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  #1  
April 15th, 2008, 12:45 PM
jenn2350's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 420
Caleb was bf exclusively for the first 5 weeks. Around week 6 I introduced the bottle since I was going back to work. He had no problems taking it and no nursing problems after that. I went back to work and have been back about a month and a half. I nurse him before I drop him at my moms, go nurse him at lunch, and nurse when I pick him up at 4pm. My mom feeds him a bottle twice in between those times. I have been pumping at work but have never gotten more than 2 oz at a session. I have been supplementing 2 oz of formula with the bm since I can't pump enough.

I have been VERY busy at work (we make a/c parts for cars and it's summer in Texas.) I have not been able to pump as much or as often and it will only get worse as summer progresses.

I have noticed the last week he is not satisfied after feedings from me. During feedings he cries and gets aggrevated when no more milk comes out. I switch breasts and he's fine until the flow stops again and then it's the same thing. After feeding even 30 mins or more on one breast he sucks frantically at his hands and cries and cries. I have given him a couple ounces after a nursing and he's perfectly happy and content. It seems to be getting worse and worse and I know it's my supply. I can tell because even many hours without nursing or pumping I'm fine, no engorgement and I don't feel at all full. No leaking or soreness.

I don't want to have to stop nursing all together but is there a way I can nurse him at night only, or atleast a couple times a day??

I know now this is nothing else but a low supply. I have tried Fenugreek and I'm allergic. I eat oatmeal twice a day and drink lots of water. I'm trying my best, but every nursing now is a struggle and he's not happy and I'm not happy.

What should I do???


BTW birth weight - 7lbs 4oz
2 month - 9lbs 6oz
3 month - 11lbs 4oz

I know the only reason he has been gaining weight lately is because I am supplementing after feedings so he gets enough.
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  #2  
April 15th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Location: Michigan
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There's a few alternatives to your supply being low. One, it could be a growth spurt. It's prime time for the 3-month growth spurt. Second, the disappearance of engorgement and leaking does not mean a low supply, it just means your supply has established and evened itself out. Third, if it's happening primarily at night, it is likely just cluster-feeding, which many babies do. I used to switch between my breasts 3-4 times a night for about 1-2 hours straight. She would just nurse non-stop then fall asleep and sleep a long stretch. It's their way of "stocking up" for the night.
The problem is, supplementing will only make the problems worse. I know you feel he needs that bottle, but a baby's willingness to take a bottle after nursing doesn't alway mean he's hungry. Here's a better explanation of it: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/cc-baby-B.htm#Fussiness If your supply wasn't low to start with, the supplementing may have led to it. The more you supplement, the less your baby will nurse and in turn, the less milk you'll produce.
You can make it work, though. You have 2 things you need to do: nurse and pump, pump, PUMP! The only way to get your supply back is to get your baby to nurse as much as possible. On the weekends, nurse all day long. If you set aside both Saturday and Sunday and just lay in bed and nurse, your supply will increase in response. It may not be 100%, but it will give you a good head start. When at work, pump as much as possible. Your employer is required to give you time to pump, no matter what. You have to insist on it though, don't just give into thier requests that you work instead of pump. It's important to help keeping your supply up. These 2 things will do more than any supplement or food. Those are great in addition to these 2 things, if needed. Also be sure you are hydrated, because dehydration can decrease your supply.
I'm sure someone else can offer some more information and suggestions, especially a working mom, but hopefully that can get you started.
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  #3  
April 17th, 2008, 09:28 AM
jenn2350's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 420
Quote:
There's a few alternatives to your supply being low. One, it could be a growth spurt. It's prime time for the 3-month growth spurt. Second, the disappearance of engorgement and leaking does not mean a low supply, it just means your supply has established and evened itself out. Third, if it's happening primarily at night, it is likely just cluster-feeding, which many babies do. I used to switch between my breasts 3-4 times a night for about 1-2 hours straight. She would just nurse non-stop then fall asleep and sleep a long stretch. It's their way of "stocking up" for the night.
The problem is, supplementing will only make the problems worse. I know you feel he needs that bottle, but a baby's willingness to take a bottle after nursing doesn't alway mean he's hungry. Here's a better explanation of it: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/cc-baby-B.htm#Fussiness If your supply wasn't low to start with, the supplementing may have led to it. The more you supplement, the less your baby will nurse and in turn, the less milk you'll produce.
You can make it work, though. You have 2 things you need to do: nurse and pump, pump, PUMP! The only way to get your supply back is to get your baby to nurse as much as possible. On the weekends, nurse all day long. If you set aside both Saturday and Sunday and just lay in bed and nurse, your supply will increase in response. It may not be 100%, but it will give you a good head start. When at work, pump as much as possible. Your employer is required to give you time to pump, no matter what. You have to insist on it though, don't just give into thier requests that you work instead of pump. It's important to help keeping your supply up. These 2 things will do more than any supplement or food. Those are great in addition to these 2 things, if needed. Also be sure you are hydrated, because dehydration can decrease your supply.
I'm sure someone else can offer some more information and suggestions, especially a working mom, but hopefully that can get you started.[/b]

