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Thread: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Red face Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    My son is 2 and a half months old now. I know I have had an adequate supply up until recently, because he is a chunky little thing! (I worry though because I tried to breastfeed my 2 year old when she was born, and because she was in the NICU for 14 days as a preemie my milk supply never really came in and got established. It was a disaster).

    Here is my problem though... I had to start back to work last week, and I am only able to pump once during the day, at 12:10 to about 1:00. I am pumping for about 30 minutes, and at first I was getting about 4 ounces, then it leaped to 7 last Monday (with about three let-downs in the session), but now I am dropping again. I am trying to pump between feedings too, but am getting pitiful amounts now, whereas I used to get at least an ounce or two. I really feel like I am suddenly having problems with let-down.

    My husband is trying to feed out son at home, but my baby is so used to feeding on demand that he is having troubles also. He wakes up very often, and just wants a sip of milk before he goes back to sleep, and he usually will only take a big four ounce bottle once during the day. To make a long story short, he is only getting about 8-9 ounces for the time that I am gone, 7:30-4:00. Once I get home, it seems like he doesn't nurse as vigorously as he used to or for as long, whereas he used to do complete feeds (about 20-25 minutes per breast) with naps in between. Now he usually only goes 10 minutes per side before he lapses into that milk-induced coma-like state. I have no idea how much he is actually getting, because I am one of those people that can't feel the let-down. He seems content once I get home though, and sleeps soundly at night. Is he just getting more efficient at getting the milk now?

    Is it just that I am getting too paranoid, and the anxiety over the dropping amounts when I am pumping is causing extra issues, and making the pumping issues worse? I am taking 4 Fenugreek capsules 3 times a day (and have been since he was born)

    Oh, help :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!


    Deep breaths, mama. I think you are doing better than you think, with a happy, healthy LO to prove it!

    A few thoughts...
    Babies become more efficient nursers as the get older and can get more milk out in a shorter time. My DD rarely nurses for more than 10 minutes TOTAL anymore (except at bedtime when she nurses to sleep). The most important indicators of milk supply are diaper output and baby's weight gain. Have those been good?

    My baby usually takes about 12 ounces (3 4-oz bottles) over a 9-10 hour period while I'm at work (and she is 5 mos.), so I don't think your LO's intake is abnormal. How many times does he nurse or have a bottle total per 24 hours?

    It could be that you have a pumping or letdown issue and not necessarily a supply problem. What kind of pump are you using? Where do you pump and do you do anything to help stimulate letdown (look at picture of baby, listen to calming music, visualize streaming milk, etc)?

    Some links to help:
    Got Milk?
    Normal Growth of Breastfed Babies
    Pumping, Bottle Feeding


    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mom2hayleigh View Post
    My son is 2 and a half months old now. I know I have had an adequate supply up until recently, because he is a chunky little thing! (I worry though because I tried to breastfeed my 2 year old when she was born, and because she was in the NICU for 14 days as a preemie my milk supply never really came in and got established. It was a disaster).

    Here is my problem though... I had to start back to work last week, and I am only able to pump once during the day, at 12:10 to about 1:00. I am pumping for about 30 minutes, and at first I was getting about 4 ounces, then it leaped to 7 last Monday (with about three let-downs in the session), but now I am dropping again. I am trying to pump between feedings too, but am getting pitiful amounts now, whereas I used to get at least an ounce or two. I really feel like I am suddenly having problems with let-down.

