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Thread: May not be producing enough

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    5

    Default May not be producing enough

    I thought my milk was drying up, but I am producing approx 3 ounces from both breast every 4 hours. My right is producing more than the left, and the left is slightly smaller. Please advise to help me equal out between the breasts and produce enough milk for Julia (approx 1 week old).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: May not be producing enough

    Hi Tami,

    Congratulations on the birth of your little girl!

    We would be happy to provide you with some information about your situation, but it will be helpful for us to have a few more details about you and your daughter.

    How many times in 24 hours does Julia nurse?
    Why are you pumping?
    Are you pumping after feeds, in between feeds or in place of them?
    What type of pump are you using?
    What was Julia's birth weight, lowest weight and current weight?
    How many dirty and wet diapers does she have in 24 hours?

    If you could try to provide us with a few more details we can better answer some of the questions you may have.

    Thank you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    5

    Smile Re: May not be producing enough

    Hi Kate,

    Thank you for getting back to me and for the congratulations. We are truly blessed. I had started the original email and my husband, John, finished it for me. So here's a little more info that I hope helps. I'm not producing that much milk (Pumped 4/20-4 oz, 4/21-5 oz, 4/22-5.75 oz so far). Alao it varies between breasts for the production. We are supplementing her with Enfamil too.

    How many times in 24 hours does Julia nurse? Two days ago both breasts 4times, Yesterday 6 times, today so far both 5 times but the length of time she feeds seems to have slowed down.

    Why are you pumping? I don't think I'm producing enough milk.

    Are you pumping after feeds, in between feeds or in place of them? All of the above at different times because I'm just trying to produce more.

    What type of pump are you using? Evenflo Elan electric pump.

    What was Julia's birth weight, lowest weight and current weight? 6 lbs 9 oz at birth, 6 lbs 5 oz lowest, currently not sure we go back to the doctor on Tuesday.

    How many dirty and wet diapers does she have in 24 hours? Yesterday was 3
    dirty and 8 wet.

    If there is any other info I can provide that would help please let me know and I appreciate your time and input.

    Thank you,

    Tami

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: May not be producing enough

    Hi Tami,

    I am happy to help you work this out online, but I think you might be better served by speaking with an LLL Leader in person. Do you know if there are any in your area? You could check this link to find out:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/leaderinfo.html

    So, let's see what we can do in the meantime, ok? In order to make milk you need to stimulate your breasts. LLL suggests that newborns your dd's age nurse *at least* 8-12 times in 24 hours. Would it be possible for you to nurse her this often?

    Here is another link you might want to check:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html

    What are her hunger cues? In other words, how do you know when it is time to put her to breast? Basically at this age, any time she moves, peeps, stirs, smacks lips, just about does anything, you should put her to breast. Crying is a late cue.

    You will know she is actually getting milk when she nurses by watching her sucking pattern. She should suck vigorously to get your milk to let down. Once it does, her suck will slow into a "suck, suck, swallow" pattern where you will notice her pause to swallow a mouthful of milk. You will also notice her jaw wiggle more when she is actively nursing. Do see this when she nurses? Do you notice milk in the corners of her mouth?

    Length of time per feed varies greatly with each baby. Some newborns will get all they need in 10-15 minutes. Others will take 30 minutes or longer. It just depends. Allowing her open access to nursing anytime she shows the signs of being hungry will allow her to establish your supply.

    If your supplementing her with formula then she will not spend enough time at the breast establishing your supply. Does this make sense?

    Pumping is not always a good indication of supply, so I wouldn't let that be your reason for questioning your supply. The best indicator of supply is your baby's output and growth.

    She should be having 3-5 quarter-sized poops and 5-6 wet diapers in 24 hours. That would be a great indication that she is getting enough. Right now she is having that, but you are supplementing. If you begin offering your breast all of the time she shows signs and nurse her until she comes off on own or falls asleep and then she has this kind of output you know things are going well.

    Is any or all of this clear? I feel like I asked more questions and made a few suggestions too, so I don't want you to be confused.

