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I’ve completely messed up my supply. Advice please?

(13 Posts)
FranticallyPeaceful Wed 13-Jun-18 11:13:34

Hi, I’ve messed up!
I have a three and a half week old and he’s always favoured my right boob, when he was born he had issues latching onto the left one and would scream bloody murder if I tried - so, to make life easier at the time, I admit that I just let him do his thing... now my right breast is making all the milk and my left has just about given up.

How do I fix this? I keep putting him on my right one (he can latch no issues now to it) but how often should I pump from it too? Or shouldn’t I?

I’ve just left hospital after being treated for sepsis after I went into shock, and they believe it’s from the mastitis... I really don’t want that to happen again but my right breast is massive and heavy

Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you

tickingthebox Wed 13-Jun-18 11:18:53

with milk usually demand = supply, so he has to start using the left in order for milk to be made.

you may need to put him on first (and he'll make a fuss as not much supply) but if you keep doing it you (should) start the supply up again...

possibly try holding him the same way round so he's less aware of the difference between the two?

FranticallyPeaceful Wed 13-Jun-18 11:19:04

Sorry I mean I keep putting him on my left

FranticallyPeaceful Wed 13-Jun-18 11:20:03

Thank you! Will this definitely work? I’m worried that because I’ve let it go down so much it’s just past it now but it still definitely makes milk, just extremely little

tickingthebox Wed 13-Jun-18 11:20:12

...and don't beat yourself up about it! mastitis can happen anyway regardless!

You could also try pumping from the left to increase supply.

fascinated Wed 13-Jun-18 11:24:35

Can you feed lying down at all and try the left one?

FranticallyPeaceful Wed 13-Jun-18 11:26:39

Thank you. I’ve just ordered a Medela swing, I have a mini electric but it’s not very good for me. Hospital had a fantastic one and I managed 15ml from my left breast so it’s still making milk but not very much... whereas my right one just sprays everywhere blush I can’t believe I’ve let it get to this point really

BertieBotts Wed 13-Jun-18 11:27:51

It's always possible to get supply back up. Pumping and feeding would be a double barrelled approach. Keep draining the right one too so that it doesn't get engorged as you can fix this oversupply later.

FranticallyPeaceful Wed 13-Jun-18 11:29:06

@fascinated this is how I usually feed at night, he prefers it. It’s harder on my left side because of the shape of my nipple but he had a good go last night in a half sleeping state I managed to get him to have a go but it doesn’t seem like enough to boost my supply and I’m not sure how often I should offer it. My right boob is so full and uncomfortable again and he only fed about an hour ago

FranticallyPeaceful Wed 13-Jun-18 11:36:02

@BertieBotts thank you. Wouldn’t an over supply make mastitis more likely? I’m just absolutely terrified after what happened. I never knew it was possible to get sepsis from mastitis and I never even knew it was that bad confused .

I really don’t want to go back to hospital, and they put me in a private high need maternity room because I refused point blank to stay in ICU after I’d been stabilised (because I couldn’t bring my son) and they told me if it does happen again I might not be able to do that, and I can’t imagine much worse than having to leave him. It terrifies me!

InFrance2014 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:26:09

Hi there,
It sounds like you've soldiered on through a lot and had a scary experience.
You absolutely can get that left boob back up- people can breastfeed adopted babies after all!
It will take some work and I seriously advise that you get in touch with an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) who will be able to tailor a plan for you, and ensure it's safe for your right boob.

Everyone is right that you need to get on to emptying that left boob to stimulate the supply- the baby is more efficient than a pump, so I would persevere and get him used to it, get a full feed off that one.

BUT because you've had a serious mastitis episode, I would say you need specialist advice on how to manage your right boob.
IBCLC will be able to speak to you by phone but they prefer to visit in person to see your situation in full, watch you nursing etc. Some will do skype. It won;t be free but I think it would be a sound investment for you.

Good luck

ShowOfHands Wed 13-Jun-18 16:30:12

Have you tried a rugby hold for the left side? My DD had a very sore neck and some muscle problems after a traumatic birth and couldn't turn her head to the right without pain so would not feed from my left breast in a normal hold. I used to put her in a rugby hold instead (under my arm, feet pointing backwards iyswim) so she was comfortable while a physio and osteopath helped her with her range of movement.

BertieBotts Wed 13-Jun-18 16:36:37

I was thinking more in terms of trying to avoid any blockages for now, but you might be right. I think InFrance is probably right that it would be useful to seek the support of an IBCLC.

I do know the advice I was given re mastitis was to go to the GP at the first hint of anything even vaguely possibly mastitis and get antibiotics, to prevent it from getting any worse.

The other advice I was given was a combination of hot and cold - cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain, hot compresses when expressing to relieve more milk. And if you're trying not to stimulate supply, don't empty the breast but just take enough off to make you comfortable.

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