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Thread: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Rochester PA
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    Default Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    My daughter is 7 weeks old and I have been breastfeeding her, pumping and I still have to supplement with formula due to her weight. Her doctor told me to add formula to her diet to help her gain weight. I did so only as the best thing for her. Now my milk supply sucks. I have tried everything I can think of and everything I have read. I went to a specialist they told me to power pump. I currently power pump 4 times a day during the weekend. I pump every two hours at work during the week. I feed my daughter from the breast at home. I feel as if I am failing at doing the womanly thing. I want my daughter to be on strictly breast milk so I can get that horrid formula out of my house. I will list everything I have tried below if anyone has some hints that would be so greatly appreciated.
    • Fenugreek
    • Blessed Thistle
    • Power Pumping
    • Changing Membranes in Pump
    • Skin to Skin
    • Breast Massage
    • Drinking More Water
    • Drinking a Dark Beer


    Please offer some help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,911

    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    Welcome to the forum!

    You provided some great information, but it would help to have some more. So I'm going to answer your questions with more questions- sorry about that!

    1. Can you provide a complete weight history for your baby, including birth weight, lowest known weight, and weight at each checkup? It would also help if you could indicate when you started using formula- that way we'll be able to see if formula really changed the baby's weight gain.

    2. Are you nursing on demand, or on a schedule? Did you ever do scheduled feedings?

    3. How does nursing feel?

    4. Was there anything in the baby's birth that was unusual? Did you happen to have a c-section, a lot of blood loss, did baby spend any time in the NICU?

    5. Was there anything unusual in your early breastfeeding experience, for example: jaundice, very sore or cracked nipples, baby being very sleepy or falling asleep at the breast, baby getting a pacifier very early on?

    6. At this point, how many times per 24 hour period does the baby nurse?

    7. How many times are you pumping, and how does pumping feel?

    8. How much formula are you using in a 24 hour period?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    1. Weight history
    Birth 12/8/15 6lbs 15oz
    12/11/15 6lbs 3oz
    12/12/15 6lbs 8oz-Started Formula
    1/3/16 7lbs 11oz
    1/8/16 7lbs 6oz
    1/18/16 8lbs 3oz
    1/22/16 9lbs 2oz

    2. Are you nursing on demand, or on a schedule? Did you ever do scheduled feedings?

    We did feedings on demand

    3. How does nursing feel?
    It felt fine... But after we visited the specialist we found out she was not actually swallowing... She was just sucking. We are doing switch nursing to keep her more interested in eating and not playing at the breast.

    4. Was there anything in the baby's birth that was unusual? Did you happen to have a c-section, a lot of blood loss, did baby spend any time in the NICU?
    Nothing bad. I did have to be induced because my contractions did not help me dilate in a proper time table.

    5. Was there anything unusual in your early breastfeeding experience, for example: jaundice, very sore or cracked nipples, baby being very sleepy or falling asleep at the breast, baby getting a pacifier very early on?

    She did get a pacifier early on.

    6. At this point, how many times per 24 hour period does the baby nurse?

    She nurses 4 times but ends up needing a formula bottle after. She also drinks from a bottle while I am at work.

    7. How many times are you pumping, and how does pumping feel?

    I pump about 5 to 7 times a day depend on how busy I get. Pumping is fine. I do feel like I am not emptying quiet as effectively as I should be. I do the breast compression and massage to help as I pump.

    8. How much formula are you using in a 24 hour period?

    I would say at least 20oz of formula

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    Lots of mothers combo feed. My sister in laws gave formula and breastfed. You are doing all the recommended things to increase your milk supply. I think that it is perfectly fine to continue to safe guard your baby's health by making sure she gets enough calories every day. 20 ounces of formula per day combined with nursing her at home she should continue to gain weight every week.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    How much breastmilk do you express per session? 2 ounces per side/every 2 hours is a good amount. Are you producing that?
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    I am producing about 2 ounces some times 1.5 ounces for both sides.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    Thanks for posting that additional information!

    The first thing that jumps out at me is that there seems to be something fishy happening between birth and the 3rd weigh-in. Initial weight loss was at the high end- a little more than 10% of birthweight, if I did my math right. And that does pull the trigger on demands to supplement a baby. However, between day 3 and day 4, the baby seems to gain 5 oz. 5 oz in one day, when good gain is around 1 oz per day! So my guess is that somewhere along the line, your baby's weight was mismeasured- and this may have triggered an inappropriate demand that you supplement with formula. For the future, I suggest being VERY careful about how weights are taken, which should be in the nude, and always on the same scale. I encourage you to keep a record of the weights yourself- sometimes a doc or nurse will accidentally enter the wrong number on the chart and that can create all kinds of havoc.

