View Full Version : low supply :(
Oli is 3months and the past week i have noticed my supply is getting lower and lower.
Maybe 2 months ago I began expressing at 6pm and again at 11pm - both combined Id normally get 180mls and i would save that to give oli the next evening at the 6.30pm feed. He then has formula at the 10.30pm feed
The past few nights I cant seem to express more than 40 or 60mls each time :(
I have had Oli on aswell to try to stimulate the flow but its not working.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to increase my supply? I would love to have more than he needs.
I have the same problem at the moment, my bub is 4 mths. My Dr has put me on the anti nausea tablet maxalon. it has worked a bit, but i only take it at night because it can make you sleepy during the day. So maybe if I took it more it would work better?
This tablet is safe as it is used during pregnancy for morning sickness.
Another way is to feed bub more.
I wouldnt be worried about not being able to express much, because I have never been able to express and bub has been getting enough milk to date.
Expressing is hard I reckon!
Hope this helps!
I completely agree that the amount you pump is not a good way of assessing milk supply, a pump just is not as efficient as a baby at getting milk out.
Is your baby gaining well, wetting plenty of nappies, and feeding often?
If so, i wouldn't worry just yet.
I have added a link to a page about herbal galactagogues, it may be of interest.
In addition to these, i have heard that oats are good for the milk supply - can't remember where I heard that, but I eat rolled oats for breakfast, and also sleep during the day helps to boost your supply, as does keeping well hydrated.
All the best.
As time passes, our breasts often refuse to give up to the pump but are giving heaps to our babies. I can't pump at all now and yet I know I must produce heaps because it's been my son's main food for his whole life and he's now 22 months! There are plenty of natural galactagogues to try but like Angie said, if bubs is looking bright and having normal wet nappies, he's getting heaps. Also as time passes the letdown can become less strong and noticeable and we stop becoming engorged. Although I probably feed my son at least every 2 hours still, it takes at least 5 or 6 hours for me to feel even a little full. Our breasts become used to it and things change about the time you're at now. So I really recommend that you get to your local ABA who will have lots of info and support for you about how bf changes over time. Babies are much more efficient than pumps and boobs get awfully fussy! If you're comping with formula, that will lower your supply and lead to weaning as it's the baby's suckling that creates supply. So if you don't offer that feed, your breasts will think your baby doesn't need milk and will start making less. Pop bubs to the boob every time you can over 24 hours and drop the formula and you'll find that your supply is as beautiful as ever! Trust your body and trust your baby - you are both perfectly designed for this relationship and the dance it provides. *hugs*
I have also found that expressing seems to 'dry' you up. I have been expressing each day to try and stock up for when i return to work- sso bub can have BM from the bottle.
What i found that works- for me anyway- is to pump as long as you normally would- then stop have a drink and a snack and try again 10-15 mins later. I will often get another letdown then! But then Imy often has half a feed then half again 10-15 mins later...
Good luck with it.
Just let me check in case I've misunderstood but your post (now I've reread it!) implies that you're scheduling feeds and feeding 4 hourly? Breastfeeding is an organic process and scheduled feeds will stop your supply because it's not being stimulated to your babies needs. And it's pretty unlikely that a babe of only 12 weeks would only need to feed at 4 hourly intervals. I'd expect it to be more like 2 hourly with occasional stretches that are longer during sleeps and shorter during growth spurts. Of course if you're cue feeding, this doesn't apply, but please be very wary of scheduled feeding. It is not a way to maintain a breastfeeding relationship or supply your baby's needs in an optimal way. See below.
(AAP Policy Statement, "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk," Pediatrics, Dec. 1997): "Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting. Crying is a late indicator of hunger. Newborns should be nursed approximately eight to 12 times every 24 hours until satiety."
thanks for all this fantastic info ladies...posting my probs always helps.
i think im getting myself all worked up thinking i dont have enough based on what i express and as JanetF said its not the same as bubs doing the sucking.
my instinc tells me oli is just more hungry than he was last week so I am feeding him more and more to get my supplies up.
ApprenticeMomma he is a little piggy and weighs over 7.5kg at 13wks so I think i am worrying for nothing.
I have been a bit stressed the past week as I had to have a proceedure done to remove pre cancer cells from the cervix....long story short im 100% ok but i think i was stressed about it and that might have effected my supply.
Im on antibiotics for the next week or so so i dont think i'll try any other medication for a while.
JanetF - I AM trying to follow a routine in the evenings giving him 2 large feeds at 6 and 11pm to try to get him to sleep through...sometimes it works, sometimes not. The past few days we have been feeding every 2 or 3 hours ending up with 6 or 7 feeds per day.
