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Thread: Low supply?!

  1. #1

    Exclamation Low supply?!

    My baby is 3 weeks old
    I noticed she was feeding very often
    and for unusually long periods of time
    I assumed it was a growth spurt
    But to be sure I gave her formula for a day and solely pumped
    My breast were only getting one to two ounces each
    I was so disappointed to the fact that my once engorged breast
    Were for some reason drying up
    I tried pumping all the time
    Having her suck for a while before giving her the bottle
    taking 3 capsules of Fenugreek 3 times a day
    And trying to spend some time relieving some stress I've been dealing with
    I don't seem to be making progress
    Plus my boobs are still extremely leaky
    Which I don't quite understand if I'm not efficiently producing
    I've contacted my local Le Leche League rep
    But I was wondering if any other mothers have experienced this
    And could possibly give any advice??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Low supply?!

    My son was really sleepy the first couple weeks and really started to figure out what he was doing and want to eat week 3. It sounds to me like your production is good, I'm not sure why you would use the formula for a day. These little guys (mine's 5 weeks) just like to nurse and nurse and nurse all day. That's pretty normal. To see how much my some was getting during a nursing session, we went to the lactation consultant and did a feed and weigh. It was great to see what he was getting.

    Remember that your milk supply will be working out to match baby's demand right now. You don't want to be engorged all the time!

    *I'm not one of the amazing expert moms, just another new mom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Low supply?!

    How much milk were you producing when you pumped? And how often were you pumping?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,152

    Default Re: Low supply?!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    Growth spurts, especially the 3 week growth spurt, often throw new moms for a loop. Nothing makes you doubt your supply like a baby who suddenly will. not. stop. nursing! Growth spurts are often when moms fall into the supplementing trap.

    Your pump output actually sounds pretty normal. Babies typically take about 2-4 oz of milk at a time, often on the low end of that spectrum, making up for the small size of the average feeding by feeding very frequently. But wait, you say, I was getting just 1-2 oz at a time! That means low supply, right? No, for the following reasons: first, the pump doesn't empty the breast as well as a nursing baby does. If the pump can get 1 oz, your baby can probably get at least 2. Second, pump output varies based on a mom's experience with the pump, on the type of pump she is using (since pumps vary widely in effectiveness), with the time of day, and with pump frequency and duration. These reasons explain why pumping is NOT a good measure of your milk supply!

    How about the engorgement? A lot of moms don't realize this, but engorgement or feelings of fullness mean you are making more milk than your baby needs. Most moms overproduce when their milk first comes in; it's nature's way making absolutely sure the baby gets fed while she is mastering the tricky art of breastfeeding. But overproduction doesn't last! It's a waste of your body's energy and puts you at increased risk for nasty this like plugged ducts and mastitis (breast infection), so after you've been nursing for a while your body reduces supply so that it matches demand very exactly. Once that adjustment occurs, you will rarely if ever feel full or engorged, your pump output will decline (if you've been pumping), and if your baby needs more milk she will boost your supply by feeding frequently and for long periods (sound familiar?).

    Some questions for you:
    1. How many times are you nursing per 24 hour period? (A baby this age should be nursing at least 10-12 times a day.)
    2. How much supplement are you offering? (Number of oz per bottle, are you supplementing after every feeding?)
    3. How long have you been supplementing?
    4. Are you pumping in addition to nursing, and if so, how many oz do you get at a time?
    5. What sort of pump are you using?
    6. Are you currently using any form of hormonal contraception, or are you planning to use any?
    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
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,613

    Default Re: Low supply?!

    I know it's scary to think you are not making enough milk for your baby. But why did you think that was the case? Is baby gaining ok? Pooping every day?
    My breast were only getting one to two ounces each
    How much were you expecting to get? A 3 week old baby would only need about 2 ounces per feeding.

    The way you tell a baby is getting enough is if baby is gaining OK. Not by how much milk comes out when you pump for a day! How much you can pump does not give an accurate picture of milk production ever, unless a mother is exclusively pumping instead of nursing and has been for some time.

    If baby is not gaining ok, then it's time to look at why not. There are many possibilities. Is it because baby is not nursing often enough? baby has a hard time getting milk out? Other health issues? Even if weight gain is not great, It may not be an issue of low production at all!

    If weight gain is as it should be, and you are not having other difficulties with nursing, then you can bury the pump in the closet and just nurse your baby. 3 week old babies usually need to nurse at least 12 times a day and may take a long time to nurse. It's normal!

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