    I'm very glad you went to see a specialist. Was this person a LC, an IBCLC, or something else? Did she do a weighed feed? Anything else interesting happen at that visit? Did she happen to suggest renting a scale for home use? By doing your own weighed feeds, you can get a very accurate sense of how much a baby takes in while she is at the breast. Using a scale can help a mom who suspects that her baby's intake at the breast is low, because it can tell you the difference between a feed that was sufficient, and one that wasn't and requires a top-off from the bottle.

    What sort of pump are you using? If you are getting 3 oz total when you pump, that is good output. It would be great if we could know if the baby gets that when she nurses- if she does, there's no need for formula top-offs. However, the large amount of formula you are using at this point suggests that you're going to need to slowly wean yourself away from using it, instead of going right to exclusive breastfeeding.

    How much are you putting in the top-off bottles?

    (Sorry to belabor you with questions- I just don't want to screw up because I forgot to ask something important!)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    I believe she was an IBCLC. She did do a weighed feed and we found she had an ounce of milk. She said everything was fine other than the fact she was sucking and not swallowing. She said I had a great latch and great modified football hold. She told me to power pump. I did that. I called them back and they wanted to do an SNS with me.
    As far as pumping I get 2.5 to 3 ounces my first pump of the day at 10 am. I feed the baby at 7 am. I pump again at noon and get about 1 ounce and at 2 I pump 1 ounce. I feed as soon as I get home at 5. Then pump at 7 and get 1 ounce. Then pump at 9 and get 1 ounce. She eats from a bottle while Im at work about 3 ounces a feeding. In top off bottles I put 2 ounces. But if I am completely taped out of milk and she is screaming I give her a 4 ounce bottle. She sleeps fully through the night and I do not wake her to feed. I use a Medela Pump in Style. I am thinking about renting a hospital grade pump because i still am feeling a firmness in my left breast after pumping.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bloomingblair View Post
    She did do a weighed feed and we found she had an ounce of milk. She said everything was fine other than the fact she was sucking and not swallowing.
    This is such a frustrating piece of information! A single feeding might be significantly better or worse than average. That's why I suggest trying out a scale at home, and doing your own weighed feeds. So call the LC back and ask if you can rent a scale.

    She said I had a great latch and great modified football hold. She told me to power pump. I did that. I called them back and they wanted to do an SNS with me.
    What is your feeling about those suggestions? Power pumping is, IMO, a good idea. A SNS may also be helpful, but they can be a bit tricky to use.

    As far as pumping I get 2.5 to 3 ounces my first pump of the day at 10 am. I feed the baby at 7 am. I pump again at noon and get about 1 ounce and at 2 I pump 1 ounce. I feed as soon as I get home at 5. Then pump at 7 and get 1 ounce. Then pump at 9 and get 1 ounce. She eats from a bottle while Im at work about 3 ounces a feeding. In top off bottles I put 2 ounces. But if I am completely taped out of milk and she is screaming I give her a 4 ounce bottle. She sleeps fully through the night and I do not wake her to feed. I use a Medela Pump in Style. I am thinking about renting a hospital grade pump because i still am feeling a firmness in my left breast after pumping.
    So, let me see if I have your routine down right:
    - your baby sleeps through the night
    - nurse at 7 am
    - pump at 10 am, getting around 2.5-3 oz of milk
    - pump at 12 pm, getting 1 oz of milk
    - pump at 2 pm, getting 1 oz of milk
    - nurse at 5 pm
    - pump at 9 pm, getting 1 oz of milk
    - baby gets post-nursing top-offs of 2 oz, sometimes 4 oz when she seems extra hungry

    Questions for you
    - Are there any other nursing sessions in the mix between 5 pm and bedtime?
    - When you say baby sleeps through the night, do you mean she sleeps a single 5 hour stretch, followed by more frequent night waking, or do you mean that she sleeps an 8-12 hour stretch?
    - Would you be willing to wake the baby in the night to nurse her? I know sleep is nice, particularly for a working mom. But she's only 7 weeks old, and if she's sleeping more than 5 hours at a time she is missing out on a lot of nursing opportunities, which would help your supply, give her more nighttime calories leading to less need for them during the day and hence less pressure on you to pump, and also make sure that she gets checked on more frequently at night. As one of our smart working moms once put it, night-nursing can be a working mom's best friend, in terms of maintaining milk supply and the nursing relationship.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Poorly Producing!! I have tried everything

    She sleeps about 7 hours a night. I wouldn't mind waking to nurse her. The only issues is we both fall alseep as she is doing this. I did it in the beginning and woke in a panic because I thought I could have killed her. She sometimes nurses between 5pm and bed time. She Nurses before bed then has a top off bottle. I don't mind power pumping. I really don't like the SNS. I feel like it will not work for me. I did set up the appointment I just fear I am going to spend the money on the SNS and the appointment with them when I could have issued the money to rent a hospital grade pump that will work better. As far as a scale at home I do have just a normal scale electronic scale that may work just as well.


    I also just pumped and got about 1.5 ounces.
    Last edited by @llli*bloomingblair; January 27th, 2016 at 10:12 AM.

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