low supply and painful latch - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-11-2009, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 9wo DD has breastfed like a champ from the very beginning. She had a good latch and I had no supply problems. She's accepted the occasional bottle with pumped milk since about 3 weeks.

I went back to work two weeks ago, three days a week for seven hours a day. I pump once during the working day, right in the middle. She stays with my MIL, and after a day or two she was ok with taking 2-3 bottles a day from Granny.

I've noticed in the last few days that a) my supply is dwindling and b) her latch hurts. Last night DH actually had to give her a bottle of pumped milk to get her to sleep - I had fed her but she was really aggressive at the breast, as if she starving, and after about ten minutes on each side it hurt so much I had to stop. Then she drank about 3oz from the bottle and fell right to sleep, so she must have not been getting enough.

She STTN so I am very full in the mornings. Typically I feed her and then I am still able to pump 5oz. This morning I fed her (it still hurt) and was only able to pump 3oz afterwards. I've also noticed that last week I could pump 5oz in 15 minutes and this week it's taking closer to 30 minutes to get that much, if I can get that much at all.

I'm a pretty laid-back mom; not much gets me upset or worried as long as DD is breathing. I can live with the painful latch if I have to, but the thought of not making enough milk to feed my baby is very upsetting. Please give me some ideas!

Lisa ~ wife to Daniel ~ mama to Claire, born July 2009 (IVF baby!)
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#2 of 5 Old 09-11-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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Then she drank about 3oz from the bottle and fell right to sleep, so she must have not been getting enough.
I realize this would seem like the logical conclusion but it isn't always the case.

It sounds like your baby may have nipple preference. Are you using the slowest flow nipple and a bottle feeding method that mimics breastfeeding? Do you think she could be overfed during the day? My guess is that latch is off because of the bottle too. I would recommend seeing an IBCLC to figure all of this out. Incorrect latch is not only painful it can have a negative effect on supply because baby is not draining the breast properly. Until you can see someone, keep her at the breast as much as possible - can you take a break from giving her bottles over the weekend? Make sure you eat, rest, and take care of yourself too. Drink lots of fluids and add oatmeal to your diet. Consider adding fenugreek or similar.
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#3 of 5 Old 09-11-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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My baby and I have struggled with nipple confusion/preference since day 1. I have found that playtex bottles are the best. Also, you need to teach your MIL to feed like the breast--meaning she tickles the bottom lip and doesn't put the bottle in until baby opens wide. Also, she needs to hold the baby as vertical as possible and keep the bottle horizontal so that the flow is as slow as possible. Also, make sure your nipple size is as small as possible. Don't worry about air--he may swallow it but will be able to burp it up. My 3 month old doesn't have any problem with swallowed air. Do a web search for paced feedings. That will really help. I have also found that using a nipple shield for 1 to 2 feedings when DS's latch starts to hurt or change really helps "reteach" him how to latch to the breast.
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#4 of 5 Old 09-11-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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Sometimes when a baby drinks a bottle right down, it would seem that the baby is really hungry, but it could be that she is just pounding it because she has no way of controlling the flow.

Above suggestions are good. I think she may have gotten a lazy latch from the bottles.

You could try having mother in law give a cup instead of bottles. It is time consuming, but basically, the caregiver tips a little into the baby's mouth at a time, waits for the swallow and then tips again.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-18-2009, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you the responses, ladies! I've started setting my alarm for 3:30am so I can pump, and that seems to be helping. The latch is getting a little better now that I've realized that I have to roll the nipple into her mouth like I did at the very beginning. I think we will be ok!

Lisa ~ wife to Daniel ~ mama to Claire, born July 2009 (IVF baby!)
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