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Thread: Low supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Low supply

    I'm new here (first post!) and I'm hoping that all you pros might be able to give me some advice. My son is 5 1/2 weeks old. In the last week, my supply has gone down. Or at least it is no longer satisfying my little guy! On Monday, he spent the day trying to nurse constantly. He would only suck for about 5 minutes, then unlatch. 15 minutes later, he would want to latch on again and he would suck for 5 minutes again. On Tuesday, he was diagnosed with severe reflux, so I'm thinking that this might have been the reason for the nursing problems. However, since that day, my supply has been not enough to meet his demands.

    I've been taking Fenugreek for a week (3 capsules, 3x daily). The Fenugreek was helping, but appears to have not been able to get me through Monday's issue. Yesterday I started taking Blessed Thistle (3 capsules, 3 x daily) as well. I nurse every 2 hours, allowing him to finish one breast before going to the next. He always nurses on the next as well. I have tried pumping after each feeding (almost impossible for me to do) as little one screams when I put him right down after he feeds to pump. Nothing comes out when I pump after feeding him!

    PLEASE help! I know that he is still hungry after he finishes both sides because yesterday I was so desperate that I gave him an oz. of formula after he finished and he was perfectly content. I don't want to supplement but don't know what else to do. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Thumbs up It's gonna get better!

    As a mommy who's been nursing for a year now, I can relate to having dips in supply. I started my period when my baby was just 16 weeks old, and was saddened and discouraged more than a few times when he was left crying for more at my empty boobie.

    I supplemented with organic formula, and he still nursed fine. I just remembered that the more he nursed, the more milk I’d eventually make again, and that the supply would come back up, and it has every month since then, even with certain months when there was a seemingly significant drop. Every month is a little different with me.

    I suppose it seems unfair that some mommies have overflowing amounts that they can afford to store away or donate while other mommies like us, struggle (at times) to keep up a supply that is sufficient. That being said, Elliott has not lost weight or been underweight, so I know I’m making enough for him! In fact, he’s been in the 90th percentile for weight until recently, since he’s turned one. They often drop off a little once they are a year old, doctor says.

    Just recently, as in, the past few days, my supply has been low, and often can be before and after my period, so we’ve been nursing much more often. I think he’s experiencing a growth spurt also because the past few nights have been restless for both of us because of how often he wants to nurse. So, once again we’ve just nursed through it and it’s already getting better again. It only seems to last a few (2-3) days.

    Hang in there, mommy!
    Last edited by Elliott's 24-hour Diner; March 28th, 2008 at 10:04 AM.

    Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever fresh and radiant possibility. ~ Kate Douglas Wiggin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Low supply


    At 5.5 weeks old, there's a good chance your little guy is going through a growth spurt. During a growth spurt, baby will want to nurse "all the time". This does not mean your milk is gone. On the contrary, your little guy is telling your body, "I'm growing! It's time to make more!". Smart baby!

    It can be helpful to remember that breastfeeding works on the principle of supply and demand. The more baby nurses, the more milk you will make. If you are ever concerned that your milk supply is low, the best thing to do is nurse more frequently. Try to aim for at least 10-12 times every 24 hours, including night time. Supplementing with formula breaks the supply-demand chain, and sends your body the message to make less milk--exactly the opposite of what you want to happen.

    How is little one's "diaper output"? Baby should be having at least 6-8 wet cloth/5-6 really wet disposable diapers per day, and about 1-3 bms per day at this age. Check out the link in my siggy for more information.

    HTH. Hang in there, mama!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Low supply

    I was going to mention the growth spurt as well, but also reflux babies LOVE to eat more often than not. BM is a natural antacid and it soothes their throat so they want more. This is why you will see more fat reflux babies than FTT ones. So it might just be an issue of maybe introing a pacifier if he doesn't have one yet and making sure his reflux meds are right. We also used Mylanta Supreme (the only one w/out added aluminum) up to 4x a day to help as well. Also keep in mind a lot of reflux is caused by milk and/or soy intolerances. All of mine have had that (plus more), but only the last 2 had the reflux as well.
    Jennifer, child passenger safety technician and mama to,
    AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), and Olivia (2/12/09)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Low supply

    I would agree that it sounds like a growth spurt. Tuck your baby into bed with you and enjoy the bonding time you spend nursing. Just a little reassurance- your breasts don't ever go 'empty' there is always milk in there if your LO needs a snack! Even if you feel empty those nurslings always find a way to get out what they need.

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

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