Milk Supply Issues — The Bump

Milk Supply Issues

Seven weeks ago I had my baby.  Because she was 10 weeks early, she was rushed to the NICU and I was given a pump.  I have been pumping ever since. While she was in the hospital, we started breast feeding.  I instantly got Mastitis. After battling Mastitis three times - I'm still taking antibotics for it - I have noticed that I'm only getting 2 oz when I pump.  When we are able to breast feed, she is starving 30 minutes to an hour after the feeding.  Most of the time she will fall asleep in the middle and I have to wake her up.  We are also using a nipple shield when we breast feed because she's so little.

I'm starting to get discouraged about breast feeding.  I will soon be out of the milk that we froze while she was in the hospital.  She eats 2 oz every 2.5 to 3 hours. Any tips to increase my milk supply?

Re: Milk Supply Issues

  • Have you been working with a lactation consultant? I know nipple shields make it hard for baby to empty the breast. And I know they should be used for as short a time as possible. She may not be getting a lot of hindmilk, so she's not satisfied for very long. Although, my 9 month old nurses every 1.5 to 2 hrs during the day still, so I don't think it's that weird for a newborn to nurse that frequently.

    Newborns have tiny stomachs and breast milk is easily digested, so they have to nurse frequently. Nursing frequently also tells your body to make more milk.

    How is her weight gain and diaper count? You can pump after a few feedings a day and supplement with your pumped milk, if needed. If her growth and diaper count are okay, I'd focus on weaning off the nipple shield.

    A lactation consultant should be able to help with weaning off the nipple shield. And there's always LLL meetings, or a hospital bf'ing support group, if you need more support. The site might have tips about the nipple shield too.

    Kudos to you for doing such an awesome job when you got off to such a rough start. Hang in there!
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