6m Nursling and 3m pregnant... Milk supply - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-01-2011, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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As my title says, I have a 6 month old who is exclusively breastfed and I am also 14 weeks pregnant.


Up until a few weeks ago breast feeding was going fine but it seems my milk took a hit and I cannot get it back up with the basic pumping/frequent nursing/increasing calories, etc.  It seems like maybe my DS doesn't always get multiple let downs and empty my breast (he is used to a quick letdown and gets frustrated with working to get his food) so I think that's preventing my breasts from getting the message that they need to produce more.


He has only gained a few oz the last few weeks and his wet diapers seem to be a lot less wet. His pedi gave me reglan but I am so scared that I'll have depression or that it will affect baby #2 but I am desperate to get my milk back up.  Fenugreek isn't safe for pregnancy and I don't know what else to try.


I am in tears, I feel like I have to sacrifice the well being of one child for the benefit of the other.

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#2 of 10 Old 09-02-2011, 09:27 AM
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I've hesitated to respond because what I've read isn't reassuring about boosting supply while pregnant. Most - 70% - of women will have their supply drop and some will dry up entirely. I did but my nursling was already a toddler.
Reglan may be safe in pregnancy - www.infantrisk.com will be able to tell you for sure - but the question is whether it will work against the tide of pregnancy hormones.
I'd just nurse as much as you can and keep a close eye on your LO's weight gain - kellymom.com has good info on normal infant growth - and be prepared to supplement. I'd use donor milk or formula because baby's primary source of nutrition really should be milk or a substitute for the first year.
The good news is that many babies will keep nursing during mom's pregnancy and you'll be able to nurse both babes when your "new" milk comes in. If that interests you, kellymom.com has info about tandem nursing and nursing during pregnancy (although it seems to assume the nursling is a toddler).

Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
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#3 of 10 Old 09-02-2011, 01:44 PM
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My heart is aching for you. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose supply, although I wasn't pregnant, I was able to get it back. 


Are you taking prenatals? If so, could something in the prenatal vitamin be causing your supply to decrease? There are many prenatals on the market and not all of them are as healthy and safe you as may think, so you may want to do a little research. If you're not taking one, that would probably be a good way to ensure you're getting some healthy vitamins to possibly increase your milk supply. 


Are you staying hydrated? When I wasn't hydrating my body well, I noticed a huge decrease in my supply! I would guess you'll need to increase your water intake even more because you're nursing and pregnant. 


Have you been in touch with LaLecheLeague? If not, they'd be an excellent source to use because they've surely have some educated and helpful advice and support for you. 


As already suggested, continue nursing, even if you lose supply bc then you can tandem nurse once your newest addition makes their debut. If you do need to supplement milk, goat's milk formula recipes are the best and healthiest alternative that I know of. 


Hold onto hope, sweet momma.



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#4 of 10 Old 09-03-2011, 12:17 PM
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Your growing baby is your first responsibility. That baby can only get nutrition from you. It takes an excellent diet to grow a baby and to nurse a baby without additional food (if you can make enough milk). Your 6 month old is old enough by anyone's standards to be eating some food. I don't think its a good idea to take drugs to increase milk supply while pregnant. Herbs are drugs.


The most important developmental task in the first year is brain growth. Your child needs enough of the right kinds of foods for brain growth. If you don't have enough milk and can't get human milk other ways then your child needs formula. From 6-12 months 32 ounces of human milk or formula is recommended. Children should not have cow's or goat's milk until after 12 months. Some people recommend goat's milk but there have been problems in Europe with goat's milk. The AAP, CDC, and other health organizations do not recommend goat's milk and say formula only until after 12 months.


Life is not fair and as a mother there are going to be many times you will be in tears. The best choice you have is to start solids and supplement with human milk (if you can get it) or formula. Once the baby is born you can tandem nurse or the older child can drink your milk from a cup. Another choice would be to have an abortion - I think almost everyone would agree that is a much worse choice. You probably wouldn't even consider it.  

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#5 of 10 Old 09-05-2011, 05:06 AM
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Suggesting to a mother struggling with breastfeeding while pregnant that she have an abortion is really not appropriate.