DO you think I should drop the formula feed at 11pm? It has been good for us as hubby can feed him and I get some rest....i do express at this time everynight but maybe it is drying up my supply.
im so confused!
Great advice already dispensed here :) Just keep in mind that your wee baby is MUCH bigger and stronger now. Quite the expert at draining your boobs, whereas before you may have been collecting a fair bit that baby left behind. Let weight gain be your guide and if you really want a bit more in your supply put the baby on for ten minutes before the formula feed to stimulate production.
I know I'm a bit late, but something that occurred to me is that Oli would have been 4 weeks when you were expressing and building up your stockpile. It is possible that you still had excess milk for him at that stage (I seem to remember 6 weeks before supply is in tune with demand - and usually there's an excess at first). So what I am trying to say is don't be worried and if his weight seems to slip down through the percentiles, feed him more often, as he's the expert at stimulating your boobs.
Hi :D *waves*
your bub doesn't need formula. He only needs boob and he needs it on cue. Like I said before, you're possibly noticing how different lactating breasts are when the supply is fairly even so don't worry about how different they feel. Just celebrate their capacity to feed, soothe, nurture and help your child to sleep. The hormones in your milk are designed to soothe your baby, and you, to sleep so more boob is going to give both of you more relaxing time. If bubs isn't in your room, either in your bed or in a cot/basket next to you, try that too because a baby close to mama is a baby with a mama who sleeps a lot more! Trust me on that one! ;) Remember that bf is an organic dance between you and your baby. Feed whenever bubs needs it, bearing in mind that the *last* desparate signal from a hungry baby is to cry. As soon as you notice the earlier signs, whack that bub on the boob and let the love flow ;)
I really wish I had realised when my son was the age that yours is, that boobs are much much more important than just food. Boobs are the magic cure for everything in a baby's life - fear, pain, shock, unknown, strangers, oh and hunger too! What babies weigh is really not a good indicator of health. A bright eyed, happy baby with plenty of wet nappies is doing fine so whether or not they're gaining weight according the charts based on ff babies from the 1970s is utterly irrelevant.
I hope you'll get along to your local ABA so you can see all this stuff I'm spouting in real life from other mamas who bf gloriously happy growing bubbas with optimal baby food. Pinky McKay's book Parenting By Heart and her other one 100 Ways To Soothe The Crying would both be excellent for you. If you need any help or support, just PM me. *hugs*
Its been a few days and ive noticed that since i started drinking a milkshake and eating some yogurt each morning my supply has gone back to normal, even more so some nights.
janetf i realise that boob is best but I started doing the formula feed each night as the last feed and it has helped settle oli for the entire night from a young age. I also believe it has gotten him used to the bottle so I dont have to spring it on him later on.
that said you are 100% right in saying that its the saviour for all things in his mind...when he is frightened, crying, hungry, whingy ect a quick suck on the boob makes it all better and no bottle can relplace that.
Hi strawb :) Glad to hear you're feeling better. You know there isn't really a need for a baby to take a bottle at all. If you wean onto a bottle what you're saying is "My baby still needs special food at this age." That special food is breastmilk. Maybe you could save yourself the inconvenience and expense and just bf. It's a bit of a myth that ff helps babies sleep. It's not as easy for them to digest, so it puts a strain on their digestive system and actually keeps some babies awake as they deal with this. Like I said, the hormones in bm are designed to get you and bubs off to sleep. I find the last bf before I drift off very relaxing as a result. Just tossing you some things to think about ;) My son has never taken a bottle although I did try a few times with ebm when he was very little. There's no real need for it. :)
My DD is nearly 3, my boobs have shrunk, they hang down low, I can't feel a let down and they never feel full. You'd think there was nothing in them at all, until you hear her drinking it, it's like she's guzzling a 375mL beer, she gulps and gulps.
It's true, trust your body and your baby... forget the propaganda and listen to that tiny little voice inside.
I used to find about every 6 weeks with both my daughters, they would be trying to crank up my supply for a couple of days, corresponding with growth spurts.
The answer is to rest, drink plenty, and spend as much time with baby on the breast as possible, and your supply will increase to meet the demands of the baby. There were some days when I truly felt like I never did the buttons on my shirt up, and I never felt like I actually had a low supply.
There are some herbs such as fenugrek which will help stimulate the supply as well. I was told to avoid large amounts of celery and parsley as it can diminish your supply, too.
BTW, One of them is now a teenager, and she still gets growth spurts - it corresponds to her craving orange juice, and eating lots of cheese! Along with being tired and cranky, just like a baby having a growth spurt.
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