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Thread: breast milk diminishing?

  1. #1

    Default breast milk diminishing?

    I ruptured at 28 weeks with twins and was on bed rest in the hospital until 29.6 when they delivered due to lack of fluid around both babies. Both twins are doing great, but my milk supply is lacking.
    It was slowly picking up from 5mls to about 1/1.5oz (both breasts combined), but now at 15 days postpartum my production has dropped to nearly nothing or only a few drops. I don't understand why and I feel like a failure of a mother.
    I'm taking fenugreek, drinking water, trying to eat regularly around nicu visits, and I pumped every 2-3hours during the day and 3-4 at night. I rented a hospital grade pump 5 days ago for better output, which helped at first, but now I'm dropping...

    Any tips or advice? I don't know what I'm doing wrong and I so badly want to be able to provide milk for my babies.. it feels like the only way I can really be a mother to them while they're in the nicu.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: breast milk diminishing?

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new babies! I'm so sorry they have to spend time in the NICU. That has to be very hard on you as a mom.

    It sounds like you're doing everything right. You have a good pumping frequency and you're using a good machine, and those are the 2 most important things an exclusively pumping mom can do, better for supply than any herb or supplement. How long do you pump for each time, and how does pumping feel? Does it hurt or is it comfortable? Do you feel like there's loss of suction when you pump, i.e. do you feel like the pump is occasionally losing its hold on the breast?

    I'd love for you to get in and see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for some hands-on help. In particular, you want to make sure you have the right size of breast shields, since that can contribute to poor output. I'd also want to review your health- is there perhaps some physical explanation for the drop in supply? Retained placenta and hormonal issues (including thyroid problems, PCOS, a new pregnancy, or use of hormonal contraceptives) are sometimes to blame when mom experiences a rapid drop-off in supply. You might also want to talk to the LC about prescription drugs which can be used to boost supply. Reglan and Domperidone are both used off-label to increase prolactin (the milk-making hormone) levels. But both should be used under the supervision of a medical professional because both have other side-effects and are not right for all moms.

    While you're waiting to see the LC, I suggest increasing your pumping frequency, if at all possible. It's great right now, don't get me wrong! But more frequent pumping is always the first thing to try when you're trying to increase supply.

    Finally, PLEASE do not feel like a failure as a mother!!!! You are doing the hardest job in the world under very difficult circumstances- exclusive pumping for premature twins in the NICU!- and the fact that you didn't just give in and say "forget this stupid pumping, I need my sanity" means that you are succeeding at being a good mom. Sometimes all we can do is try our best every day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Central FL

    Default Re: breast milk diminishing?

    You have done amazing things for your babies by supplying your milk to them early on.
    You have NOT Failed. It is just time for you to seek some assistance, medical care, rest and nutrition for yourself so you can find success.

    Follow up on mommal's suggestions, you deserve help and there could be medical reasons. You might also (if you haven't already) try meditation/relaxation techniques to help with pump output. You might also see if a prescription for an oxytocin nasal spray would help with let down for the pump. Have you tried heat packs?

    Some ideas to help you eat well. Oatmeal, even packets of instant oatmeal, Good and nutritious and EASY! so you can even make/eat while at the hospital. Make some daily packs of nutritious dried fruit/seeds/nuts, easy to eat while pumping. Be sure you are taking your vitamins.

    I don't know how you have done it because I know I really don't respond very well to the pump.

  4. #4

    Default Re: breast milk diminishing?

    I can't offer any advice but having gone through something similar I can offer support. Congrats on the babies and hope you can go home soon. Keep up the amazing job and keep your chin up. My hospital had a lactation consultant, you might see if yours offers the same service.

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