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Thread: Low milk supply :( ... 2 questions.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    85

    Default Low milk supply :( ... 2 questions.

    My milk supply was brilliant but now it's gone so down
    My breasts useto be full after about 3 hours, rock solid lol, now... after 4/5 hours they are still kinda soft and don't get the same amount out (I express)

    I have 2 questions..


    1. If I breastfed one time or 2 times during the day and pump the rest, will this help y supply and keep it up as I know that the pump doesn't stimulate like the baby does)

    2. They say to keep the supply up, you have to pump every 2-3 hours, even if you know that their is barely any milk in your breasts and they seem empty. If they are empty, should I still pump after every 2-3 hours, will this help even though there is no milk coming out.


    Thanks girls.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,598

    Default Re: Low milk supply :( ... 2 questions.

    After you have been nursing for a while, it is normal to no longer feel "full" or engorged. Feeling full or engorged means you are producing more milk than your baby needs. Most moms do this in the beginning, perhaps because it is nature's way of ensuring that the baby gets fed while he masters the art of breastfeeding. The more milk mom has, the easier it is for the baby to get it out. However, overproducing is not something you want to long term, because it is a waste of your body's energy and because it puts you at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. Therefore, after you have been nursing for a while your body adjusts milk production to meet the baby's needs very exactly, without a lot of extra left over, and you start feeling soft and/or empty pretty much all the time, unless baby skips a feeding. The best way to tell if you are producing enough milk is to count diapers: if your baby produces enough wet and poopy diapers in a 24 hour period, then he is getting enough to eat.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ishah2124 View Post
    1. If I breastfed one time or 2 times during the day and pump the rest, will this help y supply and keep it up as I know that the pump doesn't stimulate like the baby does)
    No, this will not help. The baby is almost always better at removing milk and therefore at maintaining supply than the pump. If you have a supply problem, the best thing to do is to nurse as much as possible, and then pump in addition to nursing. You do not want to take the baby off the breast, because you increase the risk that the baby will come to prefer the bottle and begin to reject the breast.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ishah2124 View Post
    2. They say to keep the supply up, you have to pump every 2-3 hours, even if you know that their is barely any milk in your breasts and they seem empty. If they are empty, should I still pump after every 2-3 hours, will this help even though there is no milk coming out.
    Yes, increased stimulation to the breast will help even if there is no milk coming out. One element that may be missing in your puzzle is the type of pump you're using. Increasing supply when using a pump means using the best pump possible- a good double electric at least. Don't try to get the job done with a cheap single electric or manual pump. Although I am not convinced you actually have a problem at all!
    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Low milk supply :( ... 2 questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    After you have been nursing for a while, it is normal to no longer feel "full" or engorged. Feeling full or engorged means you are producing more milk than your baby needs. Most moms do this in the beginning, perhaps because it is nature's way of ensuring that the baby gets fed while he masters the art of breastfeeding. The more milk mom has, the easier it is for the baby to get it out. However, overproducing is not something you want to long term, because it is a waste of your body's energy and because it puts you at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. Therefore, after you have been nursing for a while your body adjusts milk production to meet the baby's needs very exactly, without a lot of extra left over, and you start feeling soft and/or empty pretty much all the time, unless baby skips a feeding. The best way to tell if you are producing enough milk is to count diapers: if your baby produces enough wet and poopy diapers in a 24 hour period, then he is getting enough to eat.



    No, this will not help. The baby is almost always better at removing milk and therefore at maintaining supply than the pump. If you have a supply problem, the best thing to do is to nurse as much as possible, and then pump in addition to nursing. You do not want to take the baby off the breast, because you increase the risk that the baby will come to prefer the bottle and begin to reject the breast.



    Yes, increased stimulation to the breast will help even if there is no milk coming out. One element that may be missing in your puzzle is the type of pump you're using. Increasing supply when using a pump means using the best pump possible- a good double electric at least. Don't try to get the job done with a cheap single electric or manual pump. Although I am not convinced you actually have a problem at all!
    I love breastfeeding. The reason I want to do both is because my baby is a hungry baby and he will feed for like hour and a half 2 hours sometimes if I don't stop him and I really can't sit for that long all the time and when he latches of..he latches on after fighting and stressing/crying....will breastfeeding a few/couple of times not increase my milk supply at all rather than pumping all day. I'm sure it would and then maybe he can get useto both in time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,598

    Default Re: Low milk supply :( ... 2 questions.

    I can understand why you don't want to sit there nursing for hours on end, but honestly I think you are probably making a mistake in swapping nursing for pumping at this point. A lot of moms in your situation think that they will just get things going with the pump, and then work on nursing in the future, when baby is larger and more adept and more patient... But there are several problems with this strategy. First of all, pumping is not a good substitute for nursing, because pumps generally do not remove milk as well as babies do. If you want to create and maintain a good supply, nursing the baby usually does a much better job than the pump. Second, by giving your baby lots of bottles now, you are risking him developing a preference for the bottle, because it is a lot easier to get milk from a bottle than from the breast. A baby who nurses becomes a better nurser. A baby who gets lots of bottles often becomes a worse, less effective, more reluctant nurser.

    I think you would probably benefit a lot from some hands-on help from your local lactation consultant, preferably one who is an IBCLC. From your posts, I get the feeling that there may be something going on that a professional could help with. Your baby clicks when sucking, and he takes a long time to nurse. Both those things could indicate a tongue tie or other nursing issue that could be fixed with either better positioning or a trip to the doc.
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Low milk supply :( ... 2 questions.

    Pumping is SO MUCH MORE WORK IN THE LONG RUN.

    PLEASE do not give up this early.

    Your babys is nursing like that to stimulate your supply. Pumping instead of nursing can destroy your supply. I know it seems like exclusively pumping would be easier, but I can tell you it's NOT.

    You pump 15-20 minutes every 2 hours around the clock for 12 weeks to establish a supply. You can back it down to 20-30 minutes every 3 hours, but you must always totally drain your breasts fairly often to develop a robust supply. As baby gets older, you can fool with it, but most moms do that too early and end up running into problems.

    I did it right, and I still have supply problems every so often. It's incredibly stressful always thinking about milk, how to pump away from home, etc.

    Then...you pump this milk. Then you have to feed it, which takes another 10-30 minutes...and bottle feeding is a two handed process that means you can not lay down. You are up, sitting there, feeding the baby.

    With all of this, you have little time to bond. I believe EPing has interrupted the normal attachment between my last baby and I, even though it is totally necessary that I EP (he is physically unable to nurse).

    I'm not convinced you have a problem. If you don't give any supplements, and baby is wet diapers and the stools are normal in color, you are doing OK. But pumping just might cause a problem.
    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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