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Thread: Help! Not enough milk!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Help! Not enough milk!

    Hi. I just want to know how I can up my milk supply.I have done fenugreek,mothers tea and oatmeal. I just never seem to have enough no matter what. My baby is 5 months and has been getting at least one bottle of formula 4 to 6oz a day since she was about 6 weeks. The Dr. told me she was not gaining enough and that I was probably not producing enough milk. Problem is she only really likes to nurse at night and in the morning, I can not get her to stay on during the day.When she is on during the day she plays or drinks for a few minutes and calls it quits. When I pump I may get 2 to 3 oz, therefore I have to give her formula to make a 6 oz bottle. Please help. I would rather her have all breastmilk. thanks

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    Hi, I have a baby Ella who is almost 5 months old with weight problems as well. My doc was initially supportive so I didn't have to supplement at first, and then when I was told to found out she wouldn't take the bottle and she spit out the supplement when I gave it to her by spoon. So, she's had pretty much 100% breastmilk. The good news is that recently we've managed to get her weight back on a normal gain schedule. There was a difference in her sucking technique...she's gotten older and gotten better and now seems to drink like the pictures I see of how it's supposed to look. Also I think her digestive system has matured as her poop has changed. Have you noticed any of this?

    Okay, I'm sure the others will have good suggestions for you but they might ask to know your details about how much weight she's gained so far. I saw a bunch of different pediatricians trying to get this sorted out and I can promise you that they all had different opinions about her weight issues. Some seemed to think it wasn't as serious as others did and the acceptable amount of weight gain per month varied greatly among the docs. In the end I feel she did have a digestive problem and I was the best judge of when it was serious or not. I could feel the difference and there were a couple of times that I looked at her and felt that she needed to be bigger. How do you feel about your baby Ella?

    I was told numerous times that I didn't have enough milk but now I can confirm that was only because the nurses didn't have any other answers. I kept saying that I would see milk fall out of her mouth as she cried, but they tended to ignore that. Now that her weight gain is back on track, still without formula, I guess I can assume that I do in fact have enough milk.

    My baby Ella also ate better at night so we coslept for a while. That seemed to help, but when I was tired I noticed I didn't produce as much milk. I ended up taking naps with her *and* making sure she slept enough as well. I have no data to back this up, but I'm developing my own theory about her weight gain being connected with her sleep schedule as well. How does your baby sleep? Is she able to get enough? Make sure you are getting enough rest as that will definitely affect your milk production. I'm positive of that.

    Also, I am working on getting her switched back to day and night by trying to extend her feedings a bit. It's still on demand, but I found that I was offering her the boob when she wasn't really that hungry so she ended up only snacking during the day. Now I'm putting her down at night and trying to soothe her instead of automatically feed her and that seems to help her eat more during the day now. However, I tried to space out feedings earlier and it was a total flop so I think you'll have to watch your daughter and see how things go. As well, sometimes she would seem to finish, so I'd wait 20 minutes and repropose a nursing session and she'd eat a bit more. Edited to be specific: she still eats every 2 to 3 hours usually, although sometimes she'll go a little longer. When I say I'm spacing them out, I mean I am just really trying to look at her cues and not offer her food every time she moves. Trying to feed her every 'x' hours didn't work for me so I don't mean to suggest that you do that.

    Something else that helps -- now Ella is looking around, blowing raspberries and generally distracting herself at times, so I tend to feed her in our darkened bedroom. That helps sometimes, and one other weird thing that helps is if I stand up and walk around while nursing. I just discovered this. It's odd and 2 months ago I never would have thought I'd be able to do it but she'll eat more if I'm up and walking.

    When do you pump and how often? I do best when I pump immediately after meals, particularly in the morning. I can only pump about 3 oz per day at the moment when I pump in 2 sessions; maybe I can get more but am not sure. I feed it to her by spoon and that helps. What kind of pump do you have? I've noticed that she eats better from one boob, and the pump works best with the other. It took me a while to get good at the pump...it's a Medela Lactina.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by MichelleE; August 28th, 2007 at 04:15 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    Are you pumping and bottle feeding some b/c you are away from her some of the time?

