Everything I am reading basically tells me that ANY woman can produce enough milk for her child unless there are medical/genetic issues....
Well, my 4 month old daughter and myself do not have any medical issues (that we are aware of!) and I am not producing enough milk! I went back to work at 8 weeks. I can pump three times a day normally and four times a day occasionally. My pumping output dropped to 2 oz a session a few weeks ago. I had a stomach virus two weeks ago and was dehydrated for two days. My pumping output is now 1oz... I nurse anytime I am with my daughter but she is still hungry once she is finished nursing. I am lucky if I pump enough to give her one bottle of breast milk while she is at daycare and the rest of the day, she is on formula. I am taking just about every vitamin and herb supplement I know of and all my lactation consultant has said recently is "Good luck!".
Basically I want to know that I am not alone! Is anyone else having or had similar issues?? How did you get your milk to increase or how did you cope with the fact that you just will not produce enough??
Is this more common than you hear about? I know some women never have their milk come in so I know I should be happy if I really only get four good months out of it but I was really wanting to go the full year....
I can imagine how disheartening this would be.
If I were in your shoes, I might just take a whole weekend (or whichever couple of days I had off consecutively) to lay around skin to skin with baby, nursing and cuddling, eating nourishing foods, relaxing, snoozing; just getting those feel good hormones really ramped up.
You probably still need some tlc for your body to recover from that illness, too.
Just a suggestion. I am sure that this happens to other people, and I hope you hear from some on this thread.
I'm not sure it's advice but I'll share the two things that I have the most regret over. Even if you are not producing enough try to keep the nursing relationship going by nursing as much as possible for as long as you can. Maybe nursing again after she is full and trying to settle down for sleep? Also any bit of breast milk will help her immune system. My son had a new cold every other week after we weaned, it was not fun.
The one piece of advice I have is be gentle with your self. If your supply does not increase or you end up weaning long before you planed too it does not mean something's wrong with you. Sometimes circumstances and personalities don't come together the way that they probably should. It in no way determines what you can have or do in the future. I am currently nursing my 8.5 month old without all of the supply issues I had with my first. I'm not sure if anything I've said is helpful at all but good luck to you.
My point is, it may be that pumping 3-4 times daily isn't enough to keep your supply up. It's different for different women. I'm no expert, but my suggestions to increase supply would be to nurse/pump more, spend more time skin to skin with baby, look into taking herbal supplements (fenugreek, etc). If those are things that don't work for you, then just know you've done really well for your LO by breastfeeding this long. You can still nurse (and make milk) when you're home with her, and rely on formula or donated milk otherwise. I hope you find a solution that works for you!
Also, it wouldn't hurt to talk to another Lactation Consultant for second opinion.
It's really normal for supply to tank with pumping. Pumping sucks.
I always had lots of supply and breastfed my kid exclusively for 6 or 7 months. But the week I tried pumping? Forget it. I could only pump one or two ounces at a time, too.
If your daughter is still hungry after she's "finished" nursing, then she's not finished. When she finishes the second side, put her on the first side again. Cluster nursing like that is your best bet for increasing supply.