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  1. #1
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    Default Lack of supply help

    Ladies, I have a 5 week old daughter. Unfortunately I don't have great supply. Let me give some background.

    At day 4, she lost more than 10% weight and paed suggested to top up with formula while waiting for my milk to establish. After we got home, we continue with top up as I was too scared to starve her. At one week, the MHN told me to stop formula completely and just BF. I did that but at 2 week weigh in she lost more weight. She also didn't poop for 6 days and have very yellow pee and dry lips. I rang the paed who told me she's dehydrated. So off we start with top up again.

    In the meantime I never gave up BF. This is my routine. BF, top up either formula or EBM then express. DD isn't great with effective sucking so this could take up to 2 hours depending on how long to settle her too.

    I am also on motilium (recently increased to 60mg dosage a day), fenugreek (6 a day), lactation cookies, plenty of water and food. For a week I expressed every 2 hours as well.

    I have also seen 3 LC and been to a few BF class / clinic. The last LC told me my right boob has less supply. Smaller boob and didn't grow in size during pregnancy. So my daughter doesn't like that boob and with only one decent boob she doesn't get enough milk so I need to continue with top up.


    All of the above has started to get me really down. In fact I started feeling anxious about feeding as it's such a long process. I don't enjoy spending time feeding.

    So I'm at a point of giving up BF after the 6 week jab. But deep down, I'm so scared of his decision. I worry I will regret it but at the same time I am also relieved that I could see the end of BF.

    Anyway I'm rambling now. Anyone has similar experience that can share success story or come to term and stop BF completely? Not sure if this is the right category for this thread.

    I should add I only started 60mg motilium 4 days ago. Before that I was on 30mg a day.

    Everyone said Bub will get more than pumping but is this always true? What if Bub isn't great in effective sucking?

    I guess I'm just so conflicted with my decision to stop BF.

  2. #2
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    I can relate to your story. My first baby just wouldn't gain weight if exclusively breastfed. I tried medication, pumping (including setting an alarm for 2am to pump as I got a bit more at that time), skin to skin, lots of comfort feeding and cluster feeding - nothing worked. She was a terrible feeder and my supply was rubbish. Turns out she had some intolerances that made feeding her very difficult (not saying your bub has the same, my DD had lots of other symptoms). I stopped BF at 3 months and it was the best decision for everyone. She thrived on prescription formula and I was much happier.

    With my second, he was again slow to gain weight but I stuck with it, did the pumping etc but DS was a much stronger feeder. He also had intolerances but it wasn't as bad as DDs. I stopped BF at 5 months with him.

    I just find BFing very difficult to maintain. It's exhausting and stressful for me so I did my best, but stopped when it got too much. I did beat myself up over the decision both times but I shouldn't have.

    Any amount of time breastfeeding is a bonus, if you stop at 6 weeks you should congratulate yourself on those 6 weeks and move on. You'll be making loads of decisions about what's best for your child and what your child eats in their lifetime that may or may not have an impact on their health and/or development. Try not to get too hung up on this one.

    Good luck, whatever you decide!

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    Minib  (09-01-2016),MrsA2B  (09-01-2016)

  4. #3
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    Default Lack of supply help

    Oh I could have written your story word for word! Big hugs lovely, it's such a hard thing when you can't make as much milk as you need - I had serious supply issues with my twin boys too and went though the whole pumping/motilium/fenugreek/lactation consultants etc rigmarole. My boys shredded my nipples in the early days and that, combined with a low supply meant it was an emotional roller coaster!

    In the end, I mix fed them until 5 months and have only just fully switched to formula.

    Some things that helped me -

    Remember that any breastmilk is awesome, it doesn't have to be all or nothing! I used to breastfeed them for as long as they wanted then topped up til they were satisfied... It was a bit of trial and error to find that sweet spot of top up amounts but you'll get there.

    I wasted a lot of time and emotional energy to trying to 'exclusively' breastfeed and when I let go of that and just got ok with topping them up, I relaxed a lot and ironically, my supply increased a bit more!

    Try an at breast supplementer like the Medela SNS. They are basically a tube and bottle, you tape the tube to your boob and bubs gets their extra milk while they are breastfeeding. This is a really effective way to build supply while developing their suck and strength, and can prevent a bottle preference (which my boys developed). Its a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it it's good. It can save you from having to pump after every feed (which sucks so much, I really hated it!).

    Have you had your baby checked for tongue/lip ties? I had several lactation consultants, paediatricians and midwives tell me my boys tongue tied were mild and wouldn't affect their feeding - however as soon as I had them corrected their sucks improved dramatically, which also helped supply.

    Lastly - be kind to yourself. It's okay if you stop, it's okay if you mix feed, it's okay to keep persevering - either way you guys will be okay... 'Fed' is best, no matter how it happens.

    Edit to add - I notice from your profile you're in Melbourne, I am as well - I can recommend Simone Casey as a lactation consultant, she helped me heaps after seeing lots of useless LCs and Drs - definitely worth a call!
    Last edited by MrsA2B; 09-01-2016 at 21:28.

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  6. #4
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    Thanks @Cue your story has made me feel better. I know quite a few people who decided to stop BF before 6 months and they all said happy mum happy Bub. I would like that too but hard to rid of this guilt right now. I'm sure one day I would look back and wonder why I have let this consume me so much.

