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Thread: Low milk supply concerns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Low milk supply concerns

    My baby is now 6 weeks old and does a great job at latching on to the breast but I am concerned that I am not producing enough milk because even after nursing on both breasts he is still hungry. So for the past 2 weeks I have been supplementing with formula. I have been pumping since he was born and I have noticed that when I pump I am only getting around 2-3 ounces from my left breast and maybe if I am lucky 1 ounce from my right. I am VERY concerned that my milk supply is low.. any tips or advice? I even went out and bought Fenugreek which is a herb that is supposed to increase your milk supply, I just started taking it 2 days ago. I am desperate to find a solution, I really want to continue breast feeding.

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    Amanda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    4 oz total output with both breasts is normal and actually very good. Please try not to be concerned about low supply. It sounds like you are doing just fine. Keep nursing, try to ditch the supplemental formula. At 6 weeks, babies usually have growth spurt, so the more nursing you do, the more your body will start producing for your lo's increased needs. Keep up the good work

    Amy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    I second the PP! 4 oz total is quite good! Remember, new babies have tiny tummies. They need to eat small amounts frequently instead of large amounts infrequently.

    How is nursing going? Is it comfortable? Can you hear your baby swallowing while he feeds? Is he content when he's done feeding? Are his poops mustard yellow and seedy? Is he gaining weight? If the answers to those questions are "okay, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes," then I would stop worrying and I would throw the formula in the trash.

    If nursing is painful, or you have cracked or blistered nipples, or the baby does not seem to be swallowing when he nurses, or isn't gaining weight, or does not seem to like nursing, and cries after nursing until he gets a bottle, I would go and see a lactation consultant (preferably one with the initials IBCLC after her name) ASAP. Nothing beats hands-on help!

    Here are some things you can do to get back to exclusive breastfeeding:
    -Lots of contact. Wear your baby in a sling during the day. Take warm soothing baths together. Co-sleep at night. The more he is near you or on you, the more he will probably want to feed.
    -Nurse on demand.
    -Don't watch the clock. The old advice to "feed baby for 10 minutes on side 1, then 10 minutes on side 2, and you're done" is bad advice- some babies are slow eaters and take a long time to get a full meal.
    -Switch nursing. If your baby is sleepy, and nods off while nursing, try switching him from one breast to another every time his suckling slows. (Switch nursing is also great for supply!)
    -If you feel you must supplement, use a supplemental nursing system (SNS) to make sure your baby receives all his nutrition at the breast.

    Hang in there! It gets so much better if you can make it through the early challenges!

  4. #4
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    Thank you so much! That helps a lot.

    Just to give you a little background info on my situation. Alex was a preemie born via c-section, he was exactly to the day 1 month early and had to be in the NICU for 6 days due to really bad jaundice so I was unable to nurse him but I did pump and bring him my breast milk, no one at the hospital ever showed me how to breast feed or even talked to me about it so I researched it like crazy and pretty much learned how to do it on my own. Alex latches on just fine and has had no nipple confusion between the bottle and breast since he was obviously given the bottle for the first 6 days at the hospital. I was so worried about that. Not to mention I found out they were giving him formula at times as well which really upset me.

    I also noticed that I am now down to 2-2.5 ounces every 2-3 hours as of last night but I am assuming thats because my cycle just started and I read on here that its normal.

    I'm gonna stop pumping and exclusively have him on the breast for now on to see how that works.

    The breast pump I am using is the "First Years by the learning curve", is this a good pump? My hubby bought it for me while I was in the hospital so I did not get to go and check out what was available and the hospital did not have any to rent.

    After I put him on one breast he will nurse for about 5-7 mins then he starts slowing down so I switch him to the other until he stops nursing but then he gets fussy and cries afterwards and when I give him 1.5-2 ounces of formula after nursing he eats it all so that leads me to think he is not getting enough at the breast. Any thoughts on that?

    Its bath night for both of us so I will definitely take a nice warm bath with him. I will also get a sling next week on payday, I have been talking to my hubby about getting one anywas for when I travel up to WA state with Alex next month.

    I did have cracked, painful, and bleeding nipples the first week of nursing and so I bought lanolin creme and it has cleared everything all up.

    Oh and I am new here, what does LO stand for? I am still trying to learn all the lingo on this forum, this is also my first baby so there is lots of learning going on
    Last edited by Riordan; November 15th, 2007 at 05:00 PM.
    Amanda

    Mommy to my preemie prince Alexander Warren born at 35 weeks 6 days
    on 9/27/07 at 9:02PM Via C-section
    Birth Weight/Length - 5lbs 8oz, 18" long
    Current Weight/Length at 3 years old - 34lbs, 38 inches tall.