    Is it just that I am getting too paranoid, and the anxiety over the dropping amounts when I am pumping is causing extra issues, and making the pumping issues worse? I am taking 4 Fenugreek capsules 3 times a day (and have been since he was born)

    Oh, help :-)
    I'm having a similar problem. I had an oversupply since my DD was born and started to block feed to regulate my milk production. I used to get 6 oz per breast per pumping session and now I'm getting about 4 oz. I'm not sure if this will keep up with my DD's demands. She drinks about 5 oz every 3-4 hours and I only pump three 4 oz bags during the work day (7-4). She has also started to fuss at the breast a lot! She latches and let's go continuously for about 15-20 minutes until she finally latches and stays on for about 45 minutes. She's almost 3 mos old so maybe she's going through a growth spurt but am wondering if this is normal.
    Married my love on 7/3/2004
    Blessed with Isabella Grace on 5/20/2008
    Back to work on 7/22/2008


    & since 5/20/2008
    No formula!

    Goals:

    1 month 2 months 3 months 4 months 5 months 6 months 7 months 8 months 9 months 10 months 11 months 12 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    It does sound like it could be a growth spurt. The links above should have some info on how to increase supply and/or pump more effectively. The best thing to do is just continue to offer as much as needed and your supply will catch up.
    Are you using a slow-flow nipple? That's important to make sure baby doesn't start to prefer the faster flow of the bottle over your breast.
    Also that age is prime time to start noticing the world around them and to become more easily distracted from nursing.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mollyb View Post
    It does sound like it could be a growth spurt. The links above should have some info on how to increase supply and/or pump more effectively. The best thing to do is just continue to offer as much as needed and your supply will catch up.
    Are you using a slow-flow nipple? That's important to make sure baby doesn't start to prefer the faster flow of the bottle over your breast.
    Also that age is prime time to start noticing the world around them and to become more easily distracted from nursing.
    I'm using Evenflo BPA free bottles. This is what the packaging says: "The Sensitive Response™ nipple senses baby's pressure and responds with the right amount of liquid and the Micro Air Vents™ promote an even flow of liquid and help prevent nipple collaspe. Also features hex shape for an easy grip."

    She may be having nipple confusion which is probably why she fusses at my breast when I'm trying to nurse. Could it be?
    Married my love on 7/3/2004
    Blessed with Isabella Grace on 5/20/2008
    Back to work on 7/22/2008


    & since 5/20/2008
    No formula!

    Goals:

    1 month 2 months 3 months 4 months 5 months 6 months 7 months 8 months 9 months 10 months 11 months 12 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mollyb View Post

    Deep breaths, mama. I think you are doing better than you think, with a happy, healthy LO to prove it!

    A few thoughts...
    Babies become more efficient nursers as the get older and can get more milk out in a shorter time. My DD rarely nurses for more than 10 minutes TOTAL anymore (except at bedtime when she nurses to sleep). The most important indicators of milk supply are diaper output and baby's weight gain. Have those been good?

    My baby usually takes about 12 ounces (3 4-oz bottles) over a 9-10 hour period while I'm at work (and she is 5 mos.), so I don't think your LO's intake is abnormal. How many times does he nurse or have a bottle total per 24 hours?

    It could be that you have a pumping or letdown issue and not necessarily a supply problem. What kind of pump are you using? Where do you pump and do you do anything to help stimulate letdown (look at picture of baby, listen to calming music, visualize streaming milk, etc)?

    Some links to help:
    Got Milk?
    Normal Growth of Breastfed Babies
    Pumping, Bottle Feeding

    Thanks for your reply :-)

    Every single diaper is wet (some really wet) and I get about 1-2 poopy ones per day.

    He nurses somewhere around every 2-3 hours, usually for about 10-15 minutes per side now, though he was nursing longer just last week. My hubby is having a hellish time with training him to a bottle though... he just can't seem to get the idea of latching onto the nipple, and wants to "snack" instead of really getting the milk down.

    I'm using an Avent Isis Duo electric pump, and occasionally, the manual parts that go with it also. I have to pump in a bathroom (yuck), but it is roomy and I took a comfy chair and a small table in there, and it is usually warm, as opposed to the rest of the school which stays about 66. I try to imagine that I am holding him and that he is nursing, and I do try to visualize waterfalls of milk, but I think I have gotten so uptight about wondering if I am going to have a "big-milk" day that it is ruining the whole thing. And the more I worry, the worse amounts I get. Vicious circle...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,018

    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    To the OP:
    It sounds like he is well fed!

