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low milk supply...and I'm getting really upset...

Hi ladies. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice to offer. I have a 5 week old son. He was in the Nicu for the first week of his life, and against my wishes, they immediately gave him bottles and pacifiers. He has never been able to latch on to my breast for more than 10 seconds. I've worked with 4 lactation consultants and it's done nothing. I've been pumping regularly... about every 3 hours, but I can't ever get enough milk. I hate supplementing with formula bc I know breast milk is best. I worry so much that his lack of breast milk will interfere with his health. He gets about 3 full bottles of breast milk a day, but I want to get him up too 100%. I've been taking large doses of Fenugreek, oatmeal, all that...and I just can't get enough. I feel like a failure as a mother sometimes, and can't help but cry after I've pumped for 40 minutes and only have 2 oz. Does anyone have any advice on increasing my supply?

 
StefanieN84

Asked by StefanieN84 at 3:47 PM on Oct. 31, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (7)
  • This is not your fault! Some breastmilk is so much better than none at all.

    You can take brewers yeast tabs, look at your baby or pictures of your baby while you pump, drink lots of water (at least 6 oz every time you pump or try to nurse), have lots of skin-to-skin contacy with your baby, and (most important) relax.

    Do the best that you can, enjoy your baby, and don't worry!!!
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 3:52 PM on Oct. 31, 2009

  • Please don't feel like a failure! You are doing the best you can. I have heard of something called mothers milk tea. It might be helpful. My daughter had a really hard time learning to latch on too. Your doing a good job and I am sure he will get the hang of it!
    Frogbaby83

    Answer by Frogbaby83 at 3:52 PM on Oct. 31, 2009

  • When I was having supply issues at first with my DS, my DH's aunt brought me over a beer (I was underage at the time) and practically forced it down my throat (I think beer is super gross). I totally took care of my supply issues and I had over-abundance issues for a while after that.

    Good Luck!
    IrishMommaC

    Answer by IrishMommaC at 3:54 PM on Oct. 31, 2009

  • You can also add in Mother's Milk tea to your diet. You can also try Mother'sLove-More Milk Special Blend drops. What's really going to interfere with your milk supply is the stress that you are putting on your body worrying about it. The more you relax, the more you will naturally let down milk. When your baby is napping do an extra pumping. I think that three bottles worth is just plenty. You are doing very well, most mothers would have given up by now. Yah breast milk is probably the healthiest but formulas are a little more advanced now and you're giving your baby both. Your son is going to grow healthy no matter what. I was bottle fed/formula baby (because they didn't help my Mom breast feed and just gave me a bottle back then) and I have always been extremely healthy and I started walking and talking by 6 months. My Mom says it's a wonder how I ever survived back then considering all of what is told to us now. Jokingly.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:00 PM on Oct. 31, 2009

  • Maxi Milk is what I've been told worked best for the women I know who have real supply issues. It's going to be hard to maintain your supply without getting him to latch, so the best thing you can do is work really hard to get him to latch. I know you've tried, but it can take a while, and it's the best way to keep your supply going. Here's some information about getting him to the breast, and maintaining your supply while exclusively pumping:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/back-to-breast.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/maintainsupply-pump.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bf-links-excpumping.html

    Good luck, mama! It's a commitment when baby isn't nursing, but you can do it. :)
    asaffell

    Answer by asaffell at 5:27 PM on Oct. 31, 2009

  • ASk your doctor for a presciption of Reglan it will raise your supply, beyond that the BEST way to raise supply is to make sure you have the BEST pump you can get(medela is a GREAT brand) and pump every 2 hours round the clock...2 oz every 2 hours is perfect...think 24-30 oz a day is what a full term baby needs no matter the age so a preemie could need less. Make sure bottles are given smaller bottles more often.

    It is NOt too late to get him to the breast, call a lactation consultant and look up the local LLL, call WIC they can help too. Theres something called a supplimental nursing system, its a tube that goes around your neck and attaches to your nipple, it provides a bit of extra milk to get your baby to see the breast as food and help him get used to nursing...

    You can do this, a baby can get way more fromt he breast than the pump can...
    tabi_cat1023

    Answer by tabi_cat1023 at 6:16 PM on Oct. 31, 2009

  • Don't feel bad..Its like everyone says its not ur fault. It judt happens. I recomend maybe giving him a little bit of formula once in a while...I didn't want to at first but I was having problems feeding my baby and so I started giving her SIMILAC. Its the only formula I trust since its given at the hospital.
    lilangel_4206

    Answer by lilangel_4206 at 9:12 PM on Oct. 31, 2009

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