nursing 4 mo and found out I'm pregnant. Need help pls! - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding > nursing 4 mo and found out I'm pregnant. Need help pls!
Daniekate's Avatar Daniekate 11:46 AM 01-21-2012

My 4.5 mo ds gained weight very rapidly in his first few months.  In the last months he became extremely cranky and hardly ever slept.  We found out that in that month he had lost a few ounces, and determined that my milk supply was lower than what he needed.  So I began taking fenugreek and Gaia lactate support and nursing around the clock.  Since I nursed my first DS for 3 yrs with no problems I was confused as to why this was happening and why the supplements were only helping a little.  We bought a baby scale so we could track weight gain and wet diapers.  I took a pregnancy test to "rule it out" and was shocked when it came back positive!!  I was even more shocked to have an ultrasound the next day and find out I'm already 13 weeks!!!  My baby is currently 19 weeks old, yikes!!    So, I stopped taking the supplements and continue to nurse on demand (and then some!)  I bought an SNS and have been giving him an extra 2-4 ounces of BM I had frozen in the evening because that's when he seems to be hungrier and pulls and fusses at the breast.  He has gained 2.1 ounces in 3 days, and is still around the 16th percentile (down from 75th).  He seems a lot happier and I will gladly continue to do this for him.  I hope to nurse him throughout my pregnancy and then tandem nurse (He will only be 10.5 months when his sibling is born).  My question/concern is- how can I safely get my milk supply up?  I'm hoping I don't *have to* use the SNS the whole time.  Is it inevitable that my milk will continue to decrease??  With him being so young, and not ready for solids yet, I want to make sure that he is getting everything he needs each day.  I have a Medela Symphony pump, which is great, but every drop I make is going into his belly each day.  I am counting on a close friend to kindly pump for us and donate her milk when my frozen stash runs out.  Anyone BTDT?  Advice?  Suggestions?  Encouragement?  TIA

awinkler's Avatar awinkler 07:36 PM 01-21-2012

Congrats on being pregnant! :)


Anecdotally, I think that oatmeal increases my supply a little bit... the other thing that I've done is to pick an evening and cluster pump - pump for 10 minutes every 30 minutes, and do this 3 or 4 times. It gives me a little extra milk.


How often are you pumping and nursing? Can you add another session or two? I haven't been in your exact situation, so I'm afraid I can't offer advice based on that... I know when AF arrives my supply dips a little because of the hormone changes...


Good luck :)

Megan73's Avatar Megan73 06:51 AM 01-22-2012
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
I'm sorry to be negative but from everything I've read there's no way to increase your supply while pregnant - the hormones are simply against you - although you may be lucky enough to maintain what you have. About 70% of pregnant women will have their supply decrease and some will even dry up totally.
If you want to tandem nurse, I think using the SNS with your friend's freezer stash is an excellent idea. You will likely need to line up more donor milk or use formula. Breastmilk or formula should make up the bulk of an infant's diet in the first your but you could also "supplement with solids" after six months by feeding nutrient and calorie-dense foods such as avocado, sweet potato and meat.
What I would do if I were you is keep nursing and supplementing to make sure that your babe keeps gaining weight adequately. He should be gaining 4-5 ounces a week at his age.
foreverinbluejeans's Avatar foreverinbluejeans 07:07 PM 01-27-2012

The most import person right now is the growing fetus. You have to make sure your baby gets enough to eat even if you can't make enough milk. Sometimes things happen and life can't be perfect. Pumping or taking herbs may be hazardous to the fetus and you can't be sure it would increase your supply anyway. I don't think there is a safe way to increase supply. Your baby is so young that the baby's nursing will keep the supply up is you are one of the lucky people that can maintain a supply during pregnancy.


I encourage you to find other sources of breastmilk to suppliment for the rest of the pregnancy. Your baby may go on to breastfeed for a long time after the new baby is born. You just have to make it through the pregnancy.

MarineWife's Avatar MarineWife 08:22 AM 02-04-2012
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

The most import person right now is the growing fetus.

Gotta disagree with that. The most important person is your already born baby since you know he's here, alive and well, and so young. Make sure your 4 month old is fed well first.

I'm sorry I don't know anything about increasing milk supply whether pg or not. If your supply is low and you need to supplement, check out breastmilk donation groups like Human Milk 4 Human Babies.
Daniekate's Avatar Daniekate 08:59 AM 02-04-2012

Thank you!  As of now I am supplementing with 6-8oz of donated breastmilk, only at night, using an SNS. :)  He seems fine during the day with the milk I am still supplying.  We also started him on Avacado this week (at 5 months, rather than waiting til 6mos) to give him some extra calories.  He is gaining 3-5 oz a week and much happier.  The company Motherlove makes a supplement called "More Milk Too" for pregnant and lactating moms.  In addition to that I am taking my prenatals, and my leftover encapsulated placenta pills, and watching what I eat as much as possible (LOTS of oatmeal).  The only thing I haven't been able to do is get extra sleep  :/  Between the baby and my 4 1/2 yr old I just don't get the chance.  Sadly, there are very few resources available about breastfeeding a young baby while pregnant.  I bought the book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing", which is awesome, but most references are in regards to nursing a toddler when pregnant.  I guess I'm a rare case! :) 

Any way, I'm still open to suggestions and input.  I would love to hear from any other moms who are/have been in the same situation. 

MarineWife's Avatar MarineWife 09:43 AM 02-04-2012
I'm glad things seem to be better. I think your situation is pretty rare. The failure rate of LAM that early is only 1-2%, I believe, so you will probably be hard-pressed to find others who are or have been in your situation.

FWIW, my exclusively breastfed 6 month old gained only 6 oz. total from 5-6 months. That's a lot less than is considered normal, which is about 3-5 oz. per week, I believe. His weight gain started to slow significantly at 4 months. He gained weight rapidly in the beginning, though, and doubled his birth weight in about half the average time. He's still chunky at over 18 lbs. even with the decrease in weight gain. He's otherwise happy and healthy.

My point of all of that is to say that weight gain isn't the only factor to look at when assessing the health of a baby or the amount/quality of milk. A lot of energy goes into brain development and physical coordination. Around 4 months babies really start making big strides in those developments, like working on sitting, which leads to crawling, and working on grabbing and holding things, which leads to being able to feed themselves. That takes a lot of brain activity as well as physical exertion.
dejagerw's Avatar dejagerw 06:56 PM 02-05-2012

Instead of looking at how much your baby is gaining, I believe you should be monitoring the wet diapers. If baby has enough wet diapers, then baby is getting enough milk. If not, then you need to up the amount you are supplementing. The hormones are working against you, so you can't really do anything to up your supply. But that doesn't mean the end of nursing. Just keep at it, and you'll be tandeming in no time ;)