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Thread: Need help, advice on a dying milk production.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Lemoore, CA

    Unhappy Need help, advice on a dying milk production.

    I have been breastfeeding for 4.5 months and my supply seems to me disappearing. I only pump about 2 oz every 4 hours. This is because my daughter has been sleeping through the night and I stopped pumping in the middle of the night because I was always tired from my long hours at work. I would pump every 5-6 hours at work and get 4 ounces every time. And when i woke up in the morning after a long stretch of time i could get at least 7 ounces in an 8 hour night.

    It seems that something has happened to my production and I don't understand it. My daughter won't breastfeed because s he doesn't get much milk from me. She gets frustrated and cries so I give her a bottle. I'm about ready to give up, i have been pumping every 3 hours for the past four days and the production has not gone up at all.

    I have been taking fenugreek pills everyday and frinking 3 liters of water. I don't know what else I can do. I have talking with a lactation nurse and she gave me advice but nothing is working for me.

    So I guess my question is, am I a bad mom for stopping? Is 4.5 months of breastfeeding enough for my daughter? I love the bond we have with each other because of the breastfeeding. But I'm running out of motivation and I don't have the time to pump 1oo times a day.

    Please help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Need help, advice on a dying milk production.

    Instead of giving up, work on getting baby back to the breast. Exclusisively pumping, what you have been doing, is incredibly difficult. I know from experience...I have been EPing for over 15 months now. It's really hard.

    It takes more than a few days to rebuild supply via pumping alone. It takes me at least a week, pumping 120 minutes a day, to rebuild supply. Thus, if you can quit giving bottles at home and get baby to nurse (sounds like she might have some nipple preference) your supply will probably improve.

    When you pump at work, are you using the right sized horns? How much are you pumping? Sounds like you should pump every 2-3 hours at work, as otherwise, your body thinks you need less milk and you have this situation arise.

    What kind of advice did the LC give you?

    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 2012
    Lemoore, CA

    Default Re: Need help, advice on a dying milk production.

    She has never had an issue with breastfeeding until about a week ago. She had a cold and had trouble breathing through her nose and always cried when i gave her the boob. And it would upset me, so I gave her a bottle, then I got a cold and my production went down. It's only been this way for 2 weeks and it's upsetting. She won't breastfeed unless there is something there. Right now I'm only producing 2 ounces every 4 hours and she get upset because she isn't getting much out of them which in turn upsets me and I give in to the bottle. She has always been really good with the breastfeeding until now. I don't understand why she needs the bottle more than me. She used to be in love wiht breastfeeding.

    is she weaning herself already?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Need help, advice on a dying milk production.

    no, she's not weaning herself at 4.5 months. babies don't know there is anohter way to eat. sometimes they get confused or habituated to other things, but a 4.5 month old needs milk or formula - only! and like susan said, it's likely too soon for you to see a noticable increase in your pumping - that can easily take a week.

    and i want to ask you other questions about when she will latch on - how often, how long, how you know "there is something there".

    but, mama, you have to think about what you want at this point. your first post you asked if you're a bad mom for stopping now. nursing for 4.5 months is AMAZING and you have given her a fabulous start to life. you should feel really proud of yourself for sticking it out through all that. any breastmilk is good! that being said, usually nursing just gets easier and easier and there are so many great reasons to keep nursing, and it sounds like you're sad about stopping. i've never heard of anyone regretting continuing, but lots of mamas regret stopping. so you have to look into yourself and think about what you want for you and your daughter. we can help you whatever you choose.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Need help, advice on a dying milk production.

    Right now I'm only producing 2 ounces every 4 hours
    You are only pumping 2 ounces every 4 hours. That has nothing to do with how much you might be capable of producing. Pump output does not provide an accurate idea of milk supply!

    Your baby is not weaning herself at 4 months. It makes not sense from a biological standpoint. It sounds like she had a hard time nursing due to being stuffed up with a cold (typical but temporary) and due to the introduction or rather, more frequent use of bottles, she is now being transitioned from being a breastfed baby to being a bottle fed baby.

    You are not a bad mom, please do not lay that on yourself! No matter what happens as far as feeding goes, you obviously love your daughter and care very much about her health and happiness. That is pretty much my definition of a great mom.

    If you want to continue to breastfeed your daughter, there are proactive steps you can take. Babies who never nursed have been brought to the breast at this age. There are no guarantees but since she nursed well for so long your odds of making this happen again are pretty good.
    This article covers bringing baby back to the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    Meanwhile, have you considered the possibility the issue is at least partly your pump? Pump motors and parts wear out. It is not obvious when this happens, so often moms just start pumping less and of course blame their bodies when it's actually the pump. Check with your pump manufacturer about how to troubleshoot the pump, and ask about local testing places. Report the issues you are having, this is the only way they can find out if a pump lot is flawed somehow (and yes, pumps ARE recalled from time to time!) If they immediately foist you off with “it’s your supply” ignore them.

    If you figure out your pump is in perfect working condition, to increase supply while pumping you could try pumping more often. (if baby does not nurse) Galactogogues such as fenugreek etc. work for some moms but should be used in conjunction with frequent milk removal. Also many moms find blends more effective than fenugreeek alone. Also some moms have to take more of the galactagogue to see results. Upping your pumping sessions to 8 to 10 times a 24 hour day if baby is not nursing at all may help, but it may take several days to see a difference. It does not have to be every such and such hours, pump when it works for you. Frequency is more effective in increasing supply than the duration of each session.

    The fact is, 2 ounces per pumping session is not so bad, actually. Many moms need to pump 1 and a half to 2 times to make enough milk for one feeding. What you were pumping before was unusual.

    How much breastmilk per day is your child eating? A baby needs about 25 ounces of breastmilk a day when ebf or exclusively breastmilk fed. Babies often take way more when bottle fed. Many bottle fed babies are overfed.

    good artcle on increasing pump output: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/p...ping_decrease/

    good article on increasing milk supply: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/

    Bottle feeding the breastfed baby: these tips may reduce chance of over feeding and flow confusion: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    You have lots of options-trying to nurse baby again, and/or trying to increase milk supply with pumping, or pumping what you can and giving that to baby in addition to formula if what you pump is not enough, or to wean off pumping and transition to formula only. It's up to you to figure out what works best for you and your family.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 6th, 2012 at 02:15 PM.

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