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Thread: Milk supply diminishing...please help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    5

    Question Milk supply diminishing...please help!

    My son is 2 weeks and 2 days old. Due to jaundice, we started supplementing almost from the beginning. And I had to pump and then bottle feed him to keep him on the bilibed so he wouldn't have to be hospitalized. (Nursing took too long and was too frequent).

    I had a breast reduction 6 years ago, and I was unable to breastfeed after two weeks with my daughter because the same thing happened with my milk supply, which I attributed to the surgery. However, this time I had much more milk, and still find myself leaking. I'm caught in a bad cycle from reading too much information, so someone set me straight. Here's what's going on:

    I was told to pump after son nurses to help bring out more milk to increase supply (found on BF after surgery website and advice from LC), but when I pump, I'm getting less than one ounce, and no more milk comes out after I've pumped for about 3-5 minutes. My son fusses after 3-5 minutes on each breast as well. At one time, he was nursing about 15 minutes per side, and when I pumped, I was getting about 2 ounces total after pumping for 15-20 minutes. When I bottle feed him, he is taking 3 ounces at a time. I don't know if the pumping is making it worse for when my son nurses, but it doesn't seem to be helping increase my supply, even though it seems to be emptying my breast. His diapers and weight are both good, but I'm sure that's from the supplementing.

    SOOO, should I continue the cycle or what? Of course, I still have all of the other problems a BF Mom faces with newborns (falling asleep, latching, etc) but I can work through those things IF I have milk. My ultimate goal is to BF as exclusively as my surgery will allow and only supplement when necessary. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Milk supply diminishing...please help!

    do you have a local leader you can call and talk to?
    That might be your best bet.
    Pumping isn't realy an good way to tell how much milk you have as baby is much beter at getting out milk then the pump.
    once of milk after baby feeds at that age is wonderfull!
    how much suppliment is baby getting a day?
    heres a link about dropping formula suppliments

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

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

    Default Re: Milk supply diminishing...please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by danimite2 View Post
    I was told to pump after son nurses to help bring out more milk to increase supply (found on BF after surgery website and advice from LC), but when I pump, I'm getting less than one ounce, and no more milk comes out after I've pumped for about 3-5 minutes. My son fusses after 3-5 minutes on each breast as well. At one time, he was nursing about 15 minutes per side, and when I pumped, I was getting about 2 ounces total after pumping for 15-20 minutes. When I bottle feed him, he is taking 3 ounces at a time. I don't know if the pumping is making it worse for when my son nurses, but it doesn't seem to be helping increase my supply, even though it seems to be emptying my breast. His diapers and weight are both good, but I'm sure that's from the supplementing.

    SOOO, should I continue the cycle or what? Of course, I still have all of the other problems a BF Mom faces with newborns (falling asleep, latching, etc) but I can work through those things IF I have milk. My ultimate goal is to BF as exclusively as my surgery will allow and only supplement when necessary. Please help!


    Glad to have you here. I see you've been visiting www.bfar.org

    How often are you supplementing with a bottle? Have you considered supplementing with other methods to encourage your baby to stay on the breast longer?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Milk supply diminishing...please help!

    Now that we are done with all of our doctor's appointments and labs and will be at home for several days in a row, I am starting a BFing bootcamp.

    I downloaded a weaning from formula worksheet from kellymom and will be nursing exclusively or feeding EBM during the day when I'm at home with the baby and two year old daughter. Hubby will supplement a bottle or two at night of formula if I don't have enough EBM saved up to last through the day and night.

    The last several days, my son has been taking 3.5 ounces of formula three times during the night. During the day, I always offer breast first, then baby takes around 2 additional ounces of formula 3 or 4 times, or 2 ounces of EBM 2 or 3 times. I've been pumping 3-4 times per day, some times more, depending on how often baby nurses. He RARELY (maybe 5 times since birth) has seemed satisfied from just nursing.

    So my plan today is to just nurse, even if that means he eats every hour and I get nothing done all day. If he doesn't nurse for at least 10 minutes per side, then I"ll pump the remainder for tonight.

    I've also sent hubby to store after work for larger breast shields to use while pumping, because I think the smaller ones may be stifling my production, as well as the fact that my son is tongue tied.

    How long should it really take to increase my supply? I feel like SOOO much is working against me here, and I don't want to keep killing myself if I'm only going to produce an ounce at a time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Milk supply diminishing...please help!

    I just wanted to support the statement that you can't really tell your production level from pumping sometimes. My baby is almost 6 months old and although we've started a few solids here & there, he's otherwise exclusively breastfed. I tried to pump recently and found that I STILL cannot pump more than 2oz/side... but my son can happily breastfeed for a good long time if he's in the mood, so I have plenty of milk.

    Here are a couple of ideas for you:

    Hand Expressing - I HATE the pump and it hurts my nipples!! I discovered that although it's a little tricky at first, hand pumping... using your hand to 'milk' your breast instead of pumping with a pump, is much more effective (and gentle) for me. You might give that a try.

    Frequent Feedings - get your baby nursing as often as he is willing to do it. In the past, Skye has wanted to eat as often as every half hour!!! It's true, you will feel like you're not doing ANYTHING but feeding your baby, but it pays off in the end.

    Hand Expressing DURING Feeding - Skye used to get really frustrated when he would first try to nurse (apparently my letdown was a bit slow for a while), so I got in the habit of 'priming' my breast by squeezing a bit of milk down to the nipple before latching him on, then milking my breast while he was nursing to give him a better flow and empty the breast better. The more milk you put out, the more you will make!

    I didn't know if we were going to make it through those first few months, but we did and it's easy peasy now. Good luck!!

    PS - I only planned to breastfeed for the first 6 months, but it's a good thing we kept going!! Skye now refuses formula of any kind, so I'm all he has!! You never know what is going to happen.
    Last edited by SusieLam; August 20th, 2007 at 02:37 PM. Reason: added info

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