my milk's drying up

Jodi - posted on 11/21/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 4 1/2 mths old and my milk is getting really low i already have to give her 100ml of formula at night to top her up as it is a struggle all day for her to get enough from me. She is not crying with hunger but she is desperately sucking and grabbing at me for more. I have been through a lot of stress since she was born and wonder if that has anything to do with it? It makes me sad as i love feeding her and i wanted to do it for a lot longer. I've tried to express after her 1st feed but i can only get about 20-30ml and i am also trying to give her extra feeds to build up my supply but it is'nt helping. Any feedback would be great as i feel like a little bit of a failure at not being able to give her what i consider the best nutrition

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Hanna - posted on 11/22/2009

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some women just stop having milk early and it's not something that's uncommon and you're not a failure because of it. you can just switch to formula or try to get it back up if you want to.
stress and lack of sleep has a lot to do with losing milk supply and amount of water you drink a day has an affect on it too. make sure you still drink those 8 8oz glasses of water a day (or at least 5). beyond that, you do have to feed/pump on a regular basis (and make sure you breastfeed before giving formula, even if it is just 20-30ml. have a formula on standby, but offer breasts first).

if you do want to increase your milk supply, here are things to try (different things work for different people)
1. oatmeal -- seems to increase supply
2. ginger -- stimulates letdown of the milk (just make sure you don't have any blood problems as it is also an anti-coagulant/blood thinner)
3. 1 glass of dark beer (ale a day) -- in belgium & ireland, they actually offer it in the hospital to women to make milk come in
4. feennel/fennel seed tea -- both stimulate milk supply
5. fennugreek -- it's a supplement that you can buy as a tea or in capsules, works great for increasing milk supply

and make sure you do breast massage when you feed/pump to stimulate the letdown & make sure that your breast are completely empty after each feeding/pumping session -- the more you get out, them more signal you send to your brain that you need more. good luck to you!

Tanya - posted on 11/22/2009

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I was in this situation also and was told to use a pump on each breast for 5 - 10 minutes after each feeding...you won't get much at first but it's telling your body to produce more. I was just using a manual pump but bought a medela swing and LOVE it:)

Tarah - posted on 11/22/2009

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are you drinking enough water, getting enough rest? can you feed her more often or pump more often? I am so sorry to hear that you are drying up, but maybe you can try funegreek, it is a natural herb, also a bowl of oatmeal a day may help, both have helped me in the past. I eat a bowl of oatmeal a day and pump/feed often

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[deleted account]

Quoting jodi:

Thanks heaps to you all :) My milk has increased a little so i have stopped with the formula top-up and i am positive we are going to keep going as long as possible!!



That is awesome.  Good for you, Mom!

Taryn - posted on 11/24/2009

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i was going to recommend some of the things that hanna above did. try those suggestions and even google "increasing milk supply". you would be surprised at the results you may find on the internet. there are lots of ways to increase milk supply. stay away from medicines such as sudafed, cough syrups, decongestants, allergy reliefs, all these medicines can have a drying effect. i nursed my 14 yr old until she was 11 mos old and i have an 8 mo old that i plan to nurse for 12-18 mos. if you need more help call your OBGYN or pediatrician and ask them for the number to a trusted lactation consultant. You can even call the hospital where you delivered and ask them to speak to a lactation consultant. they may have some other tricks of the trade, advice and support that will make your nursing experience easier. another group that will bend over backwards to help you continue breastfeeding is La Leche League. google their number and they will help you find whatever help and support you need. i wish you the best and applaud you for wanting the best for your baby! take care.

Terri - posted on 11/24/2009

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Good job! the less you use formula they more your daughter will suck. Good luck!

Jodi - posted on 11/24/2009

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Thanks heaps to you all :) My milk has increased a little so i have stopped with the formula top-up and i am positive we are going to keep going as long as possible!!

