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Thread: Milk production almost gone, is it possible to save milk?

  1. #1

    Default Milk production almost gone, is it possible to save milk?

    My son is almost 2 weeks old, he was born 2 weeks earlier and was unable to properly nurse, too sleepy. I tried all the tricks to wake him up for feeding, which did not work. He ended up loosing 13% of his birth weight and pediatrician recommended to supplement. At this point I can only pump for 2 feedings a day the rest is formula. Still trying to nurse him, but the breast feels empty and he falls asleep right away. I also developed mastitis on day 3 and had to take antibiotics. I was trying to pump every 3 hours a day and nurse him all night, but the milk production did not seem to increase. Is there any chance to turn breastfeeding around at this point? Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Milk production almost gone, is it possible to save milk

    Yes it is definitely possible to turn breastfeeding around at this point.

    My first suggestion is to see an Board Certified Lactation Consultant to have breastfeeding assessed. If you already saw someone, see someone else or the same person again. Sleepiness is not an adequate explanation for such dramatic weight loss. I wonder if either 1) There was scale error and in fact baby did not lose that much weight or 2) There is more going on that will need to be addressed. Also an IBCLC can help you tweak your plan for increasing your milk so it fits you and your baby. Additionally, mastitis at day three suggests baby was having difficulty extracting milk normally. So an IBCLC can help you figure out if that is still a problem. Also, she can help you monitor weaning baby safely off the formula supplements.

    Meanwhile, the way to tell your body to make milk when the body is not producing enough is to remove milk from the breasts frequently and effectively. Frequently means 8-12 times in 24 hours. Effectively means that it is important that both breasts have the milk in them removed well each time. Not "drained" necessarily, but most of the milk taken out.

    There are three ways to remove milk from the breast. Baby nursing, pumping, and hand expression. So these three can be used in any combination that works for you, although most plans follow a pattern of 1) Nurse 2) Pump 3) Hand express (if needed) Again it is not imperative it be done in this order every time, and some moms find hand expressing before or instead of pumping works better, some moms find it helps to have some sessions be just nursing, etc. I do think it makes the most sense most of the time to have baby nurse as much as possible, with the pumping and hand expression happening as well as a normal nursing frequency of at least 10 times in 24 hours.

    Many moms find pumping on an every such and such hour schedule difficult, and prefer to set a number of times to aim for each day instead. Babies do not nurse on hourly schedules so there is no need to pump on one either. I would suggest try to take one 4-6 hour break of no pumping each day so you can try to get more sleep. This will mean encouraging baby to nurse more often than every three hours and possibly pumping more often than every three hours the rest of the day. If baby wants to nurse during that sleep time, perhaps baby can be brought to you and you can nurse sidelying. Or, if you really need the sleep, have someone else give baby the bottle at that time if baby is being supplemented anyway.

    Pumps matter. A rented hospital grade pump is usually the best for this type of situation, and it has to fit properly. What kind of pump do you use?

    Any bottles should be given using paced bottle feeding technique. A baby this age can be easily supplemented with an alternative to bottles (cup, spoon, syringe) since meals are (or should be, normally) small- 2 ounces at most. Another option that is very helpful is to use a lactation aid for supplementing while nursing.

    See more info: lactation aid http://cwgenna.com/smartnothard.html

    and What happens at an apt with an IBCLC http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

    Also I highly suggest the book Making More Milk.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 21st, 2015 at 10:03 AM.

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