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milk supply low? mamabrans 2 kids; HAIKU, Hawaii 38 posts
27th Nov '12

I'm a week PP with baby #2 & have been giving my LO half breast milk, half formula. I usually prefer to pump unless I'm able to get her to latch on (I use a nipple shield). Any tips on how I can "get my supply up?" Or at least keep flowing.



I've been told Fenugreek pills and Mother's Milk tea helps so I'm trying those out...

wigglewaddle 2 kids; Wichita, Kansas 2096 posts
28th Nov '12

Let your LO nurse as much as possible.

RachyBaby84 3 kids; Glasgow, United Kingdom 122 posts
28th Nov '12
Quoting wigglewaddle:" Let your LO nurse as much as possible."


:!: this

Brittanie Blokker-Brandt 2 kids; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 320 posts
28th Nov '12

this might sound weird, and I havent tried it but i know some ppl swear by it and if you're willing... Have SO suck on your nipples as well to get the flow going. Its a stronger suck and, well... they arent a baby refusing lol so if you want to try that every once and a while, it would probably help!

Kaylees mommy 50 kids; North Dakota 323 posts
28th Nov '12
Quoting mamabrans:" I'm a week PP with baby #2 & have been giving my LO half breast milk, half formula. I usually prefer ... [snip!] ... my supply up?" Or at least keep flowing. I've been told Fenugreek pills and Mother's Milk tea helps so I'm trying those out..."


I only pump for my son for the first few weeks I pumped every 2-3 hours but to get it to come in I drank the mothers milk tea my milk was delayed comming in because of my post partumm hemmorage. My little one is 2 months old today and I make 8-11 ounces with each pumping.

justanothamotha Due January 20; 130 kids; Climax, Michigan 5120 posts
28th Nov '12

If you keep using formula your supply won't ever catch up. I KNOW that sounds backwards as all get out - but it's true.



Nursing is optimal obviously for milk supply. This is true for the following reasons:
Part 1 - When you nurse the baby uses it's jaw to do compressions that stimulate ducts that rest behind the areola. Those ducts send signals to the pituitary gland to elevate your prolactin levels. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for regulating milk supply. Most women REQUIRE a minimum of 8 nursing sessions per day (12 or more is optimal) to establish & maintain early milk supply.



Part 2 - formula (according to research done via ultrasound to watch the stomach empty) takes on average twice as long as breastmilk to digest. breastmilk contains predigestive enzymes. So it breaks down easily with very little digestive effort for the baby. Every time baby is fed formula, baby is obviously not on the breast (so less prolactin stimulation) and then baby takes longer to cue to eat again, so further stimulation is delayed.



Part 3 - a baby that is having problems with latching is a baby that should NOT be offered abottle. Ther ear ealternative feeding options (Such as up feeding or syringe feeds) that can be used if breastfeeding is not possible. However, once you introduce a bottle nipple - you essential make it harder for baby to learn a proper latch because a bottle nipple is absolutely NOT like a breast nipple even *if* the bottle is labelled "breastfeeding friend;y". There is no such thing as a "breastfeeding friendly" bottle. There are only bottle styles that breastfed babies are more likely to be willing to accept. NO bottle reduces or eliminates nipple confusion or the forming of nipple preference. Nipple preference is also further complicated because breastfeeding requires suckling until letdown occurs. Bottlefeeding is a constant flow. Giving bottles makes a baby more likely to give up quickly when latched because baby believes "it's not working" because there is no flow.



Sooooo onto what you CAN do.



It would help to know if you *want* to exclusively breastfeed & have just gotten off to a rough start or if you are wanting to do mix feeding for some reason. Just be aware that continuing to mix feed this early on (regardless of "why" it is going on) is not a way to maintain supply & giving you advice on herbal remedies is like telling you that you can keep skipping sleep & live on caffeine pills and coffee instead. Herbs can help short term, but you eventually will still loose supply if you stay as is. You can take a bunch of galactogogues if you want to but if you aren't giving your body the right biological & physical signals, you will dry up eventually, regardless.



So if you want to EBF - then you have to get off supplements. Easier said than done? yes & no.



If you want supply up you must nurse or pump for no less than 10-15 mins every 2 hrs during the day & every 3 at night. Nursing is always preferable to pumping of course & is a far betters stimualtion. You shoudl pick up a supplemental nurser system. it is a tube with syringe you pu tmilk into, tape to the nipple & slowly drip feed while babie sis suckling ot keep baby interested until letdwon starts. You can also opt to try pumping until letdown starts & then quick latch baby on so baby can start to associate suckling with getting satisfied.



If you choose to nurse or pump less than 8 times a day, then you can try the herbs & continue to offer breastmilk for as long as you have it to offer, but you can expect a slow steady decline. Moms with well established supplies can have a bit more flexibility in these options, but new moms generally don't. A few moms can seem to maintain supply even though they "break the rules" and a few will not have supply despite doing nothing "wrong" - but most (and likely you & I fall into this middle ground of the 90+%) will loose supply if mix feeding 1 week post partum unless you make a big effort to get off the supplements.



