Sleepy Daughter.... low milk supply

Michelle - posted on 11/09/2008 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hello everyone... i'm kind of new to Circle of Moms and fairly new to parenting. I have a 3 month old daughter who is an angel. Don't hate me for saying this but she has slept through the night since she was only 3 weeks old. (Though she has given me some sleepless nights when transitioning her to sleep in the crib.) I was able to successfully breast feed her exclusively for 1.5 months but my milk supply has dropped to the point that I have needed to supplement her a bit after nursing. I really don't like this idea and have been trying to build my milk supply back up. I have a feeling because she sleeps for 9-10 hours a night my body has slowed down it's supply.

I have heard suggestions like drink lots of water (which I've been trying to do), eat properly, and nurse her often to help bring it back. Problem is when she naps during the day she's usually out for 4-5 hours at a time.... should I wake her and try to nurse her or let her sleep? I have found that if I offer her my breast before 3-4 hours after her last feed she will eat for about 5 min but if she's not hungry she will end up spitting it all back up. (which is not fun for either of us).

What are some other things I can do or try.... I really want to get her off the formula completely.

6 Comments

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Bernice - posted on 02/28/2016

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Healthy nursing tea by secrets of tea was the only remedy that increased my milk supply.

Liz - posted on 11/10/2008

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The goal with Fenugreek is to smell like maple syrup. I know that sounds crazy, but your sweat will start to smell like maple syrup. I take 12 capsules a day. I think I started off taking 2 three times a day and increased from there. It just took a couple of days. Check out the web site www.kellymom.com for more information on Fenugreek. There are also some great tips on how to encourage a sleepy baby to feed more.

Kimberly - posted on 11/10/2008

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When I tried everything it increase my supply and nothing helped, I started doing acupuncture. I guess there are points on your body that would help increase milk. I noticed a difference and my supply improved. Though I had to keep going in once a week to get treated. Later I found out my thyroid was a bit wacky and when I got that in order my supply stayed steady. I have been nursing my son for 11.5 months, and have no immediate plans to stop.

Michelle - posted on 11/10/2008

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Thanks for the advice.... I have picked up some Fenugreek (does anyone know how long this usually takes to work). I have tried to nurse her more often... but if she doesn't cry for feedings, or isn't ready to eat she ends up throwing it all back up. In the beginning I had a very over active let-down and was constantly full, so it feels so strange now to not have enough for her.

At night she nurses from me for about 5-10 min.. then rests for 30 min then feeds for her night time feed. I try to put her back on the breast but after 3-4 min of her trying to nurse (sucks real hard for about 30 sec, then pulls off and cries, then sucks hard again and cries) I end up giving her some formula... at bed time she will usually take 6-8 oz. If we try to stop her before that she gets upset to the point of gagging.

When I get my milk supply back up how will this affect her night feed. I do expect her to start feeding at night again, but I'm concerned about her cluster feedings.

Tricia - posted on 11/09/2008

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Michelle, you would benefit from a visit with a lactation consultant. Your milk supply has decreased since your baby was not nursing very often. It is recommended that babies nurse 8-12 times in 24 hours in the first month or so and although they may feed less often by 3 months, it is often due to their taking in more milk at each feeding. It sounds like your baby is not nursing enough. I would recommend waking her for feedings.
To increase your milk supply, you can pump after most feeding and pump during the night. If you are not nursing or pumping through the night it is likely that your supply will not increase to meet your baby's needs. A good quality electric pump will be most helpful.
Some moms find their milk supply increases with herbal supplements - look for fenugreek, blessed thistle, and goat's rue. In my area, these are available in a tincture or capsules.
If pumping and frequent breastfeeding doesn't increase your supply, ask your doctor or midwife about medications to increase your supply. Reglan is generally available in most areas, though it does have side effects. Domperidone is safer, and used in many other countries, but is not FDA approved so is only available in the US through compounding pharmacies. I have seen good results with these medications, but I always recommend that mothers increase breastfeeding first, add pumping, and try herbal supplements if possible.
I hope this helps!

Liz - posted on 11/09/2008

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I've been pumping, nursing every 3 hours and taking Fenugreek (an herb you can get at your local health food store). I have also read eat oatmeal. My supply is up now, but I'm afraid to stop doing everything I've been doing.

I wish you luck because I know how impossible it can be to breast feed a baby who just wants to sleep!!! Just stick with it and keep your supply up anyway you can. If you are determined to make it work it will. I had to pump and feed that to my daughter for a few weeks until she was able to stay awake a little longer. You can pump and supplement with that instead of formula if you can pump enough.

I also see a lactation consultant to help me. She was great and very encouraging. If you live near a la leche group I've heard they are wonderful for support also.

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