Low milk supply

Joanne - posted on 01/03/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Riley is 14 weeks and we are supplementing more and more. I have tried medication from DR and natural tables and everything works for a little while then stops, certainly not like I was hoping. Riley was small at birth so topping up with formula has certainly helped with his weight gain. Any idea's. I know the best thing is for Riley to feed more often, sometimes thats easier said than done, especially when he screams before he latches onto my Left breast, he doesn't like that side, never has. i'm wondering if not drinking 2 ltrs a day has contributed to lower supply.

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Samantha - posted on 01/17/2009

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Yes, I was able to build up my supply.  Part of the problem was the latch, but the herbs also helped a lot.  I started taking "More Milk Plus" by the company Motherlove, which was highly recommended by the lactation consultants at my hospital.  Take a look!

Lisa - posted on 01/15/2009

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hya i have a 15 week old daughter,kiera, and she won*t take a bottle at all. i was worried about a lower supply coz she was allways attatched to me. advice i was given was to feed her on one side over a four hour period then do the same on the other side, i know it means clock watching,also upping my calorie intake by an extra 500 a day. i*ve only been doing this for a week but seems to be working for me and kiers so it*s worth a try x

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Sorry I didn't realize you were in Australia!!!



The medication that they put me on is: DOMPERIDONE I take 3 pills 3 times a day now but at the beginning when I was down to almost no milk I was on 4 pills 4 times a day.  They really worked miracles and I tried the 4 days in bed non stop feeding, and the pumping all the time, and all the herbals,  but my body just didn't want to produce.  these pills are totally safe to you and the baby and they have made all the difference.  I don't use any formula anyymore!

LaLakesha - posted on 01/15/2009

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I support the pumping after feeding...stick to it...try to balance the stress...with great warm showers...and then pump...

Michaela - posted on 01/15/2009

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OMG!!!  Stop the formula!!  Go to bed for 3 days, and attach attach attach!  If painful, learn the positions in bed where baby's head is direction of your feet and baby's feet in direction of your head.  This helps stimulate the entire set of milk ducts and creates a better milk growth.  One up, one down feeds.  Don't worry if the bab wants to feet all the time.  This creates the Oxytocin to make more and more milk.  I 2 to 3 days the stress is over.  Babies often go through growth spurts which make Mum's feel unsure, and resort to formula.  Formula is the enemy of breast.  Only good when medically necessary. Also, get drinking hun.  Make sure a LARGE glass of something is all the time by your side.  Especially when feeding.  Water is great or thinned juices with water - tea's.  A herb tea can be found which stimulates breast milk growth.  Oh, just remember that breast-feeding is something which comes from the soul.  If you want to enough, you can beat almost anything.  Otherwise we humans would have sadly died out centuries ago!!  LOL

Sarah - posted on 01/15/2009

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Hey Jo. I aggree with everything that everyone has written here. Another thing that I have heard of recently is Lactation cookies. I will try and find the recipie but not sure whether or not they work. But anything is worth a go. What I was wondering is why do you think that he is not getting enough?  Is he not putting enough wieght on? My youngest of 5 was born 7 weeks premie and was very unsettled for the first few months. She is now 16 months old and still breastfeeding. I found that watching the vidoe "happiest baby on the block" helped so much. Also Jessica  suffered a lot of reflux which would cause her to cry a lot and then I would feed her thinking that she was hungry which would then just make it worse.  It would be a good idea to talk to the ABA. They can be really helpful and are available 24 hours a day. I live in Australia too and know that there are a list of lactation consultants who can be really helpful.

Joanne - posted on 01/15/2009

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Hi Tania, Thanks for your comments, we live in Australia, so Toronto is a bit far away. I will google newman clinic and see what I can find.

[deleted account]

I've been battling this for months and there were a few things that helped...
A visit to the Newman breastfeeding clinic. you can find them on line they are here in Toronto.
I started to drink LOTS of WATER and to eat three meals a day plus 2 snacks...to give you milk to produce (Especially eating Oatmeal and Fennel helped me the most)
Make sure you are not eating anything spiced with Sage or Oregano. Both of these herbs are well known to stop milk supply. So no more greek or Italian food for a while!
I also followed the Baby Whisperer book's guide to putting the baby on a structured routine which helps both you and baby.
I hope all this helps!! but seriously go to the Newman Clinic they work miracles (they have even helped moms who have adopted breastfeed!!)

Laura - posted on 01/14/2009

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Stress is another factor. try a warm shower before a feed and see if it helps. try pumping, he may not be latching as well as you think. i had that issue with my daughter.

Stephanie - posted on 01/14/2009

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make sure you have enough iron in your diet i found out i was ammenic and that was affecting my milk supply

Kelly - posted on 01/13/2009

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You do need to drink alot fluids mainley water it does help alot but have you tried massaging your breast that does help you start from the top of  the breast and work your way down to your nipple ive also found it helps ive tried it and i can honestly say it help alot

Joanne - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hi Bianca, It doesn't sound crazy, I also believe in the mind being very powerful, I discovered it will preparing for Riley's birth, I was not worried at all and found the birth process very easy..drug free. I have tried to relax, drink more water, take fenugreek and Blessed Milk Thistle and Motilium and 1 would think It would be pouring out, but it's not. My worst moment is when I know I have milk and Riley REFUSES to even latch on, so I end up giving in and giving him Formula. My mum says make him wait and he will soon learn, only problem is I can't handle him screaming the house down.

