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Thread: My story (not enough milk) please help

  1. #1

    Default My story (not enough milk) please help

    Ok, here is my story. I am resorting to this forum as my last resort for help because I don’t know what else to do. My milk supply is low and I have been supplementing. This is my second and last baby and she just turned 1 month old. To give some background, my first daughter was born a month premature and was in the NICU for a week. She would not latch on as she was too premature and the NICU supplemented formula while I attempted to breastfeed every 2 hours in the NICU. I stayed in a hospital room the whole time she was in the NICU. I pumped religiously and attempted to nurse every 2 hours. The most milk I made while pumping was an ounce on the right breast and a half ounce ooun the left breast. She finally was able to latch on good after the week in the NICU. I continued to breastfeed and pump but after taking her to the doctor for her 2 week appointment, the doctor advised me to stop breastfeeding and to start giving formula because she was not gaining enough weight. This was our family doctor, not a pediatrician. I listened to the doctor but was very upset and continued to pump and give what breast milk I could to my baby for 9 months. I would say pumping every 4 hours and between the 2 breasts only make 1 and a half ounces of milk. So then I had my second baby and I thought this time will be different because hopefully she will not be in the NICU and I can breastfeed from the beginning. I did not want to supplement at all. The baby weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces at birth and one day later, at discharge, weighted 6 pounds 3 ounces. I breastfed exclusively for one week and 5 days and then I took the baby to her appointment with the pedestrian for her weight check (this was a different doctor than I took my first baby). My baby only weighted 6 pounds 4 ounces and the doctor was upset with her weight. He asked me what I was feeding her and when I told him that I was breastfeeding exclusively, he immediately told me that I was not making enough milk and she needed formula. He told me to breastfeed her in his office and then he wanted me to give her a bottle of pre-made formula that he had in his office. So I nursed for about 20 minutes and then gave her the bottle and she drank the whole thing (2 ounces). He told me, “See- she is not getting enough milk from you.” So he told me when she is hungry to nurse her first, but no more than 20 minutes and then supplement with formula- as much as she will drink. I am doing this but I am very sad because I wanted to breastfeed exclusively as I know it is best for my baby, I love the bonding experience, and I have been given a leave of absence from work for one year so I don’t have to worry about returning to work any time soon. I even saw a lactation consultant the first week that she was born and she said I was doing everything right. But again, when I pump, I only make about an ounce and a half between both breasts, and that is even if I pump without nursing first (which I have done on to see how much milk I have). I am pumping 6 times a day and nursing before feeding her a bottle when my baby is hungry. She is still drinking 4-5 ounces after I nurse. I have even nursed for an hour and she is still hungry and will still drink formula after nursing for an hour. My left breast only has half of the milk ducts working. I can only feel milk come in one side of that breast. The left breast also did not develop properly so I can tell that milk only comes in on the ducts on the left side of my left breast- but my right breast is completely fine except I can’t make enough milk to satisfy my baby. I don’t know what to do. It is so much work to nurse for 20 minutes, then bottle feed for 15 minutes, then pump for another 15 minutes. I just wish I could nurse exclusively. Right now she is getting way more formula then breast milk. I did try fenugreek and mother’s milk with my first and it made no difference. Please, if anyone has been in this situation or has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance for any help (I am so sorry this was so long- I am just desperate for some help).

  2. #2

    Default Re: My story (not enough milk) please help

    I know exactly how you feel. Try not to get upset because that can hurt your supply. I know that that is easier said than done. I had to supplement with my first child and I hated it.. Im trying to go the strictly breastfeeding route with my daughter but we have already hit a rough spot. She isnt gaining so the lactation consultant wants me to supplement until we hopefully get my supply up. I hate it and honestly she doesnt even take it. So maybe something is happening with my supply. I wish I can give you some advice, the only thing that I am wondering is are you drinking enough fluids. I didnt realize just how much fluids you had to take in. I think I drink a least 2 1/2 gallons a day if not more. I wish you all the luck. Stay positive and dont let anyone bring you down. Even if its only 2 oz of breast milk, its still doing wonders for your beautiful little baby..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,805

    Default Re: My story (not enough milk) please help

    i'm sure lots of moms will respond to this - but seriously, i don't think your doc is giving good advice. I did not have to deal with wait loss/slow gain with my baby so I don't want to judge too harshly, I'm not an expert! But supplementing with "as much formula as LO will eat" sound ridiculous. That's a very quick way to damage your supply further, if there's even a problem to begin with.

    He should also not be giving you a time limit/duration of bfing your LO. Every baby eats differently. My baby has rarely eaten for longer than ten minutes, and I used to freak out when i read that a baby should nurse for 20 mins/side. Some babies, especially as young as yours, take an hour to nurse at the beginning. I really think your doctor is setting you up for disappointment.

    A baby will eat too much formula - they don't stop the same way they do at your breast. So of course he'll finish a two ounce bottle. You should be encouraged to nurse for as long as the baby will stay latched at this point. NOT to take him off at twenty minutes and force formula on him. You'll be screwing up your supply AND potentially causing nipple confusion.

    Have you talked to a lactation consultant?
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,805

    Default Re: My story (not enough milk) please help

    Also, i know two women personally who've only produced milk AT ALL from one breast and still been able to nurse exclusively. One breast will compensate for what the other is lacking, if it is in fact lacking.

    Other questions about birth: did you have a c-section/fluids at birth? This will cause baby (and you!) to retain water at time of birth.

    How did your baby's wet/poopy diapers look in the week and a half that you were exclusively breastfeeding?
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: My story (not enough milk) please help

    I can understand how frustrating it is to feel like you not have enough for to feed your LO. We are also having a difficult time Have you tried slowly weaning her from the formula by slowly reducing the amount you are putting in the bottles? You could try BF, then the supplement and if she is still hungry bring her to the breast again??? You are doing a great job! It is not easy feeding and pumping and looking after an older child!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: My story (not enough milk) please help

    Your doctors have given you bad advice both times.

    Here is some info on if baby is getting enough milk: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html

    And here is some info on getting off of formula supplements:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

    The thing about milk supply is that it is supply and demand driven. So when you give the baby formula you are telling your body not to make that milk and your supply drops. The other problem that can happen is that the baby may start to prefer the fast bottle to having to actually work for milk at the breast.

    I'm sorry that you have gotten such bad advice from your pediatrician. Can you see a lactation consultant and work them to get off of formula supplements?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: My story (not enough milk) please help

    I replied to your other thread
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

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