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Arizonah13 06-21-2011 04:55 PM

I need help increasing my supply :(
After having 3 losses (one which was ectopic), we finally stayed pregnant with our beautiful little girl (4th times the charm! ). I was nearly two weeks late, had to be induced and 46 hours after induction, ended up having a c-section. Basically, nothing has been easy.

Luckily, we have a gorgeous little lady who was a robust 9lb 15oz at birth.

Unfortunately, my supply has been horribly low from the start.

During pregnancy, I never leaked at all - my breasts hardly even changed in size. Once she was born, I had an extremely hard time getting her to latch on (despite having LCs and nurses assisting me numerous times during the 3 days after her birth). My nipples were getting scabby and cracking like crazy and when she would stay on the breast, it hurt the entire time. I started pumping in the hospital, but never got more than a single drop of colostrum (or nothing at all) so I just kept praying for my milk to come in.

About 4 days after her birth, it finally came in... not much fanfare. I didn't become engorged at all - my breasts were slightly fuller and occasionally leaked a few drops, but I figured that was normal for me, so I nursed her every 3-ish hours. I probably should have done it more often, but I was in horrible pain. I finally tried some nipple shields which I thought were my saving grace.

Unfortunately, by her 2 week appointment, my poor baby had lost well over 10% of her birth weight. I felt horrible (and feel awful just thinking back on it).

I immediately started giving her formula. When I started pumping, I was disappointed to discover that I was getting - at best - 1 oz between BOTH breasts. My "record" was a whopping 2 oz. :(

Anyway, I'm still nursing her - although more as "comfort nursing" and I'm still pumping, but I've started my period so my supply has dropped to about 1/2 - 3/4 oz between both sides. I'm hoping that'll increase once AF stops.

My MIL purchased some More Milk Plus which I've been taking for a couple of days now - not sure if I see an improvement just yet. I also ordered some More Milk Special Blend since it seems like the goat rue might be useful to me, but haven't started that yet.

I was just hoping you ladies who may have had the same trouble had any suggestions that might help me to get my milk boosted.

My baby is now nearly 7 weeks old and I'm trying best to hang onto whatever little supply I have so she gets at least a few ounces per day.

Thanks for any suggestions/advice.

DevonP 06-21-2011 06:11 PM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
I am so sorry you are having problems! Sooo frustrating! It is normal to get only an ounce of so from both breasts at a pumping session (see this article: Pumping is not indicative of how much your daughter gets from the breast. Have you visited a lactation consultant again since the hospital? I know they have a lot of things they can do - put you on the hospital grade pump for one. It might be really helpful. Fenugreek is supposed to be good for milk supply, as is eating oatmeal. I have also read about taking a "nursing vacation" and spending 2-3 days resting with the baby and bf'ing regularly to increase supply. Here is another article from Kelly mom on low supply
Hope things get easier!!

ahenson 06-22-2011 02:36 AM

Fenugreek capsules were great for me when my supply dipped with DS1. I usually had lots, even an oversupply, but when it went down a bit the capsules helped. I took more than the recommended amount though.

Definitely seek help from a lac. consultant. I had nip / latch problems with my first, but the LC helped so much. After a couple months, I started pumping a ton because I had so much milk. Also, anytime LO went through a growth spurt I would take Fenugreek to help out since I worked full time. Good luck, mama!

2+2macht4 06-22-2011 03:08 AM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
I also had a csection and almost lost my milk. I was given the sheilds and almost lost my milk using them. First I was given the wrong size in the hospital and the baby could not latch. I went to the proper size and then eventually weened him.

Once I got the baby actually onto the breast,, Things started to improve. I had to pump every 2 hours for the first months. I also took fenugreek.

If you have pain while nursing get checked for thrush it is very common in women who had c sections and got high dose antibiotics.

Also try an sns system it will build milk while supplementing.

I was down to drops from each breast and sometimes nothing with pumping. But I kept it up, and combined with the fenugreek and sns, reatment of thrush and help of a lacatin consultant was able to boost it back up. I still have pain, I am not going to lie. But he nurses and that was what I wanted so I nurse through the pain.

mrstilly 06-22-2011 10:06 AM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
I also think fenugreek is great! I have not had the issues with my supply that you have had though. I wanted to keep my supply up when I went back to work and felt my supply had dipped some in the last 2 weeks of my maternity leave. I'm taking 4 fenugreek capsules each at 8am and 12pm, then 3 capsules at 4pm and 8pm. It's really helped boost my supply so I can get established pumping.

Arizonah13 06-22-2011 10:45 AM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
Thank you for the replies ladies. :)

I will start adding some fenugreek to the More Milk Plus/Special Blend I've been taking. I know it contains fenugreek too, but I don't think its anywhere near as much as taking the pure fenugreek pills is. The pill form on the "plus" version says 333mg "herb weight equivalent" (but it has 4-5 different herbs combined)... i don't see a mg # on the liquid "special blend" that I ordered, but I'm assuming its probably close to the same.

Does anyone have any experience taking straight fenugreek on top of the more milk stuff?

Also, any suggestions on how many mg or pills I should take?

And if anyone else has more suggestions or even just some encouraging words or similar personal experiences, I would sure love to hear them. :)

Thanks again,


ETA: my daughter is now one day shy of 7 weeks old, so I've been dealing with this low supply for that length of time (in case it makes a difference)

cacasey1981 06-22-2011 01:35 PM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
Have you had your daughter checked for a tongue tie?

1-2 oz this early is actually really GOOD output - definitely nothing to be sad about. If you can find a IBCLC in your area please contact them. They go through much more training than a LC and should be able to help you with your issues.

starfairy1980 06-22-2011 01:45 PM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
samething happened to me when I had my cs. I pumped and pumped and pumped. Took abt 2-3 weeks to get enough milk to keep up w/ my son's demand. I've been EPing for 14 mo now. Fenugreek, goats rue, and more milk plus worked for me!!!

Just2fornow 06-22-2011 02:00 PM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
You should check out Dr. Jack Newman's website. He has some WONDERFUL information about increasing supply, double checking latches and everything in between. My milk has dried up with both of my children at 3 months. I tried fenugreek (which works best early on), oatmeal, mother's milk, water, pretty much anything you can think of. This time around I broke down and started taking domperidone. Dr. Newman has a section on it's use. It increased my supply wonderfully and I know have a happy healthy and CHUNKY 1 year old. Many mamas can even wean off it after a few weeks of use and still have their supplies stay. You can do it mama!!!

Arizonah13 06-22-2011 03:09 PM

Re: I need help increasing my supply :(
Thank you so much for the additional advice ladies!

What is a an IBCLC versus a "regular" lac. consultant?

Also, I read up on the Domperidone - is this something my doctor would prescribe or would I have better luck ordering it from overseas? (and if so, can anyone suggest a reputable place to order from?)

I'm off to check out Dr. Newman's website now :)

Thanks again!!

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