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Thread: Race against the clock to boost supply...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Race against the clock to boost supply...

    My LO was is currently 7 weeks. When we took him to the pediatrician at 2 weeks, he was not up to his birth weight and had actually lost weight since we had come home from the hospital.

    I went to see a LC and ended up getting an SNS to use and supplementing him with formula and have been pumping after feedings. When we weighed him he was getting about 1 1/2 oz from me. He ate a boatload of formula to begin with because he was trying to play catch up with his growing. The SNS didn't last too long. My LO is way too smart and figured out that that little tube is a nice straw so he would actually just suck on that. We went to supplementing via a bottle and he doesn't seem to have any issues switching between bottle and breast.

    I'm eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I tried fenugreek tincture for 2 weeks with no difference in supply when I went back to LC. Then I started Reglan... that helped increase a little. He's now nursing 2 oz from me. He seems to have become more efficient at nursing now... he seems to be done with each breast quicker than before (nursing his 2 oz in about 5 minutes vs. 10-15 minutes when I check him on the Medela baby scale we rented). I have trouble getting him to continue nursing longer for extra stimulation because he gets frustrated and starts crying/pulling off or he'll just fall asleep (I had a ton of trouble keeping him awake long enough to nurse early on). I am pumping after most feedings and getting about 1/2 oz total after feedings. He is currently taking about 1 1/2 to 2 oz of formula in a bottle and nursing about every 2-3 hours (whenever he is hungry) and he will go a little longer at night (closer to 3 1/2 or 4 hours).

    I have just started taking the Mother's Milk tea (which I rather enjoy the taste of) and am still giving it a little more time to see if it works.

    I'm a little concerned because I am going back to work in 5 weeks so I feel like I'm in a race against the clock to get my supply up in regards to trying things like nursing more often and BFing then pumping, etc. In addition I work long days (2 9-hr days and 2 12-hr days per week) and am not sure how often I'll be able to pump (I'm a Pharmacist).

    I have a Medela Freestyle pump (which I LOVE). I seem to get good results with pumping (when I test my pump to see how I respond to it, I can pump the 2 oz he would get out in about 10 minutes so at least I don't have a problem not letting down to the pump). I really want to get my supply up so that I can exclusively BF. I know supplementing isn't the end of the world, but I would really love to exclusively BF!

    Any suggestions to things that you have tried that seemed to help would be greatly appreciated. I am honestly willing to try virtually ANYTHING to get my supply up. I love my LO so much and will do anything I can to do what's best for him!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    I just want to say your problems with supply and what you've tried are almost exactly like my story. I don't have the time crunch yet with work though. My LC recommended I try goat's rue as I didn't have much breast developement during pregnancy. Here's a link, be sure to talk about it with you LC or Dr http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milks...bal-rem_f.html.
    It does have a strong side affect of causing low blood sugar. I've already noticed that and I'm on day 2. Fenugreek caused horrible nausea and low blood sugar so bad I had to quit. I don't know if I'll be able to continue the goat's rue if the low blood sugar and nausea come with it. Good luck to both of us!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    Just a thought...have you had your thyroid tested or been screened for insulin resistance and/or PCOS? They can affect milk production and treating the underlying cause can help with supply.
    2001 2004 2008

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    It sounds like you've tried the majority of things that many of us would recommend. What if you lessen the amount of formula you give him so he has to be at the breast more? If you are currentyl giving him 1 1/2 ounces, take it down to 1 ounce for a bit and then gradually decrease it again. You could also consider pumping between feedings also to encourage even more production. The night time stretch of 4 hours might be a good time to squeeze in a pumping session.
    Mari
    Mohamed 6-9-06
    Jad 11-27-08

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    I have trouble getting him to continue nursing longer for extra stimulation because he gets frustrated and starts crying/pulling off or he'll just fall asleep (I had a ton of trouble keeping him awake long enough to nurse early on). I am pumping after most feedings and getting about 1/2 oz total after feedings. He is currently taking about 1 1/2 to 2 oz of formula in a bottle and nursing about every 2-3 hours (whenever he is hungry) and he will go a little longer at night (closer to 3 1/2 or 4 hours).
    Your baby is by far, the best pump. Instead of trying to get him to nurse longer, how about more often? When DS was a newborn I would often feed him before he showed signs of hunger. 95% of the time, he would nurse. I would offer him the breast when he woke up, every hour while he was awake, and would nurse him to sleep. This worked very well to increase my supply.

