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Thread: Help! Milk supply not enough!

  1. #1

    Default Help! Milk supply not enough!

    I've always had my heart set for exclusively breastfeeding my son since I found out I was pregnant. "Breast is best" was my mantra. However, my labor and pp experience definitely did not go as perfect as I had hoped.

    Long story short, I ended up with an emergency C section. Spent about 5 hours apart after the procedure. He was given formula while we were apart. Once reconnected, we had problems with latching. My nipples were getting worn out and they started bleeding. I had an ongoing fever during the 5 days we were at the hospital causing me to have difficulty staying on a breastfeeding schedule due to medication making me drowsy. On top of that, my c section incision opened on the first day home after leaving the hospital making it even more difficult to even hold my son to feed.

    Ugh rough first week for a first time, overwhelmed mom! BUT I was determined to exclusively breastfeed! I used breast shields and religiously put lanolin to help my nipples heal. And it worked! I got help with my sons latching problems. And for a short time during week 2 I was really hopeful!

    Unfortunately, when we got to my sons 2 week check up with his pediatrician, we found out he hasn't gained any weight since his weight loss at the hospital. She suggested that we supplement. I hated the thought, but my son needed to gain weight so we obliged. We had a follow up appointment the next week and supplementing worked. His pediatrician recommended we keep supplementing (about 2 oz after breastfeeding 15-20 mins on each breast 4-5 times a day) until his 2 month check up.

    My son is currently 5 weeks and I've been supplementing for the past couple of weeks. I've tried to wean from supplementing from 4-5 times a day to about 2-3 times a day. However, my LO seems to never be satisfied with just my breast milk. He always seems to be ravenous even after spending 20 minutes on each breast. Am I just not making enough milk for him or has he gotten so accustomed to getting a bottle after breastfeeding? I'm feeding him my breast more often to compensate for the missing bottle feedings but I was hoping we could wean off the bottles completely! Any advice on what I'm doing wrong? Or what I should do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Help! Milk supply not enough!

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! Sorry you've had such a rough start. But good for you for sticking with it. You should definitely be able to transition to exclusive breastfeeding, with a little effort and patience. How often are you breastfeeding right now - that is a little unclear to me. A baby this age will usually nurse 10-12 times/24 hours. Are you doing any pumping? Breastfeeding is supply and demand, so each time you give formula (which you do have to do right now - you can't cut off the supplements cold turkey), your baby is not at the breast stimulating supply. So it can help speed up your supply increase if you pump at least some of the times that you are supplementing. Using a good pump is key - preferably a hospital-grade double electric (which you can rent). Also, 15-20 minutes at the breast is not a long time for a newborn. Many newborns will hang out at the breast for 45 minutes, an hour or even hours at a time (cluster feeding). So I'd encourage you to let baby spend as much time hanging out at the breast as possible. Skin-to-skin. You find a comfortable spot on the couch or in bed and just give baby free access to the breast. Recruit others to feed you, clean up around the house, etc. Baby seeming ravenous is normal. A newborn that has not seen any formula will act the same way to get mama's milk in. Again you let him suck as much as he wants and that stimulates your milk to come in.

    It would also be a good idea to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, to evaluate baby's latch, check for tongue ties etc. Do you have any pain or concerns about latch?

    Here's some information from kelly mom about weaning off supplements: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/

    This is a process - don't expect overnight results. But if you stick with it you will get there!

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