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Thread: How to build milk supply and pump while trying to feed every 2 hrs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Unhappy How to build milk supply and pump while trying to feed every 2 hrs?

    I had an unfortunate series of postpartum events (mastitis, blood patch, caffeine drip, PPD) which led us to supplementing with formula for 24 hours at 7 days old, and the additional stress of these events hasn't helped my milk supply. I am pumping about 2 oz from both breasts (and don't really know what's adequate or average). The baby seems satisfied after she is done, but the doctor says she is not gaining adequately.

    I'm trying to build up my supply as well as some stored milk but every time I pump the baby inevitably wants to eat within the next hour and there isn't much left and I end up giving her what I just pumped! And when baby feeds, she cleans me out. I can't get more than a few drops out of each breast after she feeds.

    I read in the little pamphlet by Kathleen Huggins (comes with every formula sample) that milk supply is determined in those first few days after the milk comes in, which if that is true, my milk supply is doomed. I'd be glad to hear otherwise!

    Any suggestions/advice are most welcome, as I am very close to just giving up and using formula.

    Many, many thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: How to build milk supply and pump while trying to feed every 2 hrs?

    some moms are able to nurse babys when they have never even had a baby.
    You can rebuild your milk supply.
    Don't be afraid to call your local leader she can give you some helpful information and just encourage you!
    She can also give you some info on how to get rid of the formula.
    heres how to tell if the baby is getting the milk they need
    most doctors are overly cautious about weight gain, not that they shouldn't be but it can scare you into thinking you have a low supply when you realy are doing fine.

    how often is the baby nursing? ARe you nursing on demand?
    sometimes new babies want to nurse alot. Like 12 times or more in 24 hours.
    This is normal and most of the time they will strech out the time between feeds themself when they are not growing so much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: How to build milk supply and pump while trying to feed every 2 hrs?

    Wow, you've had a really rough spell. I'm not even sure what a blood patch and caffeine drip are, but it sure doesn't sound like a good time. I'm sorry to hear your supply has taken a hit, and I also just saw your post on the newborn board about nipple confusion. I can hear your frustration and it's perfectly normal to feel this way when you've had such a rough time.

    I want to encourage you first of all that all is NOT lost, your milk supply is NOT doomed, and your pumping output sounds really good to me for 10 days postpartum AFTER mastitis and formula supplements. Don't give up.

    The key thing to remember about pumping to increase your supply is to nurse first, then pump as soon as you can after nursing. Your goal is extra stimulation and emptying, not building a freezer stash. It's okay if you collect no EBM at all this way, but over time if you pump consistently, you will probably find small amounts increasing.

    This nurse-first approach should spare you the frustration of nursing a baby who isn't getting much milk for her efforts. Talk with her doctor about whether additional supplements (beyond what you can produce by pumping after nursing) are necessary at this point; if they are, you can offer formula -- rule number one of course is feed the baby, right? -- or perhaps you can get EBM from a milk bank for this.

    I will post this now and check back tomorrow morning to see how you are doing. Hang in there -- you've come to the right place, and you can get through this and still breastfeed successfully.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: How to build milk supply and pump while trying to feed every 2 hrs?

    Thanks Rebecca,

    Thanks for all of the advice and encouragement!

    I think the stress of sleepless nights has affected my confidence too. She doesn't nurse very actively in the daytime (very sleepy and hard to rouse) but will be up all night cluster feeding every 90 minutes from 10PM or midnight until 5-7AM. So I try to pump after these lackluster daytime feedings but most times am just so tired, I go to bed. I also am apprehensive to feed her BM through the bottle because of her nipple confusion!

    We supplemented her with formula to make sure she is getting enough, and she gobbles it down, but I think she really prefers the breastmilk because even after 1.5 oz of formula if I hold her she starts rooting actively.

    It's all just so confusing trying to do what's best for both baby and mom. And the formula companies make it so tempting to use their products, sending you a slew of samples and the pediatrician's office practically throwing them at you as you go out the door.

    Thanks again for your encouragement and advice.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: How to build milk supply and pump while trying to feed every 2 hrs?

    Quakermomma beat me too it. Definitely breastfeed first, BEFORE you pump! You may be surprised to find that the extra stimulation by a baby instead of a machine can help with your production. Plus, babies are much more efficient than pumps at extracting the milk from the breast. Also, the amount that you can pump is not a good indication of your supply.

    I had a preemie who came home on a bottle, and I had to get him off the bottle and onto the breast, so I can completely relate to all the issues your going through.

    Hang in there!

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