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Thread: Supply Problem (long)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy Supply Problem (long)

    Sooo, I have a 4 1/2 month old baby boy who I was breastfeeding with no problems for 3 1/2 months. Then suddenly he started sleeping 10 hour stretches during the night, I guess I was stupid and I really should of woke him up. But you always hear people say "when baby sleeps you should sleep" so I did. And he was always a sleepy baby from birth. Plus, if he didn't wake me up I simply didn't wake up.
    So after about a week of him sleeping these long stretches I went and weighed him and he lost 2 ounces, and then over another week he lost 4 more. His total weight loss was 6 ounces and he stayed 11lbs 14oz for a week. I saw my doctor and all he suggested was formula, no help for bringning my supply back up because he didn't believe me it was a supply issue (But I obviously know it is, I know my breasts).
    So I've unfortunatley been supplementing with formula for going on two weeks now. Which seemed to only make everything worse for us.
    My health nurse suggested pumping after feedings on each breast, and massage to help bring my milk down. I often do the massage but don't pump as often as I should. I eat a pretty balanced diet, I drink a ton of fluids (especially now). I take my prenatal vitamin every night, I'm also taking fenugreek, blessed thistle and brewers yeast. But it still seems to be going down.
    I'm at a loss right now, no one can really give me any other suggestions. Is it possible I'll ever get him off the formula and fully back on the breast?
    And suggestions and help would be tremendously appreciated.


    Oh yeah, and I'm new! Hello everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    834

    Default Re: Supply Problem (long)

    From what I've read about brewer's yeast, it's not exactly a sure thing.
    From Kellymom.com (http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milks...bal-rem_a.html):
    "Brewer's yeast is often reported to be a galactagogue, however many feel that brewer's yeast is not effective for increasing milk supply. Brewer's yeast is a rich source of B vitamins, and a protein source, providing essential amino acids. "


    Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle are supposed to work great taken together. (see this page for dosage, under "herbs for increasing milk supply") Still, no amount of herbs or even prescription drugs will increase your supply if the milk simply isn't being removed.

    Breastfeeding is a supply and demand system. You remove the demand and the supply decreases. Your best way to increase the demand put on your body is to put baby to the breast. I think pumping is second-best, because no pump can remove milk as effectively as a baby can.

    Your baby might be a bit resistant to the breast, having been on a bottle now for a while. I've found, when mine has refused the breast (because of teething and once, a nipple confusion scare), that the best way to get him on was to catch him while he was half-asleep, just waking up from a nap (I find it best if he's just stirring, not to the point of opening eyes...I dunno if all babies give you as much warning as mine, though). You may have to spend some quality time in his nursery with a book or something in order to catch him in that sleepy-but-not-sound-asleep period, but you do what it takes, right? If he starts to get frustrated because it's not coming fast enough, try breast compression (instructions here, video here under "compression") then try switching breasts. If you can't get him to latch and stay on doing that, then try pumping (and yes, you do need to do it).

    Every now and then if you can manage it, have a warm shower before you nurse and let the warm water run over your breasts. This can help increase supply. I've heard a lot of women say that a bowl of oatmeal before breakfast every morning also helps. They say homemade is best, but I even notice a small different with Quaker's instant stuff.

    Instead of offering your baby the pacifier (if he takes one) try offering the breast when he needs to suck.

    If you've been feeling stressed or have been generally busy, slow down. "Your milk supply will increase faster if you're rested and relaxed." ("The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding")

    You CAN do this!! It IS possible to re-build your supply!!! It might not happen overnight (in fact, you might want to just eliminate one bottle at a time, or maybe even half of a bottle), but it CAN be done! You may want to find a board certified lactation consultant (if you're not sure whether they're certified, check and see if the letters "IBCLC" are attached to their names), and give your local La Leche League Leader a call. Definitely go to the meetings! I swear, they've been a lifesaver for my son and I.
    Last edited by Iryssa; March 22nd, 2008 at 02:01 AM.
    ~~~~ ~~~~
    Iryssa(24), DH(27)


    DS born Sept. 21 '07, 8.5lbs
    Nursed for the last time Oct. 20 '08

    DD born Jan. 20, '09, 8lbs 14oz

    http://healthymomnbaby.blogspot.com/
    http://www.xanga.com/iryssa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Supply Problem (long)

    Thanks for your reply. The problem isn't getting him to latch on, because he does and he truly loves the breast. He just pops off and screams because he can't get any milk and he's frustrated. I've tried breast compression, and I still use it.
    He doesn't take a pacifier, he prefers skin. So he'll use the breast or his fingers to soothe himself as opposed to the pacifier. I'll try some of things you suggested that I'm not already trying.
    Thanks!

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