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Thread: When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

  1. #1

    Default When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

    I heard around 6 weeks is when youre body has established its supply cycle. My DS is 11weeks, I've struggled with low supply early on. He was jaundice and was under light therapy at 3days. during this time he wasnt getting enough from me so the docs said to add formula to each feeding to help push out the bilirubin. His bilirubin kept climbing up. So day 5, doc told us to take him off the breast and only feed formula for 3days. During this time I pumped and stored, but there was not much at all 1oz every 4hrs. At 8 days, we were finally home and tried going back on the breast but couldn't seem to produce enough. At 2 weeks, went to a lactation consultant found out, DS was tongue tied, got him snipped...and still not much improvement.

    For the past 2months, he's been mostly on the breast and taking extra 2oz bottles 3x/day (mid morning, mid afternoon, bedtime). I tried doing 3 days of purely breastfeeding, but he would fussy a lot, noticed less wet diapers, and constipation (screaming to push out his dry poo). And seems like he's always tired.

    So, ive been trying everything to get my supply up: oatmeal...can't tell, milkmaid tea...can't tell, fenugreek 3pills/3x...nothing, mothers love...nothing, now trying lactate support pills...nothing yet but being hopeful. Is my body getting used to all these pills? should I take a break and try again later? or is just too late?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

    so he's only taking 6 oz of formula a day? that's fabulous! it means you're almost there. and yes, it is not too late to increase your supply. it's gong to take some work, given your experience of the purely breastfeeding days - probably you need to wean him off those 6 oz of supplements more slowly.

    So, ive been trying everything to get my supply up: oatmeal...can't tell, milkmaid tea...can't tell, fenugreek 3pills/3x...nothing, mothers love...nothing, now trying lactate support pills...nothing yet but being hopeful.
    all this stuff is well and good but none of it works if you don't remove milk from the breast. either by nursing or pumping. my guess is you didn't keep up on early production in part because you weren't pumping enough. at 1 week old, you should have been pumping every 2-3 hours, not every 4. at any rate, that's what you do now to increase supply: work a couple pumping sessions in a day, see if you can supplement with milk instead of formula, and slowly wean him off the supplements.

    this is a good page:http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/

    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
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,415

    Default Re: When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

    mothers who have never given birth have managed to bring in a full production for adopted babies. i don't like to give false hope, obviously it is way easier to bring your milk supply in at the time it normally would happen-ie, the days and weeks right after birth. but the idea your milk production is 'set' at 6 weeks and can never be increased after that is nonsense. I think it’s a misunderstanding based on that with a typical circumstance, around 6 weeks would be the time milk production would normally level off to about the amount baby would need from then on.

    I agree with pp, the key is frequent and effective milk removal. So nurse or pump at least 10 times a day if you are not doing so already. If baby can nurse effectively, I would suggest increase nursing sessions if you can even over pumping. Or pump a bit after nursing sessions. Switch nursing may help too. (having baby switch sides once or twice each feeding.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

    From what I understand, it's easier to increase your milk supply in the early weeks. However, I have heard of moms who have developed fully supply later so I wouldn't say it's necessarily too late.

    You can do your best to increase your supply. If your baby is nursing well, I would forget pumping and just offer the breast *lots*. For example, offer both sides when your baby wakes up from a nap. Then offer both sides every hour while he's awake. And nurse him down for his nap. At night, if you can nurse every 3 hours that would be ideal, if possible.

    If your baby is a sleepy nurser, then pumping with a hospital grade pump will help.

    You can also try domperidone. I have personally found it much more effective than herbs, although I have had good results with fenugreek capsules.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  5. #5

    Default Re: When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

    The pp offer good advise. The only other suggestion I would make is to use an at the breast supplementor. http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/5pdf.pdf here is an article about the lactaide, there is also the sns or homemade systems. You would nurse until the baby stops sucking, then offer the breast with the supplementor. This way the baby is stimulating you while getting the supplement. Over time you should notice the babe takes less of the supplement bc you are making more milk. I would continue to use other methods as well, especialy since you only need to supplement 3x a dxay! A LC.can teach you how to use one. HTH!

  6. #6

    Default Re: When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. It really does help to have a support group.

    Im trying to add pumping into the mix, but I finding it hard to now that LO has become more attached. Every time I put him down he wakes up and then I have to rock or nurse him back to sleep. Sometimes i just let him sleep in my arms. I know its probably a bad habit to get into, but better than spending an extra 30 mins getting him back to sleep. when i do pump nothing is coming out...so i just do it for 10 mins after a feeding in hopes that its stimulating more milk.

    I'm also trying kellymoms method and cutting an oz every few days...so far he's been ok on 5oz. Let's hope in a few weeks I'll be exclusively breast feeding.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: When is it too late to try to increase your supply?

    Sleeping in mom's arms isn't a bad habit, though it can be an inconvenient one. It's also the most natural thing in the world.

    Once you're down to 5 oz of supplement, you're nearly to your goal. As long as baby is nursing well, and having adequate wet/poopy diaper output, I might even push the timetable and cut out an oz every day or two, not every 2-3 days.
    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!"

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