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Thread: Extremely Low Supply - Please Help!

  1. #1

    Default Extremely Low Supply - Please Help!

    I am 11 days pp. On day 4, I felt a tingly sensation in my breasts but they never felt full. I saw a LC on Tuesday and found out the LO had gone from 5% to 7% weight loss from birth weight and that she is only getting about a teaspoon at each feeding. Based on her weight, she needs about 21 oz in 24 hours. She recommended supplementing to get the weight back and put me on a strict pumping schedule. I am nursing on demand, pumping with a Symphony every 2-3 hours, drinking Mother's Milk tea (3-4 cups/daily), taking 2 capsules of Fenugreek three times a day, drinking tons of water, and eating a giant bowl of oatmeal everyday. I feel like my supply is increasing but very slowly. I get about 10-20 mL everytme I pump. My breasts still feel soft and never really full. I feel like I am working my butt off and getting nowhere and I just want to cry.

    My goal is to EBF but I don't know that my supply will ever catch up with LO's demand. How long should it take for my supply to increase? Is there anything else I can be doing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Extremely Low Supply - Please Help!

    Oh mama, I was EXACTLY in your shoes when my son was born. I'm not sure what, but something delayed my milk from coming in. The good news is we were EBF by 14 days pp and he continued to be EBF till we started solids at 6 months. He is still nursing at 17 months.

    What I did was at 12 days pp I started domperidone. It has been suggested to me that the Dom and my milk "coming in" were coincidental, because since then I actually had issues with oversupply. Do you have any issues that you know of like pcos or possible retained placenta?
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013

    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Brussels, Belgium

    Default Re: Extremely Low Supply - Please Help!

    Hmm, up to 10% birth weight loss is totally fine here in Belgium. The LCs, pedis and obs don't get concerned until 11%. Fullness in your breasts isn't a measure of how much milk you're making. LO's nappy output and weight gain are the yardsticks Have you read through Kellymom, Got Milk? section? Highly recommended! It also shows you how to eventually get baby off supplements gradually and healthfully.

    The good news is you are pumping more milk, which means your regimen is working. Have you thought about cup feeding baby to ensure s/he keeps up the good practice with the correct suckling at the breast, which is different than at a gravity-fed artificial teat? I'm a little confused why your LC has recommended pumping rather than putitng LO at the breast around the clock. A baby removes milk more efficiently than any machine can possibly do. Is your LC qualified as an IBCLC (internation board certified)? Those LCs have learned good practice in bfing. Truth is a baby's suckling stimulates milk production (read that in Kellymom on how we make milk) more than any fenugreek, oatmeal, etc. can do. Removing milk from the breast will put the lactaction hormones into high drive. Keep up keeping your breasts feeling soft and not full! Then you're making milk quickly It's a good sign to not be full feeling, and great protection against the real cause of low milk production: low demand; plus it protects you from mastitis by keeping your breasts from being engorged with milk. Remember soft feeling breasts are a positive thing for breast feeding.

    Also check out Dr Jack Newman's help pages, he's a pedi and has great stuff on bfing newborns and increasing milk. But the general principle is the same: rest, drink plenty, offer the breast as often as possible. I recommend a bfing pillow and a good book, or the remote control, plus a big glass of water. Lastly momma, pp is an emotional period and your hormones are in a major flux now that they've figured out the pg is over. Mix in worrying if you're doing everything right and whoa, it quickly becomes overwhelming. So please do yourself and baby a favour, just relax. Things will fall into place. You honestly can't go wrong offering the breast all the time, then resting yourself to make milk plus styaing hydrated so you have the raw material to make it. It will work!
    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Extremely Low Supply - Please Help!

    Good advice from the PPs.

    I assume the LC did a weigh-feed-weigh weight test on your baby. Did she just do the one, or do you have a scale for home use? If it was just the one, I encourage you to rent a scale and do some data collection on your own. It's possible for the baby to have a terrible feed at the LC's office and great ones at home, which is why you want to get several feedings' worth of data before you make a determination about milk intake. The median is much more informative than a single data point.

    Don't worry overmuch about soft breasts. Engorgement is not a necessary phase of breastfeeding.

    I wish I could answer your question about how long it will take for you to get a full supply, but it's such an individual thing that there's no way to give an answer that's right for every mom. Just keep on plugging and be encouraged by the results you've had so far.

    Some questions for you:
    - how does nursing feel?
    - what do your nipples look like after baby finishes nursing?
    - is baby sleepy or jaundiced?
    - was baby ever checked for tongue tie?
    - did you have any of the following: retained placenta, PCOS, postpartum test for thyroid function or prepartum thyroid problems?

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