Jaime - posted on 11/22/2009

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I hear alot of support about you quitting breastfeeding... But if you want to continue--- you can!!! And you can do it without supplementing!
You will need to increase your milk supply, but that is completely possible! You can do it with a prescription or by simply offering breast every few hours, and then about an hour after baby eats on breast- pump, and if you do this for a few days, your milk should "come in" just like right after baby was born!!!

You can also talk to your ob for a prescription to stimulate your milk to come in. Also there is an herb, I think that it starts with a J... I could be wrong...
Your baby is on strike, and a ton of moms out there have gotten through without quitting breastfeeding!!! I urge you to try, because you ARE very capable of exclusively breastfeeding your baby if that is what you want! It is easier, wouldn't you agree? It will be hard, but baby will breastfeed when hungry, if there are no other options. Supplementing is one of the worst things you could do!!!

If you want to read advise from a doctor check this website out! It has all the answers you could possibly want!!!

http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_...

I hope that link works, and Good Luck!!!

Caty - posted on 11/22/2009

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your lucky you lasted 4 1/2 months breast feeding.. my son is turning 3 weeks tommorrow and my milk dried up last week.. and had to put him full time on the bottle.. its not something i like but i have to think of my baby.. he is not necessarily happy with the bottle he really doesnt know the difference i believe he just knows its food.. he is more satisfied tho.. i had to stop crying and realise that its not about what i feel or want but what makes my son satisfied and if i cant do it :-( then the bottle will do.. there is nothing wrong with bottle fed children at all, i firmly believe that. .. stress can do alot of harm to your milk production yes.. what i had to realise is that its not my fault that i couldnt provide breast milk longer, that i am not a failure as a mother, cuz believe me i was in tears for a while feeling exactly that.. but its not my fault, these things happen to alot of woman.. maybe it is time you move your daughter to bottle feeding full time.. give yourself a break cuz your emotional termoil over this issue is not going to do your milk production any good nor you or your baby.. i commend you that you were able to do it for as long as you are.. ha ha am also jealous to.. i would have given anything to be able to continue breastfeeding my son but it was not to be i guess.. anyway just know you have done nothing wrong and bottle feeding does not make you a failure.. you are being a mom just by making sure your lil daughter is satisfied and fully fed and happy. good luck :-)

Wendy - posted on 11/22/2009

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i had the same thing happen to me... and i felt the same way you do....
my son is 8 months old and the happiest baby boy you'll ever meet since i stopped beating myself up about not producing enough... he has had formula ever since i started to feel like he needed more and although it was hard on me in the beginning to come to terms that i wasnt going to be able to breastfeed as long as i had hoped and planned, he is still healthy strong and happy and thats all that matters to me. :)

Loretta - posted on 11/22/2009

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don't feel like a failure. thas hiow i felt when i started combination feeding 2 weeks ago. Breastfeeding is a huge achivement even for just one day.

Heather - posted on 11/21/2009

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I breast fed my oldest until she weened herself (at about 6.5 mo), and always had MORE than enough bm. My 7 week old has been a different story. I just have not had enough milk from the beginning! I tried all of the foods they say will help and I would pump to try and up my supply and spoke to a lactation person. I was frustrated beyond belief because the first time I had done so well. After A LOT of crying and trying EVERYTHING. I just had to realize it wasn't going to be the same this time around. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! Formula has come a long way and I have to supplement every other feeding or so just so she is not crazy with hunger. (I would breastfeed and 20 minutes later she would be nuclear (as my husband calls it)). I wish you lots of luck!

[deleted account]

Does she seem satisfied after she nurses? Does she have plenty of wet diapers and is gaining weight? If yes, then your supply is fine. If you want to continue then it's best to stop supplementing with formula. Instead, let her nurse. The more she sucks, the more your body will make. Your supply may just be regulating which means your body is making what your baby needs and not much extra. Here's a helpful website to help you figure out if your supply really is low and what you can do about it. Good luck!



http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-su...

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