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please help new mum with 3 week baby - how do i get my milk supply up?

(32 Posts)
roundgirl Wed 22-Oct-08 19:53:22

Hiya any advice would be vvv welcome! I have really battled with breast feeding since our DD's birth three weeks ago. She was unable to latch on due to a tongue tie, which went undiagnosed by the hospital and also I have flat nipples and she has a recessive chin!

I had the tongue tie sorted last week and she was feeding well, albeit using nipple sheilds.....then I promptly came down with mastitis!

I am on the mend now and am really keen to breastfeed still, but the traumas of the last few weeks have meant my milk supply is low, particularly after the mastitis and we have had to top up breast feeds with a little bit of formula. I am feeding her for hours, with nipple sheilds still, and she is still starving and so she is having 20ml - 40 ml of formula at the end.

How do I break this cycle and build my milk supply up and get rid of the formula top ups?

Please help as I am exhausted, feeding, expressing and sterilising bottles, the worst of all worlds!


georgimama Wed 22-Oct-08 19:55:59

I am not a BFing counsellor(tiktok is though, I'm sure she will be along in a mo) but I would imagine the only way is to stop the formula top ups, and feed more (which as you are exhausted is probably not want you want to hear). Are you feeding on demand or on a schedule? Drop the schedule if so.

Are nipple shields a good idea when you have low supply? Don't they get in the way of the stimulus your nipple gets of the baby suckling?

DeJaVous Wed 22-Oct-08 19:56:33

Hi Roundgirl, I'm not an expert on this one but I just want to say how amazingly well you've done. Respectgrin

With that kind of determination and the right advice (which I'm sure will be along shortly) you'll have it sorted in no time.


DeJaVous Wed 22-Oct-08 19:57:03


thisisyesterday Wed 22-Oct-08 19:58:58

hiya roundgirl, I just wanted to say well done! you've really been through it. as a mum of 2 tongue tied babies I know just how awful it is feeding through it, so well done on getting through it.

as for breaking the formula cycle, babies will usually take formula even after filling themselves up on boob. they just do, not least because a bottle is easy to take and it's hard for them to stop sucking and refuse it.

I think in your position I would be inclined to just ditch the formula altogether.
do you think it would be possible to stop using the nipple shields too? they don't always make getting a good latch easy for baby and she may not be transferring milk as efficiently as she could be.
I Have (had) flat nipples too and they quickly get sucked "out" once baby is latched on, so don't believe what you hear about not being able to feed with them.

could you try offering both breasts, feed until she latches off by herself. then if she seems upset or hungry still just offer the first breast again?

if you don't feel ready to ditch the formula altogether then you could just reduce it by a little amount each day until she is only having a tiny bit and then stop it completely.

MatNanPlus Wed 22-Oct-08 19:59:06

Lots of feeding, snuggled in bed, skin to skin contact.

How are the nipples? could you express to bring them forward for her to latch onto without the sheilds?

Tiktok and many others are very experienced, they will be around soon.

eisbaer Wed 22-Oct-08 20:02:28

well done for still wanting to breastfeed! You'll get there. I recommend buying Gina Ford's Contented Little BaBY and following her plan for increasing milk supply for five days, and also for scheduled feeding(sorry, other person who advised against this!) Means you'll get a chance to replenish supplies in between frequent, regular feeds. Your baby doesn't go hungry, quite the opposite. Give it a try if you're still stuck and not mega-opposed to GF, it worked for me.

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Oct-08 20:04:42

sorry, I just want to do a HUGE disagree here and say please do NOT follow GF's plan.

the best way to increase supply is to feed, feed, feed.
your baby is THE best at getting milk out, and feeding a baby gives you all those nice hormones that help boost your supply. you do NOT need to be implementing any routine that stops you from feeding on demand.,

georgimama Wed 22-Oct-08 20:07:05

GF's plan is the way to get yourself another dose of mastitis, don't do it. It's far too early to be BFing your baby on a schedule, especially as you have supply issues.

llareggub Wed 22-Oct-08 20:08:58

You need a babymoon! A day or so in bed, you and baby, lots of skin to skin time and lots of feeding. Feed, feed, feed, and have lots of drinks and cake for you to hand. Enjoy and relax.

Honeybunnie Wed 22-Oct-08 20:09:33

re: your body producing milk- eat loads of porridge oats, it helps to produce milk.

Eat loads of food and drink lots of fluids.

sleep and rest loads, so your body has the strength to produce milk rather that burning calories cleaning the house etc.

build up milk supply:
before you feed baby, express your milk.
let baby suck on the breast to suck out whatever is left, which will stimulate milk supply, when your are completely empty and your baby gives up, because there isn't any milk coming out. Give baby your expressed breast milk. If baby is still hungery then resort to formula, only give just enough until she is not hungery, not completely stuffed.

Ideally, breastfeed baby every 2 hours to build up milk suppy, even at night.

I have been bf for 4, almost 5 years now.
1st dd b/f for 12 months.
2nd dd bf for 14 months.
3rd dd bf for 2 yrs and 3 months.
such a relief to get 3rd dd off, still bf at during the night at 2yrs. I have just recently weaned her off the breast. Now I can sleep a proper 8 hours sleep.

Good luck

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 22-Oct-08 20:23:39

i have done this - from mostly ff to only 0 - 2 top ups pd of 60mls each...but could easily do without. lots and lots of feeding, offer baby the breast at every opportunity, and express in the meantime. only give a top up when you have had enough of feeding - i did when my boobs were getting sore after 2+ hrs of feeding or so. keep at this for as long as it takes and it will settle in - i'm so pleased i can now satisfy my ds after a bf took 4-5 weeks but that's not much in the grand scheme of things.

llareggub Wed 22-Oct-08 20:24:37

That's pretty much what I did, together with the babymoon. DS is still breastfeeding and is now 2 years old.

Twelvelegs Wed 22-Oct-08 20:28:43

I have built supply by having a weekend in bed with just a newborn to look after...feeding on demand and sleeping. Bit tricky if you have another child but doable nonetheless! Eat eat eat and drink plenty of water. Most importantly enjoy the time and devotion that this entails!!

Yorky Wed 22-Oct-08 20:34:39

Fascinated by eating oats - never heard that.
I love porridge and flapjack so guess what I'll be troughing when DC2 arrives sometime next month - thank you

Well done for persevering this far, I'm sure your baby will build up your supply soon roundgirl

SazzlesA Wed 22-Oct-08 20:35:31

Message withdrawn

roundgirl Wed 22-Oct-08 20:50:54

Thanks so much for all the advice! I have tried and tried without the nipple shields and she has only latched on without themfor a couple of minutes overall...I keep trying! I even paid for a private breastfeeding consultant to come round and she actually suggested the nipple shields saying my nipples were flat and DD had a tongue tie at that stage.

I have read about nipple shileds on kelly mom and it says that if there are pools of milk in the shields the baby will be getting enough milk....I always have milk pooling in the shields. Is the problem with shields milk transfer or do they actually affect my milk supply?

Thanks for all support and advice! I am planning a babymoon as you suggest xxx

llareggub Wed 22-Oct-08 21:57:15

Don't forget the cake. It is very important to have cake. smile

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Oct-08 22:01:13

the shields would only affect your supply if they were stopping dd from getting the milk effectively.

fwiw, it's probably worth trying to get rid of them because it's just easier feeding without, but do it at your leisure if you'rehappy with them atm

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Oct-08 22:01:24

and yes, cake is very important

tiktok Wed 22-Oct-08 23:16:17

No need to express before or after feeds, no need to eat oats (or cake!), no need to get more rest or sleep, no need to eat more, no need to drink more.....NONE of this (bar the expressing, which is just not necessary in your case) has been shown to make more milk (though none of it is harmful). What does make more milk is frequent, effective feeding on both breasts with no top ups of formula. Sometimes, formula is needed as a short term measure if milk supply is very low - but 20-40 mls at each feed adds up to an amount that could well interfere with building up your own milk. Hope you can get a chance to talk to someone in real life, roundgirl, maybe on a bf helpline, so you can work out a way of ditching the shields and the top ups, and, as you say, breaking that circle.

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Oct-08 23:17:25

cake boosts morale I find grin

llareggub Wed 22-Oct-08 23:27:09

oh god yes!

roundgirl Thu 23-Oct-08 11:51:24

Things are going from bad to worse, I had to give her about half formula when I had mastitis a few days ago and now she is constipated and screaming. Do you think that could be because of the change in type of milk? We are using SMA gold.

Also inlaws are here 'to help' and keep telling me to give her a bottle and muttering in corners that she is 'starving'!!

Apparently it's 'ridiculous' she's not in a routine yet and if i keep breastfeeding her on demand I'll get depressed!

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 23-Oct-08 11:57:20

hey - after my positive post a few days ago i find ds has lost 2oz so i understand your frustration. firstly -
ignore the in laws. send them home. you don't need that.
change in diet can upset their tummies. don't fret. you coulds give some cooled boiled water but i believe bf is best to hydrate a baby.
she's 3 weeks old. there is no routine
you will not get depressed unless you listewn to your undermining in laws.
are you expressing from the infected boob? i believe you should be.
good luck xxx

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