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Thread: Need Help with Supply

  1. #1

    Default Need Help with Supply

    My little man is almost 4 months now and it seems like ever since his 3 month growth spurt I haven't been able to keep up with his demand. Unfortunately, I work full time and I do pump every 2-3 hours at with with a Medela. I feed him 4 times at home and am trying to add a fifth but if he isn't hungry he goes all psycho on me. My freezer stores are depleted and I have had to add 2 ounces of formula to each of his bottles at daycare (my parents) to supplement. I would rather not do this as I love breastfeeding. This decrease in supply is making me feel like a failure. I try not to stress about it but it's tough. This week I got my first period since he was born and wow, what a dusey! I'm not sure if this is impacting my production.
    So, I used to pump 10-12 ounces per day. He eats 12-18 and currently I am only able to pump 7-8. This is during my work day. I was waking myself up at 1 am to pump cause he was sleeping from 9:30 t0 5 but then, at 3 months, he started waking up at 3:30. He is still feeding once in the middle of the night which I am completely fine with. I prefer it, actually.
    I take Mother's Milk Special Blend - I was taking it 3 times per day but my mom noticed my milk got very watery so I have cut back to 1 time a day and may add a second if needed. It seemed to work okay in the beginning to maintain what I was doing but doesn't increase the amount. I drink plenty of water.
    Any help or suggestions would be WONDERFUL. I am so close to just graduating him to formula but am not happy about that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    graduating him to formula??? i would not say using formula is like moving up.

    I have heard many women say they see a decrease in supply when they get their period. esp if it was your first i think that makes sense. this is temporary.

    How long are you away from your baby? I am away 9-5 and I give 12 oz. my lo likes 4 3 oz bottles, a bottle about every 2 hrs. I had to speak with his daycare to encourage them to soothe him more rather than just sticking a bottle in. they were great about it and now we have no problems.

    babies need about 1 - 1.5 oz of milk for every hour they are away from mom. here is a link:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    i pump right after the first nursing session before we leave the house each morning. this is a very important one for me. i get 4 oz. also, if there is anywhere you can add in a session. I would pump at about 10:30 or so or right before you go to bed.

    Also, I hand express for just a few min after each pump. I think its great, I get about 1/2-1 extra oz. Overall, it helps maintain a good supply as well so its worth those two extra min.

    I will also pump on the weekends right after the first nursing, that means i get about 6-8 extra oz to work with. good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    I had major supply issues and was supplementing my DD. My family doctor/GP put me on domperidone 40 mg x 3 times per day. It took about two weeks to work but it really brought my supply up. I also take fenugreek, 2 pills x 3 times per day and I have noticed an improvement to my supply with this as well. I also eat oatmeal each morning as well as I heard this also increases milk. I also nurse on demand. I'm still on my maternity leave so my situation is different than yours. But the best way to increase your supply is with nursing, and if that's not possible pumping. You need lots of breast stimulation. Keep at it, I know it's challenging but breast milk is best for your LO and even if you have to supplement with formula some breastmilk is better than none. Good Luck Mama, your doing a great job, and your LO is lucky to have a mom working so hard for him.
    Mirkka

    Mama to DD born September 7, 2010, and DS born October 28, 2012 and Wife to DH July 5, 2008

    We love and love

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    Thank you for your responses. My little man eats two 6 oz bottles while away from me. He was eating three but I think the addition of formula (even though it's only 2 oz) slowed him down (for which I am eternally grateful). I have noticed my supply going up a little the past two days and I think my period is finished so maybe my problems were from that. Someone did tell me about hand-expressing. I have tried and will keep trying. It's challenging but I am new to it so I will keep trying. He recently has taken to refusing my left breast (which I lovingly call the appetizer because it is such a low producer) and wants to go straight to the main course. Of course I know the only way to increase production is to use it but when he refuses it's tough. I have been able to get him to take it in the middle of the night when he is groggy. I try to pump as much as I can day or night, work or weekend. I also resigned myself that if I have to supplement with a minimal amount of formula it's not the end of the world. I stress way too much!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    As far as I know, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, 6 oz. bottles are HUGE. My seven month old only takes 3 oz. bottles, 4 oz. if he's starving. Have you tried smaller bottles more frequently? Maybe this would negate the need to add formula (or maybe not, just a thought).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    I also wanted to add that I used to pump 10 oz. for each missed nursing session, but now only get 6-7 oz. My little butterball continues to pack on the pounds, so I'm not too worried about it. Sorry I don't have much advice about increasing supply, but I just thought I'd mention this in case it helps you not feel too stressed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    6 oz is a lot. just look at 6 oz. my daycare gave my lo 6 oz one day and when they told me I was unhappy.

