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Thread: Help! I need more milk.

  1. #1

    Default Help! I need more milk.

    My baby is 2 weeks old and was born at 34 +6 days. She was 5 pounds even. After the initial weight loss down to 4 lb 12 oz the Ped had me supplement her with 15ml of Formula or breastmilk either by finger feeding or SNS. After only losing 2 more ounces in a few days and the fact that my milk had come in the Ped stated I could just breastfeed and not supplement or pump anymore. I stopped pumping at that point (about a week old).

    She can be a very sleepy baby. She needs a lot of stimulation while feeding to keep her sucking. To make a long story short...she dropped 5 ounced in 3 days, and now they have me supplementing again. I breastfeed 15 minutes on one side, then supplement 30ml formula on the other breast by SNS. I pump after almost every feeding (except at one night and one AM feeding). I only get anywhere from 8-15ml pumped breastmilk total after each feeding. Why isn't my supply larger?

    When I went to my breastfeeding support group, I weighed baby before and after exclusively breastfeeding 15 minutes on one side and 25 minutes on the other and it showed that I transferred 30ml to her.

    She is now 4 pounds 14 ounces at 18 days old. Not yet her birthweight. This feeding and supplementing and pumping is making me exhausted. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make my supply larger? She is more alert now and takes the SNS supplement fast. I feel that if I had a ton of milk that she could breastfeed exclusively. I feed about every 2.5 to 3 hours. 15 min. on one side then 25 minutes on other side with the SNS. I have been taking the Fenugreek capsules now for about 4 days.

    Any suggestions? advice?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help! I need more milk.

    Wow, that does sound exhausting. You're doing a wonderful thing for your baby by giving her as much of your milk as you can.

    Are you using a hospital grade pump? The kind you rent? Those are the most effective for stimulating and maintaining your milk supply. How much you can pump is not necessarily a good indicator of supply. Some mothers can pump large amounts easily while others with great supplies can barely get anything. Weighing before and after a feeding, like you did at your support group, tells you more.

    You may find that your baby becomes a more effective nurser in the next few weeks. Many mothers say their premies start to figure out how to nurse better when they get near their due date. As she becomes more effective, your supply is likely to increase.

    For now you might consider adding a few more feedings or pumping sessions (I know, probably not what you want to hear when you're exhausted!). Many full term newborns nurse as often as every 1.5 - 2 hours.

    Hopefully someone who has been in a similar situation will have some other suggestions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Houston Texas

    Default Re: Help! I need more milk.

    I agree with PP. You should try to add in another feeding or so if you can. The other thing is try letting her empty one breast and pull off on her or stop feeding. That will ensure she is getting hind milk. Again, like pp said, pumping is not a good indicator of what baby is doing but the scale is. What does a 24 hour nursing schedule look like for you?
    wife , mom, maid , cook , taxi. All in a days work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Help! I need more milk.

    I had to pump my heart out until he got it figured out. Unfortunately that can be a fact of life with a preemie for a while. The best way to get the supply up is to breast feed, and when you can't, pump, pump, pump.

    Our LO did not reach his birth weight until right before we left the hospital, and he was there for 18 days. He was 3/10 at birth and went all the way down to 3 lbs. It can take time to get back there. Their little bodies are trying to do so many things at once that they should have been doing in the womb not having to worry about feeding, pooping, and all that other nonsense.

    Do you have a hospital grade pump?

    Good luck mama. You will get there. I know how tiring it is, and you feel like just giving up, but once we reached the point where he was doing better and was able to BF more effectively I felt like I had just won an Oscar!

    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    Our precious early angel

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help! I need more milk.

    You sound like you are exhausted. Make sure you are getting enough rest. Likewise, drink lots of fluids and eat well. These basics do make a difference as far as supply!

    You could try taking fenugreek or drinking a Mother's Milk tea that has fenugreek in it. There may be other herbs or suppliments you could try, although I'm not sure what.

    Eat oatmeal for breakfast, or make oatmeal cookies for snacks. Oatmeal can help increase milk supply.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help! I need more milk.

    I have the same problem. My son came 6 weeks early and now I am at a loss

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