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Thread: Milk keeps dropping more and more

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    9

    Default Milk keeps dropping more and more

    I have struggled since my son was 2 weeks old to keep my supply up. He is now 10 weeks. I feed him a mixture of 2 oz breast milk and 4 oz formula now since my supply is so low. I would like it to be at least half and half.

    I have tried fenugreek and blessed thistle but I can't take as much of it as I need to b/c it makes me sick. It does help with my supply but it actually makes so sick that I vomit and feel terrible. I can't be a good mother feeling this way.

    I have tried purchasing larger breast sheilds for my Medela PIS and tried keeping new batteries in it. My adapter doesn't give me as much power as my batteries so I am spending a ton on batteries.

    Last night I decided to nurse my son and he slept from 10pm-4am. He normally sleeps longer than that when he gets his 6oz mixture bottle. I was just glad he slept that long from nursing because I thought for sure there was no way he was getting full from my milk supply.

    I nursed him again this morning but he is such a lazy nurser and he gets so sleepy that it can take a full hour before he is ready to stop.

    Normally I can get 3-4 oz with my morning pump and 2 oz the rest of the day. This isn't enough for me but now it's even less!

    Today I barely got 1-2 oz per pump.

    Could nursing my son last night and this morning have affected my supply for today? I thought, if anything, it would increase it since I know he can empty the breast better than the pump.

    I am so frustrated and I feel so guilty. I don't want to stop breast feeding until he's at least 6mths. I know he is at least getting some breast milk with almost every bottle now so I feel that's better than nothing.

    Is anyone else getting as little milk as I am? I am SO frustrated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,198

    Exclamation Re: Milk keeps dropping more and more

    Hi There, I'm sorry you are having such a challenging time and want to encourage you NOT to think of yourself as not a good mother!! Being a mom is hard, and getting nursing up to speed can really be difficult. Have you tried to contact an LLL leader so you can get some in-person one-on-one guidance and support? Are you in a place where you can get to a meeting in person? I don't have a ton of input for you - other than moral support - and suggesting that you keep trying to nurse as frequently as you can so you body can try to learn to keep supply up to demand....

    Hopefully this response will also bring your post back up to the top of the list so that it gets more attention and responses today! Anyone have some good input to offer, please??

    Hang in there.....let us know how it's going.
    -linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Milk keeps dropping more and more

    jsmom is right, don't think you're a bad mother. the fact that you are trying so hard shows what a great mom you are. i would suggest eating some oatmeal to possible increase suppy and nurse as often as possible. maybe hang out at home this weekend and just live with your lo on the breast. i know its exhausting, but maybe it will be just the stimulation you need to get things moving.
    keep trying, you're doing a great job.
    maybe a LLL can chime in?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    222

    Default Re: Milk keeps dropping more and more

    Quote Originally Posted by ColinsMommy
    I have struggled since my son was 2 weeks old to keep my supply up. He is now 10 weeks. I feed him a mixture of 2 oz breast milk and 4 oz formula now since my supply is so low. I would like it to be at least half and half. Are you feeding him at least every 3 hours? My son feeds every two hours at 6 1/2 months and only takes about 3 to 4 oz per feeding. So to me a good bottle is around 4 oz. I would say you only have at least another 2 oz of breast milk to go until you get a good bottle.


    I have tried purchasing larger breast sheilds for my Medela PIS and tried keeping new batteries in it. My adapter doesn't give me as much power as my batteries so I am spending a ton on batteries. Have you bought some rechargable batteries, this would help.

    Last night I decided to nurse my son and he slept from 10pm-4am. He normally sleeps longer than that when he gets his 6oz mixture bottle. I was just glad he slept that long from nursing because I thought for sure there was no way he was getting full from my milk supply.


    Normally I can get 3-4 oz with my morning pump and 2 oz the rest of the day. This isn't enough for me but now it's even less!

    Today I barely got 1-2 oz per pump. I find if my son eats alot during the night and morning that when I do my first pump at work that I may be a couple of ounces off. That happened to me today actually. But don't worry, don't let this disway your natural nursing relationship. If you keep this routine of nursing at night you will eventually have an increase. Nursing at night is the bodies prime time to increase milk supply.


    I am so frustrated and I feel so guilty. I don't want to stop breast feeding until he's at least 6mths. I know he is at least getting some breast milk with almost every bottle now so I feel that's better than nothing.

