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Thread: BF Twins - milk supply getting bit low

  1. #1

    Default BF Twins - milk supply getting bit low

    Hi There,

    I have 3 months old twins that I have been breastfeeding for the past 2 months (they were born prematurely and I was pumping until they got old enough to latch).

    I am noticing that my milk supply has started getting low during the day. In the morning I have so much milk but around 3-4pm it goes very low, which is worrying me a lot. I am now giving a few bottles of formula to make sure that they don't go hungry.

    Since starting BF I have been either BF around the clock or recently (due to being very tired) skipped one feeding at night when my husband gives a bottle of my pumped milk. At that feeding time I still get up to pump my breasts and go right back to bed.

    I take fenugrek and blessed thistle but it doesnt seem to help.

    Does anyone have similar problems that they have overcome? Should I skip pumping at night and get a 4-5 hr continuous sleep? Should I pump every time I have fed a baby to force the breast to make more milk? The twins currently nurse every 2-4 hrs and are not on a schedule, though they have been nursing a bit more frequently in the past days due to lower supply.

    Any help is very appreciated.

    Anne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: BF Twins - milk supply getting bit low

    Welcome and congratulations on the babies!

    Can you tell us how you know your supply is low? A lot of times new moms mistake normal adjustments in supply for low supply. The following are not signs of low supply:
    - increased nursing frequency
    - babies suddenly nursing for shorter or longer time periods
    - reduced feelings of fullness or engorgement
    - reduced or absent leaking
    - breasts suddenly feeling soft or flat all the time
    - babies who were sleeping through suddenly night waking again
    -increased fussinesz

    The best way to tell if your babies are getting enough is to count diapers. If diaper output is normal, then milk input is normal too.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: BF Twins - milk supply getting bit low

    ... I just posted a reply and the entire thing disappeared.. Hmm. trying to sum up what I wrote.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me! I am experiencing some of the signs that you are listing but have through reading online figured out that these are mostly normal.

    My reason for thinking supply is low is that I in the morning can nurse one twin per breast but in the afternoon I often end up offering both breasts to one baby with nothing left for the other one (if the other one is hungry right after that is..). When this happens I have given a bottle of formula to the hungry one. SOme days they get up to 2 bottles of formula each which I would REALLY like to stop asap...

    The babies are wetting enough diapers but I am also supplementing with formula as mentioned above.

    I would love to find out if low afternoon/evening supply is normal and if anything can be done to stimulate greater supply. I really want the babies to be exclusively BF with the occasional bottle of pumped milk.

    Should I pump after each feeding to completely empty the breast if it isn't already? Should I skip having my husband giving a bottle at night and breastfeed instead of pumping? I would love some input. Any other moms (or twin moms) who have similar experience?

    Oh, I also have to mention that my little boy has thrush (me too). We have been treating with Nystatin which didnt work and are now using gentian violet.

    Thank you all in advance!

    Best,

    Anne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: BF Twins - milk supply getting bit low

    Gah, don't you just hate it when your whole post disappears into some great big digital void?!

    Thanks for explaining what's going on. Some of what you describe is very normal. Most moms-singleton moms, twin moms, whatever- notice that their supply is higher in the morning than in the afternoon or evening. Prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, often peaks in the night, which means most moms end up with the most milk in the wee hours of the night and in the morning. As the days wears on, prolactin levels decline and so does milk supply.

    Generally the decrease in supply is not a problem. All mom has to do is nurse on demand and not supplement, and her body will produce adequate milk. The way this works is through demand: when milk supply is lower, the baby or babies nurse more intensely, more frequently, and for longer time periods. This trains the mom's body to increase prolactin levels during the afternoon/evening.

    What you've been doing- nursing 1 baby on both breasts and supplementing the other- is very likely to be short-circuiting the supply-demand feedback process described above. Every time you offer the bottle instead of letting both babies feed from the breast for as long and as often as they want, you're telling your body "job well done, no need to increase production."

    So, what should you do? Here's what I suggest:
    1. First, review the information in this link on weaning from formula supplements: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html
    2. Nurse both babies for as long and as often as you can. This is probably the most effective route to boosting supply.
    3. If you decide that you must supplement, be sure to pump both breasts afterwards. Your goal in this situation would be to replicate the stimulation your babies would have given by nursing.
    4. Stop skipping that nighttime feeding. It sounds like it's not getting you any more sleep, since you're up pumping anyway, and pumping typically does not empty the breast or stimulate supply as effectively as a nursing baby does.
    5. Treat yourself and BOTH babies for thrush. It's common for one member of the nursing pair- or triplet, in your case- to be asymptomatic, but everyone is carrying the yeast regardless of whether or not they display symptoms.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: BF Twins - milk supply getting bit low

    Wow - thank you so much for your reply and advise. It all makes so much sense. I will follow advise on Kellymom and start reverting back to exclusive BF. I wish that I had asked for advise earlier but better now than never. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Again, thank you so much!

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