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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My intention when my ds was born was to exclusively breastfeed and even though it was painful and a little rough in the beginning I was determined to do it for the sake of my baby. Unfortunately my plan got derailed. My ds weighed 7lbs. 3oz when he was born and at his first dr. appt he was down to 6lbs 10 oz (no big deal) but when he went back the following week he was down to almost 6lbs! I was freaked out and asked our Dr. if he thought I should start supplementing him. He said not yet and that he wasn't extremely worried yet and wanted me to try to exclusively pump to measure how much milk I was producing and that way we could see if he was getting enough. After doing that for a few days I realized I had a lazy boob, one side produced far less than the other and it didn't seem like I was making enough for ds. I cried several times because I felt like a bad mommy that couldn't give my baby what he needed. My DH and I decided to begin supplementing him to make sure he was getting enough to eat and gain his weight back. It worked and he was gaining sufficiently by his next appointment.<br><br>
He