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Joining with low supply

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to introduce myself. I've been reading on this board for a while, suspecting that I was headed down the low supply route - and here, 4 1/2 months after giving birth, I'm officially here. So far, DS has never been supplemented and he has gained fine. However, recently I've experienced some dramatic dips in my supply. Actually, I've experienced dips all along - however, they weren't that severe and they were easy to overcome earlier on. Last week and again today, my supply was so low that my milk wouldn't let down and DS refused to nurse. I've been trying to pump, but am having trouble letting down with that as well. I know that my supply is low because we're getting insufficient wet diapers and there's very little swallowing when my milk does in fact let down. I've taken fenugreek, but it seemed to give DS runny BMs and he was spitting up a lot with it which is too bad because it seemed to work well on my supply. I don't think that I want to take any medication. I've tried to supplement him with formula, but he won't take it.
The thought of our nursing relationship coming to an end so soon is extremely painful to me - I guess many of you can relate. I have NO idea why my supply is low - have always nursed often...done ALL the right things. My LC thinks that it's stress from having 3 very young children. I don't know if she's right.
post #2 of 11

your nursing relationship doesn't have to end, but it may require some redefining of what you envisioned and what is acceptable and tolerable to you...

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for responding, Claudia! I'm trying to see if there's a way that we can continue on some basis. I'm trying some other herbs while also trying get him used to some formula (to ensure his weight gain). Do you have anything else in mind?
post #4 of 11
I'm a low supply mom. I really struggled with this emotionally when my first child was born. I felt like a failure. He's almost 4 now. I've come a long way since then. I am currently nursing my 2 year old (she'll be two on the 18th). Would I love to be able to exclusively nurse my kids? Most definitely. It's not a possibility for me, though. I have to be content with the fact that I have provided my children with as much breastmilk as I physically can.

You don't have to give up your nursing relationship! You can supplement at the breast via Lact-Aid or SNS if need be. Breastfeeding is about so much more than just breastmilk alone. My dd still gets some supplement via Lact-Aid. Being able to have a nursing relationship helped me to work through my feelings. Dd had her owb issues besides my low milk supply. It took almost 6 months to get her completely on the breast, and it was completely worth it!

If you need someone to cheer you on, let me know!
post #5 of 11
I struggled with low supply to begin with but by 4 1/2 months my supply had improved enough to nurse exclusively. Some things I found really worked well:

- pumping like a fiend
- drinking TONS of water (if you're busy and stressed, chances are you're not getting enough water - try for at least 3-4 litres (90-120 oz) per day)
- resting in the afternoons
- domperidone (I know you said you didn't want to use drugs, but domperidone is pretty safe and I would say less harmful to you than a moderate dose of formula for your babe.)
- blessed thistle tincture - important that it's tincture, not capsules. This worked way better for me than fenugreek.

And . I know what it's like.
post #6 of 11
to you.

Galactagogues (milk makers) include:

Fenugreek and blessed thistle capsules
More Milk Plus alcohol tincture http://www.motherlove.com/product_more_milk_plus.php
Mother’s Milk Tea (Traditional Medicinals)
Yeast flakes http://www.nowfoods.com/?action=itemdetail&item_id=3476
Lecithin capsules (prevents plugged ducts)
Eating carob daily and using guar gum in baked goods

Other things I do:
Breast compression
When pumping I use the Pumpin Pal (note spelling):

Hands-free pumping with rubber band trick:

Domperidone is a prescription drug that is available in other countries, but is hard to get in the US. You either have to get it from a compounding pharmacy or from overseas. I get mine from:


More info is at:


I wouldn't take it until I exhausted all other avenues.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your responses

You're all so kind. I've tried many of your suggestions (water, oatmeal, More Milk Plus, Mothers Milk tea, pumping, co-sleeping, breast compressions etc). Currently, I pump during the day - my flow is so slow that he has no interest in it : I also take More Milk Plus. I could consider the SNS, but isn't it very cumbersome? I have 26 month old twins, so I'm super busy.
Do you all know what caused your supply issues? I guess more than anything, it's hard for me to accept because I don't know why. With my twins, I had much the same pattern: good supply from the start, but it decreased with time and it became more and more difficult to keep it up. Very sad - I thought that this time around, being as it wasn't twins again and with all my knowledge of what to do (co-sleep, nurse all the time, water....), we would do better - instead we're having problems much earlier.
post #8 of 11
I'm low supply because I had a one sided mastectomy and twins (imagine that! ) That must be very discouraging to not know what happens to your supply, especially when it was good in the beginning )
post #9 of 11
no idea what caused my supply issues. waiting to find out if it will repeat with this baby coming later this month. i have some general feelings about what may have been going on, and am going to be very vigilant about not repeating some of the things i did, but i came to a certain peace about not knowing and then doing what i could do. as time has gone on, i've become much less embarrassed and judgmental of people who may judge me. it still makes me sad, but i try to educate people at the opportunities i have.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's so hard not to know, isn't it? It's awful, but I get so jealous of moms that just take their milk supply for granted. I really thought that I did everything right this time around, but the story repeated itself. I hope for you that you have better luck, Claudia. I have to say that it may be a tiny, tiny bit easier for me this time around - I've been down this road before so it's familiar to me. Also, I'm so busy with my other children that I don't have the same time or opportunity to dwell on it. Finally, I've experienced how much more there is to motherhood than nursing. I know that I'm a good mother even if nursing hasn't worked out the way I'd hoped for.
Still...it hurts sooooo badly.
At this point, I really have to decide what to do. Today I pumped 6 times (every 2-3 hours) and got aboout 16-18 ounces. I pumped for 20 minutes each time which is hard for me to do because of my 3 kids. I'm taking as much More Milk Plus as is recommended. Part of me wants to leave this whole ordeal behind and free up my mind for other things - like be a happier, more relaxed mom. However, I worry that I'll regret it if I do stop pumping. Arghh.....
post #11 of 11
I'm pretty sure my low supply was caused by blood loss during delivery - I lost a lot, and as my iron levels improved my milk supply improved too... not 100% sure though. So that's probably not so helpful to you Sorry.
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