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Thread: milk supply almost gone!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    13

    Exclamation milk supply almost gone!

    hello-
    i have been pumping since the first of april. i had a lot of problems with breastfeeding before i learned that one of my nipples was damaged and unable to feed off of. my daughter is almost 5mos. over the last few months of pumping my supply has fluctuated here and there -but i am very worried now that it has decreased and isnt going to come back. last week i was 4-5 bottles ahead and tonight i had to dethaw a bag inorder to feed her before bed!! ive been trying to increase my supply by pumping more frequently -in 1-2 hour intrevals. but it doesnt seem to be helping much and i dont know what to do. if i wasnt pumping at night while she was asleep i wouldnt even be able to keep up with her demands.
    can someone please help!!
    thank you
    kitty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: milk supply almost gone!

    Hello Kitty,

    I am sorry that you are feeling this way about your supply. Could you give us some more information?

    You said you are not meeting her needs. Is that the reason that you believe your supply is down?

    How much are you pumping each session?
    How many times in 24 hours do you pump? For how long each session?
    Does she nurse at the breast at all?
    How often/much milk does she take?
    What type of pump are you using? Is it new or used?
    What type of nipple damage do you have?
    Is your other nipple ok?
    Have you seen an IBCLC?
    Does dd take solids or pacifier?

    Forgive me for all the questions, but it will help me get a better picture of what's going on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    13

    Default Re: milk supply almost gone!

    How much are you pumping each session?
    2-3oz per side but now i am only getting a total of 2-3oz instead of 5+

    How many times in 24 hours do you pump? For how long each session?
    i pump every 2-3hrs and i pump until i am empty -normally 2-3oz per side

    Does she nurse at the breast at all?
    no not at all

    How often/much milk does she take?
    she takes 5 oz every 2-3 hours total of 7-8 feedings a day

    What type of pump are you using? Is it new or used?
    medela instyle -purchased new in april

    What type of nipple damage do you have?
    it was damaged from a piercing and blistered up every time she ate off of it -met with a lactationist several times over a couple of months

    Is your other nipple ok?
    yes the other nipple is fine

    Have you seen an IBCLC?
    i dont know what this is -ibclc

    Does dd take solids or pacifier?
    no

    thank you for your help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: milk supply almost gone!

    Hi Kitty,

    An IBCLC is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant. You mentioned that you did work with someone in the beginning. Did she suggest that dd nurse from your unaffected nipple? Have you ever tried to nurse dd on the unaffected side? Would you be interested in trying this? (Forgive me, but I couldn't quite piece together if you had been nursing for the first two months and then switched to exclusively pumping for the last couple of months. Is this correct?)

    You mentioned pumping until you are empty. Typically LLL suggests 10-15 minutes per session, and then 2 minutes after the last drop has fallen.

    So to clarify (sorry!) You used to get 4-6 oz. total and now are getting 2-3 oz. total?

    Have you recently gotten your period back? Could you be pregnant? Any major stress in your life right now?

    I just have to say that you are a very committed mother for pumping as you have been. This takes a lot of time and energy and you should be very proud of all you have done.

    That said, the number one way to increase supply is to pump/nurse more frequently. You already know that and are trying it without much luck. How long have you been doing the increased pumping? (For how many days now?)

    Are you with dd during the day or do you experience separation due to school/work?

    Some moms who are exclusively pumping do notice a drop in supply around this time.

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug96p118.html

    Check these articles and see if there is anything that might be helpful. In the meantime I will wait for your reply.

    Hang in there! You are working so hard to give your baby BM and this must be tough on you, I know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    13

    Default Re: milk supply almost gone!

    originally i breast fed only but i kept experiencing problems on the one side -i made a few posts about it on one of the boards which i believe can be viewed in my history. the nipple blistered so badly that i began to pump the one side by hand and feed her off of the good side. i did this for about a month (she was less than 2 months old at the time) while i waited on it to heal. i went back to the lactation specialist again. to make sure that i was doing everything right once it healed up -again the same thing happened. at that point we purchased the electric pump. i assume that the specialist is certified she is employed at the hospital where i gave birth -she is one of many --but the only one i trust. when i first started using the electric pump i still put her on the good side occasionally because i wanted to try to breastfeed her again later -but it was a lot of time doing it that way and trying to coordinate everything together. the last time i tried to breastfeed her was actually about a week ago and she had no idea what was going on -it was like she had never done it before.
    yes i was pumping 4-6oz a session before -which is exactly what i needed per feeding to satisfy her. but now i am getting only 2-3oz total. at this rate my backup supply (in the freezer) will be depleted very quickly!
    i am on the mini pill but ive been taking that since she was 5wks old.
    i do stay at home with her during the day -am not working at this time.

    i do have an update on the situation. yesterday the damaged side swelled up very hard and put me in excruciating pain. i kept pumping and it wouldnt come out -only to form a large blister. it finally started to flow slowly --but the milk had greenish yellow ooze in the bottom -the other sides milk was fine. i kept pumping every 2-3hrs and discarding the bad milk -the crazy thing is that during this time my supply went way up. this morning i woke up and felt fine -have had no problems but my supply is just as low as ever. i think i have an infection -is it possible that it is still left over yeast?
    i dont have insurance and cant really afford a drs visit -is this something i should have checked out or will it continue to get better on its own -since it seems to be clearing up?

    sorry i know this is a very long response. thank you so much for your help i am at a complete loss!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: milk supply almost gone!

    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all of this! Here is a link to info on mastitis. This should give you an idea of what you should be doing.

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

    According to my Breastfeeding Answer Book you should be "encouraged" to contact a physician if you have

    *a cracked nipple with obvious signs of infection (you do)
    *pus and blood in milk (you do)
    *red streaks from site of infection back
    *sudden and severe symptoms with no identifiable cause

    You mentioned not having insurance. Could you contact the LC at the hospital? She may be able to be of more assistance. I would also suggest getting in touch with a local LLL Leader. She could help you more than I can in this situation.

    I know you said it seems like it is getting better, but the pus in your milk would be something that would concern me.

    How have you been doing today?

    You can continue to pump (and should-especially the infected side). After you get this problem cleared up you may wish to slowly stop pumping on the side with the damage. In effect, let that side "dry up". Lots of moms produce plenty of milk on only one side. That damaged nipple seems to be causing lots of problems. I would hate to see things go bad again. That was why I asked if you had been nursing on that side.

    If you have interest in getting dd back to nursing on the good side you may want to try lots of skin-to-skin, wearing her all of the time, co-sleeping, and offering the breast a lot.

    But first I would consider taking care of the other situation you have with your damaged nipple/possible infection.

    Again, I would suggest speaking with a local Leader and/or calling the hospital LC.

    Take care of yourself and keep us updated!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    13

    Default Re: milk supply almost gone!

    i spoke with the lc from the hospital today. she said that since i was feeling better and it seemed to be clearing up not to worry about it unless i saw signs of infection again or ran a fever. she also said that a little drainage in the milk was safe -which does concearn me. im not sure if its really safe -but at this point what is coming out has just a very slight discoloration to it and isnt seperating from the milk. i gave it to her today and it didnt seem to bother her. i feel fine -not like i was ever sick.
    my milk supply is still low. we purchased some fenugreek today per her advice -but i am going to wait and see if my milk supply has improved any tomorrow before i actually start taking it. i really have my reservations about taking this stuff -even though i am told that it is safe.
    as far as drying up the damaged side -that is the side that does the most production -lol. and i would prefer not to do that if i can avoid it.
    thank you so much for the advice -it has been very helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: milk supply almost gone!

    Hang in there and let us know how it is going.

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