Also keep in mind there are growth spurts at about 7-12 days old, 3 weeks old, 6 weeks old, 3 months & every 3 months after. During those times all babies act like bottomless pits & that your supply is trashed. You just nurse through it & all that extra stimulation tells your body to step up, it takes a few days, bu tit doe s& then you are back on track. Supplementing during growth spurt times is the worst kind of self sabotage, as it interferes with the dance your body & baby are supposed to do to help your body know how much milk it should be making to satisfy your baby. In the 1st 4 weeks those growth spurts trigger increases in actual volume of milk made. Then somewhere around a month you usually top out around 25 oz a day give or take & after that your body doesn't make more milk, it makes thicker & denser milk through each growth spurt. This gets a lot of moms messed up in supply too - because they *think* their baby should get equal ounces of breastmilk as they would formula & that is NOT true. Formula is the same day 1 through day 365. So the only way to increase calories, vitamins & fats is to increase volume. Breasmtilk become denser & denser. So the average breastfed baby does NOT increase volume intake from 1 month through at least 6 months of age. Instead the milk keeps changing ot meet their changing need.s So if a baby is used to a formual bottle with 6 ounces - it is hard to convince that baby tha tit only needs 3 oz of breasmtilk - so then mom is supplementing mor e& more & more.



That is why they call it the slippery slope - it is a very slippery & confusing slope to step out onto & if a momma really wants to nurse, I recommend she get a lactation consultant or contact La Leche League ASAP. You can call them for free 24/7 at 1-877-4-la-leche & they WILL help you.



AND PLEASE MOMMA - realize NONE of hat I said is taking your inventory or assessing any judgements - I am ONLY trying to help you be fully informed so YOU can decide what you want to do with full knowledge of what it will or won't mean either way.



Best wishes & congratulations!

deletedasdfghjjk 1 child; London, United Kingdom 994 posts
28th Nov '12
Quoting justanothamotha:" If you keep using formula your supply won't ever catch up. I KNOW that sounds backwards as all get out ... [snip!] ... decide what you want to do with full knowledge of what it will or won't mean either way. Best wishes & congratulations!"

i am 2 weeks pp and im in the same boat as OP. you have seriously helped a lot in all that you wrote. ty so much. my baby has been pretty much only on formula, with an oz of breastmilk, because he takes more than an oz. & thats all i produce, but i havent been pumping like i should be, he eats 3 every2-3 hrs. im now trying to just breastfeed him via nipple shield. its very challenging, but your post has made me that more determined to stick with it and not give into formula when its soo tempting, when baby is srceaming and we're both frustrated.

mamabrans 2 kids; HAIKU, Hawaii 38 posts
28th Nov '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting justanothamotha:</b>" If you keep using formula your supply won't ever catch up. I KNOW that sounds backwards as all get out ... [snip!] ... decide what you want to do with full knowledge of what it will or won't mean either way. Best wishes & congratulations!"</blockquote>




Thank you so much! No I don't think you're judging but I do love the fact you gave me much wanted info. I guess the rough start for me discouraged me so being y reason to introduce formula & mix feed... But for baby's next feeding I am definitely going to be trying to get her back on strictly breast milk. As frustrated as we'll both get it's what's better for the both of us. Thanks again :)

deletedasdfghjjk 1 child; London, United Kingdom 994 posts
28th Nov '12
Quoting mamabrans:" <blockquote><b>Quoting justanothamotha:</b>" If you keep using formula your supply ... [snip!] ... to get her back on strictly breast milk. As frustrated as we'll both get it's what's better for the both of us. Thanks again :)"

same!

justanothamotha Due January 20; 130 kids; Climax, Michigan 5120 posts
28th Nov '12

I HOPE it helps. Early nursing can be really hard. It will NOT stay this hard. I always call it boobie boot camp for the newly initiated because it IS that hard sometimes.



Once you get past all those stumbles from early nursing you will find it is the easiest thing ever - but it is hard to imagine that when it feels like everything is going wrong.

Crystalblueyes 3 kids; Idaho 545 posts
28th Nov '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting justanothamotha:</b>" I HOPE it helps. Early nursing can be really hard. It will NOT stay this hard. I always call it boobie ... [snip!] ... you will find it is the easiest thing ever - but it is hard to imagine that when it feels like everything is going wrong."</blockquote>
That was a fantastic post of info for first time breast feeding moms!! It was very easy to understand and a wealth of info. I had no idea that with every growth spurt your milk becomes thicker and denser. So thank you!!!!!

mamabrans 2 kids; HAIKU, Hawaii 38 posts
29th Nov '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting justanothamotha:</b>" I HOPE it helps. Early nursing can be really hard. It will NOT stay this hard. I always call it boobie ... [snip!] ... you will find it is the easiest thing ever - but it is hard to imagine that when it feels like everything is going wrong."</blockquote>




I guess the first week discouraged me bc it felt like I was doing everything wrong but so far my LO has been able to latch & stay on for more than 5 minutes. So I'm going to stay positive and remind myself I can do it :)

Kaylees mommy 50 kids; North Dakota 323 posts
29th Nov '12
Quoting mamabrans:" <blockquote><b>Quoting justanothamotha:</b>" I HOPE it helps. Early nursing can be ... [snip!] ... my LO has been able to latch & stay on for more than 5 minutes. So I'm going to stay positive and remind myself I can do it :)"


I'm sure you can do it!! I have to pump for my little one :(... My milk took longer to come in because I had a post partumm hemmorage they said since my body went through trauma it would take some time to come in and he was jaundice so I suplimented with him until my milk came in and by then he was used to how quick it came but I just tell myself he is still getting breastmilk and thats what is important all the peds dr's that we have seen told me the same thing.... Good luck! :)

mamabrans 2 kids; HAIKU, Hawaii 38 posts
30th Nov '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting Kaylees mommy:</b>" I'm sure you can do it!! I have to pump for my little one :(... My milk took longer to come in because ... [snip!] ... getting breastmilk and thats what is important all the peds dr's that we have seen told me the same thing.... Good luck! :)"</blockquote>




Thank you!! :)
So far so good. My little girl latches and takes each b**b. If I'm not nursing her I pump so I don't get too engorged & so I can store them in bags for when daddy wants to feed her. Lol