Milk supply issues that have now led to latching issues... HELP!

Alyssa - posted on 06/11/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I am currently supplementing my 2 week old with formula after every nursing session because he had lost over 1.5 pounds from his birth weight and was becoming dehydrated. My plan was to exclusively breast feed him, but my milk supply was very low. It was confirmed by the nurse that it is in fact a milk supply issue as he was latched on fine. If I had to estimate based on pumping and his feeds, I am probably producing just over an ounce of milk after 3 or 4 hours from the last feed. He is eating around 4 oz per feed, and I definitely don't have enough in me for that. (Yes, I realize 4 oz is a lot) Now at 2 weeks, because the bottle is so convenient for him, I am now having trouble getting him to latch. I really want to be able to breast feed him once my milk supply comes in fully. I really need some tips to help it come in and to help keep him latching while supplementing. (I am pumping in between feeds already, and have tried non-alcoholic beer as recommended by his pediatrician). Also has anyone else had an experience like this? I really need some encouragement. Thanks

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Amanda - posted on 07/01/2012

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When my last son was born (he's 4 months now) he was very jaundiced for the first 2 weeks of life and wouldn't stay awake to eat and I had a hard time building my supply because of this. The Dr. wanted me to supplement with formula, terrified of having my baby choose a bottle over breast, this is what I did; drink a ton water, I'm talking at least twice the daily recommended amount, so instead of 64oz a day I drank somewhere in the range of 120 oz a day, and I fed him every hour to two hours. This way I could keep something in him without having to resort to the formula and build my supply at the same time. It did work, we went back a week later and he had put on over a pound. So all I can say is water, water, water and coninute feeding him very often. It takes work, but if you really want to breastfeed, it is SO worth the effort.

Lori - posted on 06/29/2012

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Alyssa - You'd be surprised by how much misinformation is out there, and how often nurses push formula even when it isn't needed. So before suggesting you start taking a galactagogue we need to know if you know what's "normal" newborn feeding, etc. Not everyone who posts about supply issues, really has a supply issue. Many new moms just don't know what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding a baby.

Are you familiar with the KellyMom.com website? There is tons of evidence based information on breastfeeding all in one place.

The links I've provided below start out the same way as what you're complaining about... making sure you really have a low supply issue... but if you scroll down you may find some tips that help you, and there are additional links.

http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-w...

http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/...

http://www.motherandchildhealth.com/Brea...

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Elizabeth - posted on 07/13/2012

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Oh i remembered other supplement...fenu greek or geek...you might try that, health food store should have it.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/13/2012

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Hello I had a preemie. She was 27 weeks when she was born and too small to breastfeed. She had to stay in the NICU for 60 days. I wanted her to have my breastmilk and after being a jersey cow with my first daughter, I thought , NO PROBLEM...yeah right. I had to pump. and pump and pump. Production was everything to me. To keep up milk production I did a couple of things. One was brewers yeast, and then another thing I go from the health food store. If you have one in your area, with a knowledgeable person on women's health or access to a person who can help you, I would try there first. The brewers yeast did help keep production up for a while so did meditation (which i never do but I thought I will try anything) and another supplement and I am sorry that I can not tell you the name of it. But purchased at a reputable health food store. the down side to my story here is that the DAY I brought her home my milk ran dry. It had gone down to a trickle but they would never let me actually breastfeed her in the NICU. She had my milk but out of a bottle. I used what pumped milk I had left for her and then had to go to formula...I cried for days. But my bond is incredibly strong with my little girl. In the end it didn't matter if I breastfed or bottle fed. Feeding time, we were bonded. Listen to your instincts mama....sometimes our bodies don't co operate. If you have to supplement for the health of your child then do so. I pray for your success. Make sure your diet is good and healthy, vitamins etc......so even if you don't have much coming out, what you have is top notch. courage sweetheart, I know this is tough.

Alyssa - posted on 06/30/2012

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Thanks for the information. It was helpful. Just out of curiousity what is the approx cost of the SNS system?

I've been taking Fenugreek, it seems to have given me a little bit more milk just recently... but still not enough to satisfy my baby. (baby takes a little less from the bottle now.)

Celeste - posted on 06/30/2012

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Alyssa, no, I ask everyone questions. I like to get the whole picture so I can help that person. There's no need to defend why you chose to supplement. You did what you felt was best. I've had to supplement at some point with all of my kids.

Thanks for answering the questions. The information you gave me is concerning.. I agree with you, he isn't getting enough... And you really are doing fantastic for hanging in there. You're doing everything right.

I know you didn't like the idea of an SNS but I really would encourage you to try it. That way, you can give supplement at the same time as you're nursing. Also, try breast compressions:
http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_...


This link gives you galactalogues to try:
http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/...

Lastly, I would highly encourage you to seek out an IBCLC. She can see you in person and hopefully find out what's going on.

Alyssa - posted on 06/29/2012

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That's why I am still nursing. Because I'm hoping that I can produce enough to satisfy him. I had a choice between letting him become more dehydrated and lose more weight or supplement and i stand by my choice.

