low milk supply — The Bump
May 2016 Moms

low milk supply

I would love to hear from other ladies who don't have enough milk. I always planned to breastfeed but my milk only started to come in a week after birth so they gave my baby formula in the hospital.they also told me to pump every 4 hours which as I read here is nit enough and maybe partly to blame for my little supply. I started pumping more once I found out and am taking fenugreek and so on. Never got more than 6-7 oz a day and after a bad mastitis am bacvk to only 3, 5 oz a day. So far it doesnt look like I will be able to up my supply and its breaking my heart to see my baby grow up on formula. Anybody elsr with a similar experience? 

Re: low milk supply

  • Yes! I highly recommend joining this FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1532236147091940/

    It is an IGT (insufficient glandular tissue) group primarily, but is helpful for low supply mamas of any sort. 

    Sometimes there is a situational cause for low supply (NICU stays, e.g., tongue tied, etc.), and sometimes it's us (PCOS, IGT), but in either case, often there are things you can do to increase supply.

    There are different pumping techniques (have you tried power pumping?), different pumping devices (I recommend the Haakaa for a passive pump while nursing), and different supplements to try (goats rue has been the most effective for me: fenugreek just made me gassy), as well as more heroic measures (a TENS machine, e.g.). There are also systems you can buy to give your baby supplement while they nurse (SNS).

    It was disappointing to me not to be able to EBF: no one in my family had ever had to use formula so while I have nothing against formula, I just assumed i would EBF. Adjusting to the reality that I couldn't give my son everything he needed from my body was really difficult. But fed really is best, and while I still wish I could have easily BF'd like my mom and my sister (no issues whatsoever! Not even mastitis or a clogged duct between them over 5 kids!) formula helps me do right by my son and myself.

    I am sorry you are going through this:(

  • st3llast3lla member
    100 Love Its Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    I would recommend pumping at least 8 times a day to start and making sure you are well hydrated and fed. It's painful but important to pump in the middle of the night at least once between 1-4am when your prolactin levels are high. It's not easy but you might be able to still build your supply. Check out the Kellymom website for more tips. Best of luck. 
  • Battling the same issue. My lil peanut was not gaining weight at a month and started supplementing.  She wants atleast 4oz every2-3 hrs. I ended up sick in the ER over night and the next day with high temps that really killed my supply. She refuses to BF at all now. I'm still pumping every three hrs during the day and once around 2am. I am drinking mothers milk tea 2 to 3 times a day , eatting old fashioned oats oatmeal and made lactation bites. I get around 2-3 oz every pump session. I totally understand what you mean about it being heart breaking. I'm struggling with it as well. Definitely most important baby is getting fed I just never imagined it would be by formula.

    Hang in there!
  • Those are some helpful advices,thanks! I always get up at 4.30 am to pump. Another problem is that my daughter refuses the breast. She prefers yhe bottle and won't breastfeed, we tried nipple shields and sns and so on. 
  • @BabyL52716 sounds like we are in similar situations . My girl also refuses the breast and it is the worst. All I seem to be seeing these days is breastfeeding mitherst everywhere. So frustrating
  • @SophiaAlbert what you said plus ppl judging already for using formula. Uh I would rather not starve my child.
  • Those are some helpful advices,thanks! I always get up at 4.30 am to pump. Another problem is that my daughter refuses the breast. She prefers yhe bottle and won't breastfeed, we tried nipple shields and sns and so on. 
    I don't have a low supply issue, but LO refused the breadt after the first day I pumped milk due to latching and weight loss issues. It was painful at first, feeling like he was rejecting me when refusing to BF, but I grew to appreciate pumping/bottle feeding over time.
  • DutchLucyLuDutchLucyLu member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2016
    Team IGT here. It suuuuucks. I had completely expected to EBF my baby and didn't even know chronic low supply was a thing. I was using an SNS until my baby was 8 weeks old (11wks now) but quit that because she was getting too frustrated/I had a huge anxiety attack over it, and it just wasn't worth it anymore for the 0.2oz she got from me per session. She's exclusively bottle fed now and almost completely EFF (she gets some donor milk from a friend every once in a while). Formula is not as bad as people make it out to be. It literally saved my baby's life.

    I, too, recommend the IGT and Low Milk Supply Support Group. They have great resources for increasing supply, some of which @dshannah already mentioned, and info about what might be causing your low supply. Knowing you're not alone and being able to chat to people going through the same thing has also been a great help for me, even if it's just to vent about the dumb remarks you'll get from people.

    I hope you'll be able to get your supply up, but either way just remember that fed is best. You are taking care of your baby and that's the only thing that really matters. :heart:

    Feel free to PM me about this any time. :) (This goes for anyone struggling with low supply.)
  • I only produce about 4 ounces a day and it's very frustrating. I am also taking supplements, eating lactation cookies and doing everything I've been told by the lactation nurse, nothing is helping. The way I feel about it is that at least she is getting some breast milk, I'm going to continue to pump and give her what I can daily. It's upsetting to me that I can't give my baby exactly what she is needing, but I'm going to do what I can to provide her with the antibodies that I can that breast milk provides.
  • @Crystal0515 - how many times are you pumping each day?
  • I almost dried up at 1-2 weeks because LO wasn't latching well - had to supplement and take fenugreek and pump after every feed for a week or two to build back up.  Since going back to work I've also experienced a dip.  I think for me it's the water and calories too- having trouble balancing eating enough and taking care of LO on the days I work from home (been in the middle of a wonder week - thank goodness for grub hub).  Also I think knowing when you produce the most is important - I have a boom when I first wake up between 6-7 instead of 1-4.  I had been feeding LO side lying while half awake some more instead of bottle and pump and not taking advantage of that bounty which depleted my stash.  This morning I pumped and gave her a bottle after and was able to get a second bottle for later.

    good luck finding what works for you! It's tough, you just need to do whatever works best for you and LO - as PP said - fed is best regardless of source.
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  • I wanted to thank you @dshannah for telling us about the fb group, those women are wonderful especially for me, I just got so frustrated with myself not being able to feed my little girl more than 4 oz a day. Knowing and hearing about other women going through low supply really helped me out of the PPD hole that I got myself into.
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