Even with supplementing he still nurses every 2 hours. When I started back to work I had no choice but to supplement with the formula or he would starve since I am only able to pump one ounce.

My boss will give me all the breaks I need, but with it being busy I can't afford to only work 6 hours a day and take 2 or more 30 minute breaks. We will be in the poor house if I do that and while I know the importance of breastfeeding I think it's more important to have a house to live in.

It's not just a growth spurt because he has had 2 growth spurts before this and I knew exactly what it was when it was happening. This is after every single nursing. He will suck for about 3-5 minutes until my flow stops and then pop off and scream at the top of his lungs. I will switch sides and he will frantically suck for the same time until the flow stops and then it starts again. He kicks and twists and pulls and acts like he is frustrated because I can tell nothing is coming out. I don't hear any swallowing after that first letdown...

I spent 2 weekends in a row in bed doing nothing but nursing and have seen no improvement in the situation at all.

The LLL consultant told me to give one bottle a week starting 3 weeks before I went back to work to get him used to it for when I'm away. I don't see how I had a choice to give a bottle if I'm away from him 6 hours a day. Even if it were bm it would still be given in a bottle.

I can give him 4 oz of formula in between nursings and he still get hungry right at 2 hours every time all day.

I'm just wondering what I can and cannot do as far as supplementing and pumping and nursing to keep a supply, but not feel guilty if I just cannot nurse once or twice a day.


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  #4  
April 17th, 2008, 01:01 PM
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You definitely need to give him a bottle, there's no question about that since he's so young and you are gone for that amount of time. Since your body works on a supply/demand process, it needs the continuous stimulation throughout the day in order to keep your milk supply steady. When you are home, let him nurse as much as possible. If he nurses every 1-2 hours, that's actually very normal for a baby his age. My DD nursed every 1 1/2-2 hours for the first 6 months solid. She very rarely went any longer. I would recommend holding off on the formula when you are home, not completely, but until it's really needed. If he nurses on both sides and is still hungry, let him have a bottle. If he's hungry again in an hour though, nurse him again, and repeat the process.
At work, you will have to just pump when you can. I would say pump twice a day as much as possible. If you can only squeeze in 20 minutes, use it anyway. Do you use a single or double pump? If you can, use a double pump each time, so both of your breasts get the signal to produce more milk. Is there anyway to tack on a little extra time to your day so you can still fit in your 2 breaks to pump?
Also, try to get some one-on-one help with a lactation consultant and see what suggestions she may have. It can be easier to work with someone in person when it comes to increasing a low milk supply.
Are there many things out there that can help increase supply that you may not know of.
Here's one that doesn't include fenugreek: http://www.motherlove.com/product_more_milk.php
They have several products you might be able to use, if you want to browse the list.
Another link from kellymom.com with a list of herbs that can be useful to increasing your milk supply:http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milks...actagogue.html

