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Thread: Lazy eater and low supply with my 1-month-old

  1. #1

    Default Lazy eater and low supply with my 1-month-old

    I am the mother of a 1-month-old and have multiple concerns about how BF is going for us. I'm not sure what info might be relevant, so please excuse me if I include too many details.

    My LO is 1-month-old today. She was jaundiced after birth and extremely sleepy which made her a VERY lazy eater. We tried stripping her down to her diaper, switch nursing, using cold wash clothes, etc., but she still was very difficult to keep awake throughout feedings. We first met with a LC when DD was 5 days old and she gave us the above tips in helping encouraging better sucking. After she was about a week, the lazy eating continued and I began to see indicators that DD wasn't receiving enough milk. She would never fall away from the breast as if satisfied no matter how long the feeding, cried very soon after feedings, and went days without any BM. When she was 10 days old, I suspected we were having significant supply issues and got the LC back out. DD was quite behind in gaining back her birthweight, so the LC confirmed my thoughts that supplementing would be necessary for the time-being. I began pumping 8 times a day immediately after feedings, and would give her the pumped milk at every-other feeding. The hope was that this would help the immediate problem of getting enough milk in her, and also help boost my supply to encourage more vigorous eating. A typical pumping session for me would yield just 1 oz.

    DD has continued to have weight gain issues and has had less than 10 BMs total. I stopped pumping because it seemed to be doing nothing to encourage better eating from her, it was causing nipple pain for me, and because I also have a 20-month-old so there's not enough time in the day. I'm still BFing on demand (usually every 2 hours, but she does sleep longer at night) and supplementing with 2 oz of formula 3-4 times a day. My supply seems lower than ever and frequent BF doesn't seem to help because DD won't suck effectively to encourage more production. She seems to just take what's right there immediately upon let-down and then fights me to slide down on the nipple so she can comfort suck.

    I realize that the bottle supplementing is likely encouraging some of this lazy eating behavior. My priority is that her weight is better before I push too hard to get away from the bottles, but is there anything I can do in the meantime to help? And, when she shows better weight gain, is there something I can follow to help get us off these 3-4 bottles a day and get to exclusive bfing? I feel like I've been running in circles to make this work and things only seem to get worse. :/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Lazy eater and low supply with my 1-month-old

    Hi mama, congratulations on your new baby and good for you for sticking with a difficult nursing situaton!

    I'm sure others will have advice later, but just for the moment - have you tried a supplemental system like lactaid or SNS instead of bottles? That would get her supplemented at the breast, and keep stimulating you for supply. Seems like that might be especially important now that you've stopped pumping - I totally understand your reasoning for doing that but the end result is that your body thinks it needs to make 6-8 oz less than it does, and pretty soon you're going to miss another growth spurt whcih will put your body even further behind. The supplemental system also helps baby associate the breast with food, and you can adjust how easy it is for her to get milk/formula, which might help with her growing bottle preference.

    Good luck!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Galena Kansas

    Default Re: Lazy eater and low supply with my 1-month-old

    I was sick at my daughters 3 week mark from Mastitas and was having issues with her getting enough to eat, the lactation consultant from the hospital told me to take and herb called FenuGreek it has really helped me get back to pumping 4 oz a few days ago I was lucky to get 2 oz out. I also have a lazy eater so I am going to see what others suggest too you. Good luck and don't give up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Lazy eater and low supply with my 1-month-old

    To exclusively Bf, nurse as much as possible. Pump. I know it seemed like it wasn't helping, but if she won't nurse and remove milk, you have to; supply is demand based, and if she isn't demainding you have to imitate it whe a pump. Since it hurt, I suspect either the suction was too high or your horns were the wrong size. Were you using a hospital grade pump? I also have a bunch of kids... And in a situation like this, you find time to pump

    An SNS might be very helpful for you. She gets her supplement while nursing and then you get extra stimulation at the breast. I suggest the LactAid versus the Medela one; you can even use it while laying down.
    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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