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PLEASE help prem baby disaqppearing milk supply

(22 Posts)
chibi Wed 10-Jun-09 14:29:16

my ds was born last week at 34+6 weeks. he is still learning to latch, so is cupfed ebm.

I managed to get what I thought was agood supply going - expressing about 20 ml more than needed per feed. As of yesterday, this was about 90 ml or so in total each feed.

Today, I am struggling to get anything - I have just spent about 20 min trying to express and only getting 30 ml. It was similar at the last feed too.

I am getting worried. I have set my hopes/expectations really low for this baby - I just want to bf him till term, I can cope with having to ff after this. I feel like this is the least I can do for him.

Please, please help me make it until then.

nevergoogledragonbutter Wed 10-Jun-09 14:30:26

i would if i could chibi sad

Bramshott Wed 10-Jun-09 14:30:47

Congratulations on the arrival of your DS Chibi!

A few questions:

Is he in hospital or at home?

What sort of a pump are you using to express? How often are you doing it?

chibi Wed 10-Jun-09 14:35:53

he is at home. i am using an electric pump (thiogh not hospital grade) I was pumping every 3 houtrs, am today trying to do every 2-21/2.

I also ahve a toddler + a house to keep in order I am EXHAUSTED

Bramshott Wed 10-Jun-09 14:40:54

Blimey, that sounds very hard. Hospital grade pumps really are good - I would say almost essential if you are only expressing. Would your hospital load you one? Or could you hire one from the NCT or La Leche League?

He must be doing brilliantly well to be home so soon! My 33-weeker was in hospital for 3 weeks, and I was led to believe that even that was pretty good going. She was tube fed until she could latch though, which had the benefit of being quick and efficient!

booboobeedoo Wed 10-Jun-09 14:44:39

You are already doing brilliantly.

I had to express for long periods both my DCs. Please don't worry - you will have good and not so good milk production days.

I agree about the hospital grade pump - but maybe it's not worthwhile 'cos baby will probably get better at latching very soon indeed.

Try to put your feet up if at all possible. Don't worry about the house and stick the TV on for the toddler?! Drink plenty of water + maybe try some fennel tea or similar? Also, maybe try to give yourself a bit more of a rest / longer time between pumps?

All the best.

Bramshott Wed 10-Jun-09 14:47:23

I think it's also true to say that as long as you are expressing often, it's not the end of the world you can't manage all the feeds until he can latch on. If he has a bit of formula now, that's not to say he won't be able to build up your supply once he's bigger and able to feed from you directly.

helenlouisey Wed 10-Jun-09 20:07:12

Hi Chibi

You are doing a fab job I also had a prem baby and expressed long term, I had a lot of problems maintaining my supply and also getting my DS to breast feed. I would definitely recommend a hospital grade pump, you can hire them from expressyourselfmums, nct or directly from manufaturers such as Medela. In the end I have been expressing long term, as my DS also had a very complex tongue tie which made breast feeding very difficult, I was prescribed Domperidone to help increase and then maintain my milk supply, without a doubt this has helped me make it to 8 months exclusively expressing milk for my DS.

Try and relax, I remember one night I was very stressed about not producing enough milk so I had a drink and just relaxed on the sofa for a couple of hours and then tried again, try not to watch the milk coming out, try and get engrossed in the tv or Mumsnet instead. Would also suggest the following things

- double pumping
-pumping at least 6 / 7 times a day
- increase the amount you are time you are expressing each time.

Maybe also have a look here it's a fab american site for ladies that just express milk for various reasons, you may be able to pick up some more tips there

Good luck and remember you have given your DS the best possible start in life whatever happens now onswards

twinklegreen Wed 10-Jun-09 20:28:54

My tips

double pumping
fennel tea
expressing during evening/nightime

Hope everything works out ok smile

fishie Wed 10-Jun-09 20:36:19

chibi, are you getting any help with latch? is always going to be easier for you (and him) to bf direct.

ds was term but took 5 days to latch on and i did need quite a lot of help from bfc to get bf established.

twinmam Wed 10-Jun-09 20:47:55

My advice would be to definitely seek help and support asap - bf counsellors from hosp/ ring NCT helpline etc. Getting your ds to latch will def be easier than long term expressing (I expressed for DD1 for 8 weeks and bf DD2)

Also agree with all of the above about decent pump. I got on pretty well with a medela swing but the enormous double medela in our SCBU was something else and I think you can hire them.

One thing that helped me with expressing when DDs were in NICU/SCBU was to have a picture of them to hand. Even better, have your baby nearby - express in the room with him or have a lovely cuddle whilst you do. Sounds weird but it really did seem to work for me.