One last thought, have you had your first PP period yet? Many woman notice dips in thier supply when they are on thier period and beforehand.
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  #5  
April 17th, 2008, 01:49 PM
jenn2350's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 420
Quote:
You definitely need to give him a bottle, there's no question about that since he's so young and you are gone for that amount of time. Since your body works on a supply/demand process, it needs the continuous stimulation throughout the day in order to keep your milk supply steady. When you are home, let him nurse as much as possible. If he nurses every 1-2 hours, that's actually very normal for a baby his age. My DD nursed every 1 1/2-2 hours for the first 6 months solid. She very rarely went any longer. I would recommend holding off on the formula when you are home, not completely, but until it's really needed. If he nurses on both sides and is still hungry, let him have a bottle. If he's hungry again in an hour though, nurse him again, and repeat the process.
At work, you will have to just pump when you can. I would say pump twice a day as much as possible. If you can only squeeze in 20 minutes, use it anyway. Do you use a single or double pump? If you can, use a double pump each time, so both of your breasts get the signal to produce more milk. Is there anyway to tack on a little extra time to your day so you can still fit in your 2 breaks to pump?
Also, try to get some one-on-one help with a lactation consultant and see what suggestions she may have. It can be easier to work with someone in person when it comes to increasing a low milk supply.
Are there many things out there that can help increase supply that you may not know of.
Here's one that doesn't include fenugreek: http://www.motherlove.com/product_more_milk.php
They have several products you might be able to use, if you want to browse the list.
Another link from kellymom.com with a list of herbs that can be useful to increasing your milk supply:http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milks...actagogue.html

One last thought, have you had your first PP period yet? Many woman notice dips in thier supply when they are on thier period and beforehand.[/b]

The other night was the first time I had to give him a bottle after he nursed just because he was still inconsolable after nursing for a long time. I try to avoid using any on the weekends at all unless my DH and I go out without him (twice since birth).

I use a single manual pump. I had two manual pumps but the other one broke. I pump on both sides for 10-15 mins each depending on how much time I have. I atleast get 2 pumping times in each day. I would stay longer but I have to pick DH up from work and then go nurse Caleb for his next feeding.

I think my problem is in the beginning I made some mistakes because I didn't have any support or know what I was doing. They didn't help me at all in the hospital and I couldn't afford to take the breastfeeding class on top of childbirth class. Now I feel like it's going to be too hard to get it where I want it (nursing and pumping enough to feed him each time without supplementing).

I'm exhausted.

I want to do what's best for him but I'm miserable from feeling guilty.
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  #6  
April 17th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 26,366
That is very understandable, I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time.
The manual pump may be the root of your problems. It would be best if you could use a hospital grade electric pump. Expensive, yes, but there are many alternatives. I know WIC rents them out to moms and you can contact your local La Leche League or a lacation consultant and they may have some ideas. Also many hospitals rent out pumps. Another option to check is eBay or Craigslist, and you can buy new parts to put on a used pump so you avoid contamination from the person before. There's so many options, depending on your financial situation, and I know you can find one cheap with a little calling/looking around. I think it would be so much easier on you, too. I know how tiresome a manual pump can be, that's all I've used and I haven't even pumped much. It can wear you down after a while (and cause a major hand cramp).
Let me know if you want anymore information, I can pull up some numbers of places to call and give you some more options if you need them.
Hang in there, we'll figure this out!
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  #7  
April 17th, 2008, 03:43 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,576
Andrea is giving you some great advice. On a weekend or two consecutive days off try the instructions in the sticky titled "3 day nursing sabbatical".

I agree with Andrea - its likely hes going through a 3 month growth spurt - thats a very typical one, and its a tougher one than most. It throws most moms for aloop b/c its so diffferent than the others & harder. It makes the toughest of moms question their supply.

Just curious - but what kind of allergy do you have to fenugreek? Knowing will help me know what kind of things to suggest Blessed thistle is another good alternative. There are Rx medications as well that insurance should cover.

Also, if you have insurance, a LC could probably Rx you a pump & get your insurance to cover it. As well, many wic offices will GIVE You a pump. There are pump rentals as well. THe quality of the pump will help a lot - you could probably pump twice as fast with a good quality electric pump.

Finally - every 2 hours at this age is very common - dont feel like hes out of the norm. It will space out and someitmes they go through things and eat a lot again & then spaceout again & on and on.

Finally - check out this link:

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



Good luck, I think you can make this work if you want, though it will take some effort. PUmping at night WHILE nursing will help increase supply. I did that a lot when I was going through stuff - and I work a lot & get sidetracked & dont always have time to pump. I think what youre pumping (1 - 2 ounces) isnt that bad, though. It was a long time before I pumped any more than that and it still wasnt much more!

Lala...
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