    Is anyone else getting as little milk as I am? I am SO frustrated!
    Keep your goal of fasing out the formula. Supplementing with formula is usually a short term fix, but over the long term it really hurts your own supply because the baby is not nursing as much or as often on your breasts. Other things you can do to increase your supply is eat oatmeal every day and pump after a regular feeding.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Milk keeps dropping more and more

    I really feel for you and understand what you're going through. I suffered from a dwindling milk supply - we had great difficulty nursing in the first month or so. My baby girl wasn't latching on properly and I suffered greatly with chronicly sore and bleeding nipples. I then got mastitis and a nipple infection and was (wrongly) advised to stop feeding on this breast. Both baby and I then got thrush. It all felt very taumatic at the time and I am sure the stress affected my milk supply. My daughter started losing weight and the breast that had the mastitis had less milk than the other one. I tried expressing straight after feeding to build up the supply but rarely got anything out. I was advised to co-sleep with my baby and to have plenty of skin on skin contact. I tried both of these options and am convinced that they help[ed my supply to build back up again. I tried to relax, tried to have faith in my ability as a mother - I too, like you, felty inadequate and like I was some how failing as a mother - more than anything in the world I wanted to nourish my baby myself and was so scared that I would not be able to continue doing this - that my milk was not enough to help her to grow fit and strong. I cannot over recommend sleeping with your baby - for me this really, really helped and over time my supply built up. When feeding and expressing I found that if I really concentrated on my daughter and on what I was doing, thinking about my milk feeding her and really chanelling my love in to her, this also really helped and the milk flowed. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: Milk keeps dropping more and more

    Quote Originally Posted by ColinsMommy
    I have tried purchasing larger breast sheilds for my Medela PIS and tried keeping new batteries in it. My adapter doesn't give me as much power as my batteries so I am spending a ton on batteries.
    I'm so sorry to hear what a rough time you are having! I can't offer much help beyond the good advice already given, but I did have a thought about your pump and needing batteries. Could you possibly get a new, different adapter for it from somewhere like Radio Shack? I had a little electric, single pump and lost the adapter for it. When I purchased a replacement adapter that fit it was much more powerful. Just a thought ... don't know if that would help or not? Or maybe possibly try renting a hospital grade pump like a Lactina? Hang in there ... you are doing a wonderful job, mama!! Kudos to you for sticking with it!

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: Milk keeps dropping more and more

    Hi there,
    I am sorry that you feel frustrated and inadequate. As the pp's said, please don't feel this way. You are doing a great job-and seeking out support and information. That is very important and worth a lot!

    I agree that you may find it helpful to speak with a Leader in person. Do you know of any local Leaders/groups? You can find one here:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/leaderinfo.html

    In order to give you more information I would need to know a little more about your situation. Mainly: is there a known reason that you have struggled with supply since week 2? How do you know you have/had supply issues? Have you been working with an LC? Can you tell us about ds's weight gain? (birth, lowest, any other weights).

    I am sorry for all of the questions, but the additional info would help me see what is going on better!

    Hang in there!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Milk keeps dropping more and more

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I am going to try the oatmeal and get a new adapter, I have tried everything else so I am going to try that too!

    To answer LLLKate:

    I seemed to have plenty of milk after the birth and once my milk came in. I could just tell. I let down quite often and leaked quite a bit so I could tell there was plenty there. I always felt full.

    The first week of breastfeeding went great. He ate about every hour to hour and a half for twenty mintues. The second week was hell. I guess he started eating more or got lazy because he wanted to eat every 20-30 minutes so he was practically on my breast all day long, literally. The problem with that was that he became very, very lazy at the breast. Sometimes I would actually sit on the couch for close to an hour before he was full. I would think he was full on the first breast so I would switch and he would nurse just as long on the second breast. Half of the time was spent with him falling asleep and just wanting to sleep latched on to my breast. He was a very slow and lazy nurser. I think it was so comforting to him that he just wanted to do it all the time. Needless to say, I just couldn't handle that. I felt like I was going crazy and beginning to resent him rather than enjoying breastfeeding. I had to do something so I began to pump and bottlefeed a couple feedings a day. He ate so well like this. He took the bottle within about 10 minutes and was full compared to an hour on the breast. The problem was that the pumping really seemed to hurt my supply or maybe my supply just never increased any more than it was at 2 weeks after the birth since I was nursing less. I have always tried to pump every 3-4 hours. Sometimes that's impossible when I'm out of the house but I always do it as soon as I return home. At the point where I couldn't pump enough to keep him full each day I started supplementing with formula.

    When he was eating 3 oz, I did 1 oz bm and 2 oz formula
    When he moved to 4 oz, I did half and half
    When he moved to 5 oz, I did 2 oz bm and 3 oz formula
    Now he is eating 6 oz about every four hours and I give him 2 oz bm, 4 oz formula

    All the while I have been trying to increase my supply to atleast give him more breastmilk each bottle. I feel like I can never catch up with him now and give him 100% breastmilk like I want to.

    When I first starting pumping I was getting about 4 oz each time and it was just gone slowly down from there. Sometimes now, I might only get 1 oz and I just feel like I'm grasping for straws with this thing. I do usually get 2-3 oz in the morning at my first pump, at least lately.

    No, I haven't contacted an LC yet. I guess I should have a long time ago. There is one at my hospital where I gave birth. She taught my breastfeeding class and will probably be great to work with.

    He weight 7lbs 5.6 oz at birth and at his 2mth doctor's appointment, he weight 12lbs 1 oz.

    I will call my LC here at the hosptial. My only question is, is it even possible for me to catch up with him at this point with my supply being so low?

    I have one more week before I go back to work and I know it's going to be even harder to pump every 3-4 hours when I go back.

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