    You said you are on Reglan. On other medication you can try is domperidone, I don't know if that is available in your area?

    The more milk you remove the better, so morning is a great time for extra feedings/pumping when your breasts are fuller. One other thing to try and I hate to suggest interrupting your sleep, but if you can set your alarm clock so he can eat every 3 hours at night, that would be better. Diaper change him to wake him up.

    If you do find you want to pump as well, I'm wondering about your pump? I have a Freestyle myself and I love it. But I don't think its considered a hospital-grade pump, which is usually recommended for moms if they are to increase their supply.

    http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com...s/breast-pumps

    Here's a video to help you get more from pumping.

    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html

    Hormones are still on your side during the next couple weeks as far as increasing your supply. Even if you do have to supplement, know that you are doing the best for your baby.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    I have had my thyroid tested... it's normal. I have been diagnosed with PCOS (took clomid and metformin to conceive), but I never tested positive for insulin resistance. I got a prescription for the metformin again to try to see if it helps (it's worth a shot). I also just bought motherlove's More Milk Special Blend and have been taking for about a day (it has goat's rue in it). I am feeling optimistic. I'm thinking about stopping the reglan and seeing if I can get a prescription for domperidone... but I'm not sure how my doctor will feel about it. I can ask.

    I do nurse my LO a lot when he's awake... problem is all he seems to do is sleep. I have to wake him up to get him to feed every 2 hours... but maybe I SHOULD try to wake him and feed him more often. I really should try to feed him more at night and pump more at night. The only problem is I never seem to wake up to my alarm and he'll keep sleeping. When I do wake up I lie him down next to me to side by side nurse and we both fall asleep after not too long! Any suggestions for how to wake up? I've tried drinking a LOT of water before bed, but it doesn't seem to work. My bladder is a lot bigger now that he's not sitting on top of it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    PCOS can cause low milk supply, although 1/3 of women with PCOS have oversupply. You can try waking him up more often at night to nurse, but he may or may not nurse well. As for during the day, I would say, just nurse him more often while he's awake. Use breast compressions to make sure he gets more. Otherwise, if you wake him up from his naps, you'll have a cranky baby on your hands.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    I just switched from metoclopramide to domperidone. If anyone has tried it, when did you see a difference and how much was it? I'm hopeful.

    The main issue I'm having right now is that my LO is sleeping too well at night and not nursing all that well (side by side nursing because I am way too tired to get up) and I can NOT wake up when my alarm goes off (not at all). This means from about 10pm to at least 8am my LO is only eating every 4 hours roughly... and that doesn't help me out any when I'm trying to up my supply. Any ideas on how to actually wake up? Anyone else have/had this problem? I don't feel like myself... I'm sleeping at least 10-12 hours a day! Other than extreme exhaustion I feel pretty good... lol.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    Have you had your iron levels tested?
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Race against the clock to boost supply...

    There's so much you can do! First, it sounds like you had the tube to your SNS way too far up your nipple, it should be back farther so they can't just suck on it like a straw. What bottles are you using? You want a bottle that makes it hard for him to get milk, you don't want him liking the bottle better. We did the Playtex Ventaire standard (not the wide ones) and the breastflow ones are supposed to be good. Both require baby to suck on them to get milk out, most others will drip into the mouth w/ no sucking. Check out this site www.mobimotherhood.com and there's a yahoo group for it too that might help you. Also, get a copy of Making More Milk. http://www.makingmoremilk.com/ You can also check out http://www.lowmilksupply.org/ for help. Be sure to try different herbs and even different doses, not everyone responds to the same dose of meds etc. If you're heavier, you may need more than someone who is thinner etc. Also be sure to pump after as many feedings as you can. Also be sure to try and pump more often in the mornings and in the middle of the night if you can. In the book and I think it mentions it on one of those sites, try finishing at the breast. You want to give baby an oz or so of supplement and THEN bf, letting him finish getting his nourishment from the breast and allowing him to get that full feeling associated w/ the breast vs the bottle.

    Also, get your iron checked like pp mentioned, make sure you're taking your vitamins, and be sure to eat enough. Fenugreek and most herbal galactogogues have a blood sugar lowering component and if you're not eating enough, the fatigue could actually be from low blood sugar.
    Jennifer, child passenger safety technician and mama to,
    AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), and Olivia (2/12/09)

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