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Thread: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    2

    Exclamation Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    Our son was born May 23, so he's almost 4 weeks old now! I am furious about the fact that I didn't get to hold him until at least an hour after he was born, then I didn't get to breastfeed him until 4 hours later because they wanted to get his temp up. I don't know how much this affects breastfeeding, but he always seems to fall asleep at the breast in less than 10 minutes. In the hospital, he slept all day and was IMPOSSIBLE to wake up (we tried everything), but he ate throuhout the night and had many bms and wet diapers, so we weren't concerned.
    However, when he was 3 days old, a doctor told us to start supplementing with formula because he had gone from 7lbs 5 oz to 6lbs. 10oz and looked a little jaundiced. I was surprised because he ate frequently (mostly cluster feeding), my milk was in, and he seemed to latch on well (cradle position). My nipples weren't sore, I wasn't engorged, my left breast let down like crazy when feeding my right...so I thought all was well. I cried when she told me to supplement, expressed my concerns about him getting lazy on the bottle, not going to the breast, etc.
    According to the lactation consultants I talked with, the doctor should've told me to start pumping immediately to keep my supply up. I still breastfeed before bottle-feeding, but he downs 3 oz. from a bottle plus both breasts at each feeding. I hand-pumped a few times a day just to check my supply, but bought the Medela pump in style last Friday (2.5 weeks old). I breastfeed, bottle-feed, then pump every 2 hours, and get anywhere from 1/4-1 oz. from each breast. It sucks! I am actually feeding him about every hour, but I am exhausted as each "session" takes 1.5 - 2 hours depending on his needs.
    I eat healthy, drink lots, am not stressed, have ''good breasts" for feeding, according to the nurses, but I hate formula and want breastfeeding to work. Chicken is the only meat I eat, but I would actually eat red meat if needed to increase my supply One consultant said--last week--it's too late for me to increase my supply while another said one month is all you have before it's established. I've read about fenugeek, herbs, and domperidone, but I was wondering if there's something I'm missing. Why is pumping not working?! I have chidcare in my house, so I plan to breastfeed for a year and can work on it at home.
    Any ideas or suggestions before I call my local leader? Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give all the info.
    Thanks!
    Hollee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    Hi Hollee-I dont believe that about not being able to increase your supply. I supplemented DS from his 2nd day of life, and at 11 1/2 weeks he took his last bottle!!!(With some help from Reglan, which my OBGYN called in). Hang in there! Keep in mind that the pump is not as efficient as your baby at drawing the milk out! What worked for me was to let DS nurse 20 min each side and then offer formula only if he still seemed hungry-some days he would only take 1 oz formula, some days 10!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    I've had to pump a lot too and I think that 1/4 to 1oz every two hours at that age is great. That is after feeding him too right? At that age he is probably only taking a couple of ounces per feeding, so you may be making more than you think you are. I would pump every three hours at that stage and not pump an ounce sometimes. Hang in there. It really will get easier and your supply will increase. Me and baby had a rough start with weight loss and jaundice but we did eventually get to the point when she was almost completetly BF.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    2

