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Thread: Need advice about Supply

  1. #1

    Question Need advice about Supply

    Hello, I'm new here and this is my first time posting. I have tried so many resources, iincluding Sweden's amningshjälpen (breastfeeding support), my daughter's doctor, kellymom website and more. My situation is this:

    This is my second child. I had issues with the first, as well, but since I didn't "know any better", I just let her wean and gave up on nursing. My daughter is almost 10 months old. At about 7-8 months, the doctors were concerned with her weight gain (her curve had flattened) so they started to push solid foods and adding fats, etc. She weighs 7080 g.b

    She started sleeping through the night in her own bed and my supply quickly dropped. I have been fighting it since. I pump many times per day (usually getting close to nothing, or at most about 1 oz/50 ml or so, including during the night. I just started taking fenugreek about 4 days ago but haven't noticed a change, although I have noticed the "smell" people talk about from my sweat.

    She is EXTREMELY fussy at the breast and basically refuses to nurse because she is getting nothing. I have tried to change the surroundings, remove all distractions, bring her in bed with me, but she wants no part of it if the milk isn't flowing. That is the main reason why I have added so many pumpings during the day.

    My main concern, even moreso than her lack of weight gain, is that she doesn't seem to have many wet diapers at all. Diapers suck up so much it's hard to say but I honestly think I could go morning to night without it becoming overly full.

    Oh, I also purchased a baby scale and have weighed her before and after nursing in the morning. She had only gained 35g which if I am right, means she only got about 1 oz of milk.

    I don't know what else to do. I have asked so many people and tried so many things that people have started to tell me they think I should give up and give her formula. I realize that I may have no other options but I wanted to check here first. It makes me terribly sad to think that I am failing her this way. I am rambling and very sure I'm leaving out some important details but I will stop here for now. I welcome any and all advice, even if it's something I don't want to hear, like giving up and starting formula. Thank you in advance for whatever help you may provide.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need advice about Supply

    Hi.
    it's totally normal for breastfed babies growth curve to drop off at and after the 6 month point because that is when they get moving. NORMAL. So I think you got bad advice about needing to supplement and push solids. So if the issue is that you stopped co-sleeping because she was night nursing.....how do you feel about that? Are you willing to bring her back to bed to get your supply up? I would also back way off of solids to get her to nurse more during the day. And I DOUBT if you are right about the diaper issue. But the normal amount you are looking for is 2-3 tablespoons of liquid. So go put that much liquid in a diaper so you know how much you are looking for. And if you get that much 6 times in a 24hour period than you are fine. If you are super worried about it perhaps you could buy some prefolds. There is NO problem telling in a cloth diaper if a baby has peed. Also I think there are some strips you can buy. That tell if the baby has peed?
    At any rate, I don't think that your problem is as real as you think. I think your doctor caused you to doubt yourself when they became worried about weight. My son slid 25% between 4.5 and 9months. He went from gaining 14oz a week to only gaining 3.5oz a week. So in that entire period of time he only gained 2lbs. It's normal I promise. And MOST people are happy to have a baby sleep in their own bed. But at the same time if it means she is now going a period of time longer than 6hours to nurse, and you are concerned about supply, I wouldn't let her go that long. I would either bring her back to bed to dream feed or go into her room and dream feed her. She will probably protest way less in her sleep.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need advice about Supply

    I did forget to mention that at one dr. visit she had not gained any weight at all in a 4 week period, and the next, she had lost weight, but at the third, she had gained it back. I did talk to the dr. about her activity level because she started to crawl at 4 months and is a very active little girl. They pushed that she needed more calories than I could provide if she is so active. I am considering a dream feed at night rather than getting up to pump like I've been doing. She generally sleeps 8 pm to 8 am so it's a very long stretch without nursing. I average 5 pumping sessions throughout that 12 hour or so period; maybe it isn't enough. I could also try bringing her back into our bed. Thank you for your reply.

    I forgot to add a couple minor details:

    First is that she was EBF since birth till they started pushing solids (not sure if that matters, just a little detail). And also that I haven't felt let-down since my supply dropped, either. As it was, I was having let-down whenever, wherever, leaking like crazy, etc. When my supply dropped, I noticed I don't get let-down either, not while nursing, nor while pumping. I realize it is "normal" to not feel let-down after a few months of nursing, but I also don't get the milk ejection and since I have weighed her before and after eating, and also I see the results while pumping and/or hand expressing (when I used to get let-down), I believe that I am correct in thinking I don't get let-down most of the time. Is it possible to get let-down without having milk? Odd question, but I'm just wondering if the body tries to eject but there's nothing to come out.

    As for the galactagogues, I also regularly eat oatmeal and drink plenty of water. I've looked for brewer's yeast but it doesn't seem to be available here.

    I started getting my period when Bianca was about 4 months old, and get it very sporadically, I think I've had it 4 times in 6 months. And Lastly, I am hypothyroid and my hormones have not been regulated since Bianca was about 3 months. They keep changing my dosage but still it's off. I have another check in 2 weeks.

    Thanks so much again.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need advice about Supply

    Have you started solids? Does she seem ready to experiment with solids? Like Shelly said, it is very common for babies' weight gain to plateau around 6-7 months, especially with an active baby! What growth charts is your doctor using? Double check your baby's growth on the WHO growth charts. (This is a very useful page at Kellymom http://kellymom.com/health/growth/growthcharts/)

    Not feeling let down and not leaking are not signs of no milk. They can be a sign that your milk supply has balanced out. What are her diapers like? How many wets?
    Lyn
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes


    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need advice about Supply

    Well are you in Switzerland? Or Somewhere where you can get script Dimperidome? That will boost your supply for sure. Also when you add in your 5 pumping sessions in with how often you are nursing during the day how many times in a 24hour period are you nursing and feeding total?

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need advice about Supply

    My dr. uses the WHO growth chart. I just got out her book to check actual numbers. She weighed 6820g at 5 months, 6880g at 7 months (so 60g total gain in two months). At 8 months, she was 7120g (up 240g), then at 9 months, she had lost 40g and was down to 7080g.

    I am in Sweden. I haven't talked to dr's about any prescriptions. I will call and ask tomorrow! Five pumping sessions 8p-8a (approximately), I feed her when she wakes, and make many attempts during the day but usually only get about 30 seconds on either side before she throws fits and refuses, then I pump again. So right now I would have to say only 1 decent nursing session, 4-5 pitiful/failure attempts during the day, and probably 5 quick pumping/hand expressing sessions during the day. About 10-12 times emptying the breasts total in 24 hours.
    Last edited by @llli*denisea3465; December 16th, 2012 at 11:30 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need advice about Supply

    Depending on when they were introduced and how, 'pushing' solids could harm milk production, as the baby fills up on solids and nurses less. Unfortunately few foods are as calorie rich as breastmilk, so this approach to poor weight gain can be counterproductive. That does not mean stop solids now, but certainly finding ways to increase breastmilk intake and feed baby more calorie rich solids as pp suggests makes sense.
    What is the 'breastfeeding support' you have been to? Are they board certified lactation consultants? did you find them helpful? In my experience, (I am in the US and from what some folks from other countries have said here) some of the 'breastfeeding support' offered via governments or large institutions like hospitals can be very ineffective and poorly educated or poorly trained. Other times, the care is really excellent. It just depends.

    I see there are LLL groups in Stockholm, at least they are listed in the directory on the llli home page. And according to this http://europe.iblce.org/ibclcs-countries there are IBCLCs in Sweden but I cannot figure out how to get correct info.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 16th, 2012 at 03:30 PM.

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