Struggling with low supply — The Bump
June 2016 Moms

Struggling with low supply

Im really struggling with low supply and feel PPD lurking. My daughter wasnt gaining weight and doc decided it was time to supplement. I tried feeding on demand for weeks and different things like pumping to boost my supply. Now im stuck with supplementing 3oz after every feeding and im really struggling. The nights do me in the worst. My daughter started falling asleep after i breast fed her at night so i assumed she was full. But she wakes up more frequently and i end up falling asleep feeding her in our bed. Then my hubby gets furious that shes in our bed asleep. I dont rememver the nights anymore between breast feeding for 20 min then bottle feeding for 15 then rocking her till shes asleep enough to go into her crib. I love breast feeding her during the day but all the stress it has put on me is hard. Doc thinks i should take it down to 3 times a day breast feeding but i feel i will loose all of the supply i have if i do that. I never thought i may have a low supply. She gets horrible tummy aches with formula- even the sensitive brands. It kills me inside to see her so uncomfortable. I dont want to give up but part of me feels like i need to focus on my mental health too. Shes always going to be fed. I just wish i could continue to keep that bond

Re: Struggling with low supply

  • I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this, you're doing a great job and your LO is lucky to have you! Have you seen a lactation consultant? Also have you tried taking anything to boost supply (fenugreek, etc)? I'd say don't worry about it and use formula as much as you need to but if it's an issue with her tummy I can see how you'd want to try every possible option.
  • You're supported in whatever way you feed your baby. However, if you desire to keep breastfeeding i also recommend talking to a lactation consultant. They would be able to help you figure out why the low supply and how to continue the breastfeeding relationship if that's what you want to do. There could be reasons for the low supply that are really fixable-perhaps your little one doesnt have the best latch so isn't getting enough out. Or a slight tongue tie. Or maybe there is something you can tweak in your diet. It's a tough spot to be in for sure: complications from stressful breastfeeding lead to increased feelings of depression but then inability to continue breastfeeding can also lead to increased feelings of depression, particularly if that is something you want to do.

    Check out an LC or a local le leche league and good luck!

    adiaz132003
  • Loading the player...
  • I agree with pp.  Darling, if you want to breastfeed then don't give up. It's hard right now but at least you have something and that's better than nothing.  If you cut back it will just lessen your supply.  Try things like mothers milk tea 3x a day, eat oatmeal, lactation cookies ect.  It's not guaranteed they will work but they certainly don't hurt to try.  Good luck!
  • I had a similar issue with my first and deciding to go to all formula was the best decision I ever made for my own sanity and my relationship with my son, who is now 5. I had so much stress and anxiety before every feeding, it was miserable. Once I started bottle feeding, I felt so much better, we still got to bond during feedings, and it became an enjoyable experience for both of us instead of something we HAD to do. Deciding to change to formula is NOT "giving up"!!
    ashkee05splsmama2016alileecam
  • Agreed, switching to formula is not giving up at all. Thinking "well, this method of feeding didn't work, so I guess I'm just not going to feed her at all" would be. 
    I finally understand the need for at least 12 weeks of maternity leave (preferably longer) because this is hard!! The sheer amount of time a day spent trying to feed these babies is mind boggling. And if you have a baby who isn't seeming to get enough, it feels like all you are doing is feeding and that is EXHAUSTING! It can create such anger and hostility towards the baby because it is just so damn frustrating (at least that is my personal response to the stress. I would get mad when she was hungry again even when SHE JUST FINISHED EATING 20 MINUTES AGO!)

    You are completely supported here. If you want to switch to formula, go girl. Your baby will do great on it. Hopefully you can find one that her tummy likes. Some of the other posters have talked about having luck mixing formula with breast milk and babies having reduced tummy troubles. Or trying many different formulas until they find the one that works best for baby. 

    It is so important to know that you have tons of choices and you get to pick which one works for you and your family. As long you are making an informed decision and you and baby are happy and healthy, no one else is allowed to give a damn. 

    26pointrunningfor2ashkee05
  • I also have to supplement with formula at every feeding due to low supply.  I had to with both DS1 and 2.  With my older son I was sure it was my "fault" for not trying to feed him enough the first two days and having a bad latch.  But I pumped and took all the herbs, even took domperidone and still had to supplement.  We used a SNS for nearly two months, changed to a bottle after bfing, then changed to bfing before naps and bedtime, then stopped at six months.  I struggled with feelings of guilt and inadequacy and swore it'd be  different with the next.

    With DS2, we got a perfect latch right away and I fed him day and night as much as I could the first few days.  He didn't lose as much weight as my oldest did, but his jaundice was worse so we had to supplement.  I cried.  We're still using the SNS, but it's getting close to being done I think.  He's getting mad at my boob for not letting down fast enough and wanting more formula when he's done.  I'm on domperidone again and I think I'm producing more milk than I did last time.  But I'm grieving because I know quiting the tube and switching fully to bottles is the beginning of the end for our nursing relationship.  I absolutely love nursing a and I hoped so much I would produce enough this time.  But I didn't, more but still not enough.  I tell myself it's not my fault, but it hurts.  I don't think I'll ever feel good about it, but I can be happy that my baby is healthy and gaining what he needs.  I'm making the best decisions I can to keep him healthy and that is something to feel good about.





