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Thread: Low Supply Issues with teething baby

  1. #1

    Default Low Supply Issues with teething baby

    Hello this is my first post but I'm desperate for any ideas or help. My baby is just a week shy of 5 months and is currently exclusively breastfed. I've been struggling with my supply every since she was born but managed to keep things going. I've been back to work roughly two months and pumping has been difficult. My office is very informal and family friendly so I can pump as much as I can fit in.

    To try increase my supply I have been pumping 5, sometimes 6 times a day during work hours, one pump at 1am and nursing in the morning and evening. I'm using a medela pump instyle advance which was brand new in december (actually I had to returned under warrantee and got a new one two weeks ago). I've been eating green smoothies with milled fenugreek every morning and drinking upwards of 100 oz of water a day.

    Recently my supply has been slipping away even more and the helpful lactation consultant at Northside Hospital in Atlanta have pretty much told me they have ran out of ideas and that I should consult my OBGYN. My OBGYN put me on reglan and I took it for the past week. I would get about an extra ounce per pump (3 ounces total) versus 1.5 ounces that I'd usually get. However the medication made me restless and gave me constant headaches so I stopped it over the weekend.

    To top it off my little one has four teeth coming in and does not want to nurse for the long periods of time and barely wants to eat from the bottle. I've had to resort to bottle feeding at night instead of nursing. The lack of nursing seems to also be hurting my supply.

    I really am desperate as I want to keep on breastfeeding for a full year. My husband wants to take the plunge and buy me a medela hospital grade pump to use (Northside Hopsital has been out of rental medelas for the last two months). Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Low Supply Issues with teething baby

    Welcome to the forum!

    If you have the money for a hospital-grade pump, it's not a bad idea to try that option. And it wouldn't be money down the drain, because hospital-grade pumps are designed to serve multiple users, and you could probably eventually re-sell it and recoup your investment.

    How many times a day does your baby currently nurse? And how much milk does she take while you're at work? (The reason I ask is that sometimes babies get overfed at daycare, resulting in less need/desire for nursing when they are home with mom.)

    How does pumping feel? Is it comfortable? Do you feel like your shields are the proper size?

    Are you using contraception at this point, and if so, what kind? Also, any chance that you're pregnant?

    You're obviously doing a wonderful job, and I think there's no doubt you'll make it to your 1 year goal. You might have to use some formula if you can't get your milk supply to bounce back the way you're hoping for- but that's okay and a lot of moms end up having to make that particular compromise. Remember, breastfeeding is not all or nothing!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Low Supply Issues with teething baby

    Baby is eating 6-7oz x 3 at daycare and two nursing sessions at home with me. I've talked with her pediatrician and he says that sounds completely in the normal range of breast milk volume for her age. Typically when she nurses before bedtime she likes to take a very long time (40-45min) as I know it's comforting to her at the end of a long day. With the teething she just seems to be in pain and get frustrated really easily with both bottle and breast-feeding.

    As for the pump I've experimented with three different flange sizes and found the best size for me. I'm not on hormonal contraception and definitely not pregnant. I just lucked out and found a medical supply company in Atlanta that just started offering medela symphony pumps for rent and got a brand new rental unit. Downside is the pump doesn't seem to be getting anymore than my pump in style did. I do keep toggling the speed to try and simulate more let downs and I seem to get 3 in a 15-20 pumping session. Still not making more than 1.5 ounces per session .

    Thanks for the support and any other advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Low Supply Issues with teething baby

    I think your doctor is incorrect about the amounts. 6-7 oz bottles x 3 bottles per day = 18-24 oz of expressed milk per day, which is on the very high side. According to kellymom.com, the average milk intake in the 1-6 month range is around 25 oz per day, with a range of 19-30 oz. Even if your baby is on the high side of the range, that means she's getting 60-80% of her milk needs met via bottles at daycare. Unless she's spending at least 60-80% of her time at daycare, this suggests that she's being overfed. And overfeeding could explain your difficulties with nursing- why should baby bother to feed well when she's gotten her calorie needs met at daycare?

    This link explains more about average milk needs and suggests that a baby should take around 1.5 oz of breastmilk per your when separated from mom: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    I'm sorry the hospital-grade pump isn't doing the trick. Some moms just don't respond all that well to pumping. It's so unfair! You might want to try combining hand expression with pumping (basically squeezing milk out as you pump), adding in additional sessions either during the workday or after nursing when you're home with baby (fun! ), nursing more at night, co-sleeping, taking fenugreek, eating oatmeal, and also relaxation techniques while you're pumping at work. Something like deep breathing might help- stress and anxiety can inhibit letdowns. Scent triggers can also be useful- bring in a used baby blanket and smell it as you pump. I know that sounds silly but I'm serious- you're trying to engage your most primitive brain functions, and smell can really tie into those.

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