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Thread: Supply Not Keeping Up with Her Demand....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Cadiz, KY, USA

    Default Supply Not Keeping Up with Her Demand....

    My daughter is 4 weeks old, born by emergency c-section at 36 weeks and 5 days. We couldn't nurse or even give breastmilk for her first 5 days of life, when she was in the NICU on sugar water basically. Then I was pumping and it was given to her through an OG tube. I tried to nurse when we could but, though I was told she had a good latch, it hurt REALLY bad on one side no matter what I tried. It became too stressful on me and I would dread feeding her, so I decided to exclusively pump and give it to her in a bottle.

    Well now she eats every 3 hours during the day and every 5-6 hours at night, 3 oz each feeding. Soon she'll take more than that or go through a growth spurt. I pump every 2 hours during the day and every time she feeds at night, and I get maybe an ounce and a half each time, sometimes less. Yesterday she ate a total of 18oz and I only pumped 16. When we came home I had a huge stash in the freezer from pumping at the hospital but since she's been eating more it has severely dwindled and at the moment I am only 4 feeds ahead of her. To try and build up more and get farther ahead of her, I began giving her a bottle or two a day of formula, and breastmilk the rest of the times. This makes me feel like a failure but I just don't know what to do anymore.

    I have tried/am currently trying:

    1. I have a powerpoint of pictures and videos of her

    2. I take fenugreek (3660mg a day)
    take my prenatal

    3. I drink a gallon or more of water a day and eat plenty

    4. I tried guided relaxation for breastfeeding but it made me feel silly instead of relaxed.

    5. I try to watch tv while I pump so I won't bottle watch and the time will go by faster.

    6. I power pump once a day, and make sure that the milk stops flowing before I stop pumping every time

    7. My breasts feel soft after pumping, but if I squeeze them there is a place usually deep and under my nipple, that still feels kind of hard. I try to massage this area while pumping, and I use warm compresses right before I pump.

    8. I have a new flange size on the way in case thats the issue - my nipple doesn't stay centered in the flange when I pump and some of the areola gets sucked in too, but not so much that I think the smaller size will work better.

    9. I clean my parts after every use and sterilize every night.

    So you see, I'm at a loss of what else I can try to get my supply up - I worry that soon she will be on formula completely because I just can't keep up with her. I know breast milk is best and some is better than none, but I am so afraid that I'm losing my supply! Is there any advice you can give me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Supply Not Keeping Up with Her Demand....

    Hi it looks like you post was missed. So sorry about that.

    Since your post is a few days old, and often things change quickly in the early weeks, I wonder how things are going now?

    Your baby was only slightly premature. Were there other health issues that led to baby being hospitalized and not allowed breastmilk? How is baby's health now? How is your recovery going? Any health issues?

    Are you intending to try to have baby nurse at the breast at some point? What are your thoughts about that at this point?

    Have you been able to see a board certified lactation consultant? (IBCLC) If you have seen one, how did that go?

    I do not see in your post how many times in 24 hours you are trying to pump? Generally in the first several week or if mom's production is low, it is suggested that 8 times in 24 hours is the minimum to shoot for. This does not mean you have to pump every such and such hours, however. You can cluster pump part of the day so that you can get a slightly longer stretch of sleep at night, many moms find that having a goal of pumping X times in 24 hours rather than pumping every such and such hours actually increases the amount of times they can pump.

    Many moms find that adding hand expression and/or breast massage or breast compressions to their pump routine helps with pump output.

    Also what kind of pump do you have? If a mom is exclusively pumping or pumping to increase production, a hospital grade rented pump is the typical recommendation.

    You are clearly working very hard, and I think it might help you to get some practical tips for how to fit pumping into your life. For example I do not know that you have to wash all your pump parts after every use, but that migfht depend on how fragile your baby's health is at this point. The book Making More Milk explains milk production, how to increase it, and gives many excellent tips about pumping in the real world. I recommended this book highly.

    More info: pumping: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...insupply-pump/ and http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/pumping_decrease/

    Encouraging non-latching baby to nurse: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

    Lactation aid for supplementing/encouraging baby to nurse- all at the same time: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-LA and http://cwgenna.com/smartnothard.html

    What to expect at lactation consult: http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

    Also, and I really mean this- it does you and your baby not one bit of good to feel like a failure for circumstances that were or are out of your control. You do what you can. That is all any parent can do. What your child needs more than anything else is your love. Everything else is gravy.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 25th, 2016 at 05:17 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Supply Not Keeping Up with Her Demand....

    You situation sounds very like mine - at times I struggled to keep up, then a few days later I would have more than enough. My baby was born at 34 weeks, and I have been EPing for 8 months. If you are still pumping, have you tried using a little olive oil inside the flanges? It reduces friction on your skin and I found it almost doubled my production (and won't harm your baby). An electric pump is also needed, but don't think you have to hire a hospital one - the Spectra Baby 9 Plus is as good as the Medela hospital ones, portable too - and MUCH cheaper. The advice above about "all your child needs is your love" is entirely true, and the main thing to keep in mind!

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