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Thread: 5 Day Old - No Milk Yet & Latching Problems

  1. #1

    Default 5 Day Old - No Milk Yet & Latching Problems

    Hi There,

    I'm a first time mother and we're getting somewhat desperate and was hoping for any tips and advice that you could offer. I'm 5 days in and while my breasts are clearly heavier, I'm still only producing colostrum and afraid that the baby's not getting enough nourishment. The other significant challenge is that while I can initially get him onto a deep latch he will detach and start crying...even though he's clearly hungry. Lastly, I have blister ridges on both nipples which are painful - he's sucking readily but seems to prefer a shallow latch.

    Two questions: Is there anything I can do to expedite milk production? And how do I keep him latched on once we establish a good initial latch?

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated - thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,845

    Default Re: 5 Day Old - No Milk Yet & Latching Problems

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! I have a lot of questions for you- I hate answering questions with questions but if you can give us some more guidance we'll be able to help you better.

    1. Has anything changed since you posted?
    2. Was baby born at term?
    3. How was your birth? Was this an uncomplicated vaginal birth, a complicated vaginal birth, or a c-section? Did you have a large volume blood loss, long duration of intravenous fluids, or any sort of issue with the delivery of the placenta? Did you have any sort of health issue before or after the baby's birth?
    4. What have you been seeing in baby's diapers? If you have a record of pee and poop output, please post it!
    5. Was baby separated from you while you were in the hospital, or did you room in together? (Disregard this question if you had a home birth, obviously!)
    6. Has baby received any of the following: pacifier, bottles of colostrum, expressed milk, or formula. And if so, how often does the baby get a pacifier, and how many bottles per day has he been getting?
    7. Has baby been checked for tongue and lip ties?
    8. Is the baby very sleepy?
    9. Is the baby jaundiced at all?

    By day 5 we want to see a mom starting to produce a larger volume of milk, so if you still don't see milk by the end of today, I think you need to call your doctor or midwife and see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. I would actually call the IBCLC now, and see if you can get an ASAP appointment. The ridged appearance to your nipples and the severe pain you describe makes me think that there is some sort of latch problem, and those are issues that respond best to in-person help. If a visit with the IBCLC is expensive, remember that it is going to be way cheaper than a year's supply of formula. Also, many IBCLCs will help you for free or for a reduced or spread-out fee- usually all you need to do is to ask.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 5 Day Old - No Milk Yet & Latching Problems

    Thanks so much for the detailed response!

    So visited our pediatrician and update is that we've borrowed some breast milk from a close friend to give us a little time, but he has lost about 12% of his body weight. We're seeing a lactation consultant this afternoon, and in the meantime I'm still feeding him on one breast that isn't as painful, and pumping every three hours to build up my reserves. Only outputting about 1/4 ounce out of both breasts combined on a 15 minute pump.

    1) Baby was born at term, fairly fast and uncomplicated vaginal birth (7 total hours)...no issues at all with health of baby or mother. No separation at hospital, roomed together, skin to skin immediately, etc.
    2) Baby only outputting 2-3 wet diapers per day, and 1 poop in last 48 hours (black, similar to newborn consistency).
    3) Baby's checked for tongue/lip ties - no issues. Baby is not sleeping that well, but clearly because he's very hungry.
    4) Baby is getting slightly more Jaundiced each day, and has elevated bilirubin levels...doctor not worried yet, and feels that feeding will get him better.

    The only thing we did do was give him an newborn pacifier which we're regretting in first couple days (told by nurses that it wouldn't impact his latch). Hasn't gotten any other food.

    So - right now he's so much happier because we've finally been able to give him a full feeding...sleeping well and "on the mend." My main concern is that I'm not going to be able to source enough milk for him. Do some women just not produce enough, or is it just going to take more time? Any tips to increase my milk supply while we work on his latch?

    Thanks for your thoughtful response - it's means the world!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,845

    Default Re: 5 Day Old - No Milk Yet & Latching Problems

    How did the visit with the LC go? Did she have some insights for you?

    You asked if some women just don't produce enough, and the answer is yes. Damage to the breast, hormonal issues, and a lack of glandular tissue can sometimes cause moms to be unable to produce sufficient milk to feed their babies. However, the vast majority of low supply can be traced to issues with breastfeeding management. Milk supply is created and maintained by demand. That is, the more often milk is removed from the breast, and the more thoroughly the breast is drained, the more milk it will make. So most cases of low supply are caused by things like not nursing often enough, or having a baby who is unable to nurse well.

    In your case, the pain you are having and the shallow latch suggest that your current problem is that the baby has not been doing a great job of removing milk from the breast.

    Tips to increase milk supply while you work on getting the baby's latch to improve:
    - Pump in addition to nursing. If baby is clearly unable to get enough milk from nursing, you are going to need to supplement him, and the best way to do that is by pumping out your own milk for him.
    - Use a good quality double electric pump with properly sized shields.
    - If bottle-feeding is necessary, check out YouTube videos on paced feeding. We all think we know how to bottlefeed a baby, but it really is more complicated than it looks!
    - Try herbal remedies for increasing supply: oatmeal, blessed thistle, and fenugreek are all commonly used. They can provide a nice, generally small boost, but will not do you as much good as more pumping.
    - Take away the pacifier- you want baby to spend as much time nursing as possible, unless nursing is too painful to bear.
    - Make sure your health is okay. Slower-than-normal onset of milk production is generally a problem caused by baby not nursing enough or not nursing effectively. But in some cases there are barriers to milk production, like retained placenta fragments, hormonal issues, using the wrong contraceptive...

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