April 2011 Moms

BF/supply issue...I need advice

Help please!  About 3 weeks ago Owen decided that he hated nursing.  It started out with just him fussing on the left side, it's never been as full as the right.  But then it progressed to him kicking and screaming and refusing to latch last week.  A few times I gave up and fed him with a bottle.  I've talked to a few different lactation consultants and am taking fenugreek (3 times a day) and pumping.  They thought maybe my supply was too low to satisfy him, but I think he was just being lazy.  His latch was terrible.  And I could hear him gulping and felt myself having let down, but it seemed like he would nurse for a few minutes and then remember that he hated it.  Then he would start crying.  So I don't think it was a hunger issue.

 The last few days have been A LOT better, he's nursing like nothing ever happened.  But now my supply seems to have tanked.  He nurses for several minutes on both sides, until he pulls off.  I've been pumping after every feeding (trying to feed him more often too, like every 2 1/2 hours) but I barely pump anything.  He also sleeps through the night (about 10 hours) so I think that may have affected my supply as well.

What can I do to get my supply up???  Thanks!

Re: BF/supply issue...I need advice

  • Oatmeal, lots of water and rest seem to help me. 
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  • Nurse more often, continue pumping after feedings.  Your supply should eventually up if you do this (I think I read it takes 3 days for your body to respond completely to the increased demand, so I'd just keep going!)
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  • As pp said, it takes time for your body to respond to an increase in demand.  Also, keep in mind that not getting much when pumping does not necessarily mean you have a low supply.  If your child is relatively content after a feeding, having enough wet/dirty diapers, and is gaining weight, then your supply is just fine.  You are meeting his demand. 

    Making extra to store means your are basically creating an oversupply (albeit a small one).  It's not a bad thing to do, pumping extra.  Just keep in mind that not getting a lot from the pump right now shouldn't make you worry about your overall supply.

    Also, that period where LO wasn't nursing so well, also totally normal.  E's going through one of those fussy, not nursing well phases right now.  Drew had several of them over the 14.5 months we BFd.  They are a pain in the rear, but they almost always sort themselves out.  GL!

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  • Oatmeal, dark beer, lots of calories and water for you and rest.

    Plus, any additional pumping you can add in will help. 

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  • Do you pump at all during the 10 hours he sleeps? I know it wouldn't be fun, but I might consider getting up once to pump during the night. 
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  • I agree with what PP have said. When I started out EP because DD began refusing to nurse, I was really worried I wouldn't have enough. I am actually now able to freeze a little each day and I have cut down to only 5 pumping sessions a day (and going all night without pumping).

    I started drinking mothers milk tea - which I bought online. My lactation consultant recommended it. I also make sure to drink plenty of water, that is the biggest thing that has helped me. I also make oatmeal cookies too.

     Good Luck!

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  • water, beer with extra hops, mothers milk tea, fenugreek :)  dont forget to get as much rest as possible! and of course, nurse and pump a ton!
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  • I've been trying to increase my supply, and I just keep reminding myself that I need to take the absolute best care of myself that I can: lots of healthy food, lots of water, lots of rest, and a little exercise for stress relief.  And yeah, it sucks, but I get up at 6 or 7, when DH gets up, and pump.  DD doesn't usually wake up 'til 8 or 9, so I don't have to worry about being able to feed her (and if she does wake up early, I can always feed her what I pumped, and pump again later).
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