Rdefined, you can get some excellent support and advice by contacting your local La Leche League leader. Here's the Canada page of local groups: http://www.lllc.ca/find-group

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#6 of 10 Old 09-05-2011, 09:23 AM
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You have many choices and it probably seems daunting. Perhaps this is not exactly the plan you envisioned for breastfeeding, and now you may need to make some changes, perhaps just temporary ones, but you thankfully got your baby through the first six months of life on your lifegiving, protecting, nourishing milk. You did a good job, now continue to try your best and make changes as neccessary so both kids can get what they need most from mom. You've done a good job, be kind to yourself. Best wishes and congratulations on your pregnancy.

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#7 of 10 Old 09-06-2011, 01:59 PM
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What is ideal for a child is to breastfeed at least 2 years with a mother not being pregnant. This mother feels she is sacrificing the well being of one child for the other. The only way she can give the older baby the best is to have an abortion. Since she isn't going to have an abortion it doesn't do any good to be in tears over a situation she isn't going to change. Accept what is and move on. I wasn't suggesting she have an abortion.


There is a book called Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. Pryor is also a breastfeeding advocate that has beein involved with La Leche League for years. The book is about problem solving, communication, and dealing with others. First you consider all options. The dog is barking in the back yard at night. You can shoot the dog, you can give the dog away, you can use ear plugs, you could use a shock collar, or you could bring the dog in the house since he is lonely outside. In Rdefined's situation having an abortion is the shooting the dog option.


Rdefined, I hope you are able to tandem nurse. I nursed a 2-3 year old through pregnancy and then tandem nursed. I enjoyed it and the brothers have always been really close. If I was in your situation I would get donor milk to suppliment until the baby is born. That might not be an option for you either because you don't like the idea of donor milk or you can't get donor milk. Many women have freezers full of milk they are willing to donate.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#8 of 10 Old 09-08-2011, 09:23 PM
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I'm so sorry, rdefined.  That has to be so hard!  I had low supply with my baby for several months (after nursing all of his siblings for 2 yrs each), and he drank A LOT more formula than I would have ever wished.  I pumped, took herbs, drugs, etc. but he had an anatomical problem that kept him from getting a decent latch.  I have to say, that he is healthy, happy, well-fed and smart (for a 7 mth old winky.gif). We have been able to drop the supplements since he had a 2nd tongue tie revision a month ago and he is nursing great now.  My point is, even if you must supplement, your baby will be just fine!  And if you can nurse him even just a little throughout your pregnancy, he won't forget how to do it right when your milk comes in again full force.  I'm not sure if you're open to tandem nursing, but it might make the transition for everyone a little smoother, you included!  Best of luck and congrats on your new pregnancy. Things happen when we don't expect, but they happen for a reason. Take care!

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#9 of 10 Old 09-08-2011, 09:53 PM
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Hi!hug2.gif I nursed DS1 throughout my pregnancy. I started him on solids and continued to nurse on demand. (he was 8 months)


Biggest thing that helped...Water I drank tons and tons, not matter if you think is enough drink more, especially since being hydrated is important for you and your new bean.


I did not lose my supply, but it did drop. we are now tandem feeding. I love it.


but seriously invest in a stainless steal cup and drink at least 6 full things a day, attach it to your hip!

biggrinbounce.gifDS 10/09  sleepytime.gifDS 2/17/11 stork-suprise.gif Blessing #3 sometime 2/13


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#10 of 10 Old 09-19-2011, 12:40 AM
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hug2.gifOP. I've been there. I got pregnant with my dd when my ds was only 5 months. I was told by a dr specializing in lactation that I didn't need to put him on formula when my supply dropped at 13 weeks along (he was 8ish months then) - I could just go right to cow's milk. We did that for a month but I really felt he needed formula so I gave him 3 bottles per day until he was a year. Then we went back to cow's milk. When I had my dd, he was 14 months old and was still comfort nursing once a day (even without milk). He then got the benefit of the return of my milk supply and went back to nursing several times a day. I weaned him when he was 27 months and I got preg with #4. 


Ultimately, I listened to my gut. Try to tune out the noise and do what your inner-mama says - you are wise beyond anything when it comes to nourishing both of your children! As evil as it's made out to be, formula isn't the devil or even close.It has a place. This might be one of them.

"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton

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