7 1/2 weeks ago, I delivered a beautiful baby girl (2 weeks late) via caesarian. After 42+ hours of labor, the already ridiculously slow progression stalled completely & I developed an infection and renal failure. During the caesarian I lost greater than normal blood (1400 units), but did not require the doctors giving me blood. This did, however result is pretty severe iron deficient anemia (iron level was 26 with a range of 50-70). Doctors suspected a lack of proper Oxitocin and Prostiglandin release for the uber-slow labor, but this was never checked or confirmed.
Right now, I average 20-30 mL of breast milk total (between both breasts) per pumping (30 minutes). The baby has been a perfect latch from day one. But early on I was struggling to produce even 5 mL total milk per 20 minute pumping session. We originally fed her via Supplemental Nursing System, so that she could still feed at the breast even though she was mostly consuming formula. After nearly 8 weeks, we have switched to mostly bottle feeding formula with the occasional breast milk addition or breast milk-only feeding (depending on what supply I have extracted). I do put her to breast at least once a day. And she still sucks as best she can, but there is very little swallowing going on - usually one swallow to every 3-5 sucks. When I pump and when I have hand extracted, the milk comes out in very slow drips. I'll get one drop every 2-5 pumps or tugs.
Other important history notes:
- I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis. It is well controlled. In fact I just had lab work done & my THS was a little low, meaning I could cut back a bit on my thyroid medication.
- At my 6 week post partum appointment, by uterus had not shrunk down as much as should have. I am going back next week (8 weeks post-partum) to follow up & see if it has shrunk down yet. If it has not (and I don't feel as though it has), I go for an ultrasound to see if there is any placenta fragments remaining or to see any other reasons why it has not shrunk.
- Recently baby has developed a milk allergy. I have cut out dairy from my diet.
- It did take me some time to find an iron supplement that I could tolerate. The first one I was on, wreaked havoc on my system and killed my already low milk supply to virtually nothing (1-5 mL total per pumping after having gotten up to 10-15 mL average).
We feed/I pump every 2-3 hours with the occasional 5-6 hour break depending on what baby's feeding is like.
What can I do to help increase my supply?