My dd is just over 13 weeks and we've been struggling with milk supply ever since we've started exclusive breastfeeding at 3 weeks. Every two to three weeks or so I have a dramatic drop in supply, where I feel like it's almost dried up, and then I add yet another galagtogogue - to the point that now I'm taking almost everything under the sun at the same time. However, yet again, sure enough, another drop. Almost making me wonder if it's worth taking them at all.
Anyway, please help because I MUST breastfeed exclusively. My dd is allergic to dairy, so I control her intake through my diet. We also live in West Africa. I was posted here for work, and there's no LLL here, or any meetings to be had.
So here's the data:
--baby's been gaining constantly around 25-27 grams a day (with a lot of effort from mom) though she's just under the 50th percentile, as we lost more than 10 percent at birth
--She eats very often still, even at 3 months, sometimes every half hour, sometimes every 2 hours if I'm lucky, during the day. At night she dream-feeds every one and a half to 2 hours. When I had full breasts at night and no issue with supply she would even go for 3 hours on lucky nights though she would only take one breast.
--I've been trying to give her bottle when she sometimes wants to feed straight after I pump, but she's refusing bottles (she took them up to 3 weeks because I was supplementing with formula from birth due to a complication which saw me in ICU for a few days).
--Baby's not take bottle easily, which makes me scared to pump, because I don't know when she's going to want to feed next. I try to power pump once in the evening, but that's pretty much all the pumping action I see these days. I know you can increase supply by pumping, but I feel I can't pump because her feeding schedule is so erratic.
--The times when she took a bottle (expressed milk), even when she was ravenous, the most she would take in one sitting is 70 ml, making me wonder if she has a small stomach, given that the norm is twice as much. I don't think she's ever had 150 in one sitting.
--I think my dip in supply could be related with the lack of pumping at night, when my breasts became engorged, but she would only take one at a time, meaning the other would go for 6 hours without emptying. Even when she ate, she wouldn't empty them completely.
--as I mentioned, I've tried all supplements under the sun. I'm now taking fenugreek by the buket load, domperidone, lactation biscuits with brewer's yeast, fennel tea, alcohol-free beer (3 or 4 a day - I don't even like beer). I also have a big supply of blessed thistle but every time I take it with fenugreek it seems like my supply is getting even lower. Can blessed thistle have the opposite effect?
Anyway, I enjoy breastfeeding enormously, and have to do it exclusively because of her dairy allergy, so please help me continue the journey. At the moment I get really stressed out before every feed wondering if I will have enough milk to take the edge off her hunger. I haven't seen her milk-drunk in a week. I even weighed her before and after a feed and it was 30 grams difference - which is way too little for a meal. sure enough, 10 minutes later she wanted to feed again. My supply was absolutely fine 5 days ago, and now I barely scrape by, with empty breasts at every meal, they don't seem to 'fill up' despite her nursing so often. We don't have a latching problem, she enjoys breastfeeding.. I don't know what to do anymore.
thank you all