Can anyone help me about severe breast milk reduction?

Rachelle - posted on 09/29/2012 ( 26 moms have responded )

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i gave birth about 3 wks ago and have been pumping everyday. baby just finished her growth spurt a day ago. ive only been able to get between 40-60cc(so had to add formula to feedings) each pumping, then all of a sudden its dropped down to 13cc for abt 2 days. any clue as to why or what is going on? ive also been taking fenugreek for almost 2 wks and still nothing extra.

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Celeste - posted on 10/06/2012

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e been taking the fenugreek for almost 3 wks, i cant find the blessed thistle anywhere tho, and someone said to ask mu dr for reglan lol. But I'll take any advice @ this point. Cuz even now that shes been taking the breast, was going good, its been decreasing agn. I rly dont want to give it up



Why do you think that your supply is decreasing? Remember that if diapers are good, your supply is fine and you don't any galacatalogues. In fact, if you take the galacatalogues, and your supply is fine, you could get oversupply and that can cause a slew of other problems. As long as baby is nursing often, the more you will make.



My milk supply got down to 1/2 ounce per pumping. At this point I really believed I was going to have to quit, and it was very very upsetting. I scheduled an appointment with a lactation consultant. She told me I was pretty much doing everything right, but she recommended using a few herbs to boost my supply. I started drinking Breastea and have been using it every since. It has really helped my milk supply. She had told me to make sure to use at least 2 or 3 lactation herbs.



1/2 oz per pumping is actually normal output. Average output is 1/2 to 2 oz total.. Plus, keep in mind that baby is MUCH more efficient than a pump. And pump outputs are not reflective of supply.



Please read the sticky at the top of the community about low supply.



And here's a kellymom link (where most of the info from the sticky is from) about low supply. It tells you what is NOT low supply (ie. pump output, baby behavior) and IF you do have supply, what you can do about it. But honestly Rachelle, I haven't seen anything that says you have low supply



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

Celeste - posted on 10/03/2012

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Well the nurses were giving her the formula cuz i wasnt making enough.



How were they determining this?



But the past few days ive been puttin her to me n shes def been latchin on!! I can also hear gulping sounds!! Yay!! Lol.



Great!



Now, i just have questions about how do i know if my breast is "empty" and is there a way to figure out how much breastmilk she is getting?



The only thing you need to worry about is diaper count. As long as your baby is getting 6-8 diapers, your baby is getting plenty. Nurse on demand and often. That will help "emtpy" the breast (but keep in mind that your breasts are never truly "empty")





It does seem like everyday she stays on them longer n longer but shes still takin a good bit of formula afterwards. Like 2-3 oz! Very confused.



Stop the formula. Every time you give formula, you aren't giving your breasts the stimulation it needs to produce milk. The reason why she takes it is because the bottle is easier to get the milk out. This doesn't mean your baby is still hungry. http://www.mother-2-mother.com/cc-baby-B...

Celeste - posted on 11/19/2012

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No one is saying that low supply doesn't exist. What I AM saying is that many times, moms look at the wrong thing to determine supply (ie. feel of breasts, looking for a satisfied baby, pump output). Those are NOT accurate ways. If baby is getting plenty of diapers, they're making enough. If baby is NOT getting enough diapers, that IS a concern and mom would need to contact LLL or an IBCLC.



ETA: I have had my share of problems, nursing was NOT easy for me. But, I had the help of an IBCLC that helped me be successful. So, if anyone is having problems, I really would look for the help of a breastfeeding professional (and unfortunately, many doctors don't have training in this area)

Rebekah - posted on 10/26/2012

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If she's getting 4oz of formula at each feeding you are not supplementing with formula, you are supplementing with breast-milk. If you want to continue a breastfeeding relationship you will have to reduce the amount of formula you are giving her and trust your body to make up the difference. I really hate this for you because I believe the misinformation (most likely) that you got in the very beginning has pretty much sabotaged any chance you have of breastfeeding long-term. I'm not telling you to give up, but honestly having your daughter latch for 2 minutes and then giving her formula is not doing ANYTHING to increase your supply. If you've been doing that for 3 weeks, you're probably right, you've told your body you don't want to nurse... and it's listening.

