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Thread: Low supply...8 months in

  1. #1

    Default Low supply...8 months in

    Hello,

    I'm a first time poster...so please bear with me! I have been having supply issues since my period returned at 6 months pp. My little guy is 8 months old now, and I am struggling to keep up with his appetite. Especially in the evening. In this last month he had lost a little weight...which is why I'm worried!

    Solids help a little, but I've been having to pull 4-8 oz from my rapidly diminishing freezer stash every day. He is breastfed when with me, and bottle fed when I'm at work (8 bottles per week). I feed on a loose schedule during the day and on demand at night (he varies day to day how often he wakes at night). At this pace I'll be out of BM to supplement with very soon.

    I've been trying more frequent nursing, more frequent pumping, motherlove more milk plus, moringa supplements, not sleeping on my stomach, and changing pump parts (although supply seems low when nursing, as well as, pumping). I eat well and drink plenty of water. Oatmeal and Brewers yeast hasn't ever worked for me.

    Finally I went back to the lactation consultant who told me to supplement with formula

    Anyone have any tips? Just trying to make it through this first year!!

    Many thank yous in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Low supply...8 months in

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on making it to 8 months of nursing and pumping! That's a huge achievement!

    I have some questions for you- hopefully they will point to a fix for your issue.

    - How long are you at work, and how many oz does baby take while he is at daycare?
    - What sort of pump are you using?
    - Have you tried changing shield sizes for the pump?
    - Has proper weigh-in procedure always been followed for the baby (baby weighed in the nude, always on the same scale)?
    - Can you post a complete weight history for the baby? (Birth weight, lowest weight, weight at each checkup)
    - Has baby been sick at all over the last few months?
    - How often are you nursing (on average)?
    - How often are you pumping (on average)?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Low supply...8 months in

    - I work 8 hour shifts, pumping 2 times per shift (most days...I'm a nurse, so every once in a while I'm only ale to get away for 1 pump session).
    - He was taking 2 4oz bottles, but lactation np advised I bump that up to 5 or 6oz. Which we did. LO will drink whatever we give him.
    - I usually use the Medela PIS, and occasionally use the hospital grade pump when I'm at work. I pump both breasts at once and always massage and compress.
    - No I haven't changed shield sizes, but I think I'm ok there.
    - Weigh in procedure was good, although I can't speak to whether it's the same scale. And LO hasn't lost much, just 1/2 lb. But he should be gaining?! Right?!
    - birth weight 6lbs 12 oz, weight in November 18lbs 8iz, weight 1.5 weeks ago 18lbs 3oz. (I don't have the ones in between on hand, but he's pretty solidly followed the growth curve at the 50th percentile).
    - He is recovering from his first ever cold. Appetite good throughout though!
    - On days I'm home with LO, I nurse 5-6 times (that includes 1 or 2 night sessions). On work days I nurse 3-4 times and give 2 bottles...actually make that 3 bottles. This last few days we've added a 2oz bottle at bedtime AFTER nursing if he still seems hungry.
    - I pump every time I give a bottle. So on work days I pump 2 times. On days at home I may not pump at all. Although I have started adding post nursing pump sessions....hoping to kick up my supply. Only been doing this for 3 days though. No increase.

    Thank you so so much for any input!!!
    Last edited by @llli*bhkadams; December 28th, 2015 at 11:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Low supply...8 months in

    Thanks for answering those questions! Your answers definitely point to a variety of avenues for getting increased supply.

    First, you could pump more at work. But I know that is extremely difficult for you, considering your job- it's always the teachers and nurses who are least likely to get sufficient pump opportunities built into their day. So if pumping more at work isn't possible, you could always pump more at home, after you nurse the baby, or after he goes to bed. It's really common for moms to need to do that, though few people talk about it- everyone seems to think that moms should be able to get all the milk they need during the workday. Craziness.

    Second, I'd love to see you rehab your pump, because they do wear down after months of frequent use. Replace the replaceable parts, talk to the company about rehabbing the motor. Use the hospital-grade pump whenever possible.

    Third, I would want to experiment with a different shield size. Shields are just a few $$ and you never know- maybe you now need a smaller size or something. I see it as an experiment that is worth a try.

    Fourth, take a moment to think about your own health and your contraception choices. Have you had a recent check-up? Are you (perhaps unexpectedly) pregnant? Are you using a form of hormonal contraception which is having a negative impact on supply? (This last would include supposedly "breastfeeding-friendly" hormonal contraceptives like Mirena- some moms have a negative reaction to them even though it's not listed as a potential side-effect.)

    Fifth, and probably most importantly, I would want to nurse a lot more often. 5-6 nursing sessions per day at 8 months is on the low end for frequency. I would want to aim for at least 8 nursing sessions per day, and cram in a few more if possible. It's common for busy, distractible pre-toddlers to forget to nurse as much as they should, in which case mom may need to remind them.

    Sixth, I would want to change the way bottles are given at daycare. Sounds like baby is getting infrequent large bottles, but when a baby nurses, he is going to take frequent, small amounts. I'd want to try having him get the same amount of milk, but have it given in more frequent, smaller amounts- just to help train him to expect to eat more frequently. I'm not clear based on your post how much milk you are leaving for your separation- is it in excess of the 1.5 oz per hour standard?

    Seventh, I would want to make sure that baby gets his health checked. I would particularly be interested in iron and lead levels, which are often done routinely around this age but often not- it depends on the pediatrician. And I would want to give him a vitamin supplement, just to cover all my bases!

    Eighth and finally, I would not worry too much about the weight loss. My guess is that either there was a measurement error, or that the baby's recent cold is to blame. Just keep an eye on it. If more nursing doesn't improve things, then it might be time to talk to the doctor about what could be going on.

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