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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Desperate. Production almost gone. Mothers milk tea?

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:14 AM
  • 36 Replies

My daughter is almost 2 months old, and so far we had been doing great. I was pumping almost 4-5 ounces every pumping, and always had enough to feed her, then pump and store. Always. Then hubby and I slipped up in the bedroom and I ran out to get Plan B. Big no no, i know. I regret it now, but id regret pregnancy even more. Now im struggling to get even 1-2 ounces each pumping. Im having to supplement formula, which i hate. And honestly shes not taking it to well. I cant just sit down with her for hours and nurse her... she gets frusterated...i get tired, and who has time to sit down all day and nurse? I dont. And thats what it came to, where i would try my best to sit down and just nurse her knowing theres always something coming out, until she got her fill.. but obviously she never was... and i had to break out the bottles :( Ive tried fenugreek, nothing noticible. Ive tried making sure I am pumping then nursing every two hours. nothing. I need a mirical lol. I dont want to give this up, and with me returning to work/college soon... i need my production up so i can pump!! Thanks guys.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:14 AM
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Replies (1-10):
aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:23 AM
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How much are you feeding at a time? Your output is actually normal. What you were getting before was much more than average and wouldn't be expected to last because pump output naturally decreases over time. How often are you pumping? If you're set on exclusively pumping, you MUST pump every 2 hours, even when she starts sleeping longer at night. You're really at the time when nursing tends to start to get easier. You could get a sling or wrap and allow her to nurse while you get whatever you need done.
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shortyali
by Alicia on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:25 AM
Get a wrap or sling and nurse her on the go. The best way to up pump output is to nurse more and stop the bottles when your together.
How big are the bottles your giving? She could be getting frustrated at the breast for a number of reasons. Slower flow than the bottle? Maybe her stomach is stretched out? Or maybe she's having a growth spurt (which is pretty much a constant thing for the first 3 months), so her fussiness is actually trying to up your supply.
Fenugreek and mothers milk tea will only work if the milk is being removed often enough. If your going to exclusive pump then you need to be pumping every 2 hours no matter what. No skipping sessions. You can maybe get away with every 3 hours at night.
Normal pump output is .5-2ozs BOTH breasts combined so you are on the high end of normal even now with your supply dip.
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ttcwlee_18
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:26 AM

Maybe it is average, but its not keeping her full? As in, shes not getting full off of 2 ounces. She needs 4 ounces.

Quoting aehanrahan:

How much are you feeding at a time? Your output is actually normal. What you were getting before was much more than average and wouldn't be expected to last because pump output naturally decreases over time. How often are you pumping? If you're set on exclusively pumping, you MUST pump every 2 hours, even when she starts sleeping longer at night. You're really at the time when nursing tends to start to get easier. You could get a sling or wrap and allow her to nurse while you get whatever you need done.


MonicaV1982
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:27 AM

Are you nursing or EPing? If nursing you just went through a supply regulation and went from over producing to normal pump output (even getting nothing if nursing is not a sign of a supply problem). How old is baby? Lowest weight, Current weight? Pump first thing in the morning and every 3-4 hours when gone. Nurse before leaving, baby gets 1oz/hr of separation (2-3oz bottles every 2-3 hrs), nurse when together. If you can't get enough you can encourage reverse cycling which means baby takes enough to tide him over and then feasts on momma booba.

shortyali
by Alicia on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:27 AM
1 mom liked this
How often is she eating? A 4oz bottle should mean 3.5-4 hours between bottles.

Quoting ttcwlee_18:

Maybe it is average, but its not keeping her full? As in, shes not getting full off of 2 ounces. She needs 4 ounces.

Quoting aehanrahan:

How much are you feeding at a time? Your output is actually normal. What you were getting before was much more than average and wouldn't be expected to last because pump output naturally decreases over time. How often are you pumping? If you're set on exclusively pumping, you MUST pump every 2 hours, even when she starts sleeping longer at night. You're really at the time when nursing tends to start to get easier. You could get a sling or wrap and allow her to nurse while you get whatever you need done.