  • Thank you everyone for the support! I havent talked to a LC because i live in the middle of no where. When i called the hospital at 3 weeks pp trying to figure out why my baby screamed after every feeding they told me not to supplement because "formula would just hurt her." i understand breast is best but ift was obvious she was still hungry and being a FTM i didnt know what i was doing. I have had her latch checked and its perfect. I have tried a few different things to boost my supply with no luck. Im not apposed to formula feeding i guess i just feel like quitting would be selfish. Ive tried a couple different formulas and havent had much luck. I just love getting to curl up with her before work and BF before i have to leave her with someone else for 10hrs. If i did cut down im not sure how to even do it. I work 3 days a week- evening shifts. 
  • Not selfish at all. The best thing we can do for our children is care for ourselves and our mental health. Lack of sleep, frustration, and guilt could do more to harm your kid in the long run than giving her formula. Formula is just fine and would give you other wonderful ways to bond. You could bottle feed topless so you both still get that skin to skin connection. 

    Check out le leche league on line. I know Illinois has one. They might be able to help by just taking to you. Also Kellymom.com is an amazing website.  And if the hospital is so adament you stick with BF, tell them you need a referral to someone who can help. Shaking my head at a hospital who would give a FTM (or any mom) no support other than "keep doing what you know in your heart isn't working well for you and your baby."

  • First, breast is NOT best. FED is best. Breast is 2nd best. Lol. Your baby needs to be fed, and it doesn't matter what method. 
    Second, I was in the same boat. Low supply, bad latch and getting frustrated and on the verge of ppd. Once I switched 100% to bottle, I was less stressed and she was less angry. We still do skin to skin during some feedings so we continue to bond, and I'm trying to start relactation but this time it's on my terms so I don't stress out. Do what's best for you and baby, not what they tell you what's best

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


    Pregnancy Ticker
  • This is kind of long but oh well.  I've got low supply too.  I thought I did everything right, DD latched and nursed within 15 minutes of delivery, we fed on demand, the LC in the hospital said her latch was a little shallow but otherwise good and she only lost 5% of her body weight in the hospital.  We brought her home confident that she was being well nourished.  We went to the ped at 10 days old for something unrelated and she had dropped an additional 5% in weight.  They had us come back in 2 days and she hadn't gained a single ounce.  A weighted feed with their LC showed she was only getting about an ounce out between both sides so they had us start supplementing and I was devastated.  I sobbed as I opened the can and fed her the first bottle of formula because I felt like I had totally failed her.  

    We called another lactation consultant (#3) who diagnosed her with a posterior tongue tie and high/bubble palate.  While DD's latch looked great from the outside, her tongue wasn't moving properly and she wasn't efficiently transferring milk.  The LC believed that because she wasn't removing much milk, my body had stopped making enough.  She also suspected a mild case of Mammary Hypoplasia for me which only made everything worse since my body doesn't have as many mature milk ducts as it should.  

    DD's tongue tie was revised and she's latching properly but my supply is still low 2 weeks post revision.  I'm taking supplements to try to trick my body into making more milk or glandular tissue, pumping after every nursing session to send the message that need more milk and having her nurse every feeding to keep up stimulation but thus far, Im stuck at about 0.5 oz/hour which just isn't enough.  It's a pain to have to breast and bottle feed but every oz of breastmilk is an ounce less of formula and an oz of antibodies and the other stuff that we still can't replicate in formula which makes it worth it to me.  

    I say all this to let you know that you aren't alone, you aren't the only one struggling.  Do what is best for YOU.  If that means cutting down to 3 nursing sessions per day for your own sanity, then so be it. You need to be feeling good for your baby to flourish.  Creepy internet stranger hugs coming your way.  






    adiaz132003
  • adiaz132003adiaz132003
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited August 2016
    This is kind of long but oh well.  I've got low supply too.  I thought I did everything right, DD latched and nursed within 15 minutes of delivery, we fed on demand, the LC in the hospital said her latch was a little shallow but otherwise good and she only lost 5% of her body weight in the hospital.  We brought her home confident that she was being well nourished.  We went to the ped at 10 days old for something unrelated and she had dropped an additional 5% in weight.  They had us come back in 2 days and she hadn't gained a single ounce.  A weighted feed with their LC showed she was only getting about an ounce out between both sides so they had us start supplementing and I was devastated.  I sobbed as I opened the can and fed her the first bottle of formula because I felt like I had totally failed her.  