    Default Re: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    Thanks for the quick responses! According to the lactation guides and consultants, I should be getting 3 oz from each breast by now. 1-2 oz is still considered good, but I don't always get 1. And I tried pumping solely without feeding sometimes and still got the same amounts 1/4-1 oz. How long should this take to build up? When he's really hungry, he gets frustrated at the breast, probably because it doesn't come out fast enough or give him all he needs (the reason I had to supplement at first). I'm glad to know that others have experienced this, too, but are succeeding now.
    What's Reglan? Anyone have a bad Domperidone experience or know how often there's heart side effects. I have some lactation tea, but I hate putting anything in my body that isn't normal (even natural herbs). I can handle minor side effects for me, but don't want it to affect him.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    Hollee,
    I think it is absolutely possible for you to increase your supply by just keeping your baby at the breast for as long as he wants. May be my story will help you a bit - my little one came through an unexpected c-section, so i didn't get to hold him at all for a long time. And as soon as he was born some dumb nurse made him down a 3oz bottle of formula and complained he spit it up and the doctors wanted him on observation. Also he ended up having water in his lungs because of the c-section and they put him in the nicu for the first three days. I was totally depressed. I kept pumping every 2 hours though out the first 2 weeks and was getting 1-2 oz each time ( actually none at all teh first few days, maybe a couple ccs) which was too little for my ds because in the nicu, they somehow want infants to drink as much formula as possible - every time at-least 3 oz. I was almost about to give up but for some encouragement from friends, and most importantly the advice from my mom over phone. She told me God has created us in such a way that every mother can provide for her child. She also told me to stop pumping and put the baby to the breast. So I thought, that makes sense. The first few days when I decided to do this were very hard. Since ds was so used to getting so full from formula + the fast flow nipples that gave us at the hospital, he wound want to eat more...then he slowly came around and wanted extra formula in the nights alone. Then none at all. Only thing was he took 2 hours to eat every time. If I had brought this up with any lactation consultant/doctor at my hospital they would have no-no'd it and asked me to supplement. So I never mentioned this to anyone - but guess what, my baby increased my milk supply to his needs himself. I initially took fenugreek for 2 or 3 weeks beginning the second week but none after. I was always worried if he was getting enough even though he had good wet diaper count. Then one day I was so worried sick that I decided to take him for a weight check and found he gained 3 pounds!!! So just get your baby to the breast and let him decide however long he wants to nurse. That is the single most effective way to up your supply. All the Best!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    call your local lll leader, they can help you figure out what to do about the bottles of formula, if your realy don't want to give any.
    It's normal for babys to want to nurse alot in the 1st 6-8 weeks.
    At least 12 times in 24 hours sometimes it's every hour.
    Can you take the baby to bed with you and just nap and rest while he nurses as much as he wants?
    I agree with emerald thats the way that I would did it if it was my baby
    Now that you are home you can do things the way you want to do them not the hospitals way!
    Most moms find they can increase their milk even after the baby is older.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    I could have written your letter! I'm in the same situation. I stopped giving bottles unless totally necessary, and finger feed instead, b/c he began to completely reject the breast about 2 weeks ago. (He's 8 weeks now.) I am on Reglan, which hasn't had a huge effect yet, but my baby still screams to be supplemented, even though he will nurse every time. My LC says he has an inefficient suckle and it may improve in a few weeks. I would appreciate any help anyone can give me too. Good luck to you!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Low supply. Help please...I'll do whatever it takes!

    here are some tips for increasing your supply..i've had 2 dips and am now on my 3rd supply dip and i've gotten it back each time..i hope i can get it back up again this time.. so here you go..hope it works for you


    1. rent a hospital grade pump..Medela Classic is what i'm using..it's $3 a day and totally worth it! OR better yet buy one off ebay and when you're done you can re-sell it on ebay and get your money back. i bought one and it works great..the medela classic is supposed to be the best pump out there.
    2. get the Easy Expression bra www.easyexpressionproducts.com it holds both cups over you bb's and it's better to pump 2 at a time
    3. eat oatmeal for breakfast..get the healthy kind, i add bananas
    3. Take "Lactation Supplement" by Gaia Herbs you can find it at the health food store
    4. try to pump at the same time every day...i try to get in 3 pumping sessions ..it's hard for me b/c Cas wakes up when i do it or i am busy with him so i have to wait til night after he's asleep
    5. Make sure the white membrane thingies that attach onto the cups are fairly new ..over used ones affect how much milk you get
    6. Drink lots of fluids including Nursing Mom's tea or Mother's Milk tea..also drinks with electrolytes like Recharge...Smart Water...Gatorade i notice on days i drink a lot of fluids i have more milk
    7. Eat barley..they have barley bread at Trader Joe's if you have a Trader Joe's where you live..or just buy barley. I buy a delicious barley tea at the japanese market and i drink a couple of cups a day..it's decaf and yummy.
    i also drink Healthy Mom's drinks by Ensure
    8.A warm wash cloth helps too ..apply to breasts before pumping or try the breast heating pads that you heat up in the microwave.
    9. Keep taking your prenatal vitamin..not getting a lot of milk could mean a vitamin deficiency
    even if you pump just a little ..save what you get and start adding them together and then supplement with the milk that you pump..that's why it's also good to pump after they've gone to sleep..then you help build your supply and you also have more bb milk for baby..
    10. nurse nurse nurse..triple up on nursing..you're going to have to dedicate a week to it
    the more you pump the more milk you'll begin to make.
    11. LOTS OF REST..nap if you can ..milk builds when you rest
    12. DHA supplements also are great for lactation..also found at the health food store*
    13. Alfalfa supplements are also great.
    i think that's it..
    so drink LOTS of liquids
    keep yourself moist ...don't take any birth control pills.

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