  4. #4
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    I would recommend "upping" your supply by putting baby to breast more often. I know you say she doesn't nurse well during the day but, if you are around and have the time, I would say this is all the more reason to try her back at the breast again in, say, an hour. See if she'll latch. If nothing else, it will stimulate the breast and help with supply. Good luck

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    Well, I pump usually in the early morning, and sometimes one other time during the day. Usually if she wont nurse, I pump that milk out and give it to her, but like I said it is usually only 2 to 3oz.so I have to add formula to make a bottle. I have the medela pump in style, works great.She is also starting to just want to play. I just dont feel like she is being effecient when she nurses.Maybe I will try the walking around thing. I appreciate your help.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    oops
    Last edited by babyellasmama; August 28th, 2007 at 10:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    Thanks for the reply.
    I am always with her, I wish I did not have to pump or even give her a bottle most of the time, but, she gets frustrated and starts crying at times or just will refuse to nurse. thats when I turn to the pump. i pump for a while until I am empty and use formula to fill the bottle. Then I have a happy baby. I have to say that I am really tired of pumping, feel like they may as well be glued to my boobs,It is draining. but I can not get her to stay on. I hate to use formula, but I don't know what else to do. She just does not seem to be getting enough of my milk.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    How much of the bottle will she take when you add the formula? Will she drink it all? I'm assuming she does, but just wanted to check. I know you hate pumping -- I do, too...it was definitely never part of the plan -- but I am a big believer in pumping and so might suggest adding in a couple of other pumping sessions and consider them temporary. See if you notice a difference in the overall amount you are able to pump. I started at once a day, went up to 5 a day (immediately after feeding) and am back at 2 and that works for us now. My goal is to supplement with 3 oz after a feeding and I worked my way up to that and stopped there, so maybe you can work your way up to 6 oz or very close to that. The best way I've found to increase production is to pump, drink loads of water, and get enough sleep. Someone on another website mentioned a way to attach the pumps to your bra so you don't feel as tied down...if you're interested in that I can try to see if I can find that link again. Personally, I wish I had the money to invest in my newest Cosmo Kramer idea for an invention -- a pump on wheels with a loooooooong extension cord. Yesterday I was pumping and carrying the stupid thing to get stuff done but the radius was just too small.

    One other thing...let's say you didn't add in the formula in that bottle to make a 6 oz bottle. What happens if you only give her what you pump? Is she okay with that or is she fussing for more? In the end I think you have to work with your gut feeling, but for me I got a little bit frustrated with the doctors always thinking in terms of bottles because for us, at least, breastfeeding sessions did not look like that (6 times per day, 120 ml per 'bottle', etc). I'm just curious what would happen if you only fed her your expressed milk and then tried to feed her a little sooner. That might stimulate production, but it might not work for you two...just go with what you feel. Someone more knowledgeable than I needs to step in and confirm this, but from what I understand the formula can be counterproductive to your production unless you are pumping enough to balance it out, so you can kind of get into a cycle. I'm not against formula supplements in general but concerned about how they affect my production.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    Feeding "from the source" is certainly easier. Check this out and see if it sounds familiar. http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...ible-baby.html Pumping isn't as efficient as putting baby to the breast, so your milk production may be fine. If she refuses, don't push it. I agree with pp. I would try putting her to the breast more frequently. If she's just snacking, I would probably put her on the same breast a couple of times before switching to drain it better.

    You said the dr wasn't happy with weight gain. What has that pattern been like?

  10. #10
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Help! Not enough milk!

    Thanks for all the input. I guess maybe I need to up my pumping for awhile. I am just afraid that it will make me frustrated with the whole breastfeeding thing. She does fuss if she does not get the full bottle.Maybe I will try and pump a couple of times at night while shes asleep. Well so far she has had only 2 feedings with 4oz of formula and it is 3:00 here. I tried to just keep putting her on, but she just gets really angry. I cant imagine that her sucking for 5 minutes would be enough. My goal today is to see that she takes the boob for the rest of the day. that would be nice. I am also trying to drink more water taking fenugreek and eating oatmeal. keep your fingers crossed. Thanks

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