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Thread: help, milk production going down.

  1. #1

    Default help, milk production going down.

    Hi all. I gave birth to a little boy at 35 weeks. We were blessed that he didn't need any oxygen, or any other means of support to start his life. We were able to bring him home a week and a half after he was born and is now almost 4 weeks old.

    I started pumping right away as he refused the breast. NICU bottle fed him when I couldn't be there. Since he's been home I've tried to feed him from the breast at the start of each feeding when he is most alert. Sometimes he takes to it right away, but most of the time he refuses.

    I have been pumping 6 to 7 times a day but my milk supply is now getting very very low. I was getting close to 80 ml a pumping now I'm lucky to get 20 ml a pumping. My LC said that some mothers with premies just don't produce milk and no one knows why. She also said that there is a chance I could stop producing all together.

    Any tips or tricks to getting my milk supply up? I've tried everything the LC told me, but as I said supplies are still going down.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: help, milk production going down.

    Hi there,

    Congrats on your baby!

    About how many times in 24 hours is he taking a full feeding from the breast? How often is he eating, whether or not it's from the breast?

    I'll put a couple links below but one thing I wanted to mention is if you want to increase your milk supply, pumping more than 6 or 7 times in 24 hours is a good idea. When my son was in the NICU and transitioning from bottles to breast once we were home, I pumped every 2-3 hrs during the day and after a few weeks dropped the night time pumping to every 4 hours because I was producing enough milk. You definitely need to pump every time he is getting a bottle. Also, doing skin to skin with him can be really helpful to increase your milk supply. I wore my son skin to skin in a Moby wrap when we brought him home from the NICU.

    You mentioned talking to a LC, what sort of suggestions did she give you? Here are a few links for you to look at, and they have other useful links at the bottom of the pages.

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html

    http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milks...actagogue.html
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


  3. #3

    Default Re: help, milk production going down.

    Right now he is not taking a full feeding from the breast. The longest I have kept him latched on was 10 minutes and that was when the milk supply was up. Since it's been dropping he will suck a bit then just sit there until he gets hungry then starts to cry and won't take the breast again. With the supply so low I know he isn't getting any milk at all, even if I pump until I get the milk to flow then start to feed.

    I pump every time I feed him with the exception of 1 time at night. Right now he is eating 8 times a day (about every 3 hours) and I pump every time except the midnight feeding. I'm just so tired I can hardly stay awake to feed him much less pump. Maybe I should find a way to pump lying down and wake up when it's finished

    The LC told me warm compresses, pump where I can see the baby and try to remain calm and not to get stressed out. She also said to massage the breasts before and during pumping. I drink about 2 quarts of water a day although I feel thirsty I'm trying to up the amount of water. The thing is I don't ever really feel "full" any more.

    I'll check out the links when I'm a bit more awake. Thanks for the advice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    56

    Smile Re: help, milk production going down.

    there are things to do, and if you already are doing all then you can always try fendueek or whatever that herb is... but make sure you are expressing every 3-4 hours or at the very least 8 times daily at 15-20 mins (no shorter than 15 mins, that will kill the supply). night pumps are excellent for boosting supply as are cluster pumps where you pump a few 10-15 mins sessions with only like 20 mins in between (you get the idea).
    And it is absolutely neccisary if baby is not getting enough out then the pump really should be hospital grade -- the Pump in Style or better. Good luck! Congrats on that baby!
    pumping sucks
    But I'm EPing for my baby girl!
    Josie Grace -- 9/9/2008
    Heart Baby
    with Interrupted Aortic Arch (repaired at 2 weeks old), large cleft palate and G-tube with no oral feeding -- yet! But soon!

    ***Josie had her heart cath 2/12 and had perfect results! She is doing very well

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: help, milk production going down.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*denali View Post
    Right now he is not taking a full feeding from the breast. The longest I have kept him latched on was 10 minutes and that was when the milk supply was up. Since it's been dropping he will suck a bit then just sit there until he gets hungry then starts to cry and won't take the breast again. With the supply so low I know he isn't getting any milk at all, even if I pump until I get the milk to flow then start to feed.
    Not necessarily true mama. The pump is no indication of what your supply actually is. The baby could be getting a good amount of milk, but when it comes time to pump, your body is not responding in the same way. Baby stimulates your breast like a pump just never will.

    How are your LO's diapers? Is he having enough wet and dirty diapers?

    One thing that really helped us aside from the pump pump pumping, was kangarooing him. ALL THE TIME. I had our son on my chest morning noon and night. We took baths together. I wore him in a sling. I just had him there near me as much as possible to get that skin to skin.

    And it is important not to stress. I know it is hard. One thing I have told mamas is get your mind someplace else when you pump. Close your eyes and think about your little guy. His little fingers and toes. What his first words re going to be. How proud you'll be when he hits his first home run. Let these things into your head instead of the stress...you'll get a letdown.

    I don't agree with your LC that some NICU moms just don't produce milk. It may be harder to get your start, but it can, and will, come. There are plenty of mamas on here to attest to that. And we'll be here to back you up! You can do it mama.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  6. #6

    Default Re: help, milk production going down.

    The pump I am using is the Symphony pump same as I used in the hospital.

    I do try to nurse while the formula is warming up, or when I am "awake" and can spend time with him (at 2 am I don't spend much time breast feeding I just see if he'll latch on but won't force him.) During the day I try to give him 10 minutes or more at the breast. He will suck 2 or 3 times then just lay there. If he's really hungry he cries and fusses and won't take the breast again even if there is milk.

    I will have to try more skin on skin contact. Right now I am limited to the time I can spend doing that with him, but maybe I should do it during the day for each feeding weather or not he is at the breast.

    I may try herbs if nothing else works. As of now I am pumping every 3 hours right after I feed him and getting less than 20 ml each pumping.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: help, milk production going down.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*denali View Post
    The pump I am using is the Symphony pump same as I used in the hospital.

    I do try to nurse while the formula is warming up, or when I am "awake" and can spend time with him (at 2 am I don't spend much time breast feeding I just see if he'll latch on but won't force him.) During the day I try to give him 10 minutes or more at the breast. He will suck 2 or 3 times then just lay there. If he's really hungry he cries and fusses and won't take the breast again even if there is milk.

    I will have to try more skin on skin contact. Right now I am limited to the time I can spend doing that with him, but maybe I should do it during the day for each feeding weather or not he is at the breast.

    I may try herbs if nothing else works. As of now I am pumping every 3 hours right after I feed him and getting less than 20 ml each pumping.
    Can you ask your LC or your insurance if you could get another pump? You may have better luck with a different kind of pump. I used a medela lactina select and had great results with it. I think it just differs for everyone. the suction rating on the lactina is a bit higher than the symphony, and it might be enough to give your supply a little push.

    Those little early ones sure do get sleepy easy. When mine would get like that I would stroke his face, tickle his feet, switch sides, or try to nurse him while he was undressed. Just so he was alert enough to try and stay awake.

    And you can try herbs now mama. It won't hurt. It can only help. I used fenugreek, fennel (it helps with letdown), and alfalfa pretty regularly.

    Good luck mama. You're doing great!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

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