Tips to bring my milk in

(19 Posts)
ChairmanWow Tue 12-Feb-13 14:17:55

Hi all

I'm expecting my second next month and I didn't manage to breastfeed my 23 month old son. There were a plethora of potential reasons - he had bad tongue-tie and even when it was fixed his latch was poor, I had a uterine infection that was left untreated for 2 weeks because my GP didn't get my test results back to me, my son was hospitalised for weight loss at 5 days which was extremely stressful and upsetting...all of which caused a lot of anxiety around feeding. I tried for a month (all the while giving him formula - I don't have any issues about FF btw, and it was that or starvation). I gave him an hour on the breast before he had a bottle and would then try and express. In the end he screamed and fought every time I tried to bring him to my breast and I had to admit defeat.

However I am worried again because my mum didn't produce milk with either of us, and at 35 weeks I am still completely dry. I desperately want to BF this baby. Do any of you have any tips to maximise my chances of good milk flow - is there anything I can start doing now?

Any tips or advice welcome.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 12-Feb-13 14:26:42

just feed on demand - let your lovely little babyfeed often and it should prompt the supply. Sadly your mother may have been told every 4 hours and thats why it didnt work for her - as was the advice by some professionals then.

sweetkitty Tue 12-Feb-13 14:28:51

For the first few days feed little and often, I would say every 2 hours, even wake the baby for a feed. The more they feed the quicker your body will make milk. And the colostrum is excellent for them anyway.

ChairmanWow Tue 12-Feb-13 15:33:38

Hmmm. I tried frequent feeding but I didn't ever produce more than a couple of drops - I wasn't even getting colostrum - nada, dry as a bone. All pretty sad really! Let's hope this little one has a good latch on her and sucks the bejesus out of me.

I'll ask my mum about her experiences. This was in the early '70s and things were much more regimented then.

I guess all I can do is try. I have to say my 23 mo is thriving, will eat pretty much anything and has a really healthy, varied diet so I just have to not beat myself up if his wee sis is formula fed as well. But I'll give it my best shot!

nickelbabe Tue 12-Feb-13 15:47:33

just because you couldn't tell you were getting any out doesn't mean you weren't.
colostrum especially is harder to express. (because it's thicker)

plus, if the baby was tongue-tied, he would have foudn it a lot harder to get anything out, again, not because there was nothing there, but because he was physically impeded.

make sure you request your new one is checked properly (by an expert on TT) for TT, and that you feed as often as you possibly can to increase supply.
Ask for a proper lactation specialist while you're still in hospital to help with latching and other support.

Feed, feed, feed and then feed some more in the early months weeks.

Honestely, it took me to DS3 to get the BFing thing right and the only thing I did differently was to stick a boob in his mouth whenever he opened it. If he did not want it, fairenuff, he'd let go again quickly, no harm done.

Get phone numbers for you local BFing support before the arrival of your little one. And use them at the least wee sign of trouble.

Do not rely on how much you can express/see or how full your breasts feel to assess supply. Supply is stimulated by milk removal (not just sucking, but effective sucking), so just keep feeding.

Then feed some more - prerecord your favourite TV programs/get boxsets in so you can just sit and feed. Get help with your older child (nursery? family?) again so you can feed in peace. Look at slings you can feed in if need be (I liked my stretchy sling ie Mobi).

Just decide you are going to do this and then hopefully you will. I used to think no further than the next feed 'I'll do this one and then we'll see'. It got easier and I was more confident after 3 months or so.

Are you familiar with kellymom and Dr Jack Newman websites? V good evidence based advice on both and great video footage on Dr Jack's.

EnchantedBunny Tue 12-Feb-13 15:55:46

I had problems with supply, my milk disappeared after discharge from hospital. I got prescribed domperidone, but I also supplemented with fenugreek capsules once I finished the prescription, and they worked wonders. I highly recommend them as a natural boost for your milk production.

Btw, my mother was told she couldn't feed me because 'she had no milk' (this was in the late 60s) within hours of having delivered me. Of course she had no milk on day1... hmm. Both my brother and I are of course absolutely fine, my mum is over 70 now, but is still a bit upset by that rubbish bit of 'advice'.
It is my understanding that is you have 'normal' breast (not tubular hypoplastic breasts) and have not had a bilateral mastectomy, you are very likely to produce milk.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Tue 12-Feb-13 16:13:21

I've never had any sign of milk or colostrum or bigger boobs during my 3 pregnancies.

Dc1 milk came in on day 4 - bf to 19 months
Dc2 milk came in on day 3 - bf for 24 months
Dc3 milk came in on day 2 after one FULL night of sucking from empty breast. Now 6w and risking oversupply as baby sucking almost constantly.

Btw i have tiny boobs and people always look at my boobs with a wondering look when i tell them the above grin

Good luck and be confident in your boobs!