    We called another lactation consultant (#3) who diagnosed her with a posterior tongue tie and high/bubble palate.  While DD's latch looked great from the outside, her tongue wasn't moving properly and she wasn't efficiently transferring milk.  The LC believed that because she wasn't removing much milk, my body had stopped making enough.  She also suspected a mild case of Mammary Hypoplasia for me which only made everything worse since my body doesn't have as many mature milk ducts as it should.  

    DD's tongue tie was revised and she's latching properly but my supply is still low 2 weeks post revision.  I'm taking supplements to try to trick my body into making more milk or glandular tissue, pumping after every nursing session to send the message that need more milk and having her nurse every feeding to keep up stimulation but thus far, Im stuck at about 0.5 oz/hour which just isn't enough.  It's a pain to have to breast and bottle feed but every oz of breastmilk is an ounce less of formula and an oz of antibodies and the other stuff that we still can't replicate in formula which makes it worth it to me.  

    I say all this to let you know that you aren't alone, you aren't the only one struggling.  Do what is best for YOU.  If that means cutting down to 3 nursing sessions per day for your own sanity, then so be it. You need to be feeling good for your baby to flourish.  Creepy internet stranger hugs coming your way.  


    That's so hard.  DS had lip and tongue tie and it cause reflux, gas, and oversupply for me.  It's been 3 weeks and only the past few days have I noticed my supply start to regulate better and I can feel his latch is finally starting to improve.  I can actually feel his tongue is moving in a wave-like motion rather than the come hither motion it was before.  He also had the posterior tongue tie and bubble palette.

    Dammit bump lemme finish:

    If you really want to BF then take comfort in knowing that even a little gives LO a lot of the goodness that breastfed babies get.  No shame in mixing it with formula of you have to.  Baby has to eat right?  I know mom guilt is so real for so many things and BF is a big one but remember there are tons of moms who say they felt terrible when they had to supplement but then once they realized it's not their fault, they say it was the best option for them.
  • My Lo was not getting enough so I started supplementing. She doesn't latch anymore.  Tried everything. It was a hard thing to get over because I wanted to BF so bad. I am niw EPing and giving a little extra supplement.  I find it satisfying seeing what I pump to give her. Its alot of work but worth knowing I'm giving her some breastmilk.
  • Ditto on the struggles and possible tongue tie. My full time job right now feels like it is feeding this child. We even had to pull off the interstate on an hour and a half trip to feed her. She eats sometimes every hour and a half and can take upwards of an hour. Fighting to put every ounce I can on her. Getting her evaluated Monday for tongue tie and hoping that will help. I would love to get rid of this nipple shield (and for my nipples to not be a funny shape from her latch) and for her to eat more efficiently.

  • I dealt with nipple confusion too. Not fun when she will latch for a couple minutes then pop off then back on. Its very frustrating. If i stop BF how hard is it to start back up again? 
  • cdmkruger said:
    I dealt with nipple confusion too. Not fun when she will latch for a couple minutes then pop off then back on. Its very frustrating. If i stop BF how hard is it to start back up again? 
    Popping off and back on is actually associated with low supply, not nipple confusion. The baby pops off and then back on in hopes that when she relatches, the milk will flow faster/will start to flow again.  Mine does it after 3 or so minutes which is around when my milk stops flowing when I pump.  

    As far as restarting, a lot of that depends on the baby and if your milk has dried up or not.  





  • TwoBadMiceTwoBadMice
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    member
    edited August 2016
    Long time lurker-I just wanted to tell you that this SAME thing happened to me with my first and it was aweful. It took me two years to get over not being able to BF. Something that helped me was when my son started eating solids, I decided I would make his baby food and that helped give me a sense of pride in feeding him. My son is now 3 and he is so smart and so happy and I don't think about when I had to give him formula at all anymore. It's really really hard when you are in the throes of the first year but I promise this is just a very short period of time of your relationship with your baby! You are going to have so much fun with your LO and so many other things that will bond you! Don't feel down on yourself this happens to a lot more ppl than you think. Much love Momma this too shall pass!
    jerseygirl9090Amh+ekb
  • laurenm2123laurenm2123
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited August 2016
    Sorry you're struggling with this mama!

    Please remember that FED is best!! What your baby needs most is love and to be fed. Focus on your mental health because you being depressed isn't going to help either of you. Some aspects of PPD are unavoidable, but if you can try to stop it I definitely would.

    As PP said, BFing is a small part of your bond with your child. Go ahead and supplement and don't feel guilty about it for one second! If you're missing the time, do skin to skin after or during each feeding.

    Good luck and keep us posted! :)
    Me (31) & DH (32)
    Married 9/27/2014
    DD Born 6/23/16
    Baby #2 Due 3/7/20
  • I just recently learned about hands on pumping. It combines pumping with hand expression to increase supply. It mostly focuses on mom's of premature babies but I imagine that it works in a low supply situation. 

    Link     http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html

    Good luck mama. And keep us posted. :smile:
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards