Milk supply dwindling, is there anything I can do?(22 Posts)
DD is 18 weeks old and I have been feeding her EBM exclusively except for the first couple of days waiting for my milk to come in. In the last week I have noticed my supply dropping considerably and she had her first formula bottle last night. The same thing happened with ds2 but I assumed it was related to being pg again, although I managed to mix feed until he was about 8 months.
Is there anything I'm not doing that would increase supply? I had no success with expressing more frequently last time, I produced the same amount of milk no matter how often I expressed. I am trying the same again but the same appears to be happening.
Thanks for any advice!
What makes you think your milk supply is dropping? The best way to increase it is to feed more frequently and avoid formula if you can.
can you just feed more frequently? what makes you think supply's dropping?
sorry i know "feed more" is easy for me to say!
Mears - the amount I'm expressing is dropping quite drastically, I was expressing enough in the beginning to start feeding ds2 BM again instead of formula (he was having one feed of 9oz at night), had to stop that about 6 weeks ago as dd was wanting more which was cancelling out the excess. I've noticed since the weekend that I'm expressing less and less in the morning, I think I'm expressing 2/3 oz less in teh morning, and dropping 1-2 oz per session. I'm wondering if it's dropping off because I'm not feeding her direct and therefore not stimulating hormones to keep on producing enough.
Stealth - I'm expressing every 2-3 hours but I'm finding that overall supply is not increasing, it's staying the same.
Expressing is no indication of how much milk you have. I could only get any milk out by expressing by doing it during my lunch break when dd was 5 months old, couldnt get anything at any other time of the day. I fed her a long time after that.
redclover - are you feeding 2 babies at the moment?
Also are you not directly breastfeeding at all? Is there a reason for that?
I was just going to ask why you weren't directly BFing. can you put your baby to the breast at all maybe this will increase your supply as a baby feeding from the breast is generally better than expressing.
* in terms of milk supply - not in general terms, before someone takes it the wrong way
sorry i completely missed you were ebm exclusively
mears - I'm only feeding 1 baby now, ds2 had to go back to formula which he turned his nose up at! There's less than a year between ds2 and dd and I had the same problems feeding ds2 and dd, basically I found it really painful and stuck with EBM as it was a lot easier for me and both dc. I also had problems with getting latch right etc, I persevered with ds2 feeding directly some of the time til 6 weeks but couldn't face it at all with dd so went straight to expressing.
hercules - I know expressing doesn't truly reflect supply but it seems strange that after 18 weeks it is dipping so much, I've not been ill or done anything out of the ordinary. When you BF, do feeds get longer as they become less frequent? Maybe I should express for longer, I've laready upped the time expressing from 20 mins to half an hour in the morning.
RedHead81 - I've not tried, I'm not sure at 18 weeks whether she would know what to do anyway! Might try this evening.
What age is DS? Could he not have cow's milk now?
May be worth seeing if she will latch on - might make life easier in the long run.
If not, do you have a double pump?
If not double pumping, do you swich sides as the milk flow slows? It is faster and more effective to do that.
Are you expressing 2 hours from the start time of each expressing session? The more often you express, the more milk you will produce.
The other thing you can try is a galactogogue such as Domperidone which can boost your supply if expressing doesn't.
ds is now 16 months, not interested in cows milk or formula, he's weaned anyway now and just gorges at breakfast to make up for it!
Have a hand pump, do both sides until I stop basically!!
I'm trying to express every 2 hours but can be a bit longer as dd is very clingy and ds2 very active! I'll hopefully have more luck over the weekend as dp'll be here.
Would I have to get Domperidone from the GP?
Do you switch sides frequently throughout the expression as the milk slows?
You can buy domperidone over the counter but it can be expensive. The other name for it is Motilium. It's main use is for stomch bloating.
And yes your GP can prescribe it.
I expressed exclusively for 18 months and at about 18 weeks I experienced a dip in the amount I was producing. It is quite common apparently. I was able to get my supply back up and beyond what I produced before, so it is perfectly possible (and without drugs)
A few questions:
1) Do you express at night?
2) Do you double pump?
3) What pump are you using?
4) What is your pumping routine?
5) Have there been any days recently where you have not stuck to your usual routine?
Sorry, have just read that you are using a hand pump Do you not have massive muscles in one hand and repetitive strain injury?! If you want to carry on you must be kind to yourself and get a double electric pump. I am astonished you have got this far without one and with a toddler to look after as well. Wow, you must be really committed.
she may be able to feed from you. It may be worth a try?
TheProvincialLady will obv be able to help you more than me though, but see if she will take from you, it may make it easier for yourself if she can.
Thanks Mears, I don't switch sides, I do one side then the other. I've tried going back to the first breast but get very little from it if I do.
From the link "When a mother has a decrease in milk supply, often associated with the use of birth control pills (avoid strogen containing birth control pills while breastfeeding), or on occasion, _for no obvious reason when the baby is three or four months old_, domperidone will often bring the supply back to normal."
That's interesting, I always thought my supply decreased with ds2 (at around 14 weeks) because I was pg with dd. Wonder why that happens then!
you might find some useful information here
When I expressed I always switched sides because I found I collected milk faster. One breast always let down better than the other and I would switch every time the milk flow slowed. Maybe means switching 4 or 5 times. As you express on one breast you let down in the other.
Amounts varied but increased when I expressed more.
What about investing in an electric double pump?
You have done amzingly well with a hand pump.
I personally hand expressed without a pump so maybe that is worth a try too?
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