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Thread: Incredibly Slow Flow?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
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    12

    Default Incredibly Slow Flow?

    Okay, weird observation/question.

    I feel like I have the slowest flow EVER. I know pumping isn't an indicator, but even when I pump the only time milk even comes out is when I have a let down or do a TON of compressions. Even then, my letdown only seems to last maybe 20 seconds or so. I wonder if that's why we are having such slow gain despite all of my hard work. Like she just has to work so incredibly hard to get milk out.

    Does this seem crazy? Is this maybe just a weird physical thing or could it have to do with old nipple piercings and scare tissue? It seems like milk comes out just fine once it's coming...it's just doesn't seem to last long.

    Some folks talk about spraying in the shower, etc...I have no clue what that would even be like!
    Momma to Tobin 11-13-09 and Ivy 9-14-12
    We are a snuggly family!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    miles from nowhere
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    11,086

    Default Re: Incredibly Slow Flow?

    I never sprayed like that either. And I never did respond all that well to the pump. When pumping my letdowns would last 30-45 seconds or so and then it would just dribble for a while. But I seemed to have plenty when they would nurse. My first baby was small- 5%-3%ile from about 4 months on (still is small and she's six) and I did wonder at the time if it was because of a slow flow, but I just fed her on cue and would let her nurse as much as she wanted (which was pretty frequent, short feedings most of the time) and she grew on her own curve. Then I had my son, who was much bigger when he was born and would nurse for a long time and then go long stretches between and I realized it didn't have anything to do with my milk production, it was just a difference in my babies' preferences/metabolisms.

    Your baby's sucking patterns can stimulate more than one let down, too. That's another difference between baby and the pump. I think unless you're seeing signs of a problem- not enough wet diapers, unhappy baby, not meeting milestones, losing weight- you're probably fine.

    When you say you've had slow weight gain, what do you mean?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Incredibly Slow Flow?

    Well, she was a month early and took about three or so weeks to regain birth weight. And since then we only manage bout 3oz gain a week despite all of the switch nursing, compressions, no time limits, on demand, cosleeping, etc.
    Momma to Tobin 11-13-09 and Ivy 9-14-12
    We are a snuggly family!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    miles from nowhere
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    11,086

    Default Re: Incredibly Slow Flow?

    Aw, tiny baby. I'd guess it's more a matter of her being born early and getting a slow start than something physically wrong with your breasts.

    Did you nurse your older baby? If so, did you have slow gain problems with him as well?

    Were both nipples pierced? If not, do you notice a difference in flow between the two?

    Do you pump after nursing to try and stimulate supply? Eating oatmeal to get a supply boost? Have you tried any herbal supplements like Mother's Milk Tea or Fenugreek?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Incredibly Slow Flow?

    I tried to nurse my oldest, but I had no support and supplemented early on and then he preferred bottles. I bawled, of course.

    Both were pierced and I sort of want to slap my younger self now, haha. You never know, right?? I'm also prone to plugged ducts. With my first, I got mastitis in both. I wonder if that damaged my milk ducts? So hard to know.

    I used to pump after every session (or should I say, when she would take a nap and not be on my breast, haha). I tried to do at least 8 pumps on top of the nursing. I might go back to that routine and see if it makes a difference. I used to do lactation bars and fenugreek but I've been taking the max dose of domperidone now. I seriously am just baffled!
    Momma to Tobin 11-13-09 and Ivy 9-14-12
    We are a snuggly family!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Incredibly Slow Flow?

    .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Rucker, AL
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Incredibly Slow Flow?

    I can't imagine spraying let downs either. When I have them, it's like 6 big drips and then it stops. When I used to pump in the mornings on the breast my DD didn't nurse from, I would get less than an oz. And that was after not nursing on it for 5hrs! She is gaining so I don't think the size or "intensity" of a let down proves anything toward milk transfer in this regard.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Incredibly Slow Flow?

    I also have nipple piercings (both nipples, jewelry has only been removed since labor) and wondered if it could be impacting anything. My baby is interested for the first ~5 mins and after that does non-nutritive sucking for anywhere from 15-45 mins more. When we did a weighed feeding, he took in only 1-2/3 oz. I don't think it has anything to do with the piercings though, as the milk flows for about 5 mins straight on max settings with the pump (I see about 3 nipple pores that it comes out of on each side, not sure if that is a lot or a little, I could see that being impacted by the piercings). The LC thought that he is probably not continuing to suck nutritively because of a slow flow and recommended increasing my supply to fix this, which I am trying to do (saw the LC just 4 days ago). Doing compressions only gets him to keep going for 1-2 mins longer. It's annoying :-\ Right now our routine is nurse for up to 30 mins, switching sides as often as he stops swallowing when sucking, then feed about 1 oz of pumped milk from a bottle (more if he still is hungry, less if he doesn't want it all), and I pump for 15 minutes. It has fixed his weight gain issues (he only regained birth weight at 3 weeks) but it is sure a lot of work. I wish he would stay interested at the breast

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