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Thread: Low milk supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Question Low milk supply

    I have a 9 day old baby girl Tegan. She came two weeks early, and there were no complications during delivery. After delivery, while in the hospital a nurse had observed Tegan while feeding, and noted that she latched on very well, and seemed to be nursing just fine. A lactation specialist also stopped by, and said that everything seemed to be going OK.

    The very night we were discharged from the hospital, Tegan would not sleep through the night for more than an hour at a time. Each time she was being breast fed, my husband and I thought that everything was OK and that perhaps she was just being fussy or cranky (something that we were told could be expected on the 3rd night). The next day, Tegan was very lethargic, and jaundice. She would barely stay awake enough to latch on to my breast at feeding times. We had an appointment that day with her pediatrician. She said that Tegan may be a bit dehydrated, and to try some formula to supplement the breast milk. Upon getting her home, we tried to use formula, but she was too tired to even latch onto my breast let alone a bottle at this point. I called the Doctor back, and she told us to take her to the ER.

    The pediatrician at the hospital said that Tegan was very dehydrated, and we found out that she had lost 15% of her body weight from birth. The hospital put Tegan in a bilyruben bed, and I was told to practically force feed her formula every two hours, and to pump at each feeding in an effort try and get my milk to come in. The pumping during this time was producing about a half an ounce or less each time.

    After staying overnight at the hospital Tegan's bilyruben count had gone down, and her bodyweight was on the rise. All good signs. Plus she pooped for the first time since this whole nightmare had begun. The combo of all these things got us our discharge from the hospital, and we were able to take Tegan home. Still however, I was only producing about a half an ounce of milk from pumping.

    The regiment the hospital pediatrician placed Tegan on (and the one she is still on) is feeding every 2-3 hours, or on demand. A feeding includes breastfeeding for 10 minutes total (5 min each side), 2 oz of formula, and pumping for 6 minutes which is now producing about 2 ounces of milk.

    Tegan is very active at night/early morning. Feedings occur every two hours on the dot. Because of the frequency, this results in me barely being able to produce any milk at all while pumping. Maybe half an ounce at best. However, if I am able to wait 3-4 hours like I am doing during the day when Tegan is not so active and sleeping, I am able to produce a full 2 ounces.

    I guess my question is, are there any ways to increase my production of breast milk? Should I up the amount of time I am on the pump? Are there vitamins I can take?

    Eventually I would like to get to the point where I am producing enough milk to feed Tegan just breast milk alone (which was my original intention). However, here we are 9 days in, and it seems that my milk supply is still not at the amount needed to keep baby Tegan satisfied without supplementing with 2oz of formula.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Low milk supply

    Congrats on your baby girl! What a lot you all have been thru! I am glad you are able to bring your baby home after weathering thru it all. Bravo!

    I have not experienced jaundice with my baby, but have read some articles that you might find useful:

    - "Breastfeeding and Jaundice" at

    - "Protocol to increase intake of breastmilk" at

    As for your milk supply, here are some helpful readings:
    "Is your milk supply really low?"

    About increasing milk supply

    "Is baby getting enough milk?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tegan's mom View Post
    The regiment the hospital pediatrician placed Tegan on (and the one she is still on) is feeding every 2-3 hours, or on demand. A feeding includes breastfeeding for 10 minutes total (5 min each side), 2 oz of formula, and pumping for 6 minutes which is now producing about 2 ounces of milk.
    I am not in total agreement with this regiment.

    What I know is, the more baby sucks from your breast, the more your milk production will be built up. So feeding on demand (instead of according to a schedule) will help build your milk supply. Supplementing with formula might actually hurt your supply.

    It is usually recommended that you empty one breast before offering the other instead of feeding for 10 mins on each side. This is because the milk available at the beginning of a feeding (foremilk) is typically lower in fat content, than the hindmilk (milk at the end of a feeding). Your baby will need the hindmilk to gain weight.

    You seem concerned that Tegan is not getting enough milk. What are the indications that tell you she is not satisfied with the milk you are producing?

    Generally, you can tell that she is getting enough if she is producing 5-6 wet diapers a day. The amount that you pump does not actually tell you how much milk you are producing or that baby is getting because baby is more efficient at getting milk from your breast than a pump. Neither does the frequency of her feeding, because a baby in the first weeks feeds very often (breastmilk is digested within 90 minutes).

    Sorry this post is a little long. Hope that it helps.
    Caylen Koen Chew (25/05/06)
    Lost No.2 in Aug 2008 ... Lost No. 3 in May 2009 Hoping for another ... Enjoying No.1

  3. #3

    Default Re: Low milk supply

    Moving this to Increasing Your Milk
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

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