    He might just be a baby who doesn't like the bottle much and will nurse more when you are together to make up for it. My older DD was like that.

    Is there any way you can find time to fit in another pumping session? I take it you are a teacher. That's tough. Do you watch the milk come out while you are pumping? Sometimes not watching helps me relax more. Some more ideas: listen to some soothing music or a recording of your baby, look at a picture of your baby, smell an article of your baby's clothing/blanket. I have some pictures and a video of my LO on my mp3 player.

    To #1mommy:

    Wide-based silicone nipples with a slow flow (example: Playtex naturallatch slow flow) are recommended for moving back and forth between breast and bottle.
    It might be bottle nipple preference, so you could try a different nipple. I'm not familiar with the Evenflo nipple but you can check to see if it has a wide base.
    However, my DD has been known to get restless at my breast and pull off repeatedly when she is tired or upset. If I feed her before she gets too tired or hungry, she usually does better.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mollyb View Post

    To #1mommy:

    Wide-based silicone nipples with a slow flow (example: Playtex naturallatch slow flow) are recommended for moving back and forth between breast and bottle.
    It might be bottle nipple preference, so you could try a different nipple. I'm not familiar with the Evenflo nipple but you can check to see if it has a wide base.
    However, my DD has been known to get restless at my breast and pull off repeatedly when she is tired or upset. If I feed her before she gets too tired or hungry, she usually does better.
    I've read about the Playtex Natural Latch nipples but when I went to go purchase them, it said they were intended for the Playtex Drop Ins System. Do these nipples fit any wide based bottle? If they do, I'll purchase them in a heartbeat as I have several wide based BPA free bottles with regular nipples. If they fit, I'll just switch the nipples. Has anyone done this?

    Although when my DD was popping off my breast yesterday she had been awake for about 3 hours straight so it could have been she was just tired. Hmmm...

    I'd still like to know if I can use the Playtex Natural Latch nipples on any wide based bottle. Any one substitue bottle nipples???
    Married my love on 7/3/2004
    Blessed with Isabella Grace on 5/20/2008
    Back to work on 7/22/2008


    & since 5/20/2008
    No formula!

    Goals:

    1 month 2 months 3 months 4 months 5 months 6 months 7 months 8 months 9 months 10 months 11 months 12 months

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*number1mommy View Post
    I've read about the Playtex Natural Latch nipples but when I went to go purchase them, it said they were intended for the Playtex Drop Ins System. Do these nipples fit any wide based bottle? If they do, I'll purchase them in a heartbeat as I have several wide based BPA free bottles with regular nipples. If they fit, I'll just switch the nipples. Has anyone done this?

    Although when my DD was popping off my breast yesterday she had been awake for about 3 hours straight so it could have been she was just tired. Hmmm...

    I'd still like to know if I can use the Playtex Natural Latch nipples on any wide based bottle. Any one substitue bottle nipples???
    IDK, sorry! I have the Playtex Nursers w/liners. You could try it! Do you have a Babies R Us close to you? I think they might be able to help.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fears about milk supply - please help!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mollyb View Post
    IDK, sorry! I have the Playtex Nursers w/liners. You could try it! Do you have a Babies R Us close to you? I think they might be able to help.
    I'm gonna try switching them. See if it works. If not, then I'll purchase the Nursers and the liners and ask my DCp to defrost the Medela bags of EBM and pour them into the nurser with liners. I thought this would be too much of a hassle for DCp....
    Married my love on 7/3/2004
    Blessed with Isabella Grace on 5/20/2008
    Back to work on 7/22/2008


    & since 5/20/2008
    No formula!

    Goals:

    1 month 2 months 3 months 4 months 5 months 6 months 7 months 8 months 9 months 10 months 11 months 12 months

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