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Thread: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    Hi all,
    This is my first post. I don't know what to do. I have a 5 week old, and have had low milk supply from the start. I've been through it all, "negative" lactation consultations, herbs, oils, more milk plus, mothers milk tea, brewers yeast, pumping. I was put on Reglan about 1.5 weeks ago.

    First of all I want to say, it's been in my heart to breastfeed exclusive for 9 months, I've wanted to do this from the start, and I have been working at this constantly for 5 weeks now. My daughter loves to be at the breast, she prefers that over anything. However she is never satisfied, constantly rooting. I can't tell sometimes if it's for food or to use me as a pacifier for a few minutes before a nap/sleep. The lactation appointments were hard to judge one week I was told to supplement 4 ounces, the next week 8 ounces. However that particular appointment was horrible and I was sweating and very uncomfortable, and I knew she was not eating well. The lactation consultant had the nerve to tell me "well there is always your next baby." Is that true? Should I give up?

    I will say Reglan has helped some. I feel letdown sensations now. My breasts do feel more full after 3 hours. Especially anytime between 3-4 hours if I am out of the house, and on my way back from doing my errands. Somedays she'll want to eat for practically 2-3 hours straight. Someone told me that is pointless because after 20 minutes my breasts are drained anyways.

    Is it pointless to nurse beyond 20 minutes? Even if I hear some swallowing? Sometimes my daughter will get fussy at the breast after 20 minutes, does that mean there is no more milk? When I pump between her feedings I get less than 1 ounce - so what does that say about my supply? I do want to add, she had a very strong suck, her tongue is okay, good latch. So I don't have any problems there.

    Currently I supplement 4 ounces of formula a day, and about 2-3 ounces of pumped breastmilk. I want so badly to get her off of formula, but if I didn't supplement, she would root all day.

    Sorry, that I wrote such a long post. Hopefully this does make somewhat sense. I'm so frustrated right now. Why is it Mothers that really really want to breatfeed their babies seem to have LOW SUPPLY? Then their are Mom's that have to much milk?
    Last edited by simpleebella; March 20th, 2008 at 10:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up



    First thing I want to say is your determination is the key here- you CAN do this. I would like to point you in the direction of this resource because often, very often, women are told they have low supply when infact they do not... please see the link above and let us know what you think
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
    Emerson


    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    I agree and 4 oz of formula over a day isn't that much!
    Some babies need to nurse up to 12 times in 24 hours and thats normal for them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    I'm so sorry you're having trouble, mama! Does it help to know that you aren't alone? Because you're not!!! I think most of the mamas here- myself included- found this forum when they were having some sort of breastfeeding problem.

    I have a few questions for you.

    1. What kind of pump do you have? Do you have correctly-sized breast-shields? (Your nipple should not rub against the sides of the collection tube.) And how often are you pumping?

    2. Are you weighing your baby before and after feedings? If so, how much milk does she take in during a nursing session? Are you weighing her on a professional-grade scale?

    3. No problems with nursing at all? No pain, blisters, or cracking? Does your baby seem eager when at the breast, or sleepy?

    4. How are you supplementing? Are you using bottles? Finger-feeding? Using a supplemental nursing system?

    5. Have you been tested for thyroid problems? Any history of PCOS? Any chance of retained placental fragments?

    Don't give up! With determination like yours, I think you can go all the way!!!

  5. #5
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by simpleebella View Post
    The lactation appointments were hard to judge one week I was told to supplement 4 ounces, the next week 8 ounces. However that particular appointment was horrible and I was sweating and very uncomfortable, and I knew she was not eating well. The lactation consultant had the nerve to tell me "well there is always your next baby." Is that true? Should I give up?
    NO you don't have to wait for the next baby to have a good nursing relationship!! Is there another LC that you can see? I would get a second opinion! LLL Leaders often have a good idea on good LC's in the area and they can refer you to someone.

    Someone told me that is pointless because after 20 minutes my breasts are drained anyways. Is it pointless to nurse beyond 20 minutes? Even if I hear some swallowing?
    It's not pointless at all, nursing at the breast is never pointless. Even if there is only a little bit of milk in there, your baby is telling your body to make more! That's important nursing.

    When I pump between her feedings I get less than 1 ounce - so what does that say about my supply?
    That says your supply is good! I'm serious, pumping is NOT a good indicator of supply, and if you are able to get that much imagine how much your baby is getting! LOTS!

    I do want to add, she had a very strong suck, her tongue is okay, good latch. So I don't have any problems there.
    Great that's awesome!!

    Currently I supplement 4 ounces of formula a day, and about 2-3 ounces of pumped breastmilk. I want so badly to get her off of formula, but if I didn't supplement, she would root all day.
    Some babies have an INTENSE need to be at mothers breast, some babies are fussy, some babies cry - a lot. This doesn't mean that your supply is low though. How are her diapers, weight gain, and does she look healthy to you? Those are great indicators of supply!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    1. I have a Medela Pump n Style - practically brand new. I just ordered the soft-fit shields and they pinched my breast so bad on one side making pumping really painful, i had to take ibprofen. 5-6 pumpings a day

    2. No- I have not been weighing her before/after feedings. Only once a week at the LC appts. I'd love to rent a scale, but no location is close.

    3. I did have some cracked nipples, but now that is better. Sometimes she is really hungry at breast, sometimes sleepy. She likes to go 4-5 hours during the night without feeding. I try to get up, but I tend to sleep through any alarm. Yet I awake the second she is awake.

    4. I use bottles for pumped milk of formula

    5. I have had thyroid problems, but my levels are currently "normal"

  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    I am sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you have received some bad or uninformed advice. BF can be a struggle at times for every mother but it is well worth the struggles!

