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Thread: Last drops of breastmilk?

  1. #1

    Default Last drops of breastmilk?

    Last drops of breastmilk?

    My son is 3 weeks old (born on March 27) and it seems like I have ran out of breast milk. I had an emergency c-section. My son was NICU for ingesting meconium and jaundice. Three days post-delivery, my breasts were engorged with milk. Yet, I found it very difficult to pump and my son couldn't latch on. Once we were released from the hospital, I manage to pump up to three times a day. I knew this was clearly not enough pumping sessions but I was in too much pain from the c-section and engorged breast. At best, I was able to pump 30-40ml per breast but he still didn't latch.

    One week later, I contacted Lactation Specialist for home consultation. She suggested renting hospital grade breast pump, showed various breast feeding position and gave me nipple shield to help my son latch on since he been drinking and formula in a bottle. All of her suggestions worked, but I was having difficulty my appetite, energy level, and physical limitations of c-sections coupled with taking pain pills (OxyContin and Ibuprofen). Some days I simply didn't pump. I tried to breast feed but my son seem not patient enough for breastmilk and wanted the fast flowing formula. As we entered the third week of being home, I notice my milk supply dropped drastically. I no longer felt the heaviness of being engorged. I pumped less than 20ml per breast and after 5min of breast feeding my son seem to lose interest or stop sucking.

    The irony was as I started to physically feel better and my breatsmilk supply is nearly non existent. I have resume taking my prenatal pills, no longer need the prescribe medicine, and gotten more rest then my earlier days. I have even started taking Feudgreek herbal supplement and Mother Milk Tea.

    I'm at my wits end and feel like a failure. Now I'm afraid my baby will lose the nutritional benefits of breast milk because I thought I had the luxury of time and perhaps gave up to quickly. Please help, I would appreciate any advice you may have to turn this around.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Last drops of breastmilk?

    Hi mama, sorry you've had a rocky start to breastfeeding. At this point, how much formula is baby taking in the day? Is he still nursing at all? Are you currently pumping? Are you still working with the lactation specialist? From what I understand from your post, your baby is still latching, even if only for a few minutes, so that's great, and also you are still making some milk - is that right? So what you have to do now is to increase your supply by more nursing and pumping, and then gradually wean off the formula supplements.

    Here is an article that explains this process in a step-by-step fashion:

    The key is that you need frequent stimulation at the breast - by baby nursing, pumping, or some combination - to build your supply back up. A normal newborn nurses very very frequently to build up milk supply - 10-12 times or more in 24 hours, often nursing for hours at a time at times (cluster feeding).

    Also, it's important to use paced feeding techniques when bottle-feeding baby, so that bottle-feeding is more similar to breastfeeding. And not to overfeed baby with the bottle. Baby shouldn't be getting more than 2 or 3 oz at a time with the bottle, less if baby is also nursing in that feeding session. Breastfed babies eat frequent, small meals, and with the bottle it's easy to give large, infrequent meals - once baby has a lot of formula in his belly, he will not want to nurse for a long time afterwards. Also, make sure to use the slowest-flow nipples you can find, usually a "0" or a "1" depending on the brand.

    Info about paced feeding:
    Last edited by @llli*bfwmomof3; April 18th, 2014 at 03:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Last drops of breastmilk?

    hi jrob 327. I am sorry you are having such a struggle.

    I want to assure you all is not lost as far as breastfeeding goes. Clearly your body is capable of making milk, since you became engorged after your baby was born. Because your baby was not nursing and you were unable to pump frequently, your body was given the signal to stop or slow down on the making of milk. So it did. OK. But now you can give your body the signal to START making milk (or more milk.) Yes it really is that simple, which does not mean it is easy or will not take some work!

    I can offer sympathy with the difficulty of C-section recovery. I have had 3 cesarian births. They are major abdominal surgery and can really, really mess with your entire system. And yes the pain meds as typically prescribed can make a mom feel utterly exhausted and even disconnected from her baby, depressed, etc. It's really really hard! Hopefully you are no longer needing the narcotics for pain management. Getting off the narcotics and getting some freedom of movement back helps in so many ways.

    Please check out the information bfwmomof3 has offered. And get in touch with local support like LLL if it is available. It sounds like you saw a good IBCLC, if you agree, keep in touch with her as well. With the above info and the advice from your IBCLC, You will know what you need to do to increase your milk production and get baby nursing again, and we and your local LLL or other breastfeeding support can give you the support you need.

    Please let go of feeling like a failure. Your dear baby needs YOU, much more than your milk. Every moment you can, snuggle your baby and love your baby. This closeness is what your baby craves. If with your efforts, breastfeeding happens, great. Any amount of milk that your baby gets and time at the breast is good for you, your baby, and your relationship. But it is not the only thing. Not by a long shot.

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