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Thread: Increase milk supply?

  1. #1

    Default Increase milk supply?

    I'm a brand new mom and really want to breastfeed my daughter. At three days old she had lost a whole pound from her birth weight so the pediatrician had me start supplementing with formula and a bottle. I think my milk was slow to come in, so by the time it came in, my daughter was rejecting nursing. Frustrated and tired, I gave in and did not try to nurse her for a whole week. Regretting that, I would now like to try to get her to nurse. She does not have trouble latching, but I think my body is having trouble expressing milk. I've been taking fenugreek and trying to pump to stimulate. It feels like I have milk, but when I pump or try to nurse only a few drops come. It's frustrating for both me and my daughter. Since nothing comes, she doesn't stay latched long and cries. Should I just give up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Increase milk supply?

    Hi Sarah. Can you tell us how old baby is now and how weight gain is going now? Have you been pumping or hand expressing your milk while baby has been supplemented? And how is baby supplemented?
    but I think my body is having trouble expressing milk.
    So you mean you think you are producing milk, but the milk does not "let down" or eject from the breasts?
    For this specific issue, I suggest a couple things. Milk ejection involves the hormone oxytocin. The release and effect of this hormone may be reduced if mom is very stressed or in pain. So do what you can to relax when pumping and nursing- get in a comfortable position, do some deep breathing, visualizing, etc. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the happiness hormone. Stroking and snuggling your baby lots may also help. Keeping baby in your arms, snuggled on your chest, in a relaxed position, both of you either "skin to skin" or lightly dressed can help relax and bring happiness/calm to both of you.
    Also it is possible your pump is not working correctly or the flanges are not the right size. This happens more than you would think. So I suggest, trouble shoot your pump, and/or try a different pump.
    Additionally, try hand expressing. This works better than pumps some of the time and for some moms.
    If baby gets frustrated waiting for milk to flow, try hand expressing a little milk before latching, and/or dribble some milk or formula onto your nipple to give baby an "instant reward." You can also try giving baby a very small amount of supplement in a syringe or bottle to calm baby and then offer the breast.
    It is very important for your milk production to express milk out of the breasts frequently. Try not to worry so much about how much comes out, just pump, hand express and/or nurse as frequently as you can.

    I am really sorry your child's pediatrician did not give you more breastfeeding supportive help, or refer you to a lactation consultant. I actually think it highly unlikely your baby lost an entire pound in such a short amount of time. I suspect there was a scale error as is very common when comparing birth weight to the next few weight checks. In any case, proper care would have included breastfeeding assistance to help you figure out what was going wrong.

    Can you see an IBCLC (board certified lactation consultant)? How about local breastfeeding assistance from LLL? In person assistance can be very valuable.

    I see no reason you should 'give up' based on what you have written. Most of the time, breastfeeding issues can be solved. Your baby is attempting to nurse and you feel as if your body is making some milk. These are all indications this is an issue that can be solved.

    hand expression http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...expression.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 29th, 2015 at 09:42 PM.

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