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Thread: Milk Supply Issues and Nursing Problems with 9 day old

  1. #1

    Default Milk Supply Issues and Nursing Problems with 9 day old

    This is my first post, so I will try to give a little background first, as I believe it is pertinent to what is happening now.
    My first born is 2 years old now and I was unable to breastfeed him because my milk never came in. He lost 1 pound in the hospital and we had to begin supplementing with formula when he was 3 days old. When we got home, I was still trying to nurse and was pumping. When nursing, he would get increasingly frustrated because he was getting essentially nothing and when I pumped I was getting basically nothing. So after 2 weeks of trying, I gave up.
    Now, we have a 9 day old boy. At 48 hours old, he had lost 12% of his body weight; doctors were very concerned and we had to begin supplementing with formula and I began pumping after each feeding too. In the hospital, I was pumping and getting nothing or close to nothing. After supplementation started, he gained 4 oz. in 1 day and by Day 4 when we left the hospital, he was up a total of 8 oz; so what we were doing was working. However, with each day, Joel's nursing is getting worse. By that I mean, he often gets frustrated at the breast and will sometimes only nurse for like 5 minutes on each breast. And when I say "nurse" I use that term loosely, because he will barely latch and barely suck at all when he does latch. It is getting very frustrating for both of us. He will sometimes still make swallows, so I know that something is there (just not very much obviously). BUT....we came home on Tuesday and I have continued to pump. I get what I think is a good amount of milk when I pump. The amounts started out with me pumping like 5 mls total, then I would pump 10 mls, and the past two mornings when I first pump after not pumping in the middle of the night, I have pumped 1 oz!!!! During the day, the amount is not so high (I typically pump like 10-15 mls each time). So, my question is....WHAT IS GOING ON? Clearly, my milk supply is not in full yet, because Joel doesn't seem to be getting much of anything at the breast and I am not pumping out that much. Joel has some major latching/interest issues going on that I do not know how to deal with. So, do I stop nursing and just pump? Will my milk supply ever fully come in at this point? I am just at a total loss of what to do right now. Can anyone help please?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Milk Supply Issues and Nursing Problems with 9 day old

    Hi I will try to help as much as I can. However when a mother is experiencing a situation like this, it is really best to get in person help from somebody who understands breast-feeding. This could be a professional board-certified lactation consultant, or maybe a local breast-feeding volunteer support person like an LLL leader. Unfortunately doctors often do not know how to support normal breast-feeding.

    The first thing to understand is what is normal when it comes to milk production. What is normal is for the mother to start out with a very small amounts of the substance colostrum. This substance tends to look more yellowish and is thicker then mature milk. It is only available in very scant amounts, however it is typically all a baby needs the first few days of life. When a mother pumps this substance it will seem like there is very little of it. We now know that it is typically better to hand express colostrum. But in any case there is never going to be much of it. Drops at a time.
    After around day three or four, a mother will typically begin to make mature milk. It will still take several days before there is a lot of milk, however this is typically when baby would begin to stop losing weight and begin to gain weight. Some mothers feel full at this point and have a more obvious feeling of their milk "coming in". Other mothers do not feel it as strongly but that does not mean they are not making enough milk.
    Typically milk production continues to increase for at least the first month of life. Yes at nine days typically a mom would be making much more than she was the first few days, however you were right your milk production has not become "full" that won't happen for a few more weeks. This does not mean you're not making enough milk for your baby right now. You may be, you may not I can't tell from what you have written.
    Birth weights tend to be inflated for many reasons. For this reason and for others, it is fairly common for a baby to lose weight in the first few days after birth. 12% of birth weight is more than what is typical, however you should know it's not that much more.
    When a baby does begin to gain weight, again typically around day four or five, the weight gain would be typically average out to about 1 ounce per day
    For the first 3 months. This is why the general rule of thumb is that a sign that baby is doing well with breast-feeding, is that baby has regained back up to birthweight by day 10 to 14.
    I am explaining all this so that you will know what is normal and can then measure for yourself how far off your baby is from that. This is important to know because when a mom begins supplementing baby, even when it is needed, it is very important that some cautions are taken. One, that the supplement be as close to what baby actually needs and not more than what baby needs as possible. Also that baby is supplemented in a breast feeding supportive manner. And lastly that mother is pumping with the best pump she possibly can with the amount of frequency needed to make up for the amount of times baby is supplemented with formula, donor breast milk, or mothers stored breastmilk.

    So what would be important to figure out right now, is how much exactly baby is being given every day in terms of supplements. How those supplements are being given (how much, how often and how The supplement is given and if that can be done in a more breast-feeding supportive way, and if you are using the best pump you possibly can. Also how often is baby being offered the breast?
    A baby might refuse to nurse or be unable or unwilling to nurse effectively for a few reasons. one would be if baby is being completely fed with supplements. If baby is not hungry baby is not likely to want to nurse very much or nurse effectively. The other reason would be if baby has become used to the ease with which baby can get milk out of a bottle, and is not learning how to breast-feed as a result. And lastly there could be some specific issue that is stopping your baby from being able to breast-feed effectively.
    Again I would suggest seeing someone in person to talk about your personal history and to have breast-feeding with this baby specifically assessed to figure out where the problem is. It may be that you have some pre-existing issue that is causing low production. This is rare, but certainly possible. But that may not be the problem or at least not the entire problem. Also you should know that even if for some reason you are not able to make quite enough milk for your baby's entire needs, that does not mean you cannot breast-feed your baby. There are many ways to increase milk production, and of course there are many mothers who breast-feed and supplement as needed. Again it has to be done in a way that is breast-feeding supportive but it certainly can be a way to continue to breast-feed even when there is low milk production.
    A good resource is the book the breast-feeding mothers guide to making more milk. If you search Amazon for making more milk you will find it. It is inexpensive and written for mothers.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; March 9th, 2014 at 11:53 PM.

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