Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Pumping after every feeding, taking fenugreek, hopeless

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2

    Default Pumping after every feeding, taking fenugreek, hopeless

    When I brought my daughter home from the hospital 10 weeks ago, she would not stop screaming and her lips looked chapped. I went immediately to the lactation consultant, who weighed her. She lost a full pound. After feeding her in the office, it was determined that she only got about 2ml of milk from me. My sweet baby was starving. I was devastated. The consultant advised me to start pumping after every feeding to boost my supply
    I have been doing this faithfully for two months, and started to take fenugreek about one month ago. I took my daughter to a speech therapist to work on her latch, and that is much improved.
    She is getting more milk (about 1.25oz at last appointment), but continues to need to be heavily supplemented. I recently had a blood test to see if a hormonal imbalance was to blame (I have several symptoms of PCOS), but the tests were normal.
    I'm not sure what to do. I'm exhausted and feel like I've experienced a great loss. I am wondering if exclusively nursing my daughter will ever be an option.
    Has anyone been here? Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,271

    Default Re: Pumping after every feeding, taking fenugreek, hopeless

    Welcome to the forum!

    First of all, YES, a lot of moms have had experiences like yours! This forum wouldn't exist if nursing was as easy as it is natural.

    Some questions for you:
    - How does baby's latch feel? Are you experiencing any pain?
    - How does your nipple look after baby unlatches: symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/ridged/ shaped like a new lipstick?
    - What sort of pump are you using and how often do you use it?
    - How does pumping feel?
    - How many times does baby nurse in a 24 hour period?
    - How much supplemental formula are you using?
    - Do you have a scale for home use?
    - Did the round of testing you just had include a thyroid panel?
    - Are you currently using any form of hormonal contraception?
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Pumping after every feeding, taking fenugreek, hopeless

    The latch is good usually, although sometimes when she's tired she "reverts" back to bad latch (this was the first thing we worked to correct) and my nipple looks normal unless it's during one of these tired feedings, when it's lipstick-shaped.
    I have rented a hospital-grade pump, and am pumping after every feeding (7-8 times per day) plus an additional pumping in the middle of the night (since my daughter is now starting to sleep through the night!). Pumping is comfortable.
    I have been supplementing more with pumped breastmilk recently (hooray!). She typically takes 1-2oz of supplement for six of her feedings. The first two nursing sessions of the day she seems satisfied, so I don't give her supplement during those feedings.
    I have an adult bathroom scale, which I have been using to gauge a rough weight trend for her, but obviously it's nowhere near exact.
    I have been tested for thyroid problems, and the tests came back normal. I'm not on any hormonal bc.

    This is really a mystery, because I have read about what can cause low milk supply, and none of it seems to be the cause for me...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,271

    Default Re: Pumping after every feeding, taking fenugreek, hopeless

    If you can't pin low supply on hormonal issues (PCOS, thyroid, contraceptives, pregnancy, retained placenta fragments), then you're left with either the rarest possibilities (insufficient glandular tissue) or the most common (latch problems, milk removal issues). It sounds like you have seen some knowledgeable professionals- you've got a hospital-grade pump, you seem to have had the right tests- so I'm thinking that IGT isn't something which would have eluded diagnosis. So that means you're down to latch issues and milk removal issues. If the baby's latch is mostly good at this point, that's excellent! A shallow latch- the explanation for the lipstick-shaped nipples- may be the root cause of some or all of your supply woes, because a shallow latch isn't good at removing milk, and milk sitting in the breasts triggers a reduction in supply. Usually frequent pumping, like you're already doing, will make up for a poor latch. 7-8 pumping sessions per day is excellent. Of course, if you can slip in a few more, that would be even better. I am sort of wondering if the pump just isn't working for you for some reason- maybe the shield size is off, or maybe you're just one of those mamas who doesn't respond that well to pumping?

    Has anyone suggested using prescription drugs to boost supply? Reglan and Domperidone are both gastric emptying drugs which can increase serum prolactin (the milk-making hormone) as a side-effect. They have additional side-effects and are not right for all moms, but if you can use one or the other it might really help. I used Reglan for about 2 months, and had success with it.

    Sorry, I know the suggestions I've made are vague and surely frustrating. But it sounds like you are doing everything just as you should be. Keep up the good work!
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Pumping after every feeding, taking fenugreek, hopeless

    Are you doing breast massage during and manual expression after pumping to help drain the breast?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    orange.county.ca
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Pumping after every feeding, taking fenugreek, hopeless

    Ok, I have been where you are...worse actually because I have insufficient glandular tissue and my son had tongue tie. The professional lactation consultants at the hospital even told me to give up. So I can feel your distress right now. I did boost what you could laughingly refer to as 'my supply' from 4oz a day to 16 at the best point. I pumped like you...as many as 15 times a day... I have tried EVERY galactagogue in every book: the ones that worked out best were the motherlove more milk plus tincture...it has funegreek and goatsrue...among other herbs. Also lots of (and I mean 6-7 cups) mothers milk tea which I ordered in bulk off amazon. I found the tincture to be awful tasting so I finally switched over to domperidone which has continued the positive effect on my supply. Pumping became so awful for me and I was so exhausted, I finally backed off and am now just breastfeeding more often... 10 times a day and quickie snacks for fun at playtime because my son thinks its fun and I think its funny.

    What the pp said about breast massage...do it if you aren't already and if you are...do it while pumping and more vigorously (get a pumping bra if u don't already have one so u are hands free). That greatly increased my letdowns and I felt more empty. Also, try drinking that tea before pumping or taking a quick hot shower if u can, that aids in relaxation which helped my stressed out brain...the pump never drained as well as my son did when he was dedicated...so what I would do is pump before feedings so i could guage my production a little...supplement with that and switch my son back and forth to trigger letdowns again. Talk about drainage.

    You are doing so well and you sound pretty tough and dedicated. Bravo. At your baby's age I was in stress mode and I may have had more than a few meltdowns with regards to my supply problems. My son is big now (9 months, almost 10) and I supplement with donated milk so I am way more relaxed. If you can't make enough milk period...donated milk may be of interest to you. Check out milkshare.com if you are leaning toward long term supplementation.

    One last thing...you may have exhausted your reasons for not making enough milk....but to make sure, read 'making more milk ' its such a fantastic book and full of positive information and encouragements and galactagogue info. It saved me when I had nobody around who understood what I was going through with low supply due to IGT or hypoplasia.
    Long time wannabe Momma. First time actual Momma.

    -candice -

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •