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Thread: BF/Supplementing with VERY Low Milk Supply to 4 mth old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Miami, FL USA
    Posts
    2

    Default BF/Supplementing with VERY Low Milk Supply to 4 mth old

    Hello Ladies…I looked in the forum to see who had a similar situation to me, but I don’t see it, therefore here is my story….
    To start I want to let you all know that as I am a total nerd, I took the Mommy 101 and the weekly Lamaze classes that I thought necessary to ensure I was really prepared (like if that’s possible!), but I did not take the Breastfeeding 101, because I thought it would be useless before versus post partum. I was so wrong.

    Two days before my due date my doctor sent me to an Ultrasound to see how big was the baby, as I had been 2cm dilated for 3 weeks and the baby was not budging.
    I went in and the nurse informed me that they believed he was 9 ½ lbs and to let my doctor know 1st thing in the morning. In the morning I called, and I was scheduled a C-section for the same day due to the doctor being afraid that if he was delivered naturally he would either get stuck and the baby would come out crooked and in the long run have shoulder issues. As this was the case we went ahead with the c-section.

    Baby Nikolas was born 8.8lbs and 19 inches.

    I gave birth in December to my baby boy Nikolas, from the start I had latching issues. He didn’t want to latch on. The nurses started having him latch and dribble formula on my areola so that he would taste it and start sucking. As you can imagine I was stressed and felt unwanted by my son. This is my 1st child so you can imagine.
    The lacation consultant came in the next day, and that was just like nothing. She was rough, not nurturing and read me off some things off a book. I wasn’t even paying attention. She told me about the football hold and the cradle hold, and this kid was just not having it. By the 2nd night, we were back on BF and dribbling formula. It was hard because he was hungry and he would cry until finally I would BF for a little bit and then end up giving him the 2oz of Formula. At the same time, I started having migrane headaches. I was under Tylenol with Codine and Percocet. Nothing would take it away, only when I would sleep and close my eyes.

    Once home, we continued this as I self-diagnosed that I had mastitis. My breasts were hard and nothing still…It wasn’t until 4 days later that my milk came in. I was out of the hospital and the migraines continued. At this point, I couldn’t pump or even be with my baby, I was just breast feeding what he wanted and supplementing with formula…the pain was just unbearable. After 4 days, I went back to the hospital and they told me that due to the epidural a blood block needed to be performed because where they punctured me it was leaking liquid causing an imbalance in the brain causing the migranes. The procedure took 15 minutes and the migranes were gone instantly. Mind you this week the baby was on minimal BF and supplementing on Formula.

    I was suggested to lay down with him when breastfeeding…This changed everything he would latch on perfectly. Never felt any pain, etc. But my baby would stay with hunger so we supplemented with formula. This was approved by our Pediatrician. When I did start to pump it was within a month of giving birth and I would only pump out 2oz from both breasts. A lot in the mornings, diminishes throughout the day, and barely at night.

    My baby on Saturday will be 4 months. He sleeps through the night and BF and is being supplemented with 6-7 oz of formula. I on the other hand I went back to work and I pump about 2-3 a day while there and don’t pump more than 1.5-2oz from both breasts in the 1st sitting, barely make it to 1oz in the 2nd, and I’m almost down to ½ oz by the 3rd. I’m pumping every 3 hours and drink about 8 glasses of water a day if not more.

    I just recently started to take Fenugreek 2-3 pills a day and the Mother’s Milk tea 1x a day. There is no increase. I feel helpless , depressed, etc.

    I’m the only one in my family that has had a c-section, and the only one that is not producing enough milk. My mom and sister nursed for about 1-1 ½ years with each of their children (6 in total). Both were over-producers of milk and I feel I’m a huge disappointment.

    What do I do? Am I too late?