    again, how long are you away from the baby?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    Unfortunately, I am away from him from 6:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. I pump four times in that time period and get 10 oz for the WHOLE day (about 3 oz per session). He eats two 6 oz bottles and one 4 oz bottle in that time frame - 6 oz 9:30 am, 6 oz 1:30 pm and 4 oz 4 pm. He goes to bed at 7 pm and I feed him from the breast. He eats from both til they are empty. I wake him at 9:30, feed him from the breast again and then he wakes at 2 am for more. He drains both each time. He wakes (or I wake him) at 5:30 to feed him before he goes to my mom's for the day. Rinse, repeat On the weekends I just do on-demand feeding from the breast. The supply is maintaining but I am still having to supplement with formula. I figure the more breastmilk he gets the better but I can only do what I can do. I do not want to do any medications for fear of ill side effects down the road. Mothers Milk twice a day is all I can do (three times is actually counter productive). My goal from the beginning was to breastfeed for six months. I am now 8 weeks from his 6 month birthday. My problem is I am EXHAUSTED because I am not getting any straight sleep. It's always disturbed with a midnight feeding. We thought about hubby feeding but I would have to get up and pump anyway to keep up my supply. I told my husband DO NOT LET ME QUIT until I reach my six month goal and he is holding me to that. So, I need a solution. I am considering pumping and using bottles exclusively thinking the addition of 2 oz of formula at the 9:30 pm feeding may allow him to sleep til 5 am and I can pump first thing in the morning. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    I'm going to be straight with you.

    Pumping and using bottles IS NOT EASIER. Not at ALL!! I do it out of necessity, and because I EP, I find it really hard to find time to spend with my baby! Nursing is at least that. Instead, someone has to hold the baby so you can pump. Boo to that.

    You would also need to rent a hospital grade pump if you should decide to EP.

    And pumping is NOT as effective as a baby at keeping your supply up. When I am faced with a mom who is having supply issues, my first advice is to NOT quit nursing at the breast. Sometimes, that's what is keeping a mom's supply going.

    And if you EP, you will be up anyway at least once between midnight and 5AM. Sitting up. Pumping. Doing breast compressions. If you rely on the pump's suction alone, you very well might have supply issues.

    Instead, do you cosleep? That would totally kill two birds with one stone. You sleep -- or at least lay down -- and baby can nurse as sees fit. It's much more restful than EPing ever is.

    I'm more exhausted now than I have EVER been in my life, and this is my fourth kid! EPing consists of pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock until you are sure of your supply. In your case, I would not go less than that, since even with nursing, you seem to make on the lower end of normal (probably because you do have to pump; does baby seem satisfied on the weekends?). I have spent 6 months getting to the point where I can go 6 hours during the day and 8 at night, but my baby is still up to eat overnight, so I still don't get to rest. Instead, I get up, or DH gets up, to bottlefeed a baby. Ridiculous.

    Nurse instead. You can make it 6 months. Heck, I think you can make it a year. At 6 months, you can try baby on some solids, which may take over for that 2 oz of formula.

    ETA: that 6 oz is HUGE. None of my babies have ever taken that much. I'd suggest trying a different bottle, different caretaker or both. I had to suggest alternatives when I came back from work when my second baby was little to find that my caregiver had given 12 oz in 4 hours to my baby When that didn't work, I changed bottles and got a new DCP. Haven't had that problem since.
    Last edited by @llli*aprilsmagic; July 28th, 2011 at 03:10 PM.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Need Help with Supply

    agree with pp

    i pump one time before i leave the house, then throughout the day at work, and if i need to i pump once right before i go to bed since my lo doesnt really eat a lot at night, just sucks to go back to sleep.

    we co sleep and it is THE BEST! i get a full night sleep. this morninhg dh said, "did he wake up?" i said i wasnt sure but that maybe i changed a diaper, then looked at the floor and saw a dirty diaper. I must have changed it in the bed and been half asleep that i didnt really remember it. Meaning, i never fully wake up at night with the baby next to me.

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