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Chronic Low Supply

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Logan is just a little over 10 lbs at 9 weeks. I've finally confirmed I have chronic low supply after doing feeding weighs with a lactation consultant. I'm only making probably 18-21 ounces a day (with fenugreek) and often only a little over an ounce per feed. He was gaining the ounce a day up until about a week and a half ago or so and he was content and alert between (albeit frequent and constant) feedings so the peds thought the supply was ok. I went through thinking he had a metabolic disorder when in the end it has just been a supply issue all along. I feel like I've been starving him!

I'm really frustrated and sad. I've been taking fenugreek and eating oatmeal and nursing 24x7 (like I have since birth) and it isn't helping. I've been told I probably have insufficient glandular tissue (my breasts are very asymmetrical) I also had trouble conceiving (went 10 years just using withdrawal and 2.5 years actively trying) and have always had irregular cycles and hormonal issues so it is all connecting now. I've been working so hard to increase supply but am still only giving him little spurts at a time - so, I have no choice but to supplement. I could try a drug called Domperidone but I'm a little wary of it.

This is very depressing. I couldn't be more dedicated to breastfeeding yet can't give him all that he needs. I feel inadequate even though I know I'm trying as hard as I could possibly try. And I feel bad that he had tests for a metabolic disorder when I've just not been giving him enough milk.

I see all these pictures of pudgy little babies and it breaks my heart. Logan is so thin. Plus - I know so many women who have plenty of milk and choose to bottle feed for convenience. :
post #2 of 22
Hello...I saw this thread from the main page and had to reply...I feel for you mama! I had huge supply issues with my children. My first child ended up dehydrated and needed hospitalization and my other one barely weighed 8 pounds by his 8 week check up...even though we nursed around the clock, met with LC's, no supplementing, no soothers...etc, you know what I'm getting at. I did end up using domperidone and it did help with supply...unfortunately it did cause some gastro issues in me that were a real pain but that is not the case for all women on it. It is worth a try!

And I know what you mean about women who have tons of milk but don't nurse...It is so depressing...especially when some women have to work so hard for it!!

All the best!
post #3 of 22
I think Domperidone could be a good option... Better than formula, IMO. I was on Dom for more than a year with ds. It saved our nursing relationship as he had an undiagnosed tongue tie that lowered my milk supply. I had no problems with Dom (and most women have no side effects) and it worked within 12 hours of my first dose! I woke up in the middle of the night leaking, which you can understand is amazing for someone with supply issues.
post #4 of 22
Hugs to you. Your story is my story. In fact I now avoid how much does baby weigh thread. Abby was 5 something at birth & now only weighs 7 lbs. I also have LMS. I met with the countries expert last weekend, Lisa Marasco & I too have Insufficient Glandular Tissue. I have been supplementing since she was 24 hours old. I know your pain, your dissappointment, your struggle.
this is what I am doing: I am taking dom, 120 mgs per day. Taking More Milk Plus, Goats Rue from Mother Love Herbal, 4 times per day, along with fenugreek & saw palmetto. I as currently supplementing 8 oz a day, usually 4 2 oz bottles. (Starting dom was the best thing I did, along with taking the tinctures)
This can be done. Breastfeeding is not all or nothing, that is the beauty. Your little one can still get Mama's milk even if you have to supplement. PM me if you would like more info. Join MOBI on Yahoo groups....there are quite a few women like us. You are not alone. & it is nice to know I am not alone here in our DDC (although I DO NOT wish this on ANYONE!)
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debstmomy View Post
This can be done. Breastfeeding is not all or nothing, that is the beauty. Your little one can still get Mama's milk even if you have to supplement.
I had this problem with DS1 and now again with DS2, and hearing that bf was not an "all or nothing" proposition was one of the best things anyone said to me in the early days of bf with DS1.

I took domperidone (with no side effects), Oasis prolactation tea, and oatmeal daily, double-pumped after feedings to stimulate production, kept nursing DS1, and supplemented for periods of time as well. Once he started solids, some of the pressure was off me to continue increasing milk production and I was much happier. DS1 is still nursing at 34 months old... I am very glad to have worked to keep up that relationship that was/is so important for DS1. I am facing the same thing with DS2 now, plus tandem nursing : It has been really hard at times... but worthwhile IME. 18-21 ounces a day is a good amount of milk, and will afford your baby the beneficial immunities, anti-cancer properties, etc. of your milk. If you have to supplement, it doesn't negate most (or maybe all) of the positives of your mommy milk. Good luck.
post #6 of 22
Just wanted to give you a hug I'm really sorry you are going through this.
post #7 of 22
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post #8 of 22
believe me mamma, you're not alone.

I'm currently taking reglan which is similar to domperidone just has some side effects to it, which I luckily haven't experienced. I'm also taking 4 fenugreek 3xday, and alphalfa 4 tablets 3xday, and I still can't pump more than a 1/2 ounce total at a time. Now I"m done to 1/4 oz, sometimes not even that. I think my girlies have adjusted to letting milk go only at his latch, which is good and hard.

go ahead and try the domperidone/reglan, whichever you're able to get. It does work. But if you have insufficient glandular tissue as I have, it won't help a tremendous amount. You won't get an overabundant supply. You'll never be able to BF exclusively, will have to supplement *something*, whether it's bottle, finger feeding, SNS. However, there's a lot more to nursing than just having the babe get a full belly. The bonding's so much more, plus every lil' bit of BM they get is great. I call it my "liquid gold". It's very scarce but worth a lot.
post #9 of 22
I think Jenn gave you great advice. I'm just here to give you a hug. That is so frustrating, but I wouldn't give up. That ounce that you give him is so good for him even if you have to supplement beyond that. I usually end up supplementing because of going back to work and not being able to keep up. Reglan has helped me in the past.

