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Puzzled-- almost no breast milk supply for 2 days.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I gave birth to my twins on April the 29th (last week Wednesday) and I was able to pump a lot of milk just fine until yesterday and today. Yesterday and today I was almost unable to get any milk from my breasts. I'm wondering if it is possible for my breasts to stop producing milk even if I pumped a lot. My breasts does not feel full or hurt and I'm really puzzled! I just do not want to feed my girls with formula and I want them to be exclusively fed by my breast milk. My husband said maybe I should just take a day off from pumping my breasts and allow it build more milk. I'm not sure if it is a good idea because I don't want my breasts to stop producing milk altogether. My girls are in NICU and I'm worried about not being able to feed them with my breast milk by the time they are home from the hospital.

Should I start taking the supplement to help produce more milk?
post #2 of 14
I don't think supplements could hurt. You may just be too stressed to respond to the pump. I'd supplement, eat lots of oatmeal, drink tons of water....and increase pumping sessions.
post #3 of 14
Oh, and arrange to pump where you can see your babies while you do it.
post #4 of 14
And, are you using a hospital grade pump? Have you checked all of the parts for holes and deffects? Tried different settings etc?
post #5 of 14

The above video link is wonderful and may be helpful to you. My guess is that your main issue is stress. Quite common when you have babies in the NICU! Stress unfortunately can inhibit let down, so you probably still have plenty of milk, but aren't letting down for the pump. Try to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Spending as much time as possible skin-to-skin with your babies will also help a lot.
post #6 of 14
I'm wondering too if it's not just the breast pump. You haven't started any kind of hormones or taking any cold medicines right? I know both of those can hurt the milk supply.

Supplements couldn't hurt. I use Breastea and it's worked well for me. It's like mother's milk tea only each tea bag makes a gallon of tea instead of a cup size.

I would definitely check the pump and all the parts to make sure something hasn't clogged it up. At the NICU they should have contact with a lactation consultant to help you out as well.
post #7 of 14
I think the best thing to do is get in touch with and IBCLC stat. It could be any number of things although I agree with the other girls about stress. I would not stop pumping, even if you don't feel full you want to tell your body it needs to make milk.
post #8 of 14
Congrats on your new babes!
Definitely see a lactation consultant immediately – and DO NOT stop pumping in the meantime.
You might want to ask the LC about domperidone.
Here's a quote from Dr. Jack Newman's site:
"It has frequently been noted that a mother who is pumping milk for a sick or premature baby in hospital has a decrease in the amount she pumps around four or five weeks after the baby is born. The reasons for this decrease are likely many (not putting the baby to the breast early enough, no true kangaroo mother care, etc), but domperidone generally brings the amount of milk pumped back to where it was or even to higher levels."
post #9 of 14
Originally Posted by VroomieMama View Post
My husband said maybe I should just take a day off from pumping my breasts and allow it build more milk.
Definitely don't do that! That will tell your body to stop making milk. Just keep pumping as often as you can. Do you have pictures of the babies you can look out while pumping?
How often are you pumping? Are you getting up to pump in the middle of the night?
Definitely lots of water, oatmeal, sleep, and whatever other supplements seem right to you (fenugreek, mother's milk tea, etc.)
Good luck!
post #10 of 14
Congrats on the new babies!

Are you pumping AND nursing, or are you JUST pumping?

If you're pumping after nursing sessions, it could be that they're gulping down all the milk you're producing, and not leaving any for the pump. I know you said they're in the NICU, but depending on how healthy they are and hospital policies, you may or may not be able to nurse them during the day.

Also, what do you mean by "almost unable to get milk"? Just how much were you able to pump, and how much ebm are they eating per day? How much were you pumping before now?