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In Rachelle's defence sometimes 'suppy and demand' simply doesnt work as much as one tries. I believed that if I fed my baby my milk supply would increase accordingly and I would just have to deal with a day or two of fussiness and constant feeding when baby wanted more food. I couldnt have been more wrong. I have had to suppliment feeds with formula for the last 4 weeks because she was not thriving. At 4 weeks she was below her birth weight. Being confronted with that I have done whatever it takes to make sure my baby is full, growing and healthy. At the end of the day it is not about me and how I feel about not being able to provide my baby with everything she needs (and believe me I feeeel about this very emotionally), it is all about her.



So I mix feed. This means that she nurses up to 20mins on each breast, then I pump for another 20-30mins until both breasts are dry and top her up with formula until she is satisfied. She gets every drop of breast milk that I can glean.



Low milk supplies happen, and anyone who hasnt had the problem will not understand how utterly emotionally guttering that can be. I have considered just giving up on breast feeding all together, feeling like it was pointless. However after 4 weeks of persistence and a great deal of tears (on my part) she has been satisified almost the entire day today on breastfeeding and pumped breast milk only. It is only now, at 10pm she has continued to fuss after being given everything I have that I have topped her up with formula.



I have also discovered I have a slow let down, my breasts have never leaked milk and following a feed I have never needed to use nursing pads. If she is getting fussy latching I will hand express or pump to get the milk flowing a little then try again.



You are doing a good job Rachelle. However if you want to breastfeed you need to make sure that she is feeding and you are pumping and giving her every drop of breast milk before giving formula. And don't get lazy, because that will affect your milk supply.

Rachel - posted on 11/18/2012

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well if you give her formual all the time it will make it hard for her to drink breastmilk because she is used to formual but it sounds normal to me

Ces - posted on 11/13/2012

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theres no way to figure out how much milk your baby is getting. but one way to know that your baby is full, if they stop sucking. your baby is still few months old and i believe babies in that stage drinks a lot

Ces - posted on 11/13/2012

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drink a lot of liquids... drink soups, milk, water anything that is/are healthy to you and your baby. sucking reflex triggers milk production so instead of pumping, try to have your baby suck your nipples

Jessica - posted on 11/12/2012

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A nice tall dark Guineas. The malt stimulated my milk. I only needed to do that once.

Antonella - posted on 10/28/2012

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ive been told once u give formula u milk decreases a bit the less u use formula and the baby drinks and suckles the more ull produce. after baby eats pump for 20 minutes even if nothin comes out. helped me

Celeste - posted on 10/26/2012

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Yup, I agree with Rebekah. 4 oz of formula is more than a full feeding. Babies' stomaches are the size of their fists. Supplementing with formula will kill your supply, especially this early.



You will need to wean from formula supplements since you're giving so much formula.

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

Rachelle - posted on 10/25/2012

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Her weight and everythings good but thats cuz she still takes in 4oz of formula a feeding too. I was actually thinking abt gtting that contraption that u hang a bottle from ur neck n a little tube taped to my boob so the baby still gets fed but stimulates my boobs into making more milk but idk what its calld nor where to get one. I saw a drawing of it in my "what to expect" book

Celeste - posted on 10/25/2012

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Then that's GREAT! Again, from what you posted, I don't see anything that says "low supply". If diaper count is good, your supply is good.



I'm not sure what you mean by "small letdown".. Do you mean you don't feel it at all? If so, that's pretty common. Many moms don't feel letdowns after some point.



Her behavior could also mean that she's going through a growth spurt. Babies will go through growth spurts every few weeks where they act like they're starving..

Rachelle - posted on 10/24/2012

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Nope, have very small letdown.she doesnt choke or gag or clamp, none of that. I rly just think im not making much at all

Celeste - posted on 10/24/2012

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You may have overactive letdown, which means that your milk is too fast (and usually goes hand in hand with oversupply)..



See if this sounds like you:

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



Is forceful let-down the problem?



Does your baby do any of these things?