I'm so glad it is just a supply issue. That's only going to be a problem for the first year or so of his life. If it was a metabolic issue that would have been life-long.

You're doing great mama!
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm going to try Domperidone -- fenugreek helps but it seems to lose its effect after a few days and I have to stop and restart it to get the effect. I'm a little nervous about taking the drug .. but it seems the lesser of the evils.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenitii View Post
I'm going to try Domperidone -- fenugreek helps but it seems to lose its effect after a few days and I have to stop and restart it to get the effect. I'm a little nervous about taking the drug .. but it seems the lesser of the evils.
I was weary of trying reglan as it has worse side effects than the domperidone, but it really did/does help. Before I used reglan, I was only able to get 1/4 ounce total from both breasts when pumping. Afterwards it went up to 1/2 ounce. It does take about 3 weeks or so to get the full effect of the drug. My OB and LC warned me about that. Since starting the reglan, I also added to my mixture mother's milk tea. Let me tell you, I'm having a LOT more letdown sensations since drinking it! Now when I pump, I'm up to 1 1/4-1/2 ounce total! It's not much for most women, but to me it's a big deal considering my supply went up a whole ounce since the reglan.

I agree about the fenugreek. It does lose it's effectiveness. However in my case with my 1st DC almost 4 years ago, as soon as I stopped taking the fenugreek, my milk completely dried up that same day I started missing the doses. So this time around, I"m not stopping anything as my body becomes dependent on these things.

Are you pumping? Someone mentioned that to me, and pumping after nursing and in between the feedings. It helped as well. Now my girlies are getting accostomed to producing more milk more frequently.

Good luck. I hope you have success with domperidone. It is supposed to help a lot, but when you're at your wits end, you'll try anything. PLease let me know how it goes for you
post #12 of 22
Sereniti, it is one day at a time on this journey. Some days are better than others. Like you I was nervous to start the dom....but I have had ZERO side effects from it. It seems to really work for me. There is a herb called, Shatavari that has the same results as dom. If you feel better taking an herb, you can try it. MOBI has a good discussion on it right now. I may try it when I run out of dom.
Hold Strong...you are doing this!!!!!
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
I increased the Fenugreek to 4 pills 3 times a day and have been taking it regularly (whereas before I would sometimes miss doses) and we had a good night and morning so far. I'm doing another 24 hour feeding weigh and in 14 hours I've given him 17.1 ounces! I might actually hit the 29 ounces he needs - wthout the dom! We've been nursing every 2 hours since I only give him around 2 ounces at a time. I might consider one of my other options, a the milk bank near me to top him off -- if I can keep my supply at this level. Of course that is a big if, since it has decreased to not much at all on previous days.

The goal is for him not to drop any more on the growth charts. He's almost off the charts now and has dropped steadily since birth.
post #14 of 22
Have you tried an herb called marshmallow. It helped me when I was relactating. It is supposed to increase supply and make milk richer. I feel like it helped. But there is very little info about it helping lactation except for animals. I read about it in a book at an herb store but didnt get the name of it and its been 4 years ago.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymomof2 View Post
Have you tried an herb called marshmallow. It helped me when I was relactating. It is supposed to increase supply and make milk richer. I feel like it helped. But there is very little info about it helping lactation except for animals. I read about it in a book at an herb store but didnt get the name of it and its been 4 years ago.
hmmm, I think that's 1 more herb for me to try too. I picked up some more mother's milk tea today and some pills called Breast Health. It has fenugreek and some other things in it too. Figured it couldn't help. I'm not going to take any more fenugreek or alphalfa pills after today. My supply for both runs out tonight. I'm taking so much dang stuff, plus the mother's milk tea and Breast health both have more than enough of them in it.
post #16 of 22
Just FYI, it is Marshmellow Root. I am glad you are seeing improvment! Woo HOO!!! A good book to consider is Nursing Mother's Herbal, by Shelia Humphries. It has a full list of herbal galactagouges.
post #17 of 22
oh, mother's milk tea has marshmellow root in it, but beware. I have 2 different kinds both made by the same company and 1 doesn't have it nor the blessed thistle, but it has more fenugreek in it
post #18 of 22
did you get the domperidone? How's things going since you last written?
post #19 of 22
i used marshmallow root tea (for a different reason) but was told by my herblist/mw to steep it in cold water for 8 hours... then i heated it and drank it.

just thought i'd let you know if you are drinking the tea. i made large amounts at one time, strained it and heated however much i needed...so i wouldn't have to constantly be steeping teas.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've decided to hold of on the Dom for the moment. I can't quite get comfortable with taking drugs. My LC is great though - very understanding and easy to work with. I got some donor milk and am supplementing at the breast with a Lact-Aid. We're still doing feeding weighs to work out the best supplement amount and schedule. We're having a good day today. I'm only down about 3 ounces of what he needs. Late afternoon and evenings are terrible for supply. Late night and wee morning hours are best. The Fenugreek seems to start to wane for me after 3 days but if I stop it for just 36 hours or so, it seems to have an effect again - which seems odd to me.

Logan is such a good baby. He puts up with short bursts of milk and slow letdowns. I feel so bad at times! He only recently started to complain and only in the evenings when the short bursts got shorter. I think he is going through a growth spurt now too. He has been sleeping a lot suddenly and the scales say he gained about 5-6 ounces in three days.

Our nursing schedule is frequent - in the afternoon and evening we nurse every hour to hour and a half. At night we usually nurse every 2 1/2 to 3 hours - but I don't mind as long as he doesn't!
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