Low Milk Supply

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2012
Low Milk Supply
11
Mon, 06-11-2012 - 6:33pm

When my baby was 5 weeks old my c-section insicion became infected and the doctor prescribed me an antibiotic, after 2 days on the antibiotic I noticed that I was producing very little milk. I went off the antibiotic, began pumping several times a day, and began taking Blessed Thistle. Several days later I felt my milk had increased, but was still not producing as much as before. Baby also began only eating for about 5 minutes per side. Baby seemed content so I stopped pumping I have continued Blessed Thistle and offering to feed baby anytime she seems fussy. Before the antibiotic baby was nursing well, only about 6-7 minutes per side, but she was gaining weight great and seemed very content.

Baby is now 8 weeks and I feel as if my milk has continued to decrease. Baby is still having wet diapers, but  has not pooped w/o a suppository in 2 weeks. Yesterday I decided to take 7 blessed thistle pills instead of 9 in hopes to wean off the blessed thistle to see if that is what is causing baby to be constipated. With the decrease in blessed thistle my milk has decreased drastically. Baby is extremely uncontent and will not stay on the breast for more than a couple of minutes. I am trying to feed her every hour followed by pumping. Baby sucks (and gets milk) for only a couple minutes on each side. I am only pumping less than 1/4 of an hours on each side; however, I am double pumping for 10 minutes regardless. 

I am allergic to Fenugreek and am considering taking Domperidone, but it will take 2 weeks to arrive to my house, so I have been hesitant to order it since I need to get my milk increased now.

I really need to get my baby's BMs regular so she is not so uncomfortable and I need to provide her with enough milk so I don't have to start supplementing with formula. Any suggestions????

I had a similar experience with baby #1 when I went on the mini pill. It was such a pain to keep my milk, but I made it 10 months, but pumping several times a day and taking blessed thistle. It was so much work, I am wondering if it's really worth the work with baby #2.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 11:39am
If your having issue with breastfeeding due to your period returning, one effective way to counter that is to take a calcium/magnesium supplement. You should take at least 1500 calcium/750 magnesium and it should be a combination pill. See this link for more on dealing with issue related to periods and breastfeeding: http://susuibu101.blogspot.com/2007/12/menstruation-breastfeeding.html

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 9:30pm

Certainly 6 months is reasonable to start solids and often one of the signs baby is ready is they seem interested and are bf a lot and don’t seem like it’s enough for them.

Milk let down is a funny thing. It is a conditioned response but can be inhibited by anxiety. So in a way the more you worry about it the more likely you are to inhibit it.  I hate to make this comparison but it’s like trying to make yourself have an orgasm under pressure…………….like hurry up!!............lol. Sorry, it’s hard to explain this delicately.

The domperidone is likely helping b/c when your breasts are fuller the let-down is more noticeable. So now it may be possible you ARE letting down but you aren’t aware of it b/c you are so used to the exaggerated sensations you feel when the breasts are fuller as a result of the medication. Even the swallowing sounds the baby makes will be more noticeable when the breasts are fuller and spraying out milk forcefully. I don’t use swallows as a way to tell if the baby is getting milk b/c I think that too can be varied. Some babies swallow loudly and others very quietly. Also, babies may swallow loudly at the start of a feeding and the swallowing can be impossible to hear at the end of the feeding.

Besides blessed thistle, fenugreek, pumping, breast compressions, and nursing on demand, what else can I do to keep my milk up and increase it while I am weaning off these pills?

The most important aspect of increasing or maintaining milk supply is taking enough milk from the breasts. Your baby may have had the drop in diapers b/c she’s so used to the oversupply that she reduced the amount she’s drinking just b/c she prefers the oversupply and fast flow.

If you are feeling anxious about the let down it’s also a good idea to do some general things to lower your overall level of anxiety, even if you don’t feel especially anxious. For example, taking a nice brisk walk everyday with the baby in a stroller or carrier. Daily exercise and meditation or prayer has been shown to greatly reduce anxiety. You need to do about 15-20 minutes per day of either exercise or meditation or both. If you can reduce your overall level of anxiety you will be less likely to have peaks of anxiety when trying to breastfeed.

Keep trying the relaxation techniques while breastfeeding. Pump after feedings as needed to help keep that fast flow you and your baby like and very very gradually wean off any medication and pumping. I also think it’s ok to start some solids.

