So I posted this on the largest breastfeeding group on CoM..

Teresa - posted on 07/19/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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6 days ago and got no response.


My last baby was born at 38+6 by emergency csection after an induction and fetal distress. His cord was wrapped around his neck and made it too short for him to descend properly. Anyway, I had a terrible time breastfeeding him. He was the 5th child I had breastfed and the first where I experienced problems.

#1 My milk was VERY SLOW to come in - 5-7 days after delivery compared to 24-48 hours with my other babies.

#2 There was never enough milk despite good nutrition and drinking gallons of water, milk, juice.

#3 I pumped often when he wasn't nursing to no avail.

#4 I tried Fenugreel, domperidone, mothers milk tea, brewers yeast, oatmeal by the bowlful to name a few.

#5 I took a nursing vacation in bed with the babe skin to skin

#6 Always nursed on demand

Nothing would satisfy the child. He was constantly hungry and nothing seemed to change my supply in the least. I finally gave up at 5 months. By that time I was supplementing at least 1/2 his feedings and I felt like I was beating my head against a wall.

I gained weight while nursing as well. No matter what I ate, I gained. My joints hurt like crazy.

So, what can I do to make this time around a little better? I really wanted to nurse to at least a year and it just was so discouraging that my body would not cooperate.

I have heard of possible causes and wonder if you all have heart these things as well:

c-sections cause poor milk supply
some drugs cause poor milk supply(I had demerol after the csection)

epidurals cause poor milk supply

Age causes poor milk supply (I was 41 then, 45 now!)

Hormone imbalances cause low milk supply (thyroid for example? or female hormones after birth)

I am expecting again in December and I will nurse even if it is no better than before.

Are there any new innovations is helping moms produce more milk for their babies?

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Johnny - posted on 07/19/2011

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You have received some great advice from the other moms here. I was nursing after breast surgery so I had to use all the tricks mentioned before (although I think that the domperidone and persistance were the only things that actually DID anything, the rest are just placebos/old wives tales IMO). It took me 5 months of nursing while supplementing and pumping to get my supply going. My body needed time to develop the ability to make milk and get it out (called recanalization). But I have to say that I think that the stress, the guilt, the sleep deprivation, and the worry probably slowed down the process.

It sounds like you had a lot challenges this past time. I think every time is different, right? At least I hope so because I would really like to have an easier time next time.

I would make sure you get a really good quality dual full power hospital grade pump. A good one can make a big difference if you are trying to use pumping to succeed.

Also check out www.lowmilksupply.org or www.bfar.org

Just a note to say that the breastfeeding group here has been really decimated since they forced them to change formats. A lot of regular contributors have given up trying to use it to help moms.

I wish you the best of luck.

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Nicole - posted on 08/11/2011

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o.0 that name sounds familiar??? actually... i have had issues in the breast feeding forum...imo they are all stuck up and can not admit that female anotomy some times fails us. really i hate to say it but they are as bad as the ladies down at the wic office.



i know this sounds unkind towards them but if you see some of the things they tell ladies in their community. it should be wipped off CoM they said some things and made this poor lady feel like crap over a question that her baby was underweight severely and wanted information on a formula and if there was any way to increase supply...



they told her the doctor was wrong. bf babies are smaller...in which is correct they are smaller but not to the point in which she was concerned. infact doctors dont care about weight at all till the child is 2 as long as it is a steady growth wiht no sudden drop offs and no sudden extreme weight gains.



back to the fact though im sorry in that point i would rather give my child formula then let the poor thing starve. so i have a tendancy to want to rip holy high and mighty stuck up bf moms off their high horses wiht true realistic facts.



edit :

pumping is a lost cause too if supply is low. i did after two weeks under the consult of the doctor just to see what i could get from both in one sitting. after 20 min i got barely 2 oz from both. i was told that wasnt enough. cause she would chug a 4 oz bottle=/

Teresa - posted on 08/10/2011

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Thyroid is normal..always has been and I have it checked at least annually. My mom is slightly hypothyroid but that didn't happen to her til well after menopause.

Teresa - posted on 08/07/2011

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Thanks Nicole. I was also told the demerol I had after the birth (alot of it...they just kept coming in and giving it to me after the csection until I finally told them to knock it off because it made me loopy) was a possible culprit.

If age was the cause, I am doomed. I will be 4 years older when this precious child is born and my hormones can't be in any better shape.

I did have my doc check my thyroid and I will have him/her check my pituitary next. I want to be able to breast feed my last child as long as possible.

I know the stress isn't good.

I did have very sore nipples at the beginning the last time around so I have to wonder if my son wasn't latching as well as he could have or as well as he did later. So maybe it was a combo of things that caused the lack of supply.

I just get so frustrated on Kellymom because they want to assure me my supply was not low. Umm...it was. I swear.

