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Thread: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    My baby is currently 3.5 weeks old and I have been working with a LC to try to get enough supply to EBF, but we're running out options.

    I am currently breastfeeding, and weighing before and after. The baby generally gets 1 oz. Once a day he seems to get 1.5 oz.

    I am also pumping after, and generally only get about .5 oz.

    I bottle feed the amount that I have pumped from my last session, and then supplement with formula. I am aiming to get to 2-2.5oz per feeding for a total of 18oz a day.

    I am taking fenugreek at 4 pills, 3x a day. I just ordered another brand off of Amazon to see if that makes a difference because I haven't seen a difference. I also ordered some blessed thistle because I hear this makes the fenugreek work better.

    I also have PCOS and went back onto metformin a week after giving birth.

    I have also been suffering from some postpartum blues so I am taking a very small dose of Zoloft.

    My son had a tiny tongue tie that they corrected a week ago. They put off correcting it because it was so minor, but after trying so many other things, decided to give that a shot.

    After seeing the LC yesterday, she is at a loss on what else to try. We're seeing a tiny improvement but not enough. She has 2 last suggestions: 1) rent a medical grade pump and use that instead of my medula double electric pump that I got through my insurance. 2) Go to Children's hospital and meet with a lactation doctor. Since the LC is through the pediatrician she can't prescribe medicine for me. She said it's a long shot, but the lactation doctor might have more ideas, and can discuss trying to take Reglan.

    The pediatrician didn't like option #2 and thinks it will be a waste of time and money for me, saying that I have literally tried everything to increase supply. I have been very dedicated with everything that they have given me to do. He seems satisfied with the amount of breast milk that the baby is getting, and doesn't see a need to increase it.

    Is a medical grade pump really that much better? Is it worth the additional cost that I would have to pay to rent a pump?

    Is Reglan really a good option? I read terrible side effects, and with already being on zoloft, is it really worth considering?

    I have always wanted to EBF for absolutely as long as I could. I never in a million years thought I would not be able to EBF for any amount of time. I feel at a loss. Is there anything more I can do? Do I need to just accept that I won't be able to have the supply to EBF?
    Last edited by @llli*erika2me; April 30th, 2014 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,259

    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    I think the hospital-grade pump is an excellent idea, and most likely worth the expense. Hospital-grade pumps really are a breed apart from most consumer models! And if it were me, I would be comfortable taking Reglan as I have taken it before for a milk supply issue and had no side-effects aside from increased production. If you would prefer not to take Reglan, there is an alternative called Domperidone, which is available by prescription outside the US and from compounding pharmacies in the US. It has similar efficacy to Reglan and lacks some of the negative side-effects.

    I know you've been working hard at breastfeeding for the last 3.5 weeks and you're probably getting pretty dispirited- but you don't need to be! There is no point at which you "need to just accept" that you won't have an increase in milk supply- unless YOU decide you're ready to accept that. There's always hope for better supply, and I think you should feel pretty positive because despite having several factors stacked against you (PCOS, tongue tie, not using the best pump), you're still providing about 1-1.5 oz at a time, which is great! Remember, the average feeding for a breastfed baby is just 2-4 oz, so you're not too far off from having what you need.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    How has baby's weight gain been? I'm a little confused... doctor says he is happy with the amount of breastmilk baby is getting and you do not need to increase it - I interpret that to mean that baby is gaining weight appropriately? Are you using a very accurate scale to do the before-and-after weights?

    If you do need to further increase supply, I also like the idea of the hospital-grade pump. They usually run about $60-80 for one month of rental, plus a one-time expense for the kit.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    Thank you both for your replies! You give me hope for more things to try!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    How has baby's weight gain been? I'm a little confused... doctor says he is happy with the amount of breastmilk baby is getting and you do not need to increase it - I interpret that to mean that baby is gaining weight appropriately? Are you using a very accurate scale to do the before-and-after weights?

    If you do need to further increase supply, I also like the idea of the hospital-grade pump. They usually run about $60-80 for one month of rental, plus a one-time expense for the kit.
    My son is gaining appropriately as long as I make sure to get the 18oz in him, and 20oz when he hits 8 lbs. He's been gaining 1oz/day.

    The doctor says the difference between the breast milk he is getting now and if I was EBF is negligible. He doesn't think it's worth the time, effort, and money to try to increase my supply after everything I have tried. I personally have been dedicated to doing whatever it takes to getting to EBF. I am starting to get a bit discouraged though and don't want to cross the line of hurting myself in the process.