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MonicaV1982
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:28 AM


"full" is a 4 letter word. bottles stretch the stomach so she thinks she needs more. Just keep nursing. you can't overfeed from the breast (unless you have an oversupply and even then that's rare), but you can from a bottle.

Quoting ttcwlee_18:

Maybe it is average, but its not keeping her full? As in, shes not getting full off of 2 ounces. She needs 4 ounces.

Quoting aehanrahan:

How much are you feeding at a time? Your output is actually normal. What you were getting before was much more than average and wouldn't be expected to last because pump output naturally decreases over time. How often are you pumping? If you're set on exclusively pumping, you MUST pump every 2 hours, even when she starts sleeping longer at night. You're really at the time when nursing tends to start to get easier. You could get a sling or wrap and allow her to nurse while you get whatever you need done.




ttcwlee_18
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:28 AM

A growth spurt that lasts for weeks? I cant nurse her on the go... its not possible with my conditions right now, which i wont get into. But it just wouldnt be possible. Id love that but i cant. And i use a nipple shield anyways... i have hardly no nipple for her to latch onto... so ive been using those since about week one. So bottle and that is about the same ive found, since the milk gets stored up in the nipple shield as shes eating. Thank you for your tips. Ive been doing the pumping religiously.

Quoting shortyali:

Get a wrap or sling and nurse her on the go. The best way to up pump output is to nurse more and stop the bottles when your together.
How big are the bottles your giving? She could be getting frustrated at the breast for a number of reasons. Slower flow than the bottle? Maybe her stomach is stretched out? Or maybe she's having a growth spurt (which is pretty much a constant thing for the first 3 months), so her fussiness is actually trying to up your supply.
Fenugreek and mothers milk tea will only work if the milk is being removed often enough. If your going to exclusive pump then you need to be pumping every 2 hours no matter what. No skipping sessions. You can maybe get away with every 3 hours at night.
Normal pump output is .5-2ozs BOTH breasts combined so you are on the high end of normal even now with your supply dip.


MonicaV1982
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:29 AM
1 mom liked this

Picture this: A hose.

A bottle is a hose that is uncapped. Water turned on? Water comes out. There’s very little that can be done to control it. It comes out fast. Take most bottles and turn them over. The milk streams out of the nipple. with some bottles you have to apply slight compression to the nipple, but not usually.

A breast is like a hose that has one of those sprayers attached. The water’s there. It requires that the water be released. And there are multiple ways in which the water can be released. Baby learns to control the flow by nursing differently for different purposes. Take your shirt/bra off. Lean over. Does milk pour out until your breasts are empty? Chances are.. No. At most you might leak a bit.

The reason why you can overfeed a baby with a bottle very easily but can’t easily overfeed a baby at the breast have two components:

1- Baby-controlled flow.

2- The difference between how “supply” functions within the breast and how “supply” functions with a bottle.

Babies are programmed to suck for a variety of reasons because their instincts evolved alongside breasts and not bottles. Breasts require stimulation to produce milk and to maintain supply.

In the early days when baby’s just learning to nurse, isn’t very efficient, is at risk of starving, etc. mom’s breasts release milk VERY easily and baby needs this. As baby gets more efficient mom’s supply slows down, baby learns to suck harder to get more milk, suck more shallowly to get less milk, and baby learns non-nutritive suckling that provides comfort, communicates with mom’s immune system to get antibodies for pathogens baby’s exposed to, and helps maintain supply where baby needs the supply to be.

Breasts and babies are also in a delicate dance. It’s a conversation. Baby needs to work for food otherwise there will be no food. So baby constantly works to keep supply up to meet baby’s growth requirements and to increase supply during growth spurts. Mom’s body on the other hand has a vested interest in lowering supply. Too much milk means mom’s at risk for mastitis, plugged ducts, etc. It also means that mom’s nutritional reserves are basically leaking out into her bra instead of feeding her baby or nourishing her body. Nature doesn’t like this and works to lower mom’s supply while baby works to increase it. The human breast creates a protein that inhibits lactation. It creates this protein when mom’s breasts have mik in them. This means that if mom goes for a longer period without nursing, her supply will drop. Bottles have no “decrease in supply” and adults are habit driven and tend to fill bottles with the same amount all the time always, or increase it.

