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Thread: Milk Production and Other BF Issues

  1. #1

    Default Milk Production and Other BF Issues

    After an induction and an emergency c-section, I have had several issues with BF esp milk production. I've seen 5 different lactation consultants to no avail. I've been BF, then pumping then supplementing with formula (since he had jaundice and was losing weight rapidly). The pumping has been done with hospital grade pump. I've been taking fenugreek (Mother's Milk), eating oatmeal, and any other natural foods with fenugreek in it. I've tried looking at my baby while pumping, I've listened to calming music, tried warm compresses. I drink lots of water before and during pumping. Letdown hasn't been a problem at all, but I can't seem to get much milk out. The baby was tongue tied when born so we had his frenulum cut and have had to use a nipple shield per lactation consultant. Now he can't wean off of it. But that's another problem. I've gotten pretty good with getting him to latch with the nipple shield. After going at it for a month, I was finally up to about 20ml per feeding (measured during lactation appt) and up to 100ml max of pumped milk for the whole day. But at 7 weeks, the baby wouldn't really BF and I noticed barely any swallowing and no milk in the nipple shield - just saliva. So I just pumped for the entire day - every 3 hours and I got 30 ml for the entire day. The first pump, I was able to get 10ml and then the rest was 5ml if I was lucky. Essentially it would barely cover the bottom of the bottle. He also seem to need more and more formula.

    My breast never changed size during pregnancy, and I'm wondering if I am unable to produce milk. Or is there something I can do more to make this happen? For two months, I have BF, pumped, self expressed, formula fed every 2-3 hours. I am exhausted and want to give up after seeing all my efforts result in 30ml for an entire day, and the baby also seems to have given up. What more can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Milk Production and Other BF Issues

    Hi gc123. I am so sorry you have had such a rough go of it. Is this your first baby?
    When a mom says she has seen 5 lactation consultants to no avail, I have to wonder what is going on. At the very least someone should have been able to help figure out what might be going on and give you a workable plan for dealing with it. This does not always mean the problem will be solved to the point you can exclusively nurse your baby, after all, in rare circumstances, that is truly not possible. But certainly you should be getting direction in how to increase your milk production and get baby nursing better. Breastfeeding does not have to be all or nothing, and there are many ways to approach a situation like this in a way that makes more sense for you.

    When did you see these LCs? were these IBCLCs, and did you have private consults lasting at least an 60-90 minutes? Did they take a history from you about your physical development, any issues with fertility, etc? Did they look closely at your breasts and at baby's oral anatomy? Did they watch baby latch and nurse, do before and after nursing weight checks? Did they observe you pumping and confirm that your pump fits you correctly and is working correctly? And if so, what do they suspect is the issue and what plans have they given you for approaching the suspected issues? Have they taught you how to hand express and do breast compressions, how to help baby get the best latch possible, discuss using a lactation aid, etc? If the plan they gave you was not working, did you have a way to follow up to have your plan tweaked?

    If your milk production is not enough for baby, there is a reason. If a baby cannot latch and nurse normally, there is a reason. What the reasons may be may not ever be known for sure, but an IBCLC should be able to make at the very least an educated guess and give you an explanation and a plan for approaching the issue.

    Have you read the book Making More Milk? This would be the resource I would recommend for self help.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; January 13th, 2016 at 01:33 PM.

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