Get back with any follow up concerns or thoughts.

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas and Charlotte    

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2010
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 10:31am
Yeah I am the same person, had no idea I had two different log ins sorry.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 7:58am
Momkristif, are you the same person as kfurner or someone different? If you're a different person, would it be possible for you to start a new thread detailing out your information just so it doesn't get too confusing for everyone?
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2010
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 9:52pm
It took me 45 minutes to get a let down tonight. I know I did jot have one because I could tell baby wasn't swallowing and would get extremely upset after sucking for a couple minutes straight. Finally I bounced her as she sucked and she fell asleep, 10 minutes later I had a let down. Help what do I do?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2010
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 11:38pm
Since baby and i were miserable, (baby stopped sleeping at night and didnt have more than 2 or 3 wet diapers a day), and have a work deadline coming up, i went back on Dom this week starting with 3 pills to bring my supply up. Now that my supply is up more (not all the way, but still nursing like crazy and pUmping some), I plan on decreasing the pills to get off. Today I only took two pills and hope to be to one next week.

I have done some research and figured out that these pills are the reason why i am depressed, exhausted and sleeping tons, irritable, and gaining Tons on weight, so I want off these pills ASAP!!!!!

Anyways.....

Besides blessed thistle, fenugreek, pumping, breast compressions, and nursing on demand, what else can I do to keep my milk up and increase it while I am weaning off these pills?

Also, baby is almost 6 months, she has only had solids a few times and devoured them. Could baby be uncontent with breast milk because she is needing solids as well? I am afraid to start them until I feel my milk is back where it needs to be. I also plan on pumping when baby starts decreasing the number of nursing sessions she has as she gets older to stock pile milk.

You have no idea how much I appreciate your help!!!!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 3:29pm

I would always rather only use medication as a last resort for milk supply issues. If extra pumping is helping that’s a better option anyway.

You could even likely eliminate the pumping if you can just allow the baby to breastfeed more. This is how babies regulated mom’s supply before the invention of breast pumps.

Don’t worry about the let downs. Moms often have them without noticing any sensation. A good friend of mine who successfully breastfed 3 children, never had any sensation of let down. So you may be having more but you just don’t have the sensation. The first let down you have during a feeding will be more noticeable while subsequent let downs will be less likely to cause any sensation.

Don’t forget your body is likely to respond to the baby better than the pump so don’t judge what is happening with the baby based on the pump.

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas and Charlotte

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2012
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 10:27am
Thank you so much for your help. I am not trying to ween off the pump, I just don't want to continue on the pills that is why I stopped. My question is whether I should go back on the pills and ween off slowly or since I was taking a such a low dose, should I stay off them and just pump to get my milk back up.

I know my milk has dropped because baby is not having wet diapers like she has and wants to eat all the time. She also is very in content and needs a binki all the time.

Is it normal for the let down to slow because of a menstral cycle? I love the post you sent me. The abdominal breathing and I follow it with humming is exactly what I do. It has been a life saver, I also think that's why my let down is normally so quick. Should I have two let downs in one feeding? I have never had that not even when pumping for a long time. I can't even get a second let down after feeding on both sides then switching sides again to try and feed a second time. Is that something I can work towards?
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 7:39am

If you are going to use the medication, it’s probably better to wean off slowly and possibly pump and then wean off the pump. However, remember it’s really important not to judge overall supply by anything other than diapers and weight gain.

Do you think it’s possible your baby has gotten used to a fast flow and objects when it is slower? Check this out.

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-ppbreastfeed&msg=10852.2

If you baby is breastfeeding effectively and without restriction that should be enough to maintain your supply.  Don’t forget women breastfed for thousands of years prior to medications, pumps………………and even lactation consultants……………….;-).

Let me know what you think about the link.

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas and Charlotte

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2012
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 7:23am
Stopped taking them nOw I don't know. I really want off the pills. Should I go back on them and wean slower or stay off and pump and try to get it back up. my let downs have been so instant and now they are taking 5 plus minutes and baby is frustrated. Could the lack of Dom be causing that?

Also baby still only eats for less than 2 minutes per side even when milk is good. Is that really ok?

Baby is ready to start solids so I want to get my milk back under control ASAP.

Thank you!!

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