Gag, choke, strangle, gulp, gasp, cough while nursing as though the milk is coming too fast

Pull off the breast often while nursing

Clamp down on the nipple at let-down to slow the flow of milk

Make a clicking sound when nursing

Spit up very often and/or tend to be very gassy

Periodically refuse to nurse

Dislike comfort nursing in general

If some of this sounds familiar to you, you probably have a forceful let-down. This is often associated with too much milk (oversupply). Some mothers notice that the problems with fast letdown or oversupply don’t start until 3-6 weeks of age. Forceful let-down runs the gamut from a minor inconvenience to a major problem, depending upon how severe it is and how it affects the nursing relationship.

Kim - posted on 10/24/2012

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You might be having an issue with your let Down...my daughter did the same thing...she was ok in the beginning and then she would pull away and start crying like she was frustrated...I had to try to relax myself by taking deep breaths and drinking water helped a lot..now whenever I drink water my milk comes out..my body remembers lol

Rachelle - posted on 10/24/2012

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Now shes only on for abt 2 min, literally, then gettin mad. Like shes not gettin anymore. When she first latches on i can def hear her gulping away for abt a min then she starts pullin n fussing and eventually just screaming, same for other breast. She is 7 wks old now

Aimee - posted on 10/23/2012

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Hi sweetie, I have a 6 day old baby and I have been putting her to the breast everytime she opens her mouth. I will tell you what has been working for me. When she wakes up I feed her, then burp her, then change her nappy, then feed again, then burp, then wrap (very important for good sleep), then offer one last feed before she goes back to bed. I keep offering the breast until she is really full. She really doesn't need any play time at this age. She will sleep anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours at a time then we do it all again. This seems to be working for me as the more I put her one the breast the more milk I have and she is also gaining weight like crazy. You could be having an attachment issue. If this is the case you need to get help from a lactation consultant straight away. I when through that with my first. I was letting her suck on my nipple instead of getting her attached properly. How long are your feeds taking?

Angela - posted on 10/06/2012

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My milk supply got down to 1/2 ounce per pumping. At this point I really believed I was going to have to quit, and it was very very upsetting. I scheduled an appointment with a lactation consultant. She told me I was pretty much doing everything right, but she recommended using a few herbs to boost my supply. I started drinking Breastea and have been using it every since. It has really helped my milk supply. She had told me to make sure to use at least 2 or 3 lactation herbs. Since I started Breastea I'm back up now to about five ounces. So hang in there. You can get it online at http://www.breastea.com

Rachelle - posted on 10/06/2012

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Ive been taking the fenugreek for almost 3 wks, i cant find the blessed thistle anywhere tho, and someone said to ask mu dr for reglan lol. But I'll take any advice @ this point. Cuz even now that shes been taking the breast, was going good, its been decreasing agn. I rly dont want to give it up.

Rachelle - posted on 10/06/2012

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Ive been taking the fenugreek for almost 3 wks, i cant find the blessed thistle anywhere tho, and someone said to ask mu dr for reglan lol. But I'll take any advice @ this point. Cuz even now that shes been taking the breast, was going good, its been decreasing agn. I rly dont want to give it up.

Kim - posted on 10/05/2012

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I know of some moms that have used Fennel essential oil to help increase milk production. You can apply it to the breast or take it internally, just make sure that it is therapeutic grade because most essential oils sold in stores are diluted or are labeled not for ingestion. I f you want to go that route I can give you some recommendations

Rachelle - posted on 10/03/2012

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Well the nurses were giving her the formuka cuz i wasnt making enough. But the past few days ive been puttin her to me n shes def been latchin on!! I can also hear gulping sounds!! Yay!! Lol. Now, i juz have questions abt how do i know if my breast is "empty" and is there a way to figure out how much breastmilk she is gettin? It does seem like everyday she stays on them longer n longer but shes still takin a good bit of formula afterwards. Like 2-3 oz! Very confused.

Rebekah - posted on 10/01/2012

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That sounds pretty normal to me-- The more formula you give her, the less milk you will make. So adding formula to her feedings would reduce your milk supply.

Celeste - posted on 09/29/2012

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Are you putting baby to breast at all? One thing to keep in mind is that pump output is not reflective of supply. Babies are much more efficient than a pump.

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