Alyssa - posted on 06/29/2012

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Well thank you for clearing that up. Sorry to get upset but it just seemed like you were automatically assumed that I didn't know what I was talking about. I guess it's true a lot of moms worry for nothing. To answer your questions he was almost 2 weeks old when he was only having one diaper and it was barely wet and very dark urine. He hadn't pooped since the meconium right after birth. He was latching and suckling for at least 30 minutes a feed and was wanting to eat right after eating. He lost 1over 1.5 pounds from birth weight and was clearly in some distress. He is not tongue tied. I know for sure there isn't a latch issue. I am nursing on demand. He feeds for at least 30 minutes from me before I suppliment him. He still takes 4 oz after feeding from me. After I began supplementing he gained 22 oz in under a week and started peeing and pooping normally.

I have read through that website and a couple others for info. I am aware how small a baby's stomach is and how they are way more effective than a pump. And I know supply can take a little to come in especially after being induced.

Celeste - posted on 06/29/2012

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Exactly Lori. I do not mean to come off judgmental (and I'm not even sure how I'm being judgmental) I am asking questions in order to help you. In order to determine if you need galactagogue, we need to help you determine if there's a supply issue in the first place. I can't tell you how many times that moms think that their supply is low when they're doing fine. And like Lori said, misinformation is rampant, and unfortunately, a lot of it comes from the medical community.

If you don't have a supply issue, and you take herbs to increase supply, that can cause too much milk and that can cause a whole slew of other problems.

.Like I said in my previous post, nursing more will increase your supply. The more you nurse, the more you will make. And yes, check out the kellymom sites. I want you to succeed, and I want to help you. Please answer the questions so we can help you.

Alyssa - posted on 06/29/2012

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You are being no help to me to be honest. I am not stupid. I know my baby's cues. I was looking for tips on how to increase supply. I don't need your help to determine my supply. I needed tips on how to increase my supply and encouragement to continue pumping and feeding for so long during the day. I'm not really bothered by your judgements but I feel bad for a new young mom who comes here for help only to be judged. That is what causes postpartum depression. Moms need support not someone telling them a bunch of stuff they already know and then accusing the mom of not knowing what she's talking about.

Celeste - posted on 06/29/2012

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Not hearing gulping or still being hungry doesn't really have anything to do with supply. However, the lack of diapers can be concerning..

-How old was your baby when he had one diaper? How big was the diaper? Any poops?
-Are you nursing on demand or on a schedule?
-Are you timing feeds?
-Has he been checked for tongue tie?

Alyssa - posted on 06/29/2012

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when I was solely nursing he was only having one dark wet diaper a day because of dehydration. You can also tell that you don't have enough when baby has nursed for over an hour and you hear no gulps anymore and he is completely hungry still.

Celeste - posted on 06/27/2012

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How are you determining that you aren't producing enough? Never judge supply on baby's behavior, pump output or by feel of breasts. The best way to determine if you're making enough is by diaper count. If he's getting 6-8 diapers, no matter content, he's getting enough.

The way to get more milk is by nursing more, which sounds like that's what you're doing.

Alyssa - posted on 06/27/2012

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Thanks ladies for the advice. I am still nursing him. We've worked on the latch and he is latching fine. He is a very calm baby and hasn't minded switching between breast and bottle.. we have no issues with that. I am simply not producing enough for his needs despite nursing him every 2 hours for at least 30 minutes per time and pumping in between. he is still very hungry right after nursing. The problem with the SNS is that i do like to go out and visit people sometimes. And you can't use it unless you're at home. We're just waiting and praying that I start producing more milk so I can solely nurse him.

Celeste - posted on 06/13/2012

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Pumping output IS NOT an indicator of supply. Baby is MUCH more efficient than the pump. How did the nurse determine that you had low supply? The best way to determine if baby is getting enough is by diaper count. Have you seen an IBCLC? IF you did need to supplement, there were other ways to do this instead of a bottle of formula. And yes, 4 oz is way too much for a 2 week old. Their tummies are the size of a marble right now.



Definitely sounds like nipple confusion. A few things you can do to get him back to the breast:

-Skin to skin. Baby with just a diaper and you with no shirt and no bra. Put him on your chest

-Pump to get letdown going and then try to latch him

-Breast compressions

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





And also, make sure that you nurse at the FIRST signs of hunger.



He's going to get mad and frustrated, but keep at it. Watch diaper counts. And yes! Look into an SNS!



One of my boys did have nipple confusion but I used all these techniques to get him back on the breast. It took us about 2 months but he did get back to the breast and I was able to solely nurse him and his twin brother :)



More info at kellymom:

http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/ba...

Lori - posted on 06/11/2012

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It might be worth your while to get an At Breast Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). There are several different brands available, but basically it's a bottle attached to a little tube that you tape near your nipple. Then the baby gets fed ONLY at the breast. Your breast gets the stimulation you need to continue to produce milk, and your baby still gets fed while you work on your supply issues.

http://breastfeedingbasics.info/supplime...

http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/pro...

http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basics/d...

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