I took the Fenugreek, the stuff that makes you smell like maple syrup if you take enough of it. I was taking mega doses and never smelled like syrup and never increased my supply one iota.

I am going to get the best breast pump(rental) on the market in anticipation of a problem but hope there is no issue.

Nicole - posted on 08/07/2011

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no and really you got some bad info. the epiduals do not cause bad milk flow. where you got hat idea is beyond me maybe some superficial stuck up mom on a board some where ?? epi's only affecty you while its in your spin whichand nerve endings which has nothing to do wiht milk production there are no hormones it s a nerve block that has no affect on anything but whats its meant for and the safest thing to give a pregant lady for pain as it wont make the baby sleepy.



factors for bad milk supply is age , #'s of pregnancies, genetics, ect not the meds you are given



meds however they say are bad for BFing cause some will go into the milk and it can harm the baby.



herbal supplements are not regualted by the FDA so tryign them can also not be the safest thing in the world with out fully understanding them . there is an herb i did hear of it creeped me out cause i read on a med forum that it can make you smell like maple syrup and when i asked my daughters pedi about it she was like really dont try it. talk to your ob if you want but i do not recomend it so i didnt. i took my pedi's advice and not sweat it. if i couldnt i couldnt and she is pro BF too so i was surprised she told me not to sweat it. cause if you stress out about it that makes the milk come in even less. bf wiht what ever milk you have mix it wiht the formula and when you stop producing you are done bfing. sucks but you cant let the poor baby starve. and there really isnt much left if you have tried all that you said you did. it happens to a few its something like 2% of women or so . i forget the exact % but it was quite low.

[deleted account]

Good idea on the hospital, grade pump. I have done that twice, and wow that medela pump was nice. I just bought a my best freind nursing pillow, but the large twin sized one hoping that will work better than the boppy I have used in the.



When I lost my milk supply with my 2nd child I really beat myself up due to the fact I breast fed my 1st child without problems for 11 months.



I am due in December too & I'm just hoping for the best.

[deleted account]

I don't have advice and really didn't have any problems, but I'll share whatever I DO have.

I had a c-section w/ my twins. Not sure when my milk came in, but it must've been around day 3 or 4 cuz that's when they started gaining weight just on me. They were nursed on a 3 hour feeding schedule right from birth and did fine on it.

My son was born via repeat c-section 6 years later. He wouldn't latch until he was about 34 hours old, but then he never looked back. Again, don't know when my milk came in exactly, but he gained 12 ounces in his second 3 days of life! He nursed on an average of every 1-4 hours (long stretches were only at night) until he was 17 months old!

The age factor... I don't know. I was only 25 when my girls were born and 31 w/ my son.

Stress definitely does effect supply. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I have had 3 c-sections & my milk came in differently each time. 1st child I made almost 60oz of milk a day from the day of the c-section (ouch). My 2nd child I was put under a huge amount of stress by my husband & sleep deprived & even though I did all you stated too my milk supply dried up in about 7 days. My 3rd child by day 6 of birth was screaming after feedings, so I popped a bottle in his mouth & he sucked down 5 1/2oz in a sitting & couldn't wait for the breast to put that out.



Each time is different. Don't beat yourself up over it. All you can do is try & hope for the best.



Also none of the things you have listed are known to cause poor milk supply, but stress is a huge factor on your milk supply.

[deleted account]

ive never heard of any of these being factors in producing a low milk supply but ive had an epidural and for me it didnt effect anything. . . idk seems like youve tried everything maybe just do half and half? some is always better than none momma!! and just dont stress

[deleted account]

Every baby is different, just like every pregnancy is. The start to your babies life may have impacted his feeding but there are so many other things too. With my first he never latched so my milk dried up at 3 weeks (I would imagine I had a little but I couldn't get it out - I expressed for 3 weeks), I was so disappointed so with my next I almost expected to fail. However, it is week 8 now and we are still going strong with the bf, infact I have so much milk I am getting engorged and are having to express and freeze the exess milk.

My daughter nursed more than hourly at the beginning, it felt as though she was attached to my breast almost constantly (she took 45mins to an hour to feed each time), even now when she hits a growth spurt she feeds hourly or more, but my daughter also likes to suck my nipple for comfort too.

I would say be positive, try for a VBAC if you can and go with the flow - stress makes it harder to bf!

