Lost my supply

Michelle - posted on 03/13/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi all, I am new to this and really need help! I have a 21 week old that I have been breast and bottle feeding mostly breast though. I have tried pumping and pumping and I get maybe an ounce out of both. Now I started my period and I am getting no milk. She is on the breast every 5 minutes it seems and I do not want to stop! Help please. I am taking fenugreek and pumping and I have never felt full because she was always eating. Now she will not sleep at night and is up every hour wanting to suckle. please any advice will help. I finally have a baby that wants the breast and I do not want it to end.

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Klarisa - posted on 03/14/2009

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Have you recently started birth control? most women don't ever have a problem with birth control and milk supply, but you'd be surprised how many are affected by it.

Olga - posted on 03/14/2009

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5 Day Plan for Increased Milk Supply
DAY 1 – 3

6:45am Express 30 ml from each breast (A&B)

7am Breastfeed baby 
  (20-25 min from fullest breast (A) + 10 – 15 min from other (B) ) this is  
  guideline, some babies drink much faster, and some only from one side

8:30am Nap
(9 am) (if baby struggles to settle for nap feed 5-10min on last breast (B) )

10 am Baby wakes. 
  Feed 20-25 min from last breast (B). 
  Express 60ml from 2nd breast (side A), 
 Feed baby for 10-20 min (side A)

11:30 am Nap
(11:45am)(if over 1 month: give 60ml expressed as a top up – if can’t settle)

2 pm Wake baby.
 Breastfeed 20-25 min (side A) 
 Express 60ml 2nd breast (side B)
 Offer 2nd breast for 15 – 20 min (side B)

3:15pm (if over 3 months) offer cooled boiled water or well-diluted juice

4 pm Nap

5 pm Awake & feed 15 – 20min both breasts

6 pm Bath baby

6:15 pm Top of expressed milk. (3.6kg or less = 60 -90 ml above 3.6kg = 120-150 ml

8 pm Express both breasts completely

10 pm Express both breasts completely

10:30pm Feed baby – give expressed milk

2/2:30 Feed from both breasts. Feed 20-25 min one side, then 10-15 min. – if wakes for feed.

DAY 4:
Breasts should be feeling fuller in the morning.
• If babies sleeping well at 9am, reduce top up before nap by 5 min
• If sleeping well before & drinking well at 2 pm, reduce top-up at 11:45am by 30ml
• Don’t express at 2pm – this will result in fuller breasts at 5pm
• If breasts are fuller at 5pm make sure baby empties first breast before offer 2nd. If didn’t empty 2nd offer again after bath, before top-up (6:15pm)
• Don’t express at 8pm and bring 10pm express forward to 9:30pm. Give to baby at 10:30pm 
• NB Empty both breasts! 

DAY 5:
Breasts should feel engorged (very full) in the morning
• NB extra milk must be totally emptied at 1st feed in the morning. Express after if necessary to totally empty breasts.
• Rest of day returns to normal routine.

Something like that.

Olga - posted on 03/14/2009

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Hi Michelle. 
I agree, all the moms have given great advice. Don't give. Not yet. You're doing so well!
You can ask your gyneagologist / paeditrician for eglynol/esperide (don't know what you call it where you are). These pills can really help. Also there is an elixir called Blackthorn berry Elixir which also greatly promotes lactation. Again I don't know where you're from or if it's available there.
Having you're baby drink every 5 minutes isn't really ideal as this is inadequate time for you to produce sufficient milk. now some of the previous moms will scream no, but I will include a "routine" which helps increase milk supplytremendously if you'd like to try it. It really works although it might seem rigid to follow. Often people are affraid to follow a plan, but we all need guidelines, sometimes to make sure babies getting enough if we feed to infrequently and other times to make sure mom's getting enough rest. Try alternate methods to settle her after a feed: pacifier, cuddling, pouch ... then if all else fails first give her a top-up of expressed milk. Have a look at the plan. It amkes a lot of sense and really does work. 

The other thing that may be happening is that your baby may be ready to go onto solids, if she isn't already.
You can start by giving her baby rice mixed with breast milk after the 5pm feed. do this for 3 days. then you can add abit of pureed apple (cooked in filtered water). this can be done for 3 days. (3 days to check for allergic reaction). Then you add a veggie at lunch time, roughly after 11am breatfeed. Once that's going down well baby should be feeling much fuller and be sleeping better. At 6 months a protien can be added at lunch which gradually moved to 11:45am and baby's nap then moves to 12 - 2/2:30pm. Breakfast, baby cereal and fruit puree can be introduced soon, when it seems baby can't stretch til 11:45am.
From you picture I see you have other kids so I'm sure you know how to handle weaning. If you need more weaning advice, you're welcome to ask. I have a wonderful plan.
Or you may like to read Gina Ford's The New 'Contented Little Baby Book'. Will be found on the web.
All best.
Olga
(O please remember don't wear tight fitting tops or poorly fitted bras as these can also prevent milk from coming in properly!)

Tricia - posted on 03/14/2009

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Take the baby and go to bed for two days.  Lie around breastfeeding for 48 hours.  only do those things you can do while sitting/lying in bed breastfeeding.  Recruit you partner or friends to bring you food and keep your water glass full.  Hire a babysitter or post-partum doula if you need to (pay for her services with the money you'll save on formula).  And after this scare if over, try not to use formula.  It can really cause supply issues even to give the occasional bottle because the baby is hungry after a feeding.  Good luck!

Kathy - posted on 03/14/2009

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hi Michelle, a good web site for good breast feeding nutrition is www.westonaprice.org are you eating good quality fats, such as oily fish and butter,and protein (meat, milk) and keeping off of packaged foods? ( lots of hidden nasties ) definatley seek help. sounds like baby is trying to build up your supply. you need good fuel to make nice rich milk. i ate alot of chocolate and excercised alot with my first son. it was a struggle to feel i had enough milk. fed him til he was 18 months anyway. with my 3rd son, i'm eating alot of fat, meat, butter, milk, cod liver oil, and my baby is so fat and healthy and i always have plenty of milk. make sure you are getting rest.



good on you for listening to your baby and feeding her on demand. you must be very distressed. why are you expressing? i know some women who don't get much milk when they express, but do when their baby is feeding.



good luck to you.

Pauline - posted on 03/13/2009

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I think you should call a lactation consultant.  They can really be helpful.  It sounds like you're doing everything right, especially letting her nurse on demand.  I would always nurse her before you give her anything by bottle.  Keep up your fluids, don't diet an don't over excersize.  the fenugreek can be helpful too.  Don't give up, but do get some help.  You can call la leche league for phone advice and referals to consultants in your area.

Michelle - posted on 03/13/2009

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Make sure you are eating a lot of calories (more than when you were pregnant by a mile), and drinking tons of water--both will affect your supply. Stress only makes it worse, so try to relax during feedings and pumpings, which is when you make most of the milk.

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