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Thread: Help - I'm worried my milk is out

  1. #1

    Default Help - I'm worried my milk is out

    Hi - From birth my now 14 week old baby has been very difficult to feed; at hospital the midwives resorted to cup feeding him because he wouldn't nurse or take a bottle. Now I part breastfeed, part formula feed and express as much milk as I can (always dependant on him giving me time to do it). When he feeds nicely it is really good and I'm confident he has had enough for the time being, but out of the blue, the next feed, he'll suddenly refuse to nurse. I always try as much as possible to get him to nurse before resorting to formula, but this week he is refusing to nurse more and more and I'm having to give him formula otherwise he goes hours on end without feeding. I always breastfeed the first feed of the day, as much as possible throughout the day or express (usually 3/4 times a day), breastfeed the last feed before bed and all night. I just don't understand why he suddenly won't let me feed him at all during the day, and I'm sure the amount of milk I'm expressing is getting less. I really love breastfeeding him and want to carry on for as long as possible (I even wanted to keep my milk supply so I can add it to baby rice etc when I start weaning him). Has anyone else experienced this and do you think I'm likely to be able to keep my supply or should I just admit defeat and try to look forward to weaning anyway?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Help - I'm worried my milk is out

    No reason to give up! You can do this.

    There are many reasons for baby refusing breasts.

    Regarding the pumping. Need more details. Which pump. How often. How long. Are you using the right sized horns? Are you doing breast compressions? That kind of thing.

    When you feed the baby when he refuses, what are you doing it with? A bottle? Finger feeder?

    Are there any positions where he seems more likely to nurse?

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html

    ETA: I see you are only expressing 3 or 4 times a day. That is NOT ENOUGH. You need to express your milk completely at least 8 times a day, or 120 minutes. If baby is nursing well, that's better than pumping. But if you have to pump because baby won't nurse, you need to pump to maintain your supply.

    Yes, I know how hard that is. I have to exclusively pump for my fourth child, I have three older children. But you make it happen. You get creative.

    When you pump, you should also try pumping for a few minutes past when you don't get a lot of milk out, as that further stimulates your supply and can help bring it up.

    Have you thought about trying any herbs, such as fenugreek?
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: Help - I'm worried my milk is out

    with the PP. Express more, nurse as much as you can!
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help - I'm worried my milk is out

    Thanks for the replies ... Am trying to fit more pumping sessions in - got to about 5-6 a day now - he does feed 1st and last feed of the day though, plus all night feeds so am hoping this is going to be ok. Have also started taking fenugreek and it appears to have boosted the supply a little - I can up the dose according to the packet so I'm going to monitor the situation.

    How much milk should I expect to get if I express 10 minutes on each breast each pumping session?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: Help - I'm worried my milk is out

    Re: pumping- it varies a lot from woman to woman, and depends on the type of pump she has and her response to the pump. Some moms can express many oz with ease, others really have to sit there for a long time to get the same amount of milk. This link covers normal pumping output, and troubleshooting if there's a problem:http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Help - I'm worried my milk is out

    Depending on how long baby is nursing, 10 minutes 5-6 times a day may not be enough. Most moms find they need 20 minutes to fully express all the milk, which is what needs to happen to really boost supply. If baby is nursing well, that isn't quite so critical.

    For me, 10 minutes may not yield anything. Or I might get 5 oz or more. It all depends. Try to not watch the clock (although keep total minutes in the backmof your mind), but instead watch for when you cannot get milk out, even with compressions, and pump for a fee more minutes. That increases your supply.

    I know how hard it is to do that with a baby there needing you. I had to do it for my fourth baby.
    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!

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