If you've only been pumping, then my guess would be that there's something wrong with the breastpump- maybe you need another size flange, or the tubing isn't attached right- get an LC or NICU nurse to help you troubleshoot possible technical problems with the pump.
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
Oh, and arrange to pump where you can see your babies while you do it.
or smell them! That will get the milk flowing!

congrats on the babies!!
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I talked to the lactation consultant today about this and she told me to continue pumping 8 times a day even if the milk isn't coming out but that will alert my "body to produce more milk then the milk will flow like waterfall". She also told me to not to start the fenugreek supplement now because the girls are still in NICU and the herbs may be too difficult for their stomach to digest but suggested me to drink mother's milk tea frequently and also eat plenty of oatmeal. And I could start fenugreek when they both are home, and are full term.

The consultant also told my husband that his suggestion was a bad idea and he said "oops, nevermind my comment, pump more!"

Pictures of them while pumping is a good idea and will try that.

Will start breastfeeding them next week at the hospital and I'm really looking forward to that! :

I have checked the pumping equipment that I am renting from the hospital and replaced the valve when I found the hole in it but milk still did not come out.

Yes this is a stressful time for me as I've got ton of things to do and on my mind.
post #13 of 14
Sometimes switching on a tap or imagining water or milk flowing can help. If you are stressed then maybe some relaxation techniques that you can do before and during pumping might be useful too. I found I always got more milk pumping when I was listening to a favorite piece of music for some reason! Distraction away from all the stuff that is going on and worrying about how much milk you are making can't hurt. Maybe get some great books about something other than babies and milk and stress.

Hope things get easier for you soon and congratulations!
post #14 of 14
Congratulations on the birth of your twins and Happy Mother's Day VroomieMama!

I exclusively pump and have been for over a year. I struggled with supply a bit at the beginning and occasionally over the last year and below are a few things that I noticed. Every mama is different, so these may or may not be true for you, but in case they help, here they are:

--For me, stress was the number one thing that seems to reduce my supply. When I pump and am thinking/worrying about how much milk I'm going to get *while* pumping, I tend to get less milk. I've found that when I'm focusing on something else while pumping, I get a lot more milk. I have a hands-free band, so I can do a lot of other things while I pump. Some of the things I like to do while I'm pumping are: watch/talk with my partner and daughter if they are awake (I do pump at least once while they are sleeping); catch up on emails or other online stuff; read or watch TV; make phone calls; play a game; write thank you notes or other correspondence; during the holidays, wrap presents.

--In the beginning, I did jot down how much I pumped each time I pumped and what time it was. it provided an objective measure of whether or not my supply was increasing, but I was careful to look at it in a big picture...seeing the trend over a few days rather than a just pump-to-pump

--Reduced fluids seemed to really reduce my supply. Every time my supply has declined a bit, I've increased how much water and other fluids I'm drinking (even if I'm not thirsty) and that really seems to help.

--Increased protein seems to help. When my supply declines a bit, I try to increase my intake of protein and that usually helps.

--Rest. When I'm tired, my supply always declines a bit. This was especially hard during the newborn time, but as my daughter slept more at a time, I slept more at a time which in turn seemed to increase my supply.

--Being sick. Everytime I've had a cold or something, my supply has decreased a bit, but increases when I get over the cold or whatnot.

--Switching pumps and settings on the pump. I have 2 pumps at home, but I primarily use the hospital-grade Medela Lactina. I used a different hospital-grade one when I was in the hospital; I think it was the Medela Classic. (I know you mentioned that you were using a hospital-grade one, so I hope that helps!) I definitely found the hospital-grade pump much better than the personal pump, but what I really found made the different was experimenting and varying the level of speed and strength of suction. On the hospital-grade pumps these are separate dials and adjusting these independently really helped me. The personal pump I have (the Medela Pump in Style Advanced) has one control that adjusts both the level of speed and strength of suction and isn't nearly as good for me.

--Pumping more often and pumping for a few minutes past when I'm not getting anything (but not so long that I get sore).

I'll thinking of you and hoping for the best for you!

PS Yes, I'm pumping while I posted this!
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