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Thread: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    186

    Default Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    my son was born at 32 weeks- i pumped and pumped and pumped... i was the envy of the nicu- i was pumping a min of 8oz every 3 hours- i had so much i donated hundreds of oz's. now? my 4 month old weighs 7 1/2 pounds- he is losing weight... from 8.6 just weeks ago. i don't know what happened. he has reflux. the dr. said he thinks my milk just went down and it isn't the reflux the caused the weight loss. so, now i am giving him my frozen milk (the specialist wants me to stop breastfeeding for now, just pump and add formula and rice cereal to his bottles). i never gave him bottles before, exclusively breastfed. i am pumping and am lucky to get an ounce. i will run out of supply before he is ready to come back to nursing... and i just don't have enough milk. i need him to breastfeed but he can't right now. would it be smart to look into getting (i don't know that name of it) a bag that goes around my neck and feed him through that so my breasts are still getting the stimulation they need? the doctor wants to monitor how much he eats- and add calories to each ounce. i am losing my milk- i am getting less and less everyday despite loading up on fenugreek. i know he has to have extra calories now- i am worried about that but i just don't know how to do this without losing my milk supply. are there options for me? i bought a medela pump in style- when he was in the nicu i rented a medela symphony. should i rent one of those again? would that make a difference? should i try to use a supplimental feeder so he can eat a measured, fortified amount while still at the breast? this has been a journey having such a premie... i know he needs breastmilk, i just don't know how to keep my supply up (and raise it up) so he can have breastmilk. -

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    521

    Default Re: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    Well, I am certainly am not an expert, but what I would do is get a good scale....weigh baby before and after to see how much he is getting....if he is indeed not getting enough, then lay in bed all day and do nothing but nurse....supplement if baby is not content or if you feel that he needs a supplement, and then gradually wean off of the supplements over the next week or so.

    If the scale said baby is getting enough, then check into other problems like the reflux, but don't stop breastfeeding for anything....because if you did, you would probably end up back here asking for help on relactating because your doctor told you to stop, and the formula didn't help anyways....


    Emilee
    Wife and Mommy
    DS born on Aug 4th 2006 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches
    DD born at Home on May 10th 2008 @ 8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    I would definitely look into renting a hospital grade pump again. I have a medela pump in style advanced and I rent a hospital grade pump because the medela just doesnt do enough for me. It does make a difference in my opinion. Also, I agree with pp, that putting baby back to breast is the best thing right now to increase your supply. I have not expierienced this myself, but have heard lots of people say that thier supply goes down when they switch from breastfeeding to exclusively pumping, as baby is best at getting the milk out of the breast, which tells your body to make more. I hope that helps you, and good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    627

    Default Re: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    Reflux can cause some babies to eat less, because it can hurt to eat. My dd lost a ton of weight, and then had trouble gaining, until a doctor figured out she had reflux and started treating it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    Wow! You have been doing SO much to give your milk to your ds! What a great job you are doing.

    Are you able to discuss this situation with a lactation consultant at the hospital? Have you been working with anyone? I know you mentioned the doctors, but it would be beneficial if you could get the help of an IBCLC. Do you have a local LLL Leader in your area? She could also give you support and information to make the best decisions for your ds.

    Anytime you are concerned with supply and you believe baby has not been taking enough milk out (causing a dip in supply) then a hospital-grade rental pump is extremely helpful in increasing supply. And an SNS could also be used with the pumped milk you have (or formula if necessary) to encourage ds to nurse.

    The real question though, is why did ds drop in weight in the past few weeks, with exclusive BF? The thing I noticed is this:

    Exclusively pumping=Tons of milk
    Exclusively nursing=Drop in Supply

    This is something that I would suggest working through with an experienced LC. She would be able to evaluate ds's suck, latch, etc. to help you figure out what is going on and why he is not transferring milk. In the meantime, there is no reason that ds can't nurse for comfort. That will at least keep him used to the breast. But if he is not getting milk while nursing then you of course need to feed him in another way (SNS, bottle, etc.). Of course your pumped or frozen milk is the best choice. Supplementing doesn't always mean not-breastfeeding. It just means giving extra. I would suggest making this point clear with the doctors. You wish to supplement, but with your own milk. Then you can work on getting him to nurse properly and get your supply up. You have a lot to think about, but again, the help of a good LC is invaluable.

    Hang in there mama! You are going a great job. Keep us posted.
    Last edited by LLLKate; May 20th, 2007 at 06:43 PM. Reason: add info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    thank you all so much! i am going to go and rent a hospital pump tomorrow. i am still feeding him my breast milk and my supply has gone up a bit today! yahoo! i pumped out 5 ounces one time! (only 1-3 the rest but at least i got one great pump). i am giving him all breast milk with one scoop of formula so he can bulk up. i brought him to bed with me for 5 hours this morning just to nurse as he pleases (i also have an 18 month old so i have to sneak time in for things like that). i have talked with a lc from the nicu he was in... she thinks i need to focus on weight gain. they say it takes too much energy for him right now to nurse. it breaks my heart. i guess i pumped exclusively for 6 weeks before- i can do it again until he can breastfeed again. i just needed a boost... and a bit of advice. i still cheat from time to time and let him nurse once i know he has gotten at least 2-3oz from his bottle. i hope in a couple of weeks, with the help of an lc, i can get him back to exclusively breast and off of his pesky nipple shield! so far i have been able to give him all breast milk in his bottles- if my milk supply continues to go up i won't have to give him formula other than the one scoop to add calories! wish me luck. and thanks again- i was so discouraged when i wrote my last email. my heart was breaking about losing my milk. but now i have confidence and know i a can do this!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    Good for you! Sounds like things are looking up. Keep us posted!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    789

    Default Re: Tons Of Milk... Now No Milk?

    First of all congrats on your baby and way to go with all the work you've done so far! All I can say is that these little ones change and grow so quickly. Maybe if you go back to exclusive pumping and then trying nursing again in a couple weeks it may be a totally different story. Also, I used a shield for the first few weeks and though we'd never get rid of it, then around 4 weeks i was able to easily wean my son off it. For some it takes longer but I would say stick with the shield if it's working for you. You'll be able to get rid of it eventually.

    Also, I think "cheating" and nursing him once in a while is great- that will help him remember how to do it, and how great it is. It will also help boost your supply so I don't see how anyone could see anything wrong with nursing him a bit after you know he's gotten what he needs in a bottle.

    Also, have you tried eating oatmeal? Lots of mom have found that really helps with supply. Good luck!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
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