Since baby has to work for the food that baby consumes, baby’s sucks are going to be harder and stronger when baby’s hungry or upset. As baby calms down and is no longer hungry baby’s sucks will become more relaxed and turn into non-nutritive comfort sucking.

Again- turn a bottle upside down. Poke at the nipple. Chances are you’re gonna get milk streaming out like there’s no tomorrow. Take baby’s calmer non-nutritive comfort sucking that is biologically engineered into baby and instinct driven and you’re still pouring milk into baby.

Combine that with a caregiver that doesn’t understand a breastfed baby’s hunger cues, that believes in large bottles, or that feeds baby at every given opportunity and suddenly you have a baby that is eating 6oz bottles every 3 hours which essentially is double baby’s needed intake. Many caregivers also feel that baby needs to “finish the bottle” and will continue to offer the bottle to the baby even if the baby is turning away.

It IS possible to over-feed a breastfed baby at the breast. It’s just uncommon and it requires that both mother and baby have something out of the norm. Ie: A baby with reflux and a mother who is taking a medication that increases supply and that has hyperactive letdown. A baby who is in this situation is not going to be asymptomatic though. And this type of situation is pretty rare, whereas a situation where baby’s over-eating from a bottle is more the “norm” than the exception.

Another issue is that bottle feeds tend to be constant across a 24 hour period. Mom’s supply tends to be variable across a 24 hour period. Breastmilk is very easy to digest. Baby will take what baby needs from the milk and poop or pee out the rest. So if baby’s eating 6 oz bottles of pumped milk every 3 hours, baby’s going to poop a ton, gain weight very rapidly, have a stretched out belly, and will be eating 48oz of breastmilk per day that mom has to pump vs. if baby was eating directly from the breast where the average intake for meeting the needs of a breastfed baby is 25oz/24 hours (varying from 19 oz-30 oz.) Drastic over-feeding. Baby doesn’t need it, baby will poop it out, and baby will learn to over-eat and associate “very full” with “done eating” rather than “no longer hungry”. This perpetuates the cycle of drastic over-feeding and often makes mom feel that she “isn’t making enough” because baby learns to prefer the fast flow and easy food of the bottle.

Best practice for mom’s supply and for baby’s health is this: When a bottle feed is necessary,  limit bottle feeds and provide smaller more frequent bottle feeds rather than large feeds. This allows baby’s system to use everything in the milk rather than just flushing it out quickly. It allows mom’s supply to function at more normal levels, and it enforces healthy eating habits in baby.

References: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

ttcwlee_18
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:29 AM

Yes, she stopped wanting to eat every two hours. She just spits it back out.

Quoting shortyali:

How often is she eating? A 4oz bottle should mean 3.5-4 hours between bottles.

Quoting ttcwlee_18:

Maybe it is average, but its not keeping her full? As in, shes not getting full off of 2 ounces. She needs 4 ounces.

Quoting aehanrahan:

How much are you feeding at a time? Your output is actually normal. What you were getting before was much more than average and wouldn't be expected to last because pump output naturally decreases over time. How often are you pumping? If you're set on exclusively pumping, you MUST pump every 2 hours, even when she starts sleeping longer at night. You're really at the time when nursing tends to start to get easier. You could get a sling or wrap and allow her to nurse while you get whatever you need done.



aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:33 AM
1 mom liked this
It may be a growth spurt that lasts weeks or it is bottle flow preference. Bottles flow so much easier and faster than the breast so many babies prefer the bottles rather than working at the breast for their food. They fuss and fight because they know that they'll be rewarded with the easier bottles.
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