REALLY low milk supply(23 Posts)
I could do with some advice as having had my 2nd daughter 3 weeks ago I am having problems with practically no milk supply.
I went through the same with my first 4 years ago but put it down to a long and bad birth, a baby who screamed 24 hrs a day and onsuing PND.
I had hoped that this time being calmer about everything and knowing what to do all round with a baby a bit better, I would make enough milk to breastfeed. But no. I'm not depressed about it but very disappointed.
Basically my daughter lost 20oz in 5 days as I had thought I was feeding her but when after discovering the weight loss I pumped I found I only had 4.5ml!! No wonder then. Since then I get about 0.5oz total from both boobs each time I pump, Ruby is trying bless her but she falls asleep as there is just not enough there to interest her. We are feeding her formula aswell so she is content and gaining weight but I would like to do it myself. I find the pumping every 3 hours means I have no time with my elder daughter and am permanently attached to either baby or machine!
Do you think there is any hope? Maybe I am just not made for it, seems a big coincidence that it happened twice?!
Well - I had a similar problem when my little girl was born eight weeks ago. Had to top up every feed with formula for a few weeks. Now I only have to give her two top ups a day with formula - one of these at bed time so she sleeps for ages! Don't worry about giving formula - I felt exactly the same as you but you gradually have to give less and less. In some ways it is good because she takes both breast and bottle happily and it means I can have a rest whilst my husband feeds her last thing at time. A long sleep does wonders for your milk supply!
Bumping for tiktok, for you.
From my non-professional point of view, yes, I think that there is still hope, 'cause I spent hours and hours getting help in a breast feeding clinic with ds1 and listened into all sorts of interesting conversations.
The first thing to do is to get your latch checked out by a competent mw or better, breast feeding counsellor. Your milk supply responds to the stimulation the baby provides, and if they are not latched on properly (been there, done that!) then they won't stimulate as much milk.
Secondly, don't panic about the little amount you expressed. A baby is far more efficient at getting milk out than a breast pump, and the amount you can express is not a measure of how much you are producing.
Third, keep on feeding as often as you can and expessing too, especially as you are mixed feeding. You need to keep up your supply as much as possible, until you can get some extra help with the latch. Have you experimented with different pumps? (Though remember your daughter is the best pump out.)
Others may be able to give you help with your latch via MN - basically ensure that you are holding your daughter's shoulders rather than her head, so that her head is tipped back, coming in chin first. Aim her nose for your nipple . . . and best of luck!
You can do this with some support.
Thanks HK, how did you increase your milk supply? Just expressing regularly?
I've just reread my message. Apologies if it sounds a bit brusque! (I'm just dashing off to work, and wanted to send you some encouragement before I went)
Really hope that you can sort something out. Breastfeeding can be such hard work, but I found it very much worth it, in the long run, if you can persevere (and not be too put off by those lucky folks who seem to do it without any problems at all!)
I just kept on trying. I also couldn't express but as notquitegrownup says it doesn't necessarily mean you have no milk. Keeping as relaxed as I could helped. Don't worry too much - the most important thing is she isn't going hungry. It will come.
Second nqgu re: pumping not being any indication of how much milk you have - I couldn't get much at all at first using a breast pump even though oversupply was one of the things that was causing me problems!
Have you tried hand expressing as apparently that can work better? I've always found it very messy but others swear by it. No time to do links just now but I'm sure someone will do one for the breastfeeding advice lines (fab!) and the Kellymom website (or you could Google)
I'll have a look for the links, maybe hand expressing is the way to go... thanks for taking the time to respond.
there is hope!
ring someone and see them face-to-face so they can watch a feed and check your latch
National Childbirth Trust Breastfeeding Line 0870 444 8708
La Leche League Telephone Helpline 0845 120 2918
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers telephone helpline 0870 401 7711
Hope things are going well - I had some problems with milk supply (and came on here for advice), and things eventually settled with perseverence, but I would (at risk of offending others) like to offer another point of view.
My best mate had dd2 at the same time I had mine, and had real problems with maintaining weight, sore, bleeding nipples etc, and we had loads of chats - she wanted to bf but felt awful (and has a great 2yo ds). I finally said that her son was wonderful - and that didn't come from being breastfed - it came from having a great, and happy mummy.
Breastfeeding is wonderful, but you need to be happy, healthy and have enough time for yourself and the rest of your family too. Best mate gave up without any major guilt and has been much happier with her bonny, happy dd.