    What has made you think you have a low milk supply? What do you mean by "'negative' lactation consultants"?

    It is great that your daughter likes to be on the breast. This is one of if not the best way to increase supply - putting baby to the breast frequently! In my experience, rooting a lot at that age is normal. That does not necessarily mean she is not getting milk. What makes you think she is unsatisfied? Some babies do nurse frequently or for long periods of time in the early weeks and this is perfectly normal. How is her wet diaper output and weight gain? Here is a good link: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html
    I know my DD was a cluster feeder starting around your lo's age and lasting a few weeks.

    You say your breasts feel more full after 3 hours. 3 hours may be more time than you should be going between feedings at this age (every baby is different, though). You do produce milk even if you don't feel full though. I really only ever felt full in the first couple of weeks and when DD started sleeping longer at night. It is normal for your supply to even out so that you don't get engorged unless you miss feedings.

    From the link I posted you can see it is normal for some babies to nurse for long periods of time. It is untrue that it is not beneficial after 20 minutes. Your breasts are constantly producing milk as long as milk is being removed. Your breasts are never "empty". The flow of milk may slow after a while which may be what you are seeing when you say your lo is getting frustrated after a while. The flow may have slowed. It sometimes help to switch sides at that time if your lo is still wanting to nurse more. It is also okay (if you are comfortable) to let your lo use you as a paci or to get to sleep - the stimulation will help supply!

    Getting anywhere near an ounce on top of full time bf is great! Most moms who miss feedings only pump between 2-4 ounces per session. You will notice, though, that the more often you pump the more you will start removing. I think pumping almost an ounce is great. You should also know that pumping output is NOT an indicator of supply. Also at 5 weeks your lo may be going through a growth spurt.

    I am not a doctor and can't diagnose you but from what you describe it sounds like you may be going through a typical phase with bf and may not have low supply. Is there a reason that you did not mention above which makes you think your supply is low? Rooting is normal. A young baby wanting to be at the breast a lot in the first couple of months is normal - especially during growth spurts. There is a growth spurt around 4-6 weeks of age. It is great that you want to bf exclusively for 9 months. You can do this if you want. It is a shame your LC was not more supportive. I wanted to bf for 12 months. I'm still doing it at 16 months! You will have ups and downs but it is well worth it! Good luck.

    more links:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/index.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...e-nursing.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/27expressing_milk.html
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  8. #8
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    Thanks for answering all my nosy questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by simpleebella View Post
    1. I have a Medela Pump n Style - practically brand new. I just ordered the soft-fit shields and they pinched my breast so bad on one side making pumping really painful, i had to take ibprofen. 5-6 pumpings a day
    Okay, you have a Medela PIS. Good! But there may yet be a better option out there for you. I rented a Medela Lactina ($2/day) and it really sucked- in a good way! I would go back to the LC and ask her to fit you with properly-sized shields. If the shields are too small or too large, you won't get enough stimulation from the pump.

    5-6 pumpings per day is good. The more frequently you pump, the more you will make. I pumped every 2 hours during the day, and every 3 at night, a total of about 10 times a day, for several weeks. It was extremely draining, but worth it. I got good results very quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by simpleebella View Post
    2. No- I have not been weighing her before/after feedings. Only once a week at the LC appts. I'd love to rent a scale, but no location is close.
    Have you tried online? I googled "rent baby scale" and got a lot of replies. Perhaps one will be willing to ship? When you weigh your baby before and after feedings at the LC's, how much milk is your baby getting from you?

    Quote Originally Posted by simpleebella View Post
    3. I did have some cracked nipples, but now that is better. Sometimes she is really hungry at breast, sometimes sleepy. She likes to go 4-5 hours during the night without feeding. I try to get up, but I tend to sleep through any alarm. Yet I awake the second she is awake.
    It's amazing how an exhausted mama can sleep through a fire alarm, but the moment her baby stirs softly, she's wide awake! Anyway, so long as you're not having pain throughout a feeding, and your latch seems good, and your baby isn't too sleepy, I guess things are okay on that front. Yay!

    Quote Originally Posted by simpleebella View Post
    4. I use bottles for pumped milk of formula
    Your might want to try using a supplemental nursing system. That way your baby nurses from your breast, stimulating you to make more milk, at the same time that she is getting her supplemental feeding. You also decrease the risk of nipple confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by simpleebella View Post
    5. I have had thyroid problems, but my levels are currently "normal"
    Thyroid problems are a major cause of low supply. If you haven't been checked in the past couple of weeks, I think you may want to go back and get your levels checked again. Your thyroid function can fluctuate pretty wildly postpartum!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Not around here as much :(
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    Default Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    How are babies diapers??? THe output I mean??? Best indicator of how much baby is getting is what they're putting "out" - check here for under 6 weeks old and here for over 6 weeks old

    Did you get a chance to check out the low supply link above and give it a look??

    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
    Emerson


    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    137

    Cool Re: So discouraged - low milk supply - feel like giving up

    At 5 weeks, it's normal for her to want to be at the breast most of the time. And that rooting thing, I don't get it. My LO is almost 10 weeks old, and for the first 6 weeks, all he did was eat, root, eat, root. I was so worried he wasn't getting enough!

    I agree with PP, you may have been told you have low milk supply, but if your breasts are full after 3 hours of being away, it really doesn't sound to be true.

    What you want to look for is diaper output, and weight gain. If your LO is gaining weight and giving you 6-8 wet 2-3 dirties a day, you are doing just fine (and you don't have to supplement with that nasty formula)

    Good luck momma! You can do it!
    Hi there

    I'm fomally milk_milk a SAHM of Donevyn Shane

    We never get any housework done
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    We're back to , with the crib attached as a side care... Hooray! He sleeps through the night this way!



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