Questionable milk supply? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Questionable milk supply?

So LO is 17 days old now. Breast feeding unfortunately started late because he was in the NICU for a few days and I wasn't able to make it to him until day 3 because of my c section.

Milk came in around day 5 and I was producing about 1.5 oz (when pumping at least) and he was seeming satisfied. Now this week, I am only able to pump about 0.5-0.75 oz from BOTH breasts combined. I've read not to use that as a sign of whether you're producing enough or not, but within a half hour to 45 minutes he is already screaming and hungry again. I've had to supplement with formula.. A lot.

I always have wanted to breast feed but the pain is crazy (I must be a wimp) and I'm so frustrated and stressed that he's not getting enough.

Formula feeding right now is so much easier that breast feeding and pumping. It takes me 3-4 pump sessions to fill a bottle with enough for him.

I guess my question is, when is enough enough? I want to give my LO the best nutrition possible, and I know breast is best.. But is there ever a time to throw in the towel with breast feeding? I feel like I want to give up and I guess with all the pressure from society to breast feed, I need to hear that it's ok to not!

TTC 9/2013

BFP#1: 9/28/2013, EDD 5/28/13, MC confirmed 10/15/13, D&C 10/17/13

BFP#2: 1/10/2014, EDD 9/19/2014

 

Re: Questionable milk supply?

  • I had production problems like you are mentioning. At the best I got 3 oz total and always had to supplement. I felt so much pressure too! People make you feel horrible about it.

    My advice would be just go as long as you can even if it's not that much! The sore nipples go away after awhile, use nipple cream it helps!

    My baby is 10 weeks and I lasted until 8 weeks and I barely made it there. I was a wreck because I felt like I was failing.

    Talk to your doctor. I got so much good advice and it made me feel better. I also got help from a lactation consultant but you have to keep in mind most will be totally against formula. Fenugreek helped too!

    Don't stress and take confidence you are doing the best you can! You have to do what's best for you. Breastfeeding is not worth losing your sanity over and being depressed.
  • I agree with PP it's ok to not breastfeed. I had the biggest proems BFing with My first. I felt so guilty and like a huge failure bc I couldn't nurse my baby like I wanted to. She gained one ounce in two weeks and I did everything I could, changed my diet, supplements, had to get help from my pedi bc there's no LC in my area. I even tried pumping and bottle feeding thinking maybe it's just her latch so she wasn't getting enough milk but nothing worked. I had to switch to formula and she packed on weight overnight.
    You aren't a bad mother, failure, and you shouldn't feel guilty for giving your LO formula. You have to do what's best for your baby.
    shackbarth1982Nootbar
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  • I feel the same as the mom's above. I heald a lot of guilt not being able to breastfeed but once I moved totally to formula things got so much better. I wasn't as stressed and we both got more sleep and could enjoy more quality time. Whatever you choose be confident that in your decision. I wish there wasn't so much pressure to breastfeed. People just need to be supportive of new moms because it is a crazy life change you cannot prepare yourself for!
  • Thank you so much ladies. Your replies are really helpful. :)

    TTC 9/2013

    BFP#1: 9/28/2013, EDD 5/28/13, MC confirmed 10/15/13, D&C 10/17/13

    BFP#2: 1/10/2014, EDD 9/19/2014

     

  • I'm in the same boat atm. I'm trying to decide either way. My baby has a STRONG latch that would bruise my nipples so I used a shield for awhile. Then went to exclusively pumping due to pain, then had blocked ducts, thrush, mastitis, back to blocked duct, and I've about had it. She loves the bottle, let's daddy feed her, formula is no problem, and I'm sure it will be ok if I don't bf, however, my husband is more attached to the idea if me bf for her nutrition more than me.
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  • I agree with PPs--people always say breast is best, but really whatever keeps both mama and baby happy and healthy is best. I tried to breastfeed my son, but he wasn't getting enough from me and the stress and anxiety from knowing that only made things worse. One night I broke down and brought out the sample can of formula we had gotten in the mail a few weeks earlier and after seeing how much calmer DS was afterwards, we supplemented for a few days and then completely switched after a particularly disastrous nursing session. He's 6 weeks old now and he's definitely much happier and growing like a weed (and I'm in a much better place emotionally too!).

    Only you can decide what works best for you and your LO. If that's breastfeeding, that's great! There are lots of resources out there to help you out. If it's switching to formula, that's great too! Either way, baby is getting age-appropriate nutrition. Good luck!
  • Good advice above, happy momma = happy babe. But Also know that you are in the thick of the hardest time right now. Babies want to nurse if they are feeling sad, thirsty, bored, etc. It's not always about hunger, it's just that you are all they know and the sucking is a calming reflex. Screaming and crying is not always an indication of hunger and their tummies are still little at that age. There is also a growth spurt around this time. I think my first DD spent all of the first two months latched to my boob! :) it DOES get much easier with time.


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  • OP, have you seen a lactation consultant? A good one can sometimes get to the heart of a problem and help turn things around.
  • Just to maybe ease your mind- my milk supply is well established now and baby is gaining etc. and I still don't get much from pumping. I can wake up uncomfortably full and still pump only an ounce sometimes. I think some people don't respond well to the pump even though there is plenty of milk.

    first son stillborn 7/20/13 at 39 weeks due to Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
    It's a girl! Baby Anna was born August 3, 2014!

     
    MrsLeleBliss+Berry
  • I am currently breastfeeding and have nursed all 3 of my babies. This is the longest I've made it at 3 months. I've always formula supplemented. With that, of course it is ok to formula feed. It has to work for you and baby. With my first she had a dairy allergy and must have had Collin bc I didn't know and I gave up early. With my second he was tongue tied and again I gave up because he had a hard time latching. I also felt guilty but in the end it only matters that your baby is happy and thriving and you are happy. Not breastfeeding doesn't make you a failure. I don't know how long this will last with ds but however long it last I know he at least got a few months of the good stuff just like your little one.
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