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    Cue  (09-01-2016)

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    Thanks @MrsA2B

    My girl did have tongue tied and we have it corrected on day 5. The paed also said it was minor.

    I have heard of the medela sns but one LC said it's too much work. Another LC recommended it. I might look into it again.

    Honestly after the last few weeks, I would be so happy if I could BF until 4 months. That's all I ever hope for now.

    That's 3 months away and it feels so long and hoping it doesn't take my sanity away.

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minib View Post
    Thanks @MrsA2B

    My girl did have tongue tied and we have it corrected on day 5. The paed also said it was minor.

    I have heard of the medela sns but one LC said it's too much work. Another LC recommended it. I might look into it again.

    Honestly after the last few weeks, I would be so happy if I could BF until 4 months. That's all I ever hope for now.

    That's 3 months away and it feels so long and hoping it doesn't take my sanity away.
    I so understand, I felt exactly the same way. I actually did decide to stop at 10 weeks when it all got too much, but felt so much regret that I decided to give it one more try (after stopping and just comfort pumping for 36 hrs).

    The SNS was a bit tricky with twins but would have been fine with one baby I think. My boys loved it as they got heaps of milk and it really helped them to learn a more effective suck. My LC said it can be a bit hard but if it's your last resort to try before stopping, then it's worth a go!

    For me, the whole process of feed/top up/pump was driving me a bit bonkers so when I let go, decided to stop pumping after every feed, and got okay with giving as much formula on top of that as they needed, I actually relaxed and started to enjoy breastfeeding (before that, like you, it made me really anxious!).

    Don't set yourself any big goals, just focus on the day, and never stop on a bad day... You can always make the decision to stop the next day with a clear head, and then you'll know you've made the right call and won't regret it.

    Good luck lovely! X

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minib View Post
    Thanks @MrsA2B
    I have heard of the medela sns but one LC said it's too much work. Another LC recommended it. I might look into it again.
    I used one and it was no more work than bottles ie I needed to make formula and clean it exactly the same as I would clean bottles. It meant that I was able to relax while breastfeeding and my DS started gaining weight. I started using the supply line at 6 weeks, can't remember when I finished (9 months?). I ended up going on to breastfeed my DS until he was well past his second birthday.

    After reading your initial post I was going to come in and suggest you give one a trial. I found that formula top ups meant that my DS quickly developed a preference for bottles, was breastfeeding less, which meant that I produced less milk and needed to use more formula. Using the supply line got us out of that cycle.

    I also noticed in your post the comment about your right breast not producing much milk. Are you sure about that? My left side breast would be a full cup size bigger than my right. My let down was slower, my babies preferred the left but there was plenty of milk on the right side. I could express just as much from my right side as I could from my left. Actually when my second baby came along, I used to feed on the left side and express a bottle on the right at the same time.

    I would also suggest setting yourself some short term goals. eg instead of getting to 4 months, set yourself a minigoal of getting to the end of the next week, and then the week after etc.

    ETA I just noticed your DD is 5 weeks old. Just wanted to let you know that babies have a growth spurt around the 6 week mark. This means a week or so of unsettled behaviour and wanting to feed more often. It may seem like you have run out of milk. You haven't, your baby will be wanting to feed more often to increase your milk supply. It was very obvious when it happened to my kids. It stops as quickly as it starts. They have another big growth spurt / appetite increase around the 3 month mark as well, except the 3 month one is bigger and can last a couple of weeks. If found that once I got past the 3 month mark breastfeeding became so much easier and my confidence grew a lot.
    Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 09-01-2016 at 21:25.

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  13. #8
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    First of all, don't beat yourself or feel guilty. You do what is best for you 2 and your situation and you sound like very dotting mum
    Secondly if you really want to try and go on, either mixed or exclusive, keep looking but - I find that get hold of real lactation consultant who really knows it all is hard. Everywhere, not only in Australia. My friend here had to stop breastfeeding, she got so many issues, one was that baby was sucking very noisily, none of so called consultant paid attention to it. I came to the info online, just browsing and read that this noise alone should alert them that baby wasn't latching properly, and thus not feeding effectively. Had she know, this would go on totally differently.
    I told her about my findings, just for future reference, and saw tears in her eyes, so it was still an issue for her. I felt bad for her.
    Having said that, just don't give up, filter for information, search for the right adviser (are you on any other medication? some of them can reduce supply), but above all, be at peace with whatever comes and enjoy your precious time with bub. It will pass so fast, and really not worth it to be miserable over something like that. Hugs!

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  15. #9
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    Ladies thank you so much! I really need to look into this sns. I'm willing to give anything another go before quitting.
    @SSecret Squirrel everytime I pump I get a lot less from eight boob. Eg 50ml on left boob if I haven't fed her right boob max 20ml. If I pump after feeding her, right boob I get nothing even though she hasn't sucked on it much.

  16. #10
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    @yvona I have seen 3 LCs everyone seems to have slightly different method or views. One LC can't believe I have a bruise from massaging a lump. You are right it's important to get a good one.
    @SSecret Squirrel I also think she's going through a growth spurt.

    Honestly if I could drop the pumping I will be more relaxed. So looks like sns is worth a try. Not cheap though. Hope it's worth a try for me.

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