Is there anything else I can do to increase my supply?

Hello again,
I asked some questions a few weeks ago about my low supply and how to get out of the nurse, supplement, pump cycle.

Right now, LO is 5 weeks 1 day old. He definitely weighs well over 9, perhaps even 10lbs by now. I stopped nursing him for a bit because I wanted to really know how much he was getting per feeding (at my weighed feeding, he only got 1/2 ounce in 30 min). So I pump every time I give him a bottle. Whenever I pump I only get 1ounce from the left breast and half ounce from the right (each and every time, whether I pump for ten min or 20 min).

In the mornings I pump an additional 1-2 times per feeding to try to build my supply. I try to do the same in the evenings as well (if time permits- I do work from home and I pump through his naps- I am literally attached to my pump- hospital grade symphony 2.0)

I take fenugreek AND blessed thistle three times a day, and yet I only produce an ounce and a half at a time.

I have started putting LO to the breast again, I can tell he definitely is comforted by it, he still latches on like a champ, and i know he is at least getting a little more ( I pump even after those sessions as well)

I have another weighed feeding on Monday, and a weight check with the LC. She is stumped, I am stumped.

Next step- reglan? I'm nervous about the side effects, but I really want to be able to provide 100% of my son's nutrition and right now he is only getting about 13 or so ounces a day of BM (the rest from formula).

Is there anything else? I will gladly continue to pump for as long as I can, even if he only gets that little amount, but if there is anything else I can do, I want to try it.

Sorry this is a novel!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

Re: Is there anything else I can do to increase my supply?

  • Good work. Sounds like you are trying hard. I have a few recommendations that might help.

    First, I would offer the breast before every bottle and then pump. I would recommend 10 minutes per side. This will help your supply and baby is more efficient than the pump (weighing before and after feedings is not a good method for tracking how much baby is getting). Then top up with the bottle.

    Secondly, try taking alfalfa tablets, oats and barley water. These helped more than the fenugreek and blessed thistle.

    Check out Dr. Jack Newman's website. It will help you trouble shoot your challenges. Check into a toungue or lip tie that can effect how efficient your baby can nurse.

    Again, good luck and keep up the good work.
  • Thanks for the response! would I take the alfalfa tablets and the water instead of or in addition to the fenugreek/blessed thistle?
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  • mrs.JL pretty much covered everything I was going to say. Also, how is your food and water intake? You can also bake up some lactation cookies that might help. Good luck! 
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  • I drink a ton of water a day. I fill up a large mason jar with water at least 3 times during the day and once overnight. I consume a variety of fruits, veggies, I add flax seeds to whatever I can, I make homemade granola bars (same ingredients in lactation cookies).

    I have a degree in nutrition and concentrated on life cycle nutrition, I know I'm consuming the amount of calories/variety I need. I'm maintaining a good weight.

    I pump three times between feedings in the daytime and at least twice per feed when I can. I pump after every feeding over night. I pump for 20 min whether I have milk coming out or not. The bulk of the milk comes out in the first ten minutes- that's what I meant by whether I stopped there or kept going.

    I don't wake up in the middle of the night every two hours to pump, but LO is basically up every two hours, with only one stretch of 3 or 4. The middle of the night pumps can definitely be cut short depending on how tired I am, though.

    I usually nurse him one time in the morning and also one time in the evening, but he usually pulls away or falls asleep fairly quickly, though I try to make sure to wake him if he falls asleep.
  • Thanks, I suppose I could probably force some more water, but I am definitely drinking significantly more water than I ever have (and I really only drink water- rare to have anything else).
    It's the holidays, so I know I'm definitely consuming tons of calories. I lost twenty lbs almost instantly post partum but have since gained almost 10 back.
    The pump I'm using is hospital grade- renting the symphony 2.0. I massage throughout the time I am pumping, when I notice there is no milk coming out anymore, I usually press the let down button again and that usually gets a few squirts more.
    I've never had to wear nursing pads, I don't leak after a shower, I get a little bit of leakage from the opposite breast when he nurses, but really not much. These are all things I've heard from other women or read here on the bump that I don't experience.

    Even with everything I am doing, I have never pumped more than the one ounce on the left and half on the right. I would assume that I should have seen even a slight increase by now. I've been pumping and supplementing and nursing since he was 5 days old. Nearly 5 weeks of trying to get my supply up.

  • I have another appt with a LC on Monday, and then my pp appt on Wednesday, hoping my midwife will be able to help figure things out. Also plan on an appt with PCP for a full thyroid check, I'll ask what else I can get checked.
    Thanks for the info on the Dom, I'll ask about that too.

    I knew breastfeeding was going to be hard, but since LO has latched on perfectly even directly after birth, things looked good. Never thought my supply would be such an issue :-(.
    I've purchased two pumps within his first two weeks of life and now rent one.

    Got to keep trying, still have two more months before I have to get back to work, hopefully something works by then.
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  • Thanks for the advice! I'll work on the skin to skin and try to get my hands on a scale. That will definitely help me feel better to know what he is getting roughly at the breast.
    Fingers crossed
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