Prolactin Levels Above Normal Range. Why the low supply? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-14-2010, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had my prolactin levels checked, and they are above normal range. Yeay! So, why the low supply? Are your levels within range or above... but, still have low milk supply?

Note: The 'above normal range' is above pregnancy range. Of course, I am not pregnant any more; my DD is 2 months. But since there is no "breastfeeding range", I'm using what I have as a reference.

I've taken Goat's Rue for almost 2 months to increase glandular tissue. I know I can hold at least 2 oz at one time as this is my maximum pumping (at 5AM), but it only happened a couple times. (I'm still working on my supply... started pumping often again.) My breasts are normal. My let-down is slow. So slow, my DD won't nurse with breast alone (unless it's midnight-5AM); she wants the SNS.

EDIT/UPDATE: I checked kellymom and my prolactin levels are even higher (double) for someone 2 months postpartum (on dom). http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/prolactin-levels.html

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#2 of 8 Old 09-15-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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Have you read the "Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk?", that book discusses almost all issues with breastfeeding. How is your iron levels? Your thyroid hormones? Your babies latch, is it possible the baby has a slight tongue tie or lip tie? (I'm pretty sure my ds had a slight lip tie in addition to the myriad of problems we had). Is it possible that you may have increased your supply but it is masked by the supplement/sns?

Basically from my understanding, the hormone levels won't make enough difference if indeed you do have IGT. Unless the Goat's Rue has grown a significant amount of tissue, and everyone responds to herbs differently. Have you seen any increase at all? If you have IGT there are many possible outcomes, little change with the herbs/pumping, slight increase, significant increase and complete supply, no one knows why but everybody is different so you won't know until you try.

I know it is hard and frustrating to want to give your baby all breastmilk, but just hang in there and remember that what milk you do give her is precious.

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#3 of 8 Old 09-15-2010, 09:50 AM
 
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idk what SNS is but how often does she nurse? are you sure the supply is actually low or could it just be new mom worries? i feel like every woman freaks about supply at first.

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#4 of 8 Old 09-15-2010, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I know my supply is extremely low. It is not masked at all. Without the domperidone I would be down to practically nothing. I do not believe that I have IGT; my breasts are normal. Surprisingly, my sister (who just had a baby) also had low milk supply! (But, I am adopted, so...)

I've only seen an increase with domperidone, but nothing to fully feed my DD. I decreased dosage to check... and it went down!!!! And, I was still taking my herbs (More Milk Plus & Goat's Rue). Iron levels are good (just had those checked). The LC would have mentioned a tongue tie or lip tie. She has a good suck... someone mentioned she may have a lazy suck since she's been on the #4 feeding tube w/ SNS. I went down to #2 and she did well, but sometimes got "desperate" b/c it wasn't fast enough... probably b/c I wasn't giving her very much either.

So, I think my prolactin levels were high b/c of the domperidone. I didn't have breast changes during pregnancy, but don't believe I have IGT. Oxytocin should help let-down... so maybe that's a problem.

Well... I am working on it... still haven't lost hope! (Although, some days I just want to give up.) I have read the book "Mother Food" and did just about everything... except try alfalfa, fenugreek capsules (instead of mixed herbs tincture), pure barley water, brewer's yeast...

Curious: Can the body 'make' more glandular tissue postpartum?

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#5 of 8 Old 09-15-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germin8 View Post
Curious: Can the body 'make' more glandular tissue postpartum?
from what i've read that's what goat's rue is suppose to do in theory.

here's a rather lengthy study about possible pesticide exposure effecting mammary growth in mexican girls.

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/realfiles/m...8280/8280.html

If you're breasts didn't experience any growth during pregnancy i wouldn't completely rule out IGT. I did notice small growth and the pains with my first and have suspected igt, my breasts look like igt breasts, so that is another clue. Although the above study mentions some normal looking breasts still suffer from IGT. Honestly IGT is really something that is more than likely a side effect of our modern industrial world, and with all things, some people will be more sensitive to chemicals that mimic hormones, than others, it is hard to pinpoint or determine, but it is a reason none the less i am leaning toward.

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#6 of 8 Old 09-15-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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I read somewhere that there is a certain time frame in the beginning (like 10-14 days) in which the breasts are likely to form more prolactin receptors in response to the baby's active sucking. After this timeframe, it is possible, but more difficult to form and activate these receptors. Was your baby a good nurser from the start? I had unexplained low supply, however, one thing I do know is that my DD had a poor latch/suck that wasn't discovered until much later, at which point it was too late for me to increase my supply fully. At the point in which we figured out that we had issues, my supply was very low and stress took over, causing my supply to drop even more. I do know that stress greatly affected my let down (especially in the first few weeks) and eventually my supply, too.

Here is an excerpt from an article I found helpful. I know a lot of women on this forum do not equate their low milk supply to stress, but in my case, I know it had a BIG impact.

http://www.glowm.com/index.html?p=gl...&articleid=304

The greatest cause of difficulty with nursing or milk supply is anxiety. This anxiety may be secondary to fears of inadequacy related to breast size, to concern about the ability to produce sufficient milk (usually for the first pregnancy or if such a problem arose in nursing a previous infant), or to unconscious or conscious negative feelings about nursing. The stress and anxiety caused by these feelings are associated with increased catecholamine production, which inhibits the stimulation of the myoepithelial cells by oxytocin and causes vasoconstriction that diminishes the supply of both oxytocin and prolactin to the acinar cells of the breast. This condition is similar to psychological impotence; the physiologic mechanism is intact, but there is an autonomic block that originates in the psyche and inhibits the normal physiologic function
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#7 of 8 Old 09-15-2010, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I pumped right away... from day 2... and my DD was a good nurser.

I should check into the stress part. I may be low in calcium and I know I have a sweet tooth, both of which 'robs' my body of calcium... According to Mother Food book, I need calcium.

Okay, even with normal breasts I won't rule out IGT. But, I am able to pump 2 oz... this tells me I have enough glandular tissue to hold 2 oz... either that or I don't have enough tissue and it takes longer to get 2 oz out... kinda like a slow trickle instead of a waterfall. Hope that made sense... if only someone could fix this! :-)

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#8 of 8 Old 09-16-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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well its hard though b/c my supply is fine but i can and always could only pump 2 oz. so try not to focus on the pumping amount. i started freaking out that i cant pump alot when DD eas around your baby's age. we went to LLL and they said i was fine it was just how my breasts responded to the pump. That pumping was for a full 30 mins btw.

i dont have any real advice besides that sorry hun. good luck and you're doing an amazing job for you're child! try not to loose hope in the long run. ((((hugs)))

btw DD is 11 m/o and i cans till only pump 2 oz

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