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Thread: low milk supply- 11 days old

  1. #1

    Default low milk supply- 11 days old

    Hi All, my baby girl is 11 days old and I have been having milk supply issues since we brought her home. I was and still am feeding her every 3 hours but she wasn't satisfied. One night she wouldn't latch at all and we had to get formula.
    To see how much I was producing I pumped after baby had not fed for 3 hours- I got a total of 1oz! And then I was bone dry.
    I spoke with my LC and she put me on a 3 stage program to bring my supply up bc baby's weight was low at birth 5lbs 15oz- feed each side for 15 minutes, supplement with formula- however much baby wants and last step is to pump for 15 minutes with hospital grade pump which I rented the same day. This is to be repeated every 3 hours which I have done religiously because it need my supply to increase.
    I am also eating oatmeal everyday and taking Mothers Milk Plus every 7 hours. LC assured me my supply would go up by today- baby is still eating about 1-2oz of formula or whatever I managed to pump out of me. After she eats I can only get .25oz to .5oz total With the pump.
    She has very regular wet and dirty diapers- assuming with help from formula.
    Anything else I can do? I'm so discouraged about this whole situation because I really want to breastfeed successfully with her But I'm not ready to give up yet.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: low milk supply- 11 days old

    I'm a first time mom myself, with a baby girl whose birth weight was also 5 15 . . . She's ten weeks now and we supplement with formula as well, but not much. She doesn't like it and neither do I. There are definitely more experienced bf moms on this forum, and they will chime in soon, I'm sure. In the meantime . . .

    Why did they have you supplement with formula instead of pumped breastmilk? Can you reoffer the breast after? 15 minutes seems too short to me anyway, and I'm not understanding why go to bottles that soon and continue then unless she continues to refuse the breast. My baby refused the breast for two days and I pumped and gave her bottles until she latched again. In hindsight, I think she went on strike when my milk came in. That being said, you can wean her off formula from what I understand unless it's contraindicated. Nursing more helps.

    Which brings me to my next question: why only nurse every three hours? I was told at least every two hours at that age, and I often felt like she would eat then unlatch and be hungry again almost immediately (although probably not. I was, and am, tired and time goes so fast!) She ate closer to every hour and a half, sometimes more frequently and often cluster fed. Sometimes she still does, especially in the evenings. Which is all apparently normal. Babies have to eat frequently when they are tiny, and if they are small, possibly even more. I called my daughter a hungry little caterpillar for several weeks and I still think of her that way. I'm wondering if you nurse her more frequently if that will help.

    Can you see the lc in person or someone else? It helps to have them watch you nurse, and weigh baby before and after if you're wanting to know about your supply. I'm surprised she didn't suggest nursing more, as that is what builds supply the most. My understanding is that nursing, more than anything, builds supply. You can, however, take fenugreek as well for supply. Is that mothers milk plus? I'm not familiar with that.
    Last edited by @llli*dormir41; March 29th, 2015 at 01:05 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: low milk supply- 11 days old

    Hi Momma and congrats on your new baby! At 11 days old there's no reason to even consider giving up, so keep your head and spirits up! You've already met with an LC so you're making the right decisions already.

    Are you feeding every 3 hours because baby cues every 3 hours, or were you told to feed every 3 hours so that's just what you're doing? That seems fairly low frequency for such a young baby - at that age my LO and most I've heard of are nursing more like every 1.5-2 hours, not to mention when they're cluster feeding constantly. Are you unlatching at 15 minutes or does she unlatch on her own? Is baby super sleepy? Being swaddled or using a pacifier?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: low milk supply- 11 days old

    Hi and welcome! pps have good questions. I will add:

    1) please do not be discouraged. Even if you really have low milk production, which I am personally not convinced of at all based on your post, your baby is only 11 days old. IN terms of milk production, you have only just begun. This can be turned around.
    2) Pump output is really not a good measure of milk production. It can only tell you the MIMIMUM amount that is in the breast at the time you pump. Also, 1-2 ounces is a normal sized feeding at this age, so even if pump output did tell you anything accurate, getting one ounce is good news, not bad. Getting anything at all right after baby nurses is good news too. Also what a baby will take in a bottle is not a reflection of what a baby actually needs. Babies have a very hard time regulating intake from bottles and will often take more than they need, and, since they have a compelling need to suckle for long periods for comfort even when well fed, will take a bottle offered them even if they are not hungry at all.

    I don't know if this has been asked- Has baby been weighed since birth and how many times? What is current weight? When was this that you spoke to the LC and this feeding plan started? And how much formula/expressed milk is baby getting every day and how long has baby gotten bottles of formula/ebm?