Rachel - posted on 07/21/2011

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My baby nursed CONSTANTLY and still nurses about every hour. Yes, it depends on the baby. Sometimes it is normal every hour, sometimes more than that, sometimes less than that. For us, I think she is still that frequent because of the problems we had in the beginning. To get a good supply going, it may feel like it is all the time. And that can be normal too. Everyone has a different normal. :-)

Rachel - posted on 07/21/2011

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I'm sorry you didn't get a response back in the other group. :-(
One book I would recommend is The Nursing Mother's Guide to Making More Milk. It can be caused by a large variety of things, sometimes more than one. I also had problems nursing my first babe. It was so hard for me. My body nourished her while I was pregnant, then it just didn't seem to work. :-( I actually had some PPD which made the issues worse, which made my PPD worse, etc. There were many factors in my case. My husband wasn't supportive, my baby came out a bit crooked, so the start was painful for her until we had her adjusted, I had a back injury to the area where the nerves go to the breast, inexperience, etc. We are doing really good now at 13 months, but it was so hard in the beginning.
Some of the things that worked for us: Getting sick. It sounds crazy, but I had no choice but to stay in bed, so my babe could and did nurse pretty much all day and night for a couple of days. Basil essential oil, massaged on the breast in a carrier oil. Removing peppermint from my diet, including toothpaste. Peppermint reduces milk production, even in small quantities, so I would recommend using a different kind of toothpaste postpartum. Relax. You can do it! When supplementing, I would recommend using the little tube to the nipple area, instead of a bottle. Using a supplementing system that also provide the stimulation you need to continue to produce milk. For us, supplementing with a bottle did more harm than good. Sure, she got the other milk, but it wasn't MY milk, which is made special for her. She also got used to a faster flow and got really frustrated nursing after the bottle.
Something else I read was that in some of the tribes in Africa, it is common practice for young husbands to provide the stimulation needed during pregnancy. This is when the foundations are laid, pregnancy and early postpartum.
You can do this!

Teresa - posted on 07/20/2011

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Thanks for the responses ladies. I am definitely hoping to have an easier time and I will rent a hospital grade pump for sure. I had a medela last time and I have heard they aren't the best? Anyway, I am going to get my doc on board with helping me out with the meds if needed and try to relax and be as successful as possible.



All the sites I have looked at have been somewhat discouraging because they want to tell me I didn't have a low supply and a baby nursing every hour is normal. Ahem, I know it is NOT normal as I had 4 other children that did not require hourly nursing. Yes, I know children are different but this was a supply issue, no doubt about it. My experience has taught me the difference.

Katherine - posted on 07/19/2011

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Stress can cause those problems too. I was very stressed out and didn't produce half as much milk with my first as I did with my second.

Teresa - posted on 07/19/2011

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Interesting input ladies. I never thought it could be my son. He seemed to nurse efficiently but how on earth would I know? I would pump when I didn't feed him and net 2-4 ounces depending on the time of day.

I don't think my estrogen was high because my vagina was SOOOOO dry. I mean like a dessert. I fully intend to make my doctor check my thyroid and other hormones if I have any trouble this time. It was so very frustrating to be doing everything and get no results.

Stifler's - posted on 07/19/2011

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The breastfeeding counsellor told me you can have low supply if you had polycystic ovaries and I remember the ultrasound lady telling me they were polycystic and asking how long it took to conceeive.

Stifler's - posted on 07/19/2011

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Couldn't tell you I tried all of the above including eating porridge, stout beer, fenugreek, domperidone and the breastfeeding thing lasted about 2 weeks before sleep deprivation and severe irritability from the domperidone got the better of me and I started mix feeding and then eventually stopped breastfeeding at all with my first then the second I was so discouraged by the first time that I gave up by 5 days.

Carly - posted on 07/19/2011

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He just might not have been an efficient enough nurser. I don't know if you tried to pumping, which isn't really an accurate way to measure your output, because baby is still supposed to be the stronger "pull" if you will, but how much were you getting out if you did pump?
I have heard of anesthesia medications totally screwing up things with your hormones, thus it can certainly affect your milk supply. My SIL has had many major surgeries and afterwards, her hair has fallen out, she's gained weight, lost weight, got acne, ovarian cysts, all kinds of hormonal imbalance after surgery that the doctors attributed to the after effects of the anesthesia medications. I know excess estrogen severely decreases your milk, thats one reason they don't want you on regular BCP (usually just the progesterone only pill) because it decreases your milk really badly. So it's theorhetically possibly you had a hormone shift after the c-section.
But I'm willing to bet that the most likely culprit was your LO, unintentionally of course. He probably either couldn't produce a strong enough suction, or the shape of your nipple just didn't work with the anatomy of his mouth, you'll never really know. But without that good, efficient nursing from him, your breast wouldn't be stimulated to even produce enough milk to sustain him. They'll only produce what your body thinks he needs and if he can't get enough out for whatever reason, then your body is only going to produce that little bit.

I don't think there was anything you could have done, especially if you tried all the tricks. The only other one I know is the Reglan (a prescription medication that can increase production) but it wasn't you mama.
If you have trouble this time, do what I did and be a "hybrid" mama. I pumped and mixed formula with BM. So he got enough to eat, plus the goodness of the BM in whatever I could supply.

Best of luck with the new addition!

Teresa - posted on 07/19/2011

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I tried oatmeal. fenugreek, brewers yeast, gallons of water, mothers milk tea, pumping and nursing constantly.

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