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Thread: Another reason to wonder if this is working...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default Another reason to wonder if this is working...

    Sorry, I feel like I just post one problem after another!

    Today I weighed baby again (12 weeks old today), and she has gained 3.2 oz in 8 days. Before that she gained 6 oz in 10 days. Her gain rate has always been slow, but in the past two weeks we have transitioned to nursing almost all on one side - I have a "bad side" that babe and I both like less for various reasons (slow-flowing, tends to get plugged ducts and mastitis, ridiculously leaky). I have also gone down to 1 cup of Milkmaid tea per day from 2 because I didn't feel like it was making a difference (but maybe it was), and so my maple-y fenugreek smell went away.

    So today when I used the scale at the health unit, the public health nurse who did our initial visits and everything was there, and she asked her how it was going. She seemed concerned about the low gain and said maybe to up the tea dosage again, get back to using both sides, and if baby still gains this slowly then I "might want to think about supplementing, or trying domperidone." She figured one side isn't going to be enough - and baby does nurse almost constantly. The pattern is usually wake up, nurse for about 20-40 minutes, 30 minute happy break, nurse, sleep 45-90 minutes, wake up etc. She does one 3-4 hour stretch at night.

    I had been really excited to become a one-sided nurser, which I knew was completely possible (read: twins!), because my right side has caused so many problems with both my little daughters. But perhaps because I'm a tiny A-cup, there simply won't be enough room in there for enough milk in the left side? Since this morning I have gone back up to 3 cups of tea a day and started using the bad side again - there's still something in there, and I did some compressions every time too.

    Thoughts? Advice?

    Incidentally, I just wanted to clarify that I understand why compressions even help. Is it because more milk gets forced out that way, so more gets made for next time as well as baby getting a bit more at that nursing session?

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,800

    Default Re: Another reason to wonder if this is working...

    Cup size isn't likely to be the factor that determines whether or not you can be a one-sided nurser. There are small-breasted moms with oversupply and large-breasted moms who struggle to make enough. Breast size is mostly dependent not on the amount of milk-making tissue you have, but rather on fat. Fattier breasts are larger.

    That being said, it sounds like you are not currently in a place where you can be a one-sided nurser, either because your baby isn't able to stimulate enough production on the "good" side or because your "good" side just isn't capable of producing enough, full stop. Your baby's weight gain isn't terrible, but it is on the low end for her age (see http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/), and that's despite nursing at a normal frequency for her age. New babies often nurse for 30-40 minutes and want to feed within 1-2 hours of the beginning (not the end!) of their last nursing session.

    So I'd go back to offering both breasts at a feeding, drink the tea, and do the compressions. Incidentally, compressions are useful for 2 reasons; first, they speed more milk to the baby, which can be helpful when baby is having trouble extracting enough on her own, and second, they help mom empty the breast more thoroughly, leading to better supply.

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