    Please let me know...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    5

    Default Re: May not be producing enough

    Hi Kate,

    Yes my husband actually found two ladies to contact in our area so I will try to contact them.

    But in the meantime I appreciate your help and yes I can increase the number of breastfeedings.

    Regarding the hunger cues when she sticks out her tongue or puts her hands in her mouth but often times I am waiting to long and she is already crying so when she starts stirring I will put her to breast. I do see those signs but she doesn't always have the milk in the corner of her mouth.

    Yes that makes sense with the supplementing of formula but should I gradually wean her off the formula and increase the breastfeeding? It was in part due to the pain but I feel we have improved in the latch on which has totally helped but for a time I could ghardly bare it.

    She does nurse until she comes off or fall asleep.

    Yes it does make sense and again I appreciate your help and the questions are great....guess who's hungry

    Thank you

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: May not be producing enough

    Hi Tami,
    It sounds like your instincts are great!

    As far as the supplements, you can gradually stop offering them, but there is no reason you have to gradually increase the BF. I would suggest you begin increasing feeds at breast right away. As much as you can and as baby indicates-shooting for that *at least* 8-12 times/24 hours.

    It is very difficult to say, but if you are nursing at least that much, if not more, and she has the output I described above then you shouldn't need the suppplements at all. But you are the mom and only you can tell what she needs, so you have to make that decision.

    Please let me know how you make out with the LLL Leaders. Hopefully you will be able to speak with one tomorrow.

    BTW-your dd is so lucky to have such a committed mom and you are so fortunate to have such a supportive husband. Give him a pat on the back from me!

    Keep me posted!

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: May not be producing enough

    Also, I'm sorry I didn't ask about sore nipples. I should have asked why your feeds were infrequent! Now I know! Is that pretty much better at this point?

    Sore nipples is very difficult. Your dd will need you to be *very* diligent about making sure she has a good latch for a while yet. So try not to forget to watch her latch.

    Here is another good link on latch:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/positioning.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: May not be producing enough

    I agree with everything Kate has mentioned. Just wanted to give you more encouragement. Ideally, you should hold off on pumping until your nursing schedule is more establish. The more often your baby is on the breast, the more milk your body produces. You don't have to gradually wean off the formula if she seems to do well on your milk. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: May not be producing enough

    Hi Tami,
    One more thing I wanted to mention, I was slacking at my very-late night postings last night!

    I now understand that you were pumping in the beginning to replace feeds because your nipples were too sore to nurse, and that is ok, you are not the first mom to do this. But, LLL would advise only using a hospital-grade rental pump when doing this, as that is the only pump that would effectively mimic your baby's suck enough to *establish* your supply. Once your supply is established, after 4-6 weeks of effective nursing by baby, many moms find a variety of pumps that work for their variety of needs-occasional use, regular use for separation, etc.

    So, if you are going to continue to pump to replace putting your dd to breast it would be a very good idea to rent a pump until your supply is well-established. The Evenflo Elan would not work in the right way (correct cycling) to bring in a good supply at this early stage.

    If you find you do not need to pump at all anymore than this would not be an issue. But I would be remiss if I did not mention this. Let me know if you have any questions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    5

    Thumbs up Re: May not be producing enough

    Hi Kate,

    Boy the day is almost gone already and I haven't had a chance to call a Leader just yet but I am still going to.

    I'm a little confused with this info I thought I should be increasing the number of breast feedings?:
    As far as the supplements, you can gradually stop offering them, but there is no reason you have to gradually increase the BF. I would suggest you begin increasing feeds at breast right away. As much as you can and as baby indicates-shooting for that *at least* 8-12 times/24 hours.

    I have increased the breast feedings so far today to 6 and have supplemented 3 times with a total of 5.5 oz and haven't pumped yet.

    The nipple soreness is pretty much better yeah! And thank you for the link I will read that too.

    Thanks for the info on the pump and rental as well I had no idea. I wish I knew half of what I know now, which isn't much, about breastfeeding. For now I will try to just feed and not pump until the supply is better.

    I not only patted my wonderful Hubby on the back for you but I gave him a hug too...but the kiss was from me

    I will keep you posted too.

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