    The scale I am using is accurate to 1g.

    I'm going to head out tomorrow and pick up a medical grade pump and give that a shot. I already have all the supplies so just need the rental. The hospital says they rent for $40/mo. I didn't realize there was such a big difference between pumps. Here's hoping the medical grade pump helps!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    56

    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    I think a Lactation Aid would be a great option for you. Baby is already nursing great so why not supplement at the breast so baby gets the needed milk, but you get the much needed stimulation. Also, it could help long-term with preventing baby from getting a bottle preference. The way Dr. Jack Newman advocates using one looks super easy and great and you can find videos online.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    Don't give up yet unless you really really can't take it anymore.
    I started posting here when my baby was 10 days old. We are now at 7 weeks
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...te-milk-supply
    It is NOT an easy journey but it's not too late.
    I think it too me a few weeks for the Fenugreek to build up in my system to the point that my sweat started smelling a little like it and I don't think you can expect it to work very much till that point. I also drink mother's milk tea.
    I've never really bottle fed my little guy, we have been using the supplemental feeding system by medela, not ideal but better I think.

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    The doctor says the difference between the breast milk he is getting now and if I was EBF is negligible. He doesn't think it's worth the time, effort, and money to try to increase my supply after everything I have tried.
    Sigh. Instead of suggesting that you stop trying, I wish the doc had encouraged you to follow your heart and your maternal instincts. I can understand the desire to let a client down gently, and give them permission to give up on something which is difficult and might not work, but actively discouraging them from doing what they want because it's effortful... That's a fail, in my book.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Sigh. Instead of suggesting that you stop trying, I wish the doc had encouraged you to follow your heart and your maternal instincts. I can understand the desire to let a client down gently, and give them permission to give up on something which is difficult and might not work, but actively discouraging them from doing what they want because it's effortful... That's a fail, in my book.
    There are so many people out there who will constantly say things like "formula is so good now days" and "you may never get there" and I know many of them are just trying to soften the blow in case I don't but it can be frustrating when I'm not ready to give up. Take heart, breast feeding takes a while to get it right. You are doing what you need to do. Making sure your baby is fed is important and then keep working on the supply. Make sure you are taking good care of yourself and getting enough help so you can concentrate on resting and taking care of baby. Hopefully your family and help is not trying to hinder your efforts (and remember that even if they are, they are probably only trying to do it to "help" YOU. Put your foot down and very firmly tell them that you are NOT ready to give up on breast feeding.) Figure you should be allowed at least 6 weeks if not longer to continue working at it.
    One of my friends (who now has grown sons) said that breast feeding for her didn't really "click" until six weeks. I'm now at 7 weeks and still working hard to get off the supplement (however for the past several days I've only been supplementing with my expressed breastmilk.) I've only had the hospital pump for about a week.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    You sound motivated and determined, which is wonderful! Also it takes time for all the pumping to kick in in terms of boosting your supply. Now is the time to get your supply to where it needs to be. You can always back down on the pumping. And the great thing is that you HAVE been getting baby the milk he needs. So there is no reason to think that you will not be able to continue doing so. Keep up the great work!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    16

    Default Re: Trouble getting enough supply to EBF

    Thank you all so much for encouragement! I can't say enough what a difference hearing all this makes! I definitely want to continue trying and you all give me so much hope!

    I'm going to go this evening when my husband gets home to get the pump and I'll start using that. I have also setup an appointment with the lactation doctor as well to start talking additional options. My appointment is tomorrow morning so we should be able to get things moving quickly here!

    I was having a lot of trouble getting enough sleep and I was getting so burned out with the current feeding schedule. I have given up pumping at night unless I feel awake and like I want to pump. I don't want pumping to feel like a punishment anymore. In addition, I stopped setting my alarm to feed him and let him start waking on his own. Since doing this, I am getting SO much more sleep, and this is feeling much more doable.

    I have also stopped pumping after every single feeding during the day. I'm generally pumping after every other feeding, and especially if he just doesn't get a good feeding. I have noticed since doing this, he seems to get more from the breast. Could just be a coincidence, but worth mentioning. Today he has nursed 1.5oz at 3 feedings, when in the past he has only ever gotten 1.5oz at one feeding a day at the most.

    Also when I pump less often, I seem to get at least twice as much milk out, so it would seem I'm still draining the same amount.

    I'll keep you guys updated and thank you all so much, again!

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