Good luck. It sounds as if you're doing a brilliant job

Bramshott Thu 11-Jun-09 20:27:05

How's it going today chibi?

barleycorn Thu 11-Jun-09 20:47:32

Chibi you've got loads of great advice on here already, but thought I'd add my tuppenceworth.
Like helenlouisy I pumped for several months for ds1, who couldn't bf for medical reasons. Would echo everything she's said, & also add that you're absolutely amazing to have got this far. Having a toddler, a newborn & pumping must be sooo hard. Sod the house, I don't think I did any cleaning for a good 4 months and nothing terrible happened. You need to rest & concentrate on the important things.
My milk supply tailed off after a couple of weeks, and it was devastating to sit on the pump for ages and just see a few ml of milk to show for it, but I built it back up again with domperidone & cluster pumping.
I think I got soo stressed by it all I souldn't get a proper let-down. I used to have a glass of wine of an evening to chill out & let the milk flow.
You've done brilliantly to get this far - a week of exclusive expressing has given your baby the best possible start, even if he's ff from today nobody can take that achievement away, but hopefully it won't be long till the latch is sorted and your little man will be building up your supply himself.

anjlix Thu 11-Jun-09 21:52:57

I used warm towels to help with let down in the first week or expressed after a shower. Also drink loads of water.. Each session would take about 40 mins total. Also alternate between breasts to start with before you get used to double pumping. I would do 2-5 mins each side and then switch. Takes longer but I found that it helped in the early days. Play with the speed and suction of the pump. I would start with high speed and low suction and the after 10 mins or so move to low speed but high suction. HV told me it imitates a baby who initially sucks fast when hungry to get the foremilk but afterwards has to take deeper sucks to get to the hindmilk.

Last thing stress is a real killer for supply.

chibi Fri 12-Jun-09 09:11:18

i am taking fenugreek tabs to help with supply + going to the bf clinic for help with the latch. he is now latching + suckling for a while at each feed.

my supply is variable, i can get anywhere from 60-100 ml when expressing. he is having about 70ish ml of this.

he didn't poo at all weds. but did poo once yesterday. my mw said he might not be getting enough - i thought 70 ml every 3 hours was good going!

i hope we can get there in the end...this is hard, and the postnatal hormones don't help at all.

thanks everyone for your help and support

Bobo23 Fri 12-Jun-09 10:58:52

Can't type much as I'm breastfeeding my 34 weeker... (now almost 6 months)

Top tips;
Make friends bring you food like stews
Get someone to look after toddler and do as much skin to skin as possible - preferably on the sofa with a DVD
Forget about cleaning the house
Small glass of wine to unwind in the evening (after feeding!)
Double pumping - you'll get loads more in the morning and if you can bear it in the night too..

Best of luck!!

lilyrosiemum Fri 12-Jun-09 11:57:52

I bf/cup fed twins born at 35+2, so v similar gestation to yours. 70ml every 3 hours is more than enough unless your baby is huge for dates - I had to give mine 40 and 42ml respectively (as directed by paeds in hospital) which I gave in addition to bf but actually was sufficient fluid for their weight by itself. There is a formula paeds use to determine how much fluid a baby needs per weight which I now can't remember but it works out the same as the recommended amounts of formula. Cup feeding is horrible, we stopped after a few days and went to bf and then mixed feeding - once baby is mature enough to latch on properly, which will be very soon, things will be easier.

chibi Fri 12-Jun-09 14:19:02

he latched and fed properly!!!! It felt like the real deal, I am so happy! He definately got milk, he was on for about 5 minutes, was really sucking (that big chomp chomp thing with the jaw that babies do when they are on well)and swallowing and when he came off his mouth was full of milk. Hurray!!!!

The bf counsellor said I am prob ok with the pump I have, and gave me lots of reassurance about everything. He is starting to try to latch more often, I am feeling a bit more optimistic about eventually fully bfing him.

He also did a MEGA poo while at the bf clinic! Hurray for my boy!

Thanks all again for all your support, it really helps to hear good things from people who have been there.

MamaHobgoblin Fri 12-Jun-09 19:43:35

Just read this thread and am so happy to read this outcome! Well done, you're coping so well. I can't imagine how I'd be able to do all that with a toddler too...

twinmam Fri 12-Jun-09 19:46:04

Well done Chibi! grin Really pleased for you!

Bramshott Sat 13-Jun-09 20:08:44

Fantastic grin!

monkeyfacegrace Sat 13-Jun-09 20:18:02

Well done! But if it helps, my 33+4 weeker went straight onto formula, I had a 2 year old and just couldn't cope with breastfeeding so you are already doing better than me! But my son is almost 6 months corrected now and doing great, never ill (touch wood), so even if you end up formula feeding dont beat yourself up, and its sooooo much easier (I find- no weaning probs and you can hand him to someone else!)Oh, even now (and from birth), my son only poos about twice a week! But hey, thats normal for him I guess x

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