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Thread: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2

    Unhappy Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    My baby is 14 days old (born at just under 37 wks). In the hospital before my milk came in, they made me supplement w/ formula b/c they were worried about her weight loss. She has since been a lazy nurser, taking up to an hour to take between 35 and 60 ccs. However, she is frequently still hungry after nursing and will take another 45-60 ccs from a bottle. Unfortunately, I am not pumping enough for this supplemental bottle to be all breastmilk, and invariably some component of it ends up being formula. Am taking More Milk supplement for five days now, but haven't really seen much of an increase in my production. Am using a Medela Pump in Style double pump. Seems like everyone I ask diagnoses another "sure thing" problem-- need bigger flanges, need hands free bra, need to just stop breastfeeding and go with formula. While I love nursing my baby, if she goes bottle, my number one priority is that she gets breast milk rather than formula. Does anyone out there recognize themselves in this story? Am I missing something? I would feed her round the clock, but sleep seems importnat for milk production too... and even then, she doesn't get enough from nursing because she tires and then gets angry. I had no idea breastfeeding would be so depressing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    I feel for you, I am going through low supply issues. Someone will chime in soon with links and such that can possibly help you increase your supply. I wish you the best of luck and congrats on your new baby girl.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    Thanks for the support. I feel like a total headcase. The lactation consultants at the hospital totally made a mess out of me before they sent me home. I feel like I've spent the last week just trying to regain a little confidence in my intuition about my baby. Nevertheless, that confidence is shaky when she has her ineffective early afternoon feedings... if only they were all 8pm chow downs...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    I have the opposite problem lol.. mine eats good and seems satisfied around 8am.. and then she is unhappy the rest of the day = (

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,160

    Default Re: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    It sounds as if you're having a very typical experience starting out with breastfeeding. Many of us struggled at first, and even after many months hit difficult times.

    My first thought is instead of giving your baby a bottle of formula or BM why don't you let her nurse again? Sometimes newborns like to be attached to mama at the breast- that is one of the best ways to increase your milk production. Have you considered co-sleeping? That way you can nurse and relax at the same time.

    Skin to skin contact increases milk production, so try feedings with both of you going without a shirt on. Also take a warm bath with her! It's very relaxing.

    I really don't think that you need to be taking an herbal supplement just yet because your milk production is on a hormonal basis still. You will make milk regardless if you want to or not!

    Really consider dropping all bottles and nursing- try a nursing vacation in the bed and see how it goes. When the baby fusses again put her to breast and not the bottle. You always have milk in there it never 'runs out'.

    I know how frustrating this can be starting out but it does get better. Hang in there and keep checking in for some extra encouragement and advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    Hi parula

    I too experienced difficulties in the early weeks.

    My milk was late coming in, one 'nazi' midwife refused to give my daughter formula and consequently my daughter was screaming from hunger which was very painful for me.

    Anyway another LC came to see me the following day and set up a medela supplemental nursing system so that my daughter could 'breastfeed' while getting formula but also stimulating my milk flow so it was a win-win situation for us .

    My daughter also took about 1hr each feeding up (sometimes longer) until around 10 weeks, and then she decreased over a few weeks until she only took a couple of minutes.

    I just want you to know that it does get easier and more enjoyable, and although I had to supplement in the early weeks until I increased my supply, I was able to breastfeed exclusively for a few months after that.

    So congratulations for hanging in there, I know it can be difficult, but if you can stick to it, it is very rewarding and enjoyable also.

    Oh, and I forgot to say - they do tend to go through a few growth spurts in the early months - approximately at 10 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 4 months and 6 months of your baby's life so be prepared for extra (and sometimes even longer) feedings during these times as well.
    Last edited by michamum; March 13th, 2008 at 08:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    Hello and ,

    What leads you to believe that your milk supply is low? Is it that she will take a bottle after breastfeeding, or are there other things that concern you? Most babies will drink a bottle after breastfeeding, even if their stomachs are full. This is because babies have a high need to suck, and they are unable to control the fast flow of milk that comes from the bottle.
    The best way to tell that your baby is getting enough to eat is to monitor "diaper output". Check out the link in my siggy for more information. As long as baby is having plenty of diaper output, you can begin weaning from the formula supplements.

    Breastfeeding works on the principle of supply and demand. The more baby nurses, the more milk you will make.Giving baby a bottle after nursing, instead of offering to nurse again, breaks that supply-demand chain, and tells your body that baby does not need as much milk from you...exactly the opposite of what you want to happen. Allowing baby to nurse very frequently, without time limits or schedules, is the best way to increase your milk production. Baby should be nursing at least 10-12 times every 24 hours, including at night. Night nursing is particularly important because your prolactin (milk-making hormone) levels are highest at night. Bringing baby to bed with you to nurse at night while you sleep is a very effective way to increase milk production and still get the amount of rest that you need.

    Have you tried breast compressions and switch nursing? Let me know if you need more of an explanation.

    You really are doing a great job, mama. Hang in there, and keep us posted!

    Tiana

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Not making enough milk & supplementing is breaking my heart

    Don't give in to that formula.
    Just don't give her any and let your baby nurse as often as she wants.
    Put her at the breast even when you think she does not want any.

    Your supply is not equalling the demand, most defintely, as you are supplementing.

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