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Thread: is my supply low?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    19

    Default is my supply low?

    i'm not sure whether i have a problem yet or not. my son is 7 weeks old, breastfed exclusively. i pump enough so that my husband can do one feeding at night. today things seemed off. my baby would nurse but only suck and swallow for a couple minutes and then just suck and finally come off the breast after about 10 minutes, seeming to be frustrated and still hungry. i would put him on the other breast and the same thing would happen. i felt like he was never satisfied and like i wasn't keeping up with his demand. he was born 6 weeks early, but has really been great at bfing. i was using a nipple shield to help with latching, but tried not using it yesterday and he did great. today he wouldn't really do much with the shield on so most of the time i was not using it. i don't what to do, but feel terible that he seems so hungry and i can't do anything about it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: is my supply low?

    He could be going through a growth spurt. It would be unheard of for your milk supply to simply disappear in a day or two without there being some sort of underlying reason, such as medication use in mom. Even one does of Sudafed can negatively impact mom's supply.

    The only true indication of low milk supply in mom is baby's failure to gain weight. This is usually indicated by a lack of wet diapers. How many diapers per day is your baby having? We are mostly concerned with wet diapers after the 6-week mark.

    The very best thing you can do is to simply continue to offer your breast to baby as he demands it. He could be going through a growth spurt or perhaps just not feeling all that great. Also, keep in mind that many babies become very efficient at nursing and get all they need/want in just a few minutes at the breast. It's quite possible that your baby is getting what he needs in a few short minutes and simply isn't interested in nursing any longer than that. However, based on what you've said, I'm thinking he's hit a growth spurt. Keep an eye on his wet diapers but otherwise, grab a good book and get comfy in your favorite nursing spot! It will probably take your body 24-48 hours to catch up with baby's increased demand. You may also want to forgo that nightly pumping session and simply allow baby to nurse so that he can increase your supply then as well. Perhaps Dad can give him his nightly bath or rock him to sleep instead of giving him a bottle? There are so many ways that Dad can get involved, bond with baby and give mom a break!

    HTH! Here's a link for you too -- not LLL source -- Is your milk supply really low?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: is my supply low?

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyjane
    i'm not sure whether i have a problem yet or not. my son is 7 weeks old, breastfed exclusively. i pump enough so that my husband can do one feeding at night. today things seemed off. my baby would nurse but only suck and swallow for a couple minutes and then just suck and finally come off the breast after about 10 minutes, seeming to be frustrated and still hungry. i would put him on the other breast and the same thing would happen. i felt like he was never satisfied and like i wasn't keeping up with his demand. he was born 6 weeks early, but has really been great at bfing. i was using a nipple shield to help with latching, but tried not using it yesterday and he did great. today he wouldn't really do much with the shield on so most of the time i was not using it. i don't what to do, but feel terible that he seems so hungry and i can't do anything about it.
    Hi kellyjane
    You sound so worried... {hugsss}
    Let me reassure you that it is extremely unlikely that your milk has suddenly disappeared.

    The most likely explaination is that your baby has become a bit confused by being fed from a bottle, even though it was only once a night.
    It usually takes a baby about six to eight weeks to learn how to nurse, and about the same time for the mother's milk supply to become established.
    If artificial nipples (bottles and pacifiers) are introduced too soon, the baby may become confused, or sometimes, even reject the breast.

    In your case, your baby was also premature.
    You mention that you have been using nipple shields because your baby has been having difficulty in latching correctly. Have you been working with a local LLL Leader or a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (one with IBCLC after her name)?
    If so, I would strongly urge you to contact her.


    When there is a concern about a baby not latching on correctly, it is most effective to go and see a local LLL Leader in person so that she can observe a feeding. This is not something we can do online

    To find a local La Leche League Group or Leader, please go to:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/contact.html
    If you don’t see a Group near you, call the nearest Leader, because not all Groups are listed.



    If there is no LLL Leader in your neighbourhood, you might want to see a board certified (IBCLC) lactation consultant. LCs usually charge for services. To find a local LC go to http://www.ilca.org


    In the mean time, there are things you can do.


    The first thing is to feed the baby!
    How many wet and poopy diapers has your baby had in the last 24 hrs?
    At this age, it should be about 4-6 wet and 2-3 poopy diapers a day.
    If your baby is NOT getting this number and is not nursing well, you can express some milk by hand (or pump) and feed it with a spoon.


    The other thing you can do is to give your baby LOTS of opportunities to nurse. Babies who spend time skin-to-skin with their mothers are more likely to nurse more frequently. How would you feel about keeping your baby in just a diaper, tucked inside your shirt? Not wearing a bra wil make it easier to latch on, too. Or perhaps you could snuggle in bed together at feeding times, so that the blankets would keep you both warm. Babies this age need to nurse AT LEAST 8 to 12 times a day. More is better


    Here are two articles you may find helpful.
    This first one is from New Beginnings, the LLL journal for mothers.
    A Valuable Lesson
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBNovDec02p217.html


    The second one is from LEAVEN, our publication for Leaders. Please note that this article is written from the perspective of someone who is helping a breastfeeding mother.

    Nipple Shields . . . Friend or Foe?
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJunJul00p39.html


    Please let us know how you get on!
    warmly,
    LLLnormaR
    Moderator




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: is my supply low?

    thanks for the advice. i think it is a growth spurt, and that is what i was thinking. i was just feeling so bad because the poor little guy seemed so hungry and i couldn't do anything about it. i think that he is really efficient and i need to just stop worry. we get plenth of wet and poopy diapers every day and he has been gaining weight fine. as for my use of a nipple shield, that was given to me by the lactation consultant in the nicu, where he was for a week after he was born. it helped a lot, but now he is finished with it....much more effective without it at this point. it was surprisingly easy to get rid of it...i was worried there would be a weaning process but basically i just tried stopping and he was fine.

    it is really good to know that some babies can get what they need/want in only a couple minutes, because i have always felt that way but you hear so much about making sure they eat for at least 10 minutes per side, etc. that makes me feel so much better, because i have always felt like he doesn't get much more after that long and really looks satisfied before.

    all in all i think i need to relax. i'm learning so much about myself through breastfeeding, the biggest of which is i really have a hard time sitting still and just nursing. i should just take advantage of the quiet time i guess!!

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