    I would love to be able to satisfy my son only on breast milk, but he is a big boy and hungry and I just can’t supply that much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,846

    Default Re: BF/Supplementing with VERY Low Milk Supply to 4 mth old

    Welcome to the forum, mama! I have to run take my oldest to her violin lesson but I want to reassure you that it is NOT hopeless and that you can make more milk. I'll be back later with more, but I'm going to write a novel and that takes more time than I have right now.

    You're doing great and I assure you that everyone here will support you.
    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
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,846

    Default Re: BF/Supplementing with VERY Low Milk Supply to 4 mth old

    Phew, what a day! But I'm back to write my novel.

    Okay, making more milk is generally a matter of increasing the frequency and completeness of milk removal from the breast. Milk is produced on a supply = demand basis, so increase demand and you'll increase supply. If you're home with the baby, you can generally achieve this by gradually phasing out the formula and nursing more. As supplements decrease, the baby should naturally nurse more often and drain the breast more thoroughly in order to make up the difference. It's a little trickier for a mom who is pumping at work, because pumps don't empty the breast as well as babies do and it's rarely possible to dramatically increase your number of pump breaks during the workday. But this hurdle can often be overcome with a better pump (think very good double electric like the Medela Pump in Syle or Hygeia Enjoye or, preferably, a hospital-grade rental) and more pumping when you're not on the job (e.g. pumping after feedings when you're home with the baby, or getting a hands-free set-up so that you can pump during your commute).

    Don't get discouraged because fenugreek and MM tea aren't giving you a big increase. Neither are particularly effective in comparison to more nursing or pumping. They don't hurt and may help, but no-one should expect drastically improved supply from teas or herbs alone.

    You say your baby is sleeping through the night. That's great for your sleep, but not so great for your milk supply. Most breastfed babies wake at least 1-2 times a night to nurse, and that demand improves overall supply. One thing you could immediately start doing is waking your LO for a feed or two in the middle of the night. I know it must seem cruel of me to suggest it- especially to a working mom!- but as one of the other moms here said, nighttime nursing is your best friend when it comes to workday pump output.

    How much are you supplementing per day? Only 6-7 oz?

    Finally, I think you should be extremely proud of what you've achieved this far. You started with some severe hurdles and yet you haven't given up. That's awesome. I know it must seem really unfair- your mom and sister have nursed 6 kids and had oversupply, and had vaginal births. And the reason it seems unfair is that- IMO- it IS unfair. Based on what you posted about your baby's birth, it sounds like you were railroaded into a c-section by a doctor who was either badly uninformed or outright unethical. Elective primary c-section without trial of labor is NOT recommended for suspected fetal macrosomia (a.k.a. suspected large baby, arbitrarily defined as a weight greater than 8 lbs, 13 oz according to some authors and 9 lbs, 15 oz according to others). Yes, macrosomic babies are at a somewhat higher risk for shoulder dystocia, which is a life-threatening obstetric emergency and sometimes results in brachial plexus injury, which becomes permanent in a very small minority of cases. But prophylactic c-section is not recommended because you'd have to perform literally thousands of unnecessary c-sections in order to prevent a single case of permanent nerve injury. As you can tell, I get really steamed about this sort of thing! You were subjected to an almost certainly unnecessary major surgery which had significant negative consequences for your postpartum experience and your long-term health, due to a misleading ultrasound and a poor decision by your doctor. If you plan to have more children, I strongly suggest finding a different caregiver. So whatever you feel about your birth experience, I hope you won't fall into the trap of feeling like it was your failure. Because it wasn't.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Miami, FL USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: BF/Supplementing with VERY Low Milk Supply to 4 mth old

    Thank you for your advise, sorry I couldnt respond sooner. I'm pumping about 1-2oz each session (total of 4-4.5oz daily).
    Im supplementing him with 4 to 7oz of formula in addition to breastfeeding. It all depends on how hungry he is.

    As of right now I'm doing everything you suggested and I will continue until i run dry.
    Hopefully things better. If not, at least I know that I did all I could and feeding him for 4 months is better than none at all.

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