    BTW 5 lbs 15 oz is small but not specifically "low birth weight." That is defined as 5 lbs 8 ounces or lower.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; March 29th, 2015 at 02:05 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: low milk supply- 11 days old

    Thank you for all the encouragement, ladies. I'm definitely not ready to give up!! I'll do my best to answer all the questions you asked.
    I feed her every 3 hours per LC 3 step plan as a minimum or whenever she is hungry. I only feed 15 minutes each side per LC because she doesn't want baby to burn calories trying to get milk if there is nothing to get.
    Before speaking with LC baby was getting about 2oz total a day of formula- I didn't have a pump to give breastmilk- I still supplement with formula bc I can't pump enough to supplement after feeding-she eats .5oz-2oz of formula after the 15 minutes at each breast.
    She was weighed last Friday @3 days old and weighed 5lbs7oz then again a week later and was 5lbs 12oz- we had been on LC's plan for two days at that point.
    We don't use a pacifier, she isn't swaddled while she eats and isn't sleepy when she eats at the breast.

    I have a question about cluster feedings- is this when she is feeding at the nipple for long periods of time- for an hour or more? feeds for ten minutes unlatches herself for a few minutes then starts rooting and sucking her fingers to feed more? This is when I'm worried about how much she is getting to eat- will she just suck even if there is nothing coming out? (I don't think there is anything coming out)

  6. #6

    Default Re: low milk supply- 11 days old

    Yes that is cluster feeding. Frequent nursing, sometimes incredibly frequent, over a clear period of time. Many experience it in the early/mid evenings. My DD clusterfed from 9pm-3am or thereabouts for 4 weeks solid from birth. She would nurse for 10 or 15 minutes, fall asleep for 10 or 15, then wake up hungry as a wolverine. I know for a fact she wasn't getting milk the whole time. But, what she WAS doing was signaling my body saying "Hellllloooo I'm here where's my food?" That remains the most challenging time of new mommyhood and we're already several months down the road from it. You will get thru it!

    If baby will take the breast more frequently, I would definitely offer more than every 3 hours. She may be hungry, just not demanding enough to cue strongly for it. Even if she's not getting a ton of milk at least she's sending those signals. Your LC may know what she's talking about, but personally I would be very suspect of someone suggesting I limit my baby's nursing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: low milk supply- 11 days old

    Well the good news is, baby is gaining! It might be a little on the slow side but not so bad.

    I hate to question your LC if you like this plan and feel it is helping. It just seems to me that there is a lot of intervention going on with a situation that sounds normal or near normal. Initial weight loss, Cluster feeding, frequent feedings, baby having a little trouble with latch, etc. are all very normal in the newborn time and do NOT necessarily mean you do not make enough for baby. I also worry about any plan that is started over the phone rather than after an in person consultation. If I understand correctly, there was not even a weight check done before adoption of the plan. (Aside from the day 3 check.) That concerns me. Sometimes- often, actually, when there is a problem with baby not getting enough, it has to do with baby unable to transfer efficiently, not low milk production, or not only low milk production. In that case, mom and baby must be helped to improve milk transfer. Anyone can tell you to give a slow gaining baby formula and to pump. You see an IBCLC to get help figuring out WHAT the underlying problem actually is and how to solve it.

    Baby may need supplements. Gain does seem a bit slow. But the idea that session length should be limited for this reason and by this much is questionable, in my opinion. Sometimes session length (or frequency) is limited when mom is put on a plan due to mom needing to find time to pump and supplement without going nuts. So a plan like this may be helpful for that reason. But that should be your call.

    She was weighed last Friday @3 days old and weighed 5lbs7oz then again a week later and was 5lbs 12oz- we had been on LC's plan for two days at that point. So in a week between day 3 and day 10(ish) baby gained five ounces. But you do not know how much of that was after this plan was started rather than before?
    Was baby pooping normally in frequency and size prior to the LC plan? Poop log: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf

    Also, try to be sure all future weight checks are on the same scale as the previous one, with baby naked or in dry diaper.

    This is a great article about what is normal and not in the early days with breastfeeding infant: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

  8. #8
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    Default Re: low milk supply- 11 days old

    Great advice from the PPs! Good luck mama, you can do this: and remember to offer, offer, offer all the time. When my sleepy DD2 was at that age we offered every 2 hours with three being the max during an overnight sleep.
    Am also concerned about the LC's suggestions as being too quick to supplement with formula. Also if you really need to pump, what kind of pump are you using? I first went with a single side battery-operated one from a mother and child store and it was beyond frustrating. My first day back at work made it clear this would never work without an investment in a dual electric pump with portable special medical-grade battery (Medela Freestyle, NAYY) and once using a quality double pump I got so much more milk. Just wanted to share the experience that the pump can make a big difference. It might be worth considering *hug*
    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

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