So true. I appreciate your comments Nicoloola, no.2 is now well fed, content and sleeping soundly as a result of the formula. My no.1 daughter is bright, kind, funny and healthy despite being on formula from 3 weeks.
Ma, you had a bad start.....for a baby to lose that much weight in the first 5 days is a very serious indication that she was not transferring milk. I am guessing you are not in the UK, but I might be wrong there....there's no mention of a midwife or health visitor, that's all.
Expressing is not an indication of how much milk the baby takes or how much you make, but the weight loss certainly showed something was wrong.
For now, frequent effective expressing, either by hand or with a good pump, will bring back milk. Alongside this, your baby needs to come to the breast and transfer milk effectively, too....and all this is very, very time consuming, esp with a toddler to care for, so you are doing great.
Actually I am in the UK but have found most health visitors and midwives to be of little help unfortunately, therefore I am trying to find my own way and gather my own advice.
I'll continue with the pumping, feeding and formula and see how we go.
Thanks to everyone
Hi MaJervis, keep at it if that's what you want! I'm certainly very encouraged by all the kind comments I've had from this site. We can be 'breast buddys'! First one to 2oz is the winner!!!
I asked a breast feeding counsellor the best way to increase my milk supply as I want to start stocking up EBM for my return to work and constant feeding was not increasing it enough.
She suggested taking a teaspoon of Brewer's yeast powder every day in a smoothie/ fruit juice. I take it every morning (has to be in a large banana smoothies cos the powder's pretty vile...) and it is working- I now express twice a day and have enough for my DD. Apparently you can also get a prescription from your GP for donpericone( or something like that) which does the same thing.
Also think that although HVs can be useful, for something as specialised and potentially stressful as BF, a breast feeding counsellor is better.
Hi Majervis, just wanted to offer a little support from the mixed feeding side of the fence. I dearly wanted to exclusively BF DD but she was jaundiced and dopey and we were readmitted to hospital after too much weight loss. Took ages to get the BF going and now at 11 weeks she's nearly exc. BF but still has 1 bottle of formula at bedtime. If you're BF, even a little, your DD is getting your milk which is just great. We can't all BF exclusively for many different reasons and although I'm still aiming for it, accepting that some formula is necessary can be a happy middle ground. Often I think there's pressure to do all or nothing when a mixture of BM, formula and EBM works for lots of people. Its so god damn hard the whole thing and I bet you're doing brilliantly! Remember that a baby that takes breast and bottle is a good thing. I have many friends struggling to get their babies to take bottles. Please don't think of yourself as failing in anyway here! At the end of the day all they really need is a ton of love.
Majervis/maisiebabe. The thing you can get from your doctors is Domperidone. I went to my doctors to ask for it but she wouldn't give it me. So I went and bought some from Asda pharmacy! It's called Modium 10 (or similar - sorry it's in my bag in the car). Apparently it's not licenced over here for increasing breastmilk and it doesn't work for everyone but it's working for me and I only started taking it on Thursday. It does say on the instruction leaflet not to take it when pregnant or breastfeeding because it can enter your breastmilk but I've read it's sometimes given to babies with reflux so it can't be that bad can it? Anyway it's your choice and risk I suppose but I decided to give it a go. Try searching for it on the internet to do some research before you make your decision.
I had a very similar problem (dd lost a lot of weight and took 4 weeks to get back to birthweight).
Firstly, I got a lot of help from the NCT breastfeeding line - definitely worth talking to them.
Secondly, one of the things that she suggested was taking Fenugreek capsules to increase supply. This definitely helped - I took two tablets, three times a day, and it worked within a couple of days. Kellymom has some specific advice on how to use them, but I would say that the Solgar capsules are better, if you can get hold of them, but you might find them easier to get at Holland and Barrett - not a lot of small health food shops stock them. That combined with expressing made a big difference.
I was supplementing with formula for ages, gradually decreased it, and dd has been exclusively breast fed since about 7 weeks now - hope this gives you some hope!
Thought this link would be useful here!
Lactogenic Foods and Herbs
Thank you all for your continued support.
No.2 daughter is appearing more happy on the boob now so maybe there is a little more there, not a great amount expressed though but as you advise I will ignore that as an indicator.
I have a couple of friends who are exclusvely bf and they are constantly at the babes beck and call and tired, at least with formula you can plan around feeding and have a break in between.
Pros and cons for both I think. I'll stick with both for now and see how we go, happy baby happy mummy....
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