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Old 10-23-2006, 09:10 AM   #1
AshersMommy
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Supply Not Adequate??

Okay. I went to WIC on Friday. The nutritionist asked me about his nursing habits, etc, and said that if I can only pump 2-3 ounces in a day, and he's nursing for hours on end (and have been since he was a weekish old), that I am probably not making enough milk for him. She gave us formula and suggested to supplement with it (some help, right?).

Anyways, he's five weeks old today, and is up about two and a half pounds since birth. So he's obviously gaining a lot of weight! I've been taking fenugreek, mother's milk tea, and eating oatmeal every day for breakfast.

Is there anything else I can do to boost my supply? I would love to be able to pump more, so I could work on the weekends. Since his birth, I have been able to pump and freeze a grand total of 14 ounces.

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Old 10-23-2006, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

Ummmm, pumping is never an indication about how much milk you have!!!! As long as the baby is gaining weight and having the right amount of wet and poopy diapers, your milk supply is fine!

What kind of pump are you using? When are you pumping?

It is really hard to build up a freezer stash when you are EBF. I was only able to do this when I was working and pumping. That is because I was away from DD then.

I have heard though that if you pump on one side while baby feeds on teh other, you will get more milk b/c baby helps with letdown. Also pumping in the morning when your milk is more plentiful helps. You can pump first in the morning as well, and still have enough milk to feed baby.

Also, you really don't need to leave a lot of milk for an EBF baby. You need about .5-1 oz for every hour that you are gone. Most people are used to FF babies needing 6-8 oz bottles every time that they feed.
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!! Whooo.... Sorry about that. WIC sends me into hyperdrive sometimes.

If your baby has gained 2.5 pounds in five weeks, you are making MORE than enough milk. There is ABSOLUTELY NO CORRELATION between the amount you can pump and the amount your baby can get on the breast. Some moms can't pump much at all because the machine doesn't get the hormones flowing like their baby does. Other women let down no matter what (or who) touches them.

Have you tried pumping on one side while the baby's nursing on the other? That seems to work best for a lot of moms. Also, if baby's nursing hours at a time, how long are you pumping for? Sounds like your milk release is just slower than average (which is better than really fast, honestly!), so it might take a lot longer to pump. The best way to stimulate more milk is to switch sides often. Pump or nurse for 5-10 minutes on one side, then switch. Repeat.

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Old 10-23-2006, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

If he is up 2 and a half pounds since birth, DO NOT SUPPLEMENT! YOU ARE MAKING PLENTY OF MILK!

Supplementing (when it is NOT needed - when needed disregard what I am about to say - I had to supplement due to FTT) starts decreasing your supply and becomes a neverending battle. The more your supply drops, the more you supplement, the more your supply drops.. etc.

At five weeks he is getting ready for the big six week growth spurt. Rent some DVD seasons mama because you will be nursing a LOT right now Rest assured, it gets a ton better at @ two months. Just stay hydrated, keep snacks on hand, and try to keep your sanity.

As long as he is staying on or exceeding slightly his growth curve, you do not need to change anything about his diet. Check for the right # of wet diapers per day for his age, and go with your instincts.

For the most part, flat out ignore WIC. They are a heck of a lot more used to formula feeding moms then they are breastfeeding ones - and their "advice" reflects it. It's ten times worse then doctor's offices.

www.kellymom.com is a GREAT resource - bookmark it if you haven't already!
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:47 AM   #5
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

Go tell her to brush up on her bfing info, LOL.
Just like everyone says, the amount you PUMP means NOTHING! He's doing great gaining weight, don't supplement!
At this point I'd just watch his wets if you want. My girls started pooping significantly less by then. You're doing awesome, mama!
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:51 AM   #6
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

This is all basically what I had read and thought (and had been doing), and I'm glad I didn't break out the formula!! I thought WIC was supposed to support breastfeeding, but I was in her office for five minutes, and all I got from it was a case of formula...

I am using an Avent Isis manual. It's a secondhand pump. My SO and I are talking about investing in the Isis iQ. I don't know if that would make it easier or not. For the most part, my milk will either dribble out, or a very weak stream. If I squeeze or compress my breast while pumping, I'll get a couple of decent streams.

I pump every hour or so, normally when he's not on the breast, I'm pumping! Normally five minutes on one side, or until the milk stops coming as quickly as it was (small streams), then will switch to the other side, and keep going until both breasts refuse to let out any more milk. I've tried pumping while nursing him, but when I have him in a cradle position, he'll either kick the pump, or his foot will get caught between the pump handle and the bottle.

He goes through 4-5 wet sposies a day (need covers before I can switch to cloth), and a dirty diaper every 3 to 4 days.

What else can I do to boost my supply?? I must spend at least 10 hours each day, either breastfeeding or pumping. Thankfully it's not consecutively!!!

Is it possible that I am pumping too much, and taking away from Asher's supply when he BFs?? I thought I remember reading that the breast will continue to make milk as baby nurses....
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

Hmm, I would expect more then 4-5 wet sposies in a 24 hour period. Are you sure that's an accurate count?