    Mommy to my little princess Abigail Rose born at 38 weeks 3 days on 11/06/09 @ 6:51PM Via C-section.
    Birth Weight/Length - 6lbs, 19 inches
    Breastfeeding and doing great!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by Riordan View Post
    After I put him on one breast he will nurse for about 5-7 mins then he starts slowing down so I switch him to the other until he stops nursing but then he gets fussy and cries afterwards and when I give him 1.5-2 ounces of formula after nursing he eats it all so that leads me to think he is not getting enough at the breast. Any thoughts on that?
    Hi!! welcome...

    LO means "Loved One"....ha ha...DS "Dear Son". DD "" Dear Daughter....DH "Dear Hubby"...

    By the way you describe his nursing it is perfectly normal for babies to suck actively for 5-7 minutes and then slow down and confort suck, this is very important as in this time he starts receiving hindmilk rich in fat, so my advice is to just leave him at ONE breast for as long as he wants and THEN change him to the other if he will still want to nurse. If you switch him so fast to the other one he will be receiving only the foremilk (low in calories).

    If you supplement you are not sending the correct signal to your body to produce the milk your LO needs. Active and constant suckling is the only way babies self-regulate the amount they need. During growth spurts they need more milk and they fix that by wanting to constalntly nurse.......and they bring up the supply....but if you give formula your supply will not increase as he is spending less and less time at the breast. The fastest way to begin losing breastfeeding is to supplement.

    So my advice is to enjoy your LO, spend lots of time together cuddling and nursing, forget about the clock....nurse "on demand" and you will always have the right amount for your LO.

    Ditch the pump for now....is stressful and time consuming and it does not stimulate more production as effectively as your babies mouth does.

    Lots of Luck!!!
    Karina, Neonatal Nurse, mother to Martin, born at 33 weeks 02/11/2007...
    I love ...... .....my baby loves it

    I relactated....IT CAN BE DONE!!!

    I also love
    Tried to


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    Oh!! I forgot.

    Babies sucking and swallowing reflexes are VERY strong......if he drinks what you offer of formula it does not mean that he was left hungry or needed it.....usually a baby will drink it and if it was too much they spit it out afterwards....
    Karina, Neonatal Nurse, mother to Martin, born at 33 weeks 02/11/2007...
    I love ...... .....my baby loves it

    I relactated....IT CAN BE DONE!!!

    I also love
    Tried to


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    don't be afraid to look up your local leader shes around to help!
    lots of moms have bleeding at 6 weeks and then it goes away for many months so don't freak out if the bleeding doesn't come back.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,721

    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    Just wanted to comment on the pump you're using... It's not all that great. It's the same one I have and after using it for a couple months it lost almost all suction. I was still using it, then it fell to the floor and doesn't work at all.

    I got a Medela Pump In Style today that my insurance paid for!

    ~*Allee*~

    Damon 8/5/99 Heaven 7/24/01 Jasmine 7/20/07

  9. #9
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    Your situation is very similar to mine except that it took me months to get to the point where I was pumping 3-4oz at once - good going!

    just to confirm, it's good to let your baby nurse from one breast for as long as possible so he will get the hindmilk. That's where the good stuff is.

    pumps by Medela are generally considered the best although you're doing well with the one you have. I would look into renting a hospital-grade pump if you're going to switch. The Medela Classic is good. Also - the Pump In Style is considered good.

    Best of luck to you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Low milk supply concerns

    Thank you everyone for all the helpful advice.

    I guess I am not pumping as little as I had originally thought which is good to know.

    That is when I was exclusively pumping without breast feeding period.

    I will stick with my pump for now, it seems to be doing the trick, if it slows down or stops I will switch.
    Amanda

    Mommy to my preemie prince Alexander Warren born at 35 weeks 6 days
    on 9/27/07 at 9:02PM Via C-section
    Birth Weight/Length - 5lbs 8oz, 18" long
    Current Weight/Length at 3 years old - 34lbs, 38 inches tall.


    Mommy to my little princess Abigail Rose born at 38 weeks 3 days on 11/06/09 @ 6:51PM Via C-section.
    Birth Weight/Length - 6lbs, 19 inches
    Breastfeeding and doing great!

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