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Thread: How long to see increase?

  1. #1

    Default How long to see increase?

    I'm on day three of a nursing/pumping vacation to try to increase my very low supply for my three-week-old and my supply is as low as ever. I noticed that I had low supply about 10 days ago (thought it was just a growth spurt or my supply regulating itself until the diaper count dropped) and I've been trying to increase my supply for about a week and getting really serious the last few days. I'm spending a good 12 hours a day either breastfeeding or pumping and my supply is still pitiful. If this works, when should I see a rebound in my supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: How long to see increase?


    Your question is a difficult one, because the answer varies so much from individual to individual, and because there are so many different factors that play into the answer. Often the real way to judge how fast your supply will rebound depends on understanding what- if anything- is causing it to be low in the first place. So, can you answer some questions for us?

    - How do you know your supply is low? (Let us know your baby's diaper count.)
    - has your baby been gaining weight?
    - in general, how has nursing been going, up until now?
    - Have you experienced any pain connected with nursing?
    - Is the baby sleepy at the breast, or jaundiced?
    - Have you been supplementing with formula?
    - Have you been nursing on demand?
    - About how many times a day has your baby been wanting to nurse?
    - Are you currently using contraception, and if so, what kind?
    - How was your birth? Did you experience a traumatic birth, a lot of blood loss, or a c-section?
    - Have you ever had any breast surgeries?
    - Have you ever had any health issues like thyroid problems or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?
    - H someone checked the baby for a tongue-tie?

  3. #3

    Default Re: How long to see increase?

    -Diaper count went to less than 5 wet a day and she lost weight so I had no choice but to supplement with formula, which I give to her in a cup. I also supplement with any pumped milk I produce.
    -Normal birth, nursed on demand since birth. Gained weight and had appropriate diaper output for the first two weeks. Milk production seemed to fall off fast after that. I've lactated long enough to know what is normal for my breasts and I was no longer feeling full at about the 2 week mark.
    -She wants to nurse at least 8 times, I can't really count now because she'll cluster feed for hours and she likes to comfort nurse. Prior to supply dropping she was doing great waking for feeds but in retrospect maybe she was nursing long enough. She seemed satisfied and since weight gain was fine and plenty of pees and poos, I thought everything was fine. I had a really bad experience with my first trying to get her to feed so I just followed DD2's lead. She was eating at least every 3 hours during the day but would sometimes sleep 4 hours at night, but she was still nursing at least 8 times a day, probably more but I wasn't counting (following watch the baby, not the clock).
    -No birth control, no breast surgery, thyroid tested and is normal.
    -Have seen an LC a couple of times. First time because of severe pain. She says no tongue tie and latch looks good. Nipple does have compression ridge, though no longer painful.
    -This is my second child and I had the opposite problem with my first. She was happy to starve and had an eating aversion so I had to pump with her but I had plenty of milk and pumped for 2.5 years. I never expected that I would have a problem with milk production.
    -Only factors I can think of are sleep deprivation (3-4 hours sleep a day) and I'm borderline underweight and have little body fat. I've been eating lots lately, though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: How long to see increase?

    Thanks for answering all those questions! It sounds like you have already covered a lot of bases and are a well-informed mama, which sort of leaves me scratching my head. I mean, often when I post that list of questions one of the answers will jump out as an obvious source of trouble, and your answers don't give me that sense, YK? The only things that kind of jump out at me are the painful feedings and compression ridges, plus the long feedings. Kind of reminds me of what happened with my first daughter- she had a poor latch, and because her latch was poor she not only caused me pain, but she also didn't transfer milk well, and before you know it I had low supply. I ended up doing what you're doing- nursing round the clock, and pumping whenever I had time. It took me about 2 weeks to get into the low supply hole, and about 4 weeks to climb back out, which my LC told me was typical. According to her, it generally takes about double the time to rebuild supply as it did for a mama to get into trouble with supply.

    Have you considered taking galactogogues? The herbal ones- fenugreek, blessed thistle, oatmeal- are safe and many moms feel that they really get a boost from them. The prescription ones- Reglan and Domperidone- are probably a lot more effective but also come with the risk of undesirable side-effects. Either way, the supplements are not a substitute for lots and lots of work with the pump. I used a hospital-grade rental pump, pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night, and felt like that did more for my supply than any of the herbs/drugs.

    This link on increasing supply when pumping may be helpful: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

  5. #5

    Default Re: How long to see increase?

    Ugh, just wrote a long post that didn't go through but my basic question was: how can I schedule both pumping and nursing with a baby who does not like to be put down and who is a lazy nurser? I try to pump after a feeding but sometimes feedings take an hour of her off and on and most of the time as soon as I put her down to pump she wants to nurse again. If I do get to pump she gets very frustrated when she nurses because there's little milk there (making feedings last forever). I can't keep this schedule up much longer. Any suggestions? I feel like I still need to pump because I don't think our latch is good enough (even though the LC says it's okay. Sometimes it starts out okay but then gets shallow and other times it seems pretty shallow the whole time) for her to effectively transfer enough milk.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: How long to see increase?

    You know, some tongue ties take a real expert to detect. If you have anyone in your area who specializes in tongue tie, I would recommend seeking another opinion. It does sound like her latch is off, even if it looks good to an observer.

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  7. #7

    Default Re: How long to see increase?

    hi, just read your post and i notice we have a very similar basic problem. I've been nursing all day for weeks now and while still worrying about low milk production, simply out of time and energy to pump to try to boost it. not to mention the fussiness she gives out when finding an empty breast when i do get a chance to pump. Being a newbie here, i'm sorry to not be able to give meaningful suggestion, all i can say is keep up the good spirit for your little one and stay positive thinking it would be nice to hear an update of the situation, or what you've done to solve the problem.

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