If you want to be SURE of about how much he's getting per feeding, make an appointment with your ped for a weigh in - weigh him in what he's wearing, diaper, clothes etc, then nurse for your *normal* period of time (don't rush it), then weigh him again without changing his diaper or anything. Some quick math and you'll know how many ounces he got for that feeding. A lactation consultant can help you with this, too.

Does he show any other signs of dehydration (or really, just not optimal hydration)? sunken fontanel, darness under the eyes, etc? It may just be that you're leaving the sposie on for 3-4 pees (really easy to do in a sposie if you have a light wetter!).

A manual pump is really only good for relieving engorgement or doing occasional pumping. You really need a hospital grade or high-volume pump (like the Pump in Style or PurelyYours) for building supply or doing frequent pumping. Make sure you're using the correct size of flange. I *think* WIC provides reduced cost or free pumps for that purpose - check into it. If not, check ebay - you can get a brand new (ie not used) PiSAdvance for about $170 instead of $320retail.

Good luck mama! you're doing great!
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

Quote:
Originally Posted by AshersMommy View Post
This is all basically what I had read and thought (and had been doing), and I'm glad I didn't break out the formula!! I thought WIC was supposed to support breastfeeding, but I was in her office for five minutes, and all I got from it was a case of formula...

I am using an Avent Isis manual. It's a secondhand pump. My SO and I are talking about investing in the Isis iQ. I don't know if that would make it easier or not. For the most part, my milk will either dribble out, or a very weak stream. If I squeeze or compress my breast while pumping, I'll get a couple of decent streams.

I pump every hour or so, normally when he's not on the breast, I'm pumping! Normally five minutes on one side, or until the milk stops coming as quickly as it was (small streams), then will switch to the other side, and keep going until both breasts refuse to let out any more milk. I've tried pumping while nursing him, but when I have him in a cradle position, he'll either kick the pump, or his foot will get caught between the pump handle and the bottle.

He goes through 4-5 wet sposies a day (need covers before I can switch to cloth), and a dirty diaper every 3 to 4 days.

What else can I do to boost my supply?? I must spend at least 10 hours each day, either breastfeeding or pumping. Thankfully it's not consecutively!!!

Is it possible that I am pumping too much, and taking away from Asher's supply when he BFs?? I thought I remember reading that the breast will continue to make milk as baby nurses....
Well, the usual pumping session is about 15 minutes. It sounds like you are barely getting a letdown in 5 minutes. I would definitely invest in a double electric pump. I bought my Ameda PUrely Yours off Ebay for about $150 with shipping.

But that doesn't sound like a good amount of wet and dirty diapers. I wouldn't recommend the pediatrician weighting them as sometimes their scales aren't as sensitive as you need them to be. I would see if you could get a LC to visit with!
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:15 AM   #9
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

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Originally Posted by AshersMommy View Post
I am using an Avent Isis manual. It's a secondhand pump. My SO and I are talking about investing in the Isis iQ. I don't know if that would make it easier or not.
The biggest difference would be if you could pump both sides at the same time, or pump while you're nursing.

Quote:
I've tried pumping while nursing him, but when I have him in a cradle position, he'll either kick the pump, or his foot will get caught between the pump handle and the bottle.
Can you do the football hold with him? Or put a pillow over his feet? Nursing at the same time really makes a big difference, plus would save time, so it's worth trying! Otherwise, find another pump and pump both sides at the same time.

Quote:
He goes through 4-5 wet sposies a day (need covers before I can switch to cloth), and a dirty diaper every 3 to 4 days.
Sounds normal!

Quote:
Is it possible that I am pumping too much, and taking away from Asher's supply when he BFs?? I thought I remember reading that the breast will continue to make milk as baby nurses....
It's the law of demand and supply -- there's no way you're decreasing your supply by pumping so much.

It really does sound like he's getting plenty to eat, this is just about getting extra milk for when you're away, or increasing your efficiency. Can you wait to start working until he's a little older? That way you can be gone a while without him needing to nurse, or with just a small amount being enough. Maybe just relaxing and easing up on the pumping for a couple weeks (if you can spare the time not working) would help.

He's still so little! Unless you absolutely have to work, I'd ease up on it until things get easier. He will become a more efficient nurser himself gradually. Otherwise, a double pump would be the best investment. You could probably rent one from your local hospital for a month to build up your stock.

hth!
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:18 AM   #10
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Re: Supply Not Adequate??

sorry - havana is right. You need a scale that measures very sensitive, and an LC might be best for that. My ped had such a scale and it was cheaper to pay the ped copay then to privately go to an LC for an hour, and that was my experience. It totally depends on what kind of scale they have.

since it's cooling off, you might try swaddling him for when he nurses to prevent him kicking the pump; and don't worry, you aren't "taking milk away from him". You're actually trying to stimulate an *oversupply* for the pump so that when you're away from him and providing pumped milk you have enough; babies tend to take slightly more from a bottle then from the breast (usually due to the foremilk and hindmilk mixing in the bottle, instead of them receiving hindmilk at the end of a feeding to signal that the feeding is almost over and to make them drowsy/full.)
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