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Thread: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    I am a new mom trying to breastfeed my 2 1/2 week old. We have already been directed to supplement with formula about 1/2-1oz after each feeding after 4 days old as he dropped too much weight and to help get rid of the jaundice. Since then, I feel like some days I get more milk than others. I purchased an Ameda breat pump to help with supply concerns, but still only am able to get about 1 1/2 oz when I pump at one session and then diminishes as the day goes on. I stopped with that as am concerned I am leaving nothing for my little guy to feed with. He nurses 8 times a day right now, and has plenty of wets and about 2 large bowel movements every day. My main concern is keeping the supply up for when I go back to work in about 4 weeks. We borrowed a scale to weigh him and he seems to be back at his birth weight now, but still very concerned I may be drying up already! I had breast reduction about 6 years ago and everyone I talk to says I should be fine. In talking with the LC, they say to keep nursing and weigh him before and after feedings to see how much he is taking in, (have yet to do this as he is an impatient boy and hates being nude).

    I try to keep up with the water supply and trying to maintain the "proper' diet it difficult at times when you are trying to sleep when he does (only at night and maybe 1 catnap during the day). I guess at this point I wonder if throwing in the towel and going straight formula would be best since I can't even get a backup supply started. I feel like I am not on a consistent schedule with feedings as it is never the same everyday. That is very frustrating to me and causes concern as a mother providing nourishment for her baby. Any words of wisdom???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,709

    Default Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    I don't have any words of wisdom, just wanted to give some encouragement. I was in the same boat (jaundice >> supplementing >> low supply), and in those first few weeks I thought it would never end. I ended up taking domperidone (by prescription) and some other things to help with supply. I'm happy to report that at 4.5 months, I have a "normal" supply, and I'm off the medications. I am back at work, and pump during the day (though I didn't start until 4 months). I'm even thinking about donating to a milk bank. So stick with it, it WILL get easier.

    Also, the amount you were able to pump doesn't sound too bad to me. I remember a time when I would have been ecstatic to pump an ounce! Just try to find a time every day when you're pretty sure he won't need to feed for at least 30 minutes (like when he's sleeping?), and pump what you can to store. Even in 1-2 ounce increments, you can build up that precious store to get through the first day, and then you should have the fresh stuff you pumped...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    258

    Default Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    Sounds fine to me. I know it can be hard, and it's hard to be absolutely sure things are working, but his eating schedule and the poops/pees sound right on.

    I also had a breast reduction, but only 3 years ago. My son is 5 months old now and has never had anything but breastmilk, so yes! It's absolutely doable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    What I have learned recently at an LLL meeting is that the milk ducts repair themselves after a breast reduction, and continue to do so each pregnancy. hth.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    718

    Default Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    Hi and congrats on your little baby
    Those first few weeks are very hard. It`s great that he`s already regained his birth weight.
    I`m not good at pumping, but your output doesn`t sound bad. Moms who exclusively breast feed cannot pump much. However, pumping will not hurt your supply. The more you pump the more stimulation your breasts get. It will only help.
    May I ask, are you still supplementing? Supplementing can lower your supply b/c your breasts don`t get enough stimulation.
    I`m sure other moms will come along too. Sorry, short, I`m typingwith one hand

    Mommy to a busy toddler

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose."
    Jim Elliot

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    616

    Default Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    i had the same problem and for me i tried fenugreek and still do use ocassionally to help with my supply..but it kept me from worrying as much....alot of the time when my supply was going down i felt helpless so that helped me....but good luck and congrats and it gets easier just dont give up

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    2

    Smile Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    Thank you for your support!!!! I was pleased to record that he weighed 7lbs 2 oz before feeding this evening and 7lbs 6oz after....so he is getting something at least! I am trying to ween the suuplement a little more each day as he seems to get a bit colic like in the evening and thinking it may be from that. I will be in touch with the LC tomorrow about the weight factor and speak to them on other suggestions on keeping the supply up and getting him off the formula supplement.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    1,712

    Default Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    Hi, my time online is limited so I didn't read all the other replies so sorry if I repeat. It sounds like it would be safe to quit with the supplementing all together. I am not a doctor of course but if the jaundice is gone, and he is back to his birthweight, it seems fine to cut out the formula. Sometimes I think doctors say to supplement to be on the safe side. I would keep up the pumping, drinking at least 8 4 oz servings of liquid a day, eating, and getting rest. It's ok if baby cries for a minute, so doing the weighing even a few times will really help to put your mind at ease. It sounds like you are doing really well with the pumping. In the beginning, I only got about 1/2 to 1 oz of formula and at most only ever have pumped 3 oz at one time. Your supply should not be measured by what you pump. That's why the weighing can really let you know what he is taking in. It's probably around 2-4 oz. Also remember that breastmilk is digested much more quickly than formula, so if he is hungry again in 45 minutes, feed him. It's ok. It doesn't mean that your supply is low. Best wishes to you and congrats on your new baby. Things will get easier.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: A bit frustrated with the BF supply

    Quote Originally Posted by cscarlet78 View Post
    I feel like I am not on a consistent schedule with feedings as it is never the same everyday. That is very frustrating to me and causes concern as a mother providing nourishment for her baby. Any words of wisdom???
    Just wanted to add at 2.5 weeks I wouldn't expect baby to be on any kind of schedule. It took us a good 2-3 months before we hit our stride with breastfeeding.

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