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Thread: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

  1. #1

    Default Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    Hello,

    My name is Mary and I have a 2 month old daughter. My milk supply was awesome for the first week of having her. I was able to pump 4 ounces out of each breast every 2-3 hours. After that, it began to decrease more and more. It got down to me only being able to pump less than half an ounce out of each breast. Obviously, I was unable to keep up with her feeding so I have been supplementing her with formula (which I absolutely hate to do). I contacted a lactation consultant and was put on a RX galactologue that lasted about 15 days. During this time, my milk supply was greater than ever and I was finally able to get her off formula. Unfortunately, the day after I stopped taking the RX, my milk supply decreased again back to about 1/2 ounce every 3 hours.

    Things I have tried since then:
    1. Pumping every 1 1/2 hours (only getting a few drops out)
    2. Putting Gretchen on my breasts more frequently (she has no problem latching on it's just that there isn't enough milk for a feeding and she gets frustrated after about 10 minutes on each breast)
    3. Taking Fenugreek tablets and tea (still seeing if this will help at all)

    Things I believe may be hurting my milk supply:
    1. I have been very stressed out since her birth due to some personal family problems occurring simultaneously of one another but I am trying my best to relax.
    2. I had breast augmentation last year right before I got pregnant. However, the implants were inserted in the armpits, not the nipple.


    Currently, I am only able to give her 3 ounces of breast milk per day (that I accumulate throughout the day from pumping about 1/2 oz out each time), which is one feeding session. The rest of her feedings are formula.

    What else can I do to regain my milk supply? I have tried everything I can think of and I am desperate for help. The RX worked well but my doctors are hesitant to give me anything else, believing it is a problem with Gretchen latching on or me not pumping enough, when I know it has nothing to do with that. I truly believe it is my body not being able to produce milk without assistance.

    So my question is, what can I possibly do now to regain supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Not around here as much :(
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    12,132

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low



    I just quickly wanted to say something that jumped out at me from your post... you mnentioned she was getting fussy after 10 minutes... Babies often get fussy at the breast and it doen'st mean there's not 'enough'.

    You're right that pumping won't have much do do with how much you make.

    When you're pumping, Ill assume it's after a nursing session?

    How often do you bring her to the breast in a 24 hour period?
    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!

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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    I put her to the breast about 6 times per day. I am positive that she is only getting a small amount out because she will usually take 3 ounces of a bottle during feedings that I do not put her to the breast. Even when I put her on the breast, she will still want about 3 ounces after being on each breast.

    There are times when I just pump and do not put her to the breast when I am not with her. Even then, I am only getting 1/2 ounces out of each.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Not around here as much :(
    Posts
    12,132

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    What type of nipple are you using on the bottle? Often times the nipple is a 'fast' flowing nipple and it make is real easy for babies to just eat what is in there....
    how often are you separated from her?
    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.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    I am using the Avent bottle with the slow flow 0+ nipple.

    I'm only separated from her a couple times a week for no longer than 5 hours at a time. My major problem is when I go back to work at the end of the month I won't be able to nurse her as often and my milk supply could get even lower.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    Hi, Mary! Congratulations on the birth of Gretchen!

    I have a few thoughts about your situation...

    What prompted the lactation consultant (LC) to recommend the RX galactogogue? I'm assuming it was because your supply was low. If the LC did not see any problem with your baby's latch or suck, then I wonder why the RX was for only two weeks rather than ongoing? Have you considered talking with the LC since then? She/He ought to be able to help you again, especially with explaining to the doctors what's going on.

    If your baby is taking 3 oz. (of formula or your milk) after every nursing, and takes 3 oz. at feedings that do not include nursing, it does sound like she is not getting much at the breast. Is she actively sucking and swallowing at the breast? You said she gets fuzzy after about ten minutes--is that also the case if you switch sides at that point?

    I am concerned that Gretchen has figured out that the bottle is an easier way to be fed. Is it possible that she likes the breast for comfort and hanging out, but is not associating it with food?

    The lowmilksupply.org site has info about the "finish-at-the-breast" method of supplementing: http://www.lowmilksupply.org/finishatthebreast.shtml I think you'll find it interesting.

    I also recommend that you contact a local LLL Leader. Look at the top left of this page for the "Find local support" box. Having someone you can talk with and see could be very helpful to you.

    Keep coming back to the boards, too! There are lots of helpful mothers here.
    Marianne
    LLL Leader

  7. #7

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    I had the same problem where I wasn't getting a lot of milk when I pumped. When I took the Fenugreek, it did help me a lot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    i dont think ill be of any help. i had trevor on may 22nd, nursing was going great. on june 1st i was hospitalized due to unfortunate circumstances beyond my control. unlucky for me i had gotten a severe infection. i was able to keep trevor with me in the room. the hospital nurses knew i was breastfeeding and less then supportive. i wasnt able to continue nursing my son because of a cat scan. i told them if i couldnt nurse my son i wasnt going to have it. end of story they won that battle i gave in and agreed. they bought me a breast pump ive never used a hospital one, the nurse told me she never used one and was like well your on your own to figure it out. told well pump and dump. long story short ive battled nipple confusion and kept trying. i still have a low supply hes now down to 2 ozs supplement at each feeding, i do pump when hes taking a long nap and every little bit i get i add to his supplement bottle. i actually came here today to this site to see if i could try anything else to increase my supply. hand expression i found i actually get more breast milk that way then pumping. my hopes are to get him off of supplement feedings soon. so good luck with your little girl.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    i use fenugreek pills (610 mg) and i take 4-6 a day (depending on how often i remember to take them haha.

    they have really really helped me though. you will know you are taking enough when you start smelling like maple syrup and veggies and B.O. (especially in your armpits) but its worth it to continue BF'ing

    good luck!
    I'm Jamie, and im Proud to be:
    Carter's SAHM since 11-27-07 and now to Eli too, since 7-25-11
    Cody's Wife since 8-28-08

    and and

    my healthy boys don't get vaccines



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Milk Supply is Extremely Low

    What kind of pump are you using. It is very important if you are exclusively pumping, to use a hospital grade pump such as the Madela Classic, Madela Lactina, Madela Symphony, Holister Hospital grade pumps, etc... The Madela Pump in Style will not cut it. That is only for occasional pumping.

    Let us know how you are doing!
    Mama to 2 wonderful girls (nursed 3 yrs.) and twin boys born 12/30/05 (stuck on the SNS due to pallate issues discovered very late) Thankful though that at least at the breast.

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