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Thread: Having problems establishing supply

  1. #1

    Default Having problems establishing supply

    I am having some major problems establishing a milk supply. I had a c-section and did get a late start to breast feeding and my baby refused to latch. From about twelve hours after birth I have been attempting to latch and then pumping to try to establish a supply. Whatever droplets I could get I was told to give him and mix with formula after he had gone over a day without eating and became quite jaundiced. So now that he is two weeks old we are still on the schedule of me pumping ( I started with a AVENT electric pump and had better luck with a manual MEDELA so I ordered a MEDELA double electric pump and have been using that for several days ) every two hours during the day and every three at night, feeding him the dribbles I get mixed with formula, and letting him suckle ( he does make an effort now to nurse from me but doesn't seem to be getting anything ) I am exhausted, stressed because I really want to breastfeed, and running myself too thin which I am sure is not helping me establish a milk supply. I dealt with a lactation consultant at the hospital, I hand massage while I pump, I have started taking Fenugreek a few days ago, and we do skin to skin contact throughout a good portion of the day. I am at most getting 5 ml between both breast per pump. I don't think I have gotten even three ounces total in a given day. I am looking for more advice and hoping to avoid prescription drugs to induce lactation. Help me please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Having problems establishing supply

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    My first thought is that you're probably not using the right pump. Most moms who are exclusively pumping or mostly pumping need to use a hospital-grade rental pump (e.g. Medela Lactina) with properly sized shields in order to get maximum stimulation and milk removal. If you started out with something like an Avent Isis, that could explain why you weren't having great results. Most off-the-shelf pumps are meant for moms who are nursing successfully and who have established milk supplies- they aren't great for moms whose babies aren't nursing or aren't nursing well, and who need to use the pump to bring in their milk.

    I'd encourage you to see a non-hospital LC, preferably one who is an IBCLC. She should be able to evaluate your baby's nursing effectiveness, suggest positioning strategies which may help your baby nurse better, rent you a hospital grade pump, etc. She may also be able to refer you to a physician who can check you out for physical causes of low supply- things like thyroid issues (postpartum thyroiditis is extremely common), retained placenta fragments, or PCOS. That doc may also be willing to prescribe drugs for you if necessary, or at least discuss their use and whether or not it makes sense for you. Honestly, if I was only getting 5 ml per pumping session, I would strongly consider the use of one of the prescription galactogogues, provided that it was safe for me to do so.

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