Re: Low Milk supply - advice needed!
Welcome! I am sorry you've been having such a tough time. I know that what you are going through is intensely tiring and frustrating, but I want to assure you that there is a way back from the edge, if you can get the right tools and commit to doing the necessary work.
The fact that you were getting 5 oz every 2-3 hours using the pump is tremendous! It definitely indicates that you are capable of producing plenty of milk, so that is a great advantage. Based on what you've posted, I am thinking that there are a few. Potential explanations for your baby's latching/nursing issues:
- Nipple confusion (a.k.a. flow preference) due to early and frequent use of the bottle. Babies are smart and rapidly learn that it's easier to get milk from the bottle than it is from the breast. This can lead to a baby refusing the breast, sucking lazily at the breast, and ending a feeding early and fussing in order to get a top-up from the bottle.
- A physiological issue with the baby that makes latching/nursing difficult. Tongue-tie, a short tongue, a cleft palate, or a recessed jaw can make it difficult for a baby to latch on deeply, and that can lead to difficult with transferring milk.
In your shoes, I would do the following:
- Contact a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for in-person help. A good LC can help you maximize your pumping output, evaluate whether or not you really have low supply, help you troubleshoot your LO's latch, and check for anatomical issues (like tongue-tie).
- Pump frequently, preferably using a hospital-grade pump. If you're using anything less that a Medela Pump In Style, you're probably not getting as much out of your pumping sessions as you could. Try to pump every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night.
- Check out this link on weaning from formula supplements: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html
- Try the tea. Worst thing that happens: baby has gas issues from it, you decide to stop, and you wasted a few $. Best thing that happens: it works well and baby has no problems!
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!"