I have big norkage (34G/H not pregnant shock) and have always stuggled with undersupply - go figure!

Yy to Domperidone and Fenugreek capsules - Domperidone is very much a last resort and not uncontroversial. I am not sure it did much for me, but made me feel I was doing something which kept me going. I think it was more 'keeping going' that got feeding established eventually. Fenugreek you have to take in big enough doses to make your wee smell funny, but then it works I think.

ChairmanWow Tue 12-Feb-13 23:15:34

pacificdogwood we share the same nork size. I wonder if big 'uns are poor performers.

I know what the rest of you mean re getting the milk out, but the fact is that my son's weight absolutely plummeted and he became severely dehydrated so I think the evidence was right there. My breasts never leaked and when I stopped they were not hard or sore, no leaks, no need to express. Some of you may choose not to believe me but the larder was empty.

I'll be on it with tongue tie this time and if she has it and struggles to latch I will be refusing to leave the hospital until it's fixed. It's such a simple procedure and takes seconds. I'll also give fenugreek a go. Presumably I can't take it while pregnant so I'll start when she's born.

I believe you that you had no milk at all - I was the same with DS. At 4 days old, he'd lost 12% of his birth weight and was having seziures from starvation sad He thrived as soon as we switched to formula, and is now doing great

When DD arrived, I was like you, was desperate to try again. So I did, and EBF for 6 weeks, before family convinced me I'd done well but to give it up. I wish I'd stayed strong and carried on, but I gave up then and moved to formula

Wolfiefan Tue 12-Feb-13 23:25:47

I'm like chairman. Struggled on for months with DS but gave up an awful lot sooner with DD.
Used domperidone.
Also advised to drink fennel tea.
YY to feed on demand. Check latch and lots of skin to skin. Expressing a little can (I think) encourage more supply.
My local hospital had a bf counsellor. Perhaps seek out advice pre birth.
Good luck!

FrazzleRock Tue 12-Feb-13 23:30:20

Very interesting to hear about Domperidon being prescribed.
I fed on demand (I'd say 22 hours per day) with both my DS's and they both lost a lot of weight. Nothing wrong with their latches either.
It was clearly an under supply problem (it would also take an hour to pump less than half an ounce of milk with an electric pump)
With DS2 I was so desperate and determined to keep up the breast feeding I went to the GP and asked for Domperidone. I went along armed with information about the medication but she just flicked through it, smirked (almost laughed) and told me to feed more hmm sad
I left in tears and ended up using formula. It still makes me sad and he's nearly four years old.

If you end up needing to increase your supply, I hope you have more luck and are taken seriously!

Domperidone is NOT actually recommended to help milk supply, in fact the advice in America is currently against its use as the risks seem to outweigh the benefits. For higher doses than normally taken for nausea can be taken and you basically take advantage of a sideeffect of a medication in the hope to increase milk supply. It's not a save-all, for sure.
Like I said, for me personally it did not work.

ChairmanWow, milk production relies on effective milk removal - I am quite sure that big boobs vs small newborn's mouth sometimes make that difficult. I got on much better with a 'crosscradle hold' and making a 'breast sandwich' (I know, I know, sounds horrible - look it up on YouTube; great tutorials there, some from my hero Dr Jack Newman).

It is souldestroying when a baby does not thrive inspite of mum trying SO hard - it used to drive me round the bend that I was getting all stressed out, and I knew that stress does not help a decent let-down reflex which in turn might stop the baby from being terribly interested in the breast, which in turn will stop good milk removal thereby reducing milk supply - gah!!! I am getting stress just writing about it now...

ifso Wed 13-Feb-13 22:29:19

Yy to fenugreek tablets

And lots of water fluids for you, I was told this helps production and it did

Also recommend taking the first month of their life as an extended month of oregnancy, so no major outings, visitors etc

Nesting is key - look to other cultures China, India to see how mothers dont leave house much after a birth, but in uk newborns are out about everywhere with exhausted mums

Just a thought - if we ever have a third i'll look forward to a good month of nesting!

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Often the lack of milk is due to not breastfeeding optimally. So, tongue-tie can affect it, as can a regimented 'routine'.

If you bf on demand, and then some, and have the latched checked by someone well qualified, as well as tongue tie, then all should go well.

Don't take medication as this would interfere with supply and demand and risk engorgement which can lead to mastitis and other problems.

ifso Wed 13-Feb-13 22:43:00

http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/health-wellness/10-ways-increase-breast-milk-supply.html

This gives great advice too OP

nickelbabe Thu 14-Feb-13 10:20:03

yes, there is a chance that there was no milk last time, there's a chance that it could be because the tongue-tie meant that he never triggered it. (or any unknown reason)

but that doesn't mean it will happen with this one.
try everything suggested, and if it doesn't work, you at least know you have back up.

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