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Thread: Concerned about milk supply.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Bend Twp, Pa
    Posts
    28

    Exclamation Concerned about milk supply.

    My LO is 9 months old & I've gradually seen my milk decreasing the last few weeks. I'm still pumping 3 times a day during work for 15-30 minutes each time. I also have been eating a bowl of old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast & drinking plenty of water. I used to get at least 3 4oz bottles of milk & now I'm lucky if I get 2 3oz bottles. For example when I pumped this morning I got 2oz from my left breast & 1/2oz from my right. I'm concerned because I only have 2 work days left in my freezer & my LO eats 3 bottles while at the sitters on M,W,F. I'm thinking about supplementing since I'm no longer producing enough & I've been saying that once LO is 12 months, I was no longer going to be pumping & switching to whole milk.

    What are my options with supplementing? Can the sitter mix breast milk & formula? what about whole milk? Could we slowly introduce whole milk so that LO will be ready for it @ 12 months?
    due 5/31/2010 - born 3/31/2008

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,997

    Default Re: Concerned about milk supply.

    At 9 months, formula is a better choice than whole milk. Formula is not an exact match for breast milk, but it is a better match than plain cow's milk- even if it's whole and organic and all the other good things.

    I would not recommend mixing formula and breastmilk unless your baby won't take the formula any other way. If you mix formula and breastmilk, and your baby doesn't finish the bottle, you'll have to dump some of your milk along with the unused formula. If you offer a bottle of breastmilk first, and then top off with formula, it won't matter how much of the second bottle gets wasted.

    There are some things you can try to increase your pumping output, including:
    - Getting your pump checked out. Pumps do wear out when used heavily.
    - Renting a hospital-grade pump for a while.
    - Pumping more frequently. The more you pump, the more you will make. You can even pump after nursing when you are together with your child, and fill up some bottles while not at work.
    - Power pumping. Pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10, and finally pump once more for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in a 1-hour time period. Power pumping is supposed to mimic the way a baby feeds and boosts mom's milk supply during a growth spurt.
    - Herbal supplements to increase your milk. Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle are available in pill form at most health food stores, or as a tea (Google "Mother's Milk Tea.")
    - Prescription drugs to increase your milk. Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (available in Canada and the EU) are anti-nausea drugs that have the side-effect of raising your prolactin levels and, consequently, your milk supply. Do not take this route without discussing it with your doctor, and make sure you discuss any family or personal history of depression before taking Reglan, which is associated with an increased risk for that illness.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Bend Twp, Pa
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Concerned about milk supply.

    Thank you for the reply but I have a few questions..

    Where might I get my pump checked out?
    Where might I rent a hospital-grade pump?

    I used to drink mother's milk tea & then the store that I was getting it at ran out & has yet to get any in. Even after I asked several times for them to order it for me. I've looked around elsewhere but have yet to find another store that carries it. I have found it online but I have yet to order it.

    I heard that Fenugreek can cause low blood sugar & nausea which I want to avoid. How much of the Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle would I take? Do you take them together?

    I'm avoiding the Reglan since depression does run in my family.

    I'm about to give up. This morning I didn't even get an oz out of my right breast. I'll be happy if I can get a bottle from my left today. I asked DH to go to the store & get some formula since things are not looking good...
    due 5/31/2010 - born 3/31/2008

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,997

    Default Re: Concerned about milk supply.

    Where might I get my pump checked out?
    Where might I rent a hospital-grade pump?
    A good lactation consultant can rent you a hospital-grade pump, and can probably take a look at your pump and give you an assessment. I think you can also send your pump back to the dealer and have them check it out...?

    I heard that Fenugreek can cause low blood sugar & nausea which I want to avoid. How much of the Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle would I take? Do you take them together?
    Fenugreek can cause lowered blood sugar in some people, but my understanding is that unless you have diabetes or reactive hypoglycemia it's unlikely to cause a problem. It never made me nauseous... But I know it works differently in every person. I think Mother's Milk tea contains Fenugreek, so if you drank lots of that and it didn't cause a problem perhaps you'd be unlikely to react badly to straight Fenugreek?

    When I was taking Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle, I took them together (on advice from my lactation consultant). I think it was 2 Fenugreek capsules 2X per day, and 2 Blessed Thistle capsules 1X per day, but I don't remember. A lactation consultant should be able to recommend the proper dose. Apparently you know you're taking enough fenugreek when your urine and sweat start to smell like maple syrup.

    I'm avoiding the Reglan since depression does run in my family.
    Good choice.

    I'm about to give up. This morning I didn't even get an oz out of my right breast. I'll be happy if I can get a bottle from my left today. I asked DH to go to the store & get some formula since things are not looking good...
    Has your menstrual cycle returned yet? A lot of moms notice a real dip in their supply around their periods- perhaps that is why you've had such a drastic decrease?

    Please don't feel bad about supplementing with formula, if that's what you need to do. You've made it 9 months with breastmilk alone- that's a terrific achievement!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Concerned about milk supply.

    Just a thought on the pump thing...when is the last time you changed your membranes? Have you checked them for holes (and tubing as well)? The reason I ask is because I had a similar freak-out and realized I had been pumping with tiny holes in the membranes. I didn't know you were supposed to change them every month and apparently I don't pay as much attention to them as I should. After 1 day I am seeing an increase again. HTH!
    2001 2004 2008

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Bend Twp, Pa
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Concerned about milk supply.

    Thanks to all that replied... Your kind words have helped take the edge off.

    Well we bought our first container of formula & hopefully the last... I'm going to try to get this supply back up...

    I found a site for a store not too far away. They say they have pump rentals so I emailed them. We'll see what they say. Maybe another pump will help.
    due 5/31/2010 - born 3/31/2008

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