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Thread: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nurser

  1. #21
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    My husband did the paced feeding last night/overnight using the tilting the bottle down and it seemed to agree well with baby! He said sometimes he spent a good amount of time in the pause to catch his breath since he often gets frantic while feeding and once nearing the end of the bottle he was definitely more relaxed. So far he's still drinking everything he can and not indicating that he's full, but since the feeding took a little longer there was less time at the end where he was fussing that we needed to give him a pacifier/finger to suck while he realized he was done. It is a little challenging to get him in the best upright position since he throws himself backward when he wants to eat, but found if we enticed him with the nipple he'd come forward a bit and once he had the bottle he would stay in the position better.

  2. #22
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    Our LC also suggested the pacifier somewhat earlier for us, it's been a useful tool definitely.

    Both videos are interesting (and I browsed around and watched several others, very informational!), I would definitely like to try using the lactation aid that way instead of taping the tube on. I found that the most finicky part of the process, my right side I can't even really see my nipple since it angles downward so trying to get the tube in the right spot took what felt like way too much time in an already long feeding process. Also great to see troubleshooting issues and getting it just right.

    The good drinking video is pretty amazing, I think my right breast would be empty after a couple swallows like that!

    I'm going to work more on the latch with him definitely, I think while he does get milk going it's not great. It sounds like the better the latch, the better the flow and the less likely he will be to fall asleep. He's definitely less sleepy the past two weeks or so than he had been before, so it's less of a fight to get him to feed. Last night he did great on the "bad" side, lots of swallowing before getting sleepy and when I pumped after I barely had anything left which is a definite improvement!

  3. #23
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    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    Latching well really is key. If they aren't latched on well they can't get the milk out no matter what is there. I would really focus on that and then yes practice getting a lactation aid slipped in just right. My tubing has cm markings on it and I know I need to see the 4 cm mark and any deeper will gag them and much more shallowly they can't get it. You can also feel the cool milk flowing across your nipple/areola and you know they're getting it (and also see the milk disappearing from the bottle). Keep up the great work!!
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  4. #24
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    So I picked up the Medela Symphony pump yesterday along with larger shields and also a BabyWeigh scale. While pumping it does feel a little different (a bit of the more tingly feeling I get when nursing) but I'm still trying to sort out a setting that works well without causing soreness afterward. I'm on the third size of shields as well, I know that was causing some of the soreness I had previously too. We did our first nursing session with a weight check today, it had been about 3 hours since I pumped - he was ready to eat again before I had time to pump earlier so I thought this would be a good time to nurse.

    Started him out on the right side as usual, which I'll note has been having terrible production at the pump the past week or so. Even with 3 hours between pumping, I'm often getting 7 or 8 mL on that side. He did quite a bit of good sucking but not much swallowing. Gave him about 10 minutes (he was nodding off pretty early on, but I'm not too surprised since it looked like he wasn't getting much milk even with compressions) and switched to the left. Had a nice latch, lots of good sucking and lots of swallowing. Less clicking than usual as well. He had about 10 or 12 minutes on that side until he was so conked out I couldn't rouse him. Since he's been eating every 2-2.5 hours more often during the day (he hasn't been napping much, very active and wanting to play this week) I decided we could stop here since I still would need to do bottles, pump and wash up. Weighed him and it said he got 1.5oz! Pretty great I'd say!! I didn't get to pump until 1.5 hours later, and I got about .9oz - I'd expect closer to .5oz when going that amount of time between pumping. Once my husband is home to help, I'll try nursing switching sides a few times if he gets sleepy. I'm definitely interested to see what kind of numbers we can get with more nursing. Being able to see the actual amount he's getting will help motivate me, especially if they continue to increase. Best we saw before was 1oz for a very good feeding. Hoping too that the new pump can help bump up my supply, it's been stagnant for a while now.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    good to hear! keep up the good work!
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  6. #26
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    On Friday, bub was eating about every 2 hours during the day and only taking 20-30 minute naps which is a tough schedule to keep up with when alone with the pumping, but we muddled through it. I was pretty exhausted and it turns out he was too! He surprised us, to say the least, and went 7 hours between feedings overnight. I nursed him and for the first time I actually felt some fullness in my breasts. He got an astounding 2.8oz and I pumped an additional 1oz. Now I know this was a bit of a fluke, but I think it's useful to know I can at least have that capacity? I've been nursing 2-3 times a day and taking his weight each time, if it's been 3 hours since pumping he's getting 1.6oz, and if it's been 2-2.5 it's .6-.9oz. So I'm pumping (usually) 7 times a day to correspond with his feedings. Most times, I can get at .25-.5oz pumping after nursing, so I think he's going pretty well at the breast to get what I have to offer.

    Is there anything else I should be doing to help encourage the supply? I know more nursing would help, but it's tough getting the time to nurse and pump when I'm home alone. Would it be better to nurse and not pump when it's impractical to do both? I know it can be a little frustrating for us both when he spends 30-40 minutes and only gets half an ounce, but it also takes 25-30 minutes for me to pump and clean up afterwards so the time pretty much equals out.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    It's a hard call but I think at this point since he's making progress I'd nurse if you have time for just nursing or pumping. I recently chose to stop pumping for my twins bc they were leaving me with an average of 1 oz that took 30 min to pump.

    Yes you can hold more milk after 7 hrs and in a way that's great but also I bet with that full of breasts your body was slowing down milk production since empty breasts fill faster than full ones. So good he got it and you got more pumping but still try not to go more than 3 hrs, I'd say.

    Keep up the great work! I hope soon you're able to just nurse and get rid of the pump!
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #28
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    Thanks Krystine. He's really doing so much better at nursing, it's great! Now if I could just get my supply up we'd be golden. During the week when I'm home alone, I've been offering the breast whenever he's getting a little fussy before feeding even if I just pumped recently. He sometimes nurses and naps for over an hour. It's a lot more calm now that I can get him in a good position while on the couch so I can zone out watching tv while he snacks. It's made the whole breastfeeding experience so much less stressful! This weekend I've made a goal to nurse first and pump every feeding (except the overnight ones where I just pump) so we're getting about 12 combined sessions (7 pumps, 5 nursing). I hope to see some increase in supply with all this extra stimulation. I haven't yet forced myself get up to pump or nurse when he doesn't wake up, I am trying to take one step at a time. My bad side even when full is only putting out max 10mL, really hope the extra nursing time will bump it up soon (with the other side too of course, but it's always been 2-6x more productive).

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Stuck in a rut, low supply/supplementing inefficient nur

    So glad you're seeing progress still and bf-ing is less stressful.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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