopped feeling full all the time. It’s all normal, it’s all good, and your baby won’t go hungry - honest! smile

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Posted: 02 July 2010 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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What reasons do you have for suspecting undersupply?  If that’s not too nosey.  smile

Most of the reasons women believe they are not supplying enough milk are either not accurate measures, due to OVERsupply, or due to not offering the breast frequently enough!  Feeling empty, baby not gaining weight “normally” but still gaining (or maintaining in the early weeks is enough), baby pooping irregularly after the first four months, not being able to express: I have all of those and HUGE oversupply problems too (the symptoms that are confusing are baby having nursing strikes, acting like in pain at the breast, arching and fussing, biting down during feeds, spluttering, poops being green and foamy etc).  A lot of women I’ve worked with through peer-support have believed they have undersupply until they have read the LLL pages on oversupply…

The best thing you can do for undersupply is nurse nurse nurse - expressing doesn’t increase your supply as much as breastfeeding a baby, and taking breaks so that you feel fuller also tells your body to produce less (inhibitors begin forming as soon as your breasts start to fill up, and are in full flow by the time you feel full - this is your body’s mechanism to prevent you becoming TOO full and choking baby)!  Take fewer breaks, feed as often as you can persade baby to LOOK at a boob, she will get less each time at first but it will kick your brain into sending out MAJOR production hormones.  smile

Sorry, came back to add, on the almond milk, I wouldn’t for a tiny.  I have given it to my babies from about 18m, as I don’t worry muchly about nut allergies, but I wouldn’t give it to a baby.  Have you considered oat milk?  Personally I would give no extra drinks at all until after six months, and in a real genuine emergancy situation I would prefer to use a formula milk than an adult drink, as although it is silly to talk about “closer to breastmilk” and it by no means succeeds in being everything they need, it is at least formulated with babies’ nutritional needs in mind.  After 6-9 months anything extra I gave would likely be water, or possibly oat or rice milk.  I have made my own rice milk for cereals in the past with children who were allergic to everything.  xxx

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Posted: 02 July 2010 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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What Sarah said smile

As far as almond milk goes, almonds are apparently safe for babies as they are not technically ‘nuts’, and are more related to peaches. That said, they are not nutritional enough to be used as a breast milk subsitute. Use in cooking etc is fine, but like cows milk, there is not enough of any kind of nutrient in them to make them safe for use as a drink. Also, there could potentially be a fair bit of salt in it dependant on brand.

Could you talk to a local breast feeding specialist - Breastfeeding network or LLL?

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Thanks all for your replies.
I suspected first that I did not produce enough milk when after feeding for 30 minutes she would be still hungry one hour later, she never seems satisfy enough, that’s why I thought it might be my milk supply. When I was a few weeks old I received an injection of vitamine D, an adult dose, by mistake and I got very sick, my whole body calcified and I stop feeding and growing for 2 yrs. I did not eat anything at all and my poor parents struggled to make me eat something and I was fed a raw egg yolk twice a day because I refused to eat anything else. It damaged my liver and since I have had trouble processing food I eat and I have trouble putting on weight. Overall I did grow up eventually but I am much smaller than the rest of the family…I am just wondering if this might affect my body producing milk. When she feeds constantly I have less and less but when I have a few hours between each feed, it seems I have more. Probably also the stress does not help. In comparison my daughter is much bigger and people always comment how it is amazing that I had such a big baby, so I have to explain that my genes are fine but I had trouble at birth.

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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forgot to say that I just used almond milk as an emergency because she kept feeding and crying and as soon as I gave her the water with almond milk she calmed down. It was the only thing I had in the house as well.

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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OK two things.  Feeding every hour is really really really normal.  All of my babies at that age have done it, sometimes for months on end and sometimes only for odd weeks.  It has never followed growth-spurt patterns.  My littlest one still feeds more than hourly sometimes and she’s nearly a year and a half old!  A few months ago she was feeding almost all day every day for a couple of weeks.  This is normal.

Secondly, when you go a few hours, you will FEEL like you have more, and she will feel like you have more.  However this feeling of having more is terrible for your body, and will tell it to stop making as much milk.  If you continue this pattern with a baby of this age, your supply will drop and eventually fail.

If you feed often, you and she will both feel like you are empty and your breasts have not had time to fill.  However if you keep this up for a month or more - and I mean feeding her AT LEAST every hour if she will consent to suck - then you will find that you can’t go two hours without feeling heavy!  That’s how supply and demand works.  She demands, you supply.  If you try to stop her demanding until you feel full, you will start to find that you never actually GET full.

