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Thread: Low supply- when to give up?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Low supply- when to give up?

    My daughter was born at 36 weeks and is now 2 weeks old. She spent 10 days in the NICU where we didn't really attempt breastfeeding. I also had a breast reduction 10 years ago. I have been religiously pumping since day 1, every 2-3 hours, throwing in a power pump 1x a day. I have started putting little one to the breast a few times a day. My question is, I am only getting <30ml per pumping session, taking Fenugreek and am not seeing an increase. Is this as much as I can expect? I'm having a horrible time trying to juggle time at the breast, bottle feeding, pumping plus clean up of everything that I feel I am getting NO time to just cuddle my baby. I'm extremely discouraged and we don't really have any support of LC in my area.
    How long should I give it to see an actual supply? I'm also not sure when I can really push breastfeeding with my baby as we are concerned about her weight (current 4.5 lbs). We have a pedi appt Wed and will ask about that then. How long should I keep trying? I hate to give up, but I'm not sure I can handle this, emotionally at least.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sunny England
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Low supply- when to give up?

    I haven't really got any good advice for you, but I'm hoping someone else will come along and have a good idea or two for you.. as well as a few answers.

    All I can say is keep on going. Every tiny bit of your milk is liquid gold to your baby. It's so much more than anything in a tin can give them.

    Jarred - 12/June/2007 - BF for 3 months - stopped due to medical reasons
    Lilly - 4/May/2010 BF for 8 months - On strike between 1/1/2011 - 29/3/2011 - That's 12 Weeks and 3 days!! It is FINALLY over!
    Together we battle with Cows milk, nuts and soya allergies, but we're making it!
    We , , and too, but we're having problems..
    EPING for 3 months and counting!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Low supply- when to give up? (Preemie, post-breast reduction)

    Thanks for the encouragement. I know that every bit is helpful, but it is just so frustrating spending so much time with the pump, her not latching, and then my husband feeds her so basically I have NO time with her! My supply has increased some, up to 40-50 ML per session. So that is promising but I don't know if I will keep up with her. I'm hoping to get a new pump next week (renting a Medela Lactina, hoping to get a Symphony- I also have an Ameda Purely Yours that I'm not opening until I'm sure that pumping is going to work long term.)

    Thanks for the support!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Low supply- when to give up?

    Awww. . .I'm EPing too (along with bbmomma ). . .and it sucks. I'm not even sure I can say I'm "exclusively pumping" because he's not getting exclusively pumped breastmilk.

    I have a really hard time too juggling things, adding in being single and a student. Because of this, I found some things

    So here goes:

    -My LC said that breastmilk is fine sitting out for 6 hours and that it's ok to pump on top of what you already have. So I do a few pumping sessions and pour whatever I have into a bottle after six or so hours. Alot of moms on here say its only ok to reuse the setup 1x, but I think it's up to how paranoid you are. I trusted my LC. Of course yours is a premie so. . .maybe only one set. Maybe buy another set of pump parts?

    -Dishwashers are your friend. I make up all Connor's bottles the night before (leave one or two empty for EBF), and let them accumulate in the sink all day. When all but one (just in case!) are empty, I run the dishwasher. I have a Munchkin thing to put all the parts and nipples in. Even if I don't have alot of dishes. It just makes life easier. (I DO care about the environment, but at this point in my life I need to retain my sanity).

    -Give some bottles! I know it's not the same, but it's good cuddle time. If I'm not multitasking, I even pull my breast out and put it at the corner of his mouth while he drinks his bottle. Having him more "removed" wasn't working for us- though it may for you to prevent preference. Look into your LO's eyes, give kisses.

    -Get the Medela Symphony. It's way comfy.

    -Make sure you have the right size shields. I blew this advice off thinking "oh I have small breasts, medium is fine". LC told me I needed large ones (and gave them to me "free"!)

    -Check out the More Milk Plus stuff. I think it's helping, though I have an issue with low mammary tissue. There's all sorts of things out there- oatmeal, fenugreek, prescriptions Reglan and Domperidone, etc.

    -Also, don't get too paranoid about the amount (I should take my own advice). If I watch the bottles fill (or not fill) I start getting all like "omg there isn't anything coming out, etc". . .I noticed that sometimes if I let it go and do something else (watching shows online maybe ) I look down and am pleasantly surprised.

    It's been going really slowly for me.. . I still only get like 6 oz a day (not enough for a 3 mo old. . .) And I was JUST crying wanting to give up . . .I know it seems like a crazy juggling act when it isn't just "breast or bottle"- It's breast, bottle, AND pump!

    I can't really help with the getting your LO to latch. . .in fact I feel weird giving advice because my situation is so frustrating. . .but I think we can all do it. I hope I'm not rambling.

    I think 40-50 ml per session is a good amount though. I certainly don't get that. Remember 30 ml is an ounce. And I'm sure your LO doesn't need very much at her age/size.

    Good luck!!! I think you're doing great.

    Edit- whoa I typed more than I thought. Good luck again!
    Last edited by @llli*katia11; February 23rd, 2011 at 03:22 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Low supply- when to give up?

    How is it going? If you're still having issues, I bet some of the veterans have better advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Low supply- when to give up?

    Thanks! Your tips & support were so helpful! I am continuing to pump along and she's doing better at the breast. Not sure if she's getting anything or is just comfort sucking. I'm still trying to find a LC around here for additional help. Pumping is going pretty good I think, I can almost pump her entire daily supply (18-20oz/day) which makes me feel great. Don't know how long I can keep it up though with my return to work. I usually spend 20-40 minutes with her at the breast, 20 minutes feeding the bottle, then pump for 20-30 minutes! My first goal is for her to have breastmilk up to her due date (Mar 13) and if that works then heading to make it to her 2 month pedi appt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,586

    Default Re: Low supply- when to give up?

    You are doing great! We had similar problems with having to pump and also breastfeed and then give her pumped milk. It was a lot of work and it really helps to have a good support system and other moms you can talk to and anyone who's willing to bring a meal or anything else. It's hard enough having a new baby and then add all the extra work of pumping and breastfeeding and bottle feeding and it's very consuming. Keep working at your goals and take it one day at a time.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Low supply- when to give up?

    Just wanted to say you are doing a great job for your baby, it sounds like you've improved your supply a lot! Maybe around the due date she'll start nursing more-some babies do right around then.
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

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