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Thread: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    Hi,
    I had 28 week old twins 5 weeks ago and have been pumping the whole time. Unfortunately, about 2 weeks ago my milk supply started decreasing day by day. I am almost completely dried up every session, except for my first morning feeding where I get just over an ounce. Other than that, I go throughout the day getting anywhere from .5ounce to even less than that. This is also between 2 breasts. I am about to give up after trying everything. I pump 2.5 to 3 hours, twice at night, and have not had any changes to make this decrease so much. I also am taking Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle 3 tablets, 3x's a day. I am pumping the fluids and trying Kangaroo Care more to help, but so far nothing. My baby girl will even latch on and take 2 or 3 sucks at the breast and then I will go pump immediately and still nothing!

    If anyone has been in this situation or has any advice at all, please feel free to throw it out.

    Thanks so much for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    Hello, Stacy! Congratulations on your twins! It sounds like you are doing everything in your power to give them the best start possible, and I commend you for it! Having LOs in the NICU can be extremely stressful, especially when they are as early as your two were. It's a ridiculous question, but are you getting plenty of sleep? Stress can cause a dip in supply, and since you are doing SO much for your babies it seems like that's the only element you may be missing.

    Sorry I'm not of more help, but you have my applause for working so hard to give your twins your milk. Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    are you working with a lc?
    Do you know if you have a local lll leader?
    They could help beter then we can on-line.
    are your able to hold and touch your babies? Try expressing right before and after your near them
    The breastfeeding answer book also says to plan frequncy days where you pump more often and for longer times.
    A leader could tell you more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    Congrats! I hope your LO's are doing well and busy getting big! My boy was born at 28 too. How about a massage before pumping to stimulate let down? Midway through your pumping session stop and massage again. Try these suggestions... http://llli.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html
    with regard to the fenugreek ..do you smell like maple syrup yet? a herbalist told me to increase my dosage until I could smell it in my milk &/or skin. BUT also, these herbs can have a negative effect on supply too. if it isnt working dont bother. i drink mothers milk tea, just to help me relax....NICU motherhood is stressful and that could be a reason right there for your low milk. when your babes are strong enough..(and that may not be for a few more weeks) they should be willing and able to nurse your milk supply right back to where they need it to be. Keep us posted!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    Questions:

    How long are you pumping each session?
    What type of pump are you using?
    Are you double pumping?
    Are you taking any medications (cold or allergy meds, birth control, anything)?

    I don't know what your pumping routine is like now, but you might consider trying to pump for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, as often as you can do so. Aim for 10-12 times per day, 12 being optimal. This pumping plan helps to mimic a newborn's nursing pattern. You could even mimic the cluster feeding patterns during the day (as a bonus, you could take a 4 hour or so break from pumping at night). Frequent demand will help keep your production levels high.

    You might consider trying the tips for assisting MER found on this page: http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html before pumping.

    Perhaps try pumping in front of the babies, or with pictures of the babies close by. You might even try smelling something the babies have had near them. Engaging your senses can help!

    Please assure that you're eating well and you're drinking to thirst (your urine will be pale if you're getting enough to drink). Try to rest as much as you possibly can. Do all you can do to pass off any non-mothering responsibilities (laundry, housework, cooking, bill paying, ect.) to others. When people ask if they can help, let them!

    Are you in contact with an IBCLC? What about your local LLL Leader?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    Thanks so much to everyone for all the help! I am going to take all the advice and keep trying. I would love to get in touch with the La Leche Organization in my area, but I am always at the hospital with the twins so there really isn't any time. I am in touch often with the lactation counselor and she is great. Another question I have is, "if the herbs are not working can I just stop or do I need to wean off of them??" I am on Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle 3 tabs/3x's a day.

    Thanks again!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    Hang in there! We're all rooting for you!

    You might want to try to call the LLL leader from the hospital. She might be willing to come up to the hospital to see you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    agreed most would love an invite to the hospital!
    CAll her she can help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    Quote Originally Posted by stacy28 View Post
    Hi,
    I had 28 week old twins 5 weeks ago and have been pumping the whole time. Unfortunately, about 2 weeks ago my milk supply started decreasing day by day. I am almost completely dried up every session, except for my first morning feeding where I get just over an ounce. Other than that, I go throughout the day getting anywhere from .5ounce to even less than that. This is also between 2 breasts. I am about to give up after trying everything. I pump 2.5 to 3 hours, twice at night, and have not had any changes to make this decrease so much. I also am taking Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle 3 tablets, 3x's a day. I am pumping the fluids and trying Kangaroo Care more to help, but so far nothing. My baby girl will even latch on and take 2 or 3 sucks at the breast and then I will go pump immediately and still nothing!

    If anyone has been in this situation or has any advice at all, please feel free to throw it out.

    Thanks so much for the help!

    Stacy, congratulations on the birth of your twins. Hope both are doing well. (Did you have sons, daughters, one of each?)

    As with others I have questions re: pumping routine -- which pump (can be important); whether a double collection kit is used and whether the pieces that fit over the breast (called flanges or breast shields) are the right size; how used -- massage before pumping, how long each session (whether you pump right through or take one or two brief breaks when flow slows and then pump again), etc. Sometimes "power pumping" helps but first it's helpful to look at a mom's regular pumping routine. Run us through a typical day for you...

    Medela has a bit of info on its web site re:
    http://www.medela.com/newfiles/faq/preemie.html

    And I'd suggest searching LLLI's regular site for info and mothers' stories.

    Don't know where you live for access, but there are medication galactogogues (milk-increasing) that may be helpful, e.g. domperidone with/instead of herbal ones. I've also known moms who had to rotate herbal galactogogues, e.g. one would start to be less effective, so she'd move to another. If doing OK with fenugreek and blessed thistle, some mom's are having better results with goat's rue. But you really should be working with an IBCLC if using galactogogues.

    Finally, I worked with a mom of premie quads, she pumped as she could (at least 2-3x/24 hours and put each baby to breast for "practice" breastfeeding 1-2x/day), although she got very little milk. This went on to when babies were about 3-4 months chronologically and a little past to 1 month term by due dates. Then one started to breastfeed well and her milk production went up. So she started to breastfeed all more and soon she had a lot of milk and all 4 breastfed until 15 months to over 2 years. Will what happened in her case happen for everyone? Don't know and there's no way to predict. One can only find out by keeping at it.

    Provide more info so we may be able to help better, celebrate the 1 oz you are getting and that is providing your babies with precious immunological benefits, work with an IBCLC and LLLL in your area (even if calling from NICU), and keep pumping! What you are giving your babies is nothing short of awesome in whatever quantity you can provide it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,477

    Default Re: Please help-Almost no milk left!!

    As always - Karen has the best info! Please know that every singe drop that you give your twinkies is an awesome benefit to them and you. If you pm with your conact info (first name, cell number, and city/state), I will try to get you and an LLL leader in touch.


    Mom to - 6 yrs, 4 yrs, and twins 3 years

    Check out my Work at Home Job Here

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