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Thread: Help please! Supply Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Help please! Supply Question

    I hope that y'all will have some answers for me! I have been breasfeeding my month old son and pumping and giving bottles since he was not gaining weight in the beginning. When we rented a scale we found out that he was only getting about .5 of an ounce at a feeding. SO we had to supplement with formula. He is generally getting about an ounce at a feeding now. But the nursing, giving a bottle of EBM and pumping is seriously wearing me out. When my husband is home it is fine, but now alone. The poor guy is not sleeping enough and neither am I.
    My question is this: I was told that you can not exclusively pump and maintain a good milk supply. Is this true? Does the baby have to nurse some to keep up the supply.
    My second question is: If I can I'd like to let him nurse a couple of feedings a day, when my husband is home, or when he has gotten some sleep and seems ready.
    Right now neither of us is happy and that is unfortunate. I fully intend to give him breastmilk for 6 months if I can, but this pace is too brutal!

    Help please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Help please! Supply Question

    You poor thing! Yes, it is possible to pump exclusively and maintain a supply although I have heard it is difficult.There are a few mamas on this board that do it! You would be better off though if you can get your little one to take some directly from the breast and you might even be able to get him back to the breast exclusively.

    The biggest thing to increasing your supply is to pump, pump, pump or nurse, nurse nurse. And it is exhausting! Have you called a lc or lll leader? I seriously recommend getting in touch with someone who can come to your home and help you!

    Check back in, please and hopefully you will get some more responses!

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Help please! Supply Question

    I agree, try to nurse. It will be fustrating at first because you and your child are not use to it yet. But, if you get the help of your hospitals lactation consultant or the help of a LLL leader, she will be able to give you some tips on better latch and any other problem you are having.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Help please! Supply Question

    I agree with the pps that it apparently is possible to pump exclusively because some mothers do it. However, I know of some mothers who dried up. Specifically, my cousin's DD was born at 36 weeks and they started supplementing her right away, she did not learn to latch correctly, and my cousin was pumping every feeding after that. She couldn't take it any more and dried up, and had to ff her DD exclusively after about 2 months.
    Even if your supply is not that good right now, you can still build it up. Frequent nursing or pumping is usually the best way to do this. However, babies (when latched correctly) are much more efficient at getting the milk out and stimulating production than a pump. And in your case, frequent nursing would probably beat the heck out of frequent pumping.
    Get some help with your latch and definitely keep putting baby to the breast as much as you possibly can.
    You should know that frequent nursing is VERY common among young babies and is not a sign that they are not getting enough milk. How is his weight gain and output (poops and pees)?
    Here's a link you might find helpful:


    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
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Help please! Supply Question

    holly, i know it can be really rough in the beginning, but you just gotta keep on keepin' on. it sounds like you really need to meet with an lc and figure out why your lo is not getting enough from the breast. maybe a latch or suck problem? i found it best to always offer the breast first, but only try 3 times so that we didn't get too frustrated. then go for the bottle. it broke my heart to have dh feed ds while i was attached to the pump, but after lots of practice, we worked it out. and you will too.
    keep up the good work, you can do this!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Help please! Supply Question

    Thanks for all the replies!
    I have seen an LC a doula and a nurse. He latches great in their presence. I just went to a breastfeeding support group at the hospital as well with a nurse/LC. She said what the others have said "keep on trying" When I get him on he has good positioning and all that, it is just really hard to get him on as he fights, squirms, cries and pushes away.

    He is now gaining weight well because we weigh him before and after each nursing and give him enough EBM in a bottle to equal 2.5 oz. So if he nurses and takes 1.3 oz we give him a bottle of 1 oz EBM. He is pooping and peeing 8+ times a day, so we are good there. Medically he is normal. I've been told to throw out the scale, but I rented it for a month and it helps me to figure out what hee needs since sometimes he eats 1.6 oz and sometimes it is just .6 oz. The dr. said he willjust take more the next feeding, but he doesn't. I am worried about starving him since I did that once already!

    I'm pumping for 20 minutes after each feeding if I can. The issue is it takes 10 to 15 minutes sometimes to get him on. Then 20 minutes to nurse each side. It is over an hour. The I have him a bottle which is 15 minutes of\r so, then 20to 30 minutes to get him to sleep (if I am lucky) then I pump for 20 minutes. It literally leaves no time for rest. By the time I finish all that it is usually 30 -45 minutes until it is time to feed him again. It was ok when my husabnd was here and he gave him the bottle while I pumped, but by myself it is way too hard.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Help please! Supply Question

    I've been exclusively pumping since my son was 10 days old. I'm in Germany and the support wasn't there for questions I had. BF was too painful and I couldn't ever get a proper latch. But, breastmilk is best, so I decided to give him a bottle. He would never take the breast again after that, but he is very healthy.

    After 3 mo we are in a nice schedule. He eats about 30oz a day and I pump around 35oz. Some days more, some less. But my supply only gets low when I stress, but always comes back. I've gotten it down to pumping 4 times a day. I'm sure you body will fit into a nice schedule where you wont always be so overworked. My cousin exclusively pumped for a year with no problems, which is what I plan as well. So I suggest, you take a deep breath and think this will get easier with patience

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Help please! Supply Question

    thanks dylans mom
    i hope it works for me. we just had another traumatic bf experience. it used to be that mornings were the best time of day, but the past two have been awful! i know you should never quit on your worst day, but i just don't see the point in keeping this up!
    Even my mom who is so supportive of breastfeeding is asking why i keep going
    i want to be successful, but at what cost?!?

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