Briana - posted on 01/13/2009

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I want to say this without sounding crazy but I think that the mind is a powerful thing! I'm not saying that you are creating the problem but what I am saying is Stay Positive while trying to figure out what the problem is and trying to fix it. When I would really start to worry about my milk supply that was when things got worse. I just had to relax and calm down. I'm sorry I know that really does sound crazy but it helped me...

Joanne - posted on 01/13/2009

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Thanks Samantha, Were you able to build your supply after using strategies from the book?

Samantha - posted on 01/09/2009

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I also have low milk supply so I got this book called "The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk" by Diana West and Lisa Marasco.  It had great ideas on figuring out why your supply is low (is it a latch problem? suck problem? hormone problem? stress problem? etc) and it provided strategies to increase supply, with the take-home message of the more you remove, the more you produce.  That means pumping and/or nursing often, of course.  They also talk about the difficulties of having low milk supply and how you can deal with those feelings.   Great book!

Amanda - posted on 01/06/2009

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A friend of mine was prescribed an antacid to boost milk supply.  Another was told to eat Tums twice a day while tandum feeding for the calcium and antacid effects on milk supply.

Amanda - posted on 01/06/2009

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A friend of mine was prescribed an antacid to boost milk supply.  Another was told to eat Tums twice a day while tandum feeding for the calcium and antacid effects on milk supply.

Joanne - posted on 01/05/2009

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Thanks ladies, I will take all your comments on board and see how we go. We are from Australia and have not heard of some of the products you mention.

Emily - posted on 01/04/2009

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Have you tried Domperidone? It can be very helpful - you're right about supplementation decreasing supply; you have to keep putting the baby to the breast which is exhausting, I know, but will get better - the frequency will decrease - the growth spurts are tough!
Have you read Dr. Jack Newman's book? He has lots of info about increasing supply.

Heather - posted on 01/04/2009

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Nursing and pumping is the key. I also was told that night feeding is what really boosts your supply. Maybe you could get up at like 2a and pump for a couple nights. I know that doesn't sound fun, but may really help. Good luck!

Kristin - posted on 01/03/2009

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Someone wrote about fenugreek and I agree-- that helps up your supply. I have taken it on & off and can totally notice the difference. I've gone thru spurts of low supply-- usually due to stress, etc-- but am still breastfeeding (no formula) and our baby is 10.5 mos. Just hang in there!

Jackie - posted on 01/03/2009

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There is some amazing advice here! I just wanted to add you need to rest. Rest is important. If you are flying around and running errands and entertaining everyone and attending every PTA meeting and so forth you are putting too much strain on your body. Remember it takes ALOT of calories and energy to produce milk and nurse. So slow down and remember to tell others no while you are trying to enjoy this time of nursing.

Connie - posted on 01/03/2009

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Sometimes drinking too much water can thin out your milk. Get yourself a good pump and pump AFTER every feeding. It's like "supply and demand" the more stimulation, the more your body will say "hey, i need to produce MORE." Doctors don't specialize in lactation so they don't always know the best answers. Talk to a Lactation nurse. Ask your Doc to recommend one.

Emily - posted on 01/03/2009

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3 months is definitely a growth spurt. Feed as often as you can (like every 45-60 minutes), and try different positions. If he doesn't like the left side, maybe he just doesn't like laying on his right side. Try starting him on the right side, then scooting him over to the left side and latching him there. If he's frustrated by a slow-let down, pump just until let-down starts, then latch him on while the milk is flowing. If you need to be doing housework or something, get a good baby carrier and learn to nurse in it. With small babies, I've had the most success with wraps. I put them in the hip hold position and have them nurse sitting up.

It's also possible that his neck was pulled when he was born and that could contribute to his not liking the left side. If you feel comfortable with it, try taking him to see a chiropractor who specializes in infants and children. My father in law is a chiropractor and we've seen great results with all our children after an adjustment.

Try to avoid the supplementing as much as possible. It becomes a vicious cycle (he takes from a bottle, therefore doesn't nurse, then your body doesn't produce for that feeding). If you can, try spending a day or two in bed with your little one. Learn to nurse lying down and try to keep him latched as long as he will allow. Keep water (lots of water), a laptop (if you have one), paper and writing utensils nearby so you can be somewhat productive while you stay in bed. This will help boost your supply. Also, breastmilk is completely digested within 90 minutes of a feeding, so you should be feeding at least that often. If you end up with an overabundant supply (which you might once his growth spurt is over), then you should stick with the same side for 2-3 hours before switching sides... but still nurse as frequently as possible.

Also, remember, your son is much better than any pump. Definitely try to pump to boost your supply after he's done, but putting him to the breast as often as possible will do more to boost your supply.

Shannon - posted on 01/03/2009

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I nurse my son about 6 times a day and pump atleast twice. I do not pump much, only about 2 oz.... but it helps to keep the flow going. All I use is a Avent manual pump, I think you get better control, and the let downs cushions help. And yes... drink lots of water!!

Janice - posted on 01/03/2009

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I dealt w/ low supply 6 mo ago (daughter is now 16 mo.). I know that consistency is the key. If you are not able to directly breastfeed often, then you need to pump at that scheduled time. You should make sure that you are expressing milk by breastfeeding or pumping at least every 2-3 hours until your supply builds back up. Then you should go no longer than 4 hours to maintain your supply, unless you begin to have an abundant supply. And yes, drinking lots of water is very key!

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