I don’t wish to worry you, but it sounds to me like your body will do what it needs to if you can only let go of the idea that she is asking for milk so often because you are somehow not adequate.  She is asking for milk so often because she is a baby and she needs feeding and (at this age and in my extensive experience) probably hourly is about right for most babies!  The fact that you get full after a few hours tells me that your body is not broken or failing, it just needs reminding of her true sucking needs.  smile

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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You are absolutely right by saying my mind plays a part it does, it’s all in my head. I have supplied everything so far and she is growing well, I just did not understand why I have less. But yes she has been feeding less. Not that I stopped her but because she was asking less, I did not go and offer it to her. Everything you’re telling me makes absolute sense but I have a silly question and I am silly enough to ask it smile
When do you manage to rest? If my daugter sleeps at night, do I wake her up and feed her?

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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No such thing as a silly question, sillier to be too afraid to ask and thus never find an answer!

At five months, if she’s sleeping, I’d leave her unless your supply is critical to the point where she is dehydrated or not gaining weight.  (hugs)

At five months, I would also counsel that it might help you both if you offer her more (certainly during the day, basically whenever you think of it).  I don’t believe it is possible to overfeed a healthy breastfed baby, but the often-touted “don’t offer, don’t refuse” policy is a recipe for mother-led weaning.  Also as she gets older, if you offer, you can be comfortable with sometimes having her wait a little longer when she asks if you are in a position to not be able to feed her (or just uncomfortable doing so).  By the time mine are about ten months old, I know that when it isn’t convenient for me they can wait a while, because I also know that I offer to nurse them far more often than they accept, and far more often than I feel that it has to wait.

Your body is not broken, it is working marvelously and giving your little girl everything she needs.  xxx

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Sarah, thank you so much for your support and all your advices, it gives me a boost of confidence. I was told by a midwife that I might think of introducing a bit of baby rice once a day in the morning. I did not want to do it before she is 6 months old, shall I bother for the time being?

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Tu petite pauvre! I agree with all of the above and to add to it, do you want me to come over and take Tippi for a while so you can get some sleep? Do you want me to give you some expressed milk of my own so you can have it in the freezer ‘just in case’? I can nip over to yours any time you like and bring milk or take Tippi out or do the shopping/cleaning/washing etc. Please use me, I want to help and don’t want anything in return, just to make your life a bit easier as I know what these early months are like. You’ve got my number, don’t hesitate to call. Grand bisous, cherie. x

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Posted: 02 July 2010 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Breastmilk is more nutritious for her and there is really no benefit to her of having solid food yet.  I would leave it until she is literally taking food off your plate.  wink  Have you heard of Baby Led Weaning?  It is such an amazing leap, so exciting to trust their little bodies and inate sense to introduce themselves to really experiencing food.  smile  http://www.rapleyweaning.com/assets/blw_guidelines.pdf  One of the great things about it is that you HAVE to work to baby’s timetable, you can’t rush or force them.

My first BLW baby started taking food and eating small bites the week before she turned six months.  The littlest one started being offered food at exactly six months and was eating whole large items of food right away (like big florets of broccoli and whole pears)!

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Posted: 02 July 2010 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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arwen_tiw - 02 July 2010 01:57 PM

My first BLW baby started taking food and eating small bites the week before she turned six months.  The littlest one started being offered food at exactly six months and was eating whole large items of food right away (like big florets of broccoli and whole pears)!

I have a wicked picture of Tansy at the same age gumming her way through a banana - skin and all!  LOL

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Posted: 02 July 2010 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Oh Rachel, I have let go of my clean and tidy house a while ago because it is not so important after all. I might take you on the offer of the breastmilk because I have noticed that once you have a back up, you relax and everything goes smoother. Thank you so much for the offer of taking Tippi. My mum is coming next week for the whole week and she is very good and never judgemental. Last time she was there, Tippi did not want to sleep it was 4am, I was going mad and I threw her on my mum’s bed and went to sleep. I was a bit shocked of my behavior but my mum said nothing…but yes as you offered I might take you on the offer after she has gone because well I am no superwoman! smile

Thank you Sarah for the document, it is very much how I see thing and how we were raised too and very helpful. Tip has shown an interest in food since the day she was born smile always looking at what we are eating and salivating. So far she has licked a saucisson and a piece of stinky french cheese. Both times she laughed out loud and smiled and looked very content. I always include her when I cook, showing her things, so she will know from an early age about healthy eating.
I hope I did not take too much of your evening though, your help is grand!
xxx

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Posted: 02 July 2010 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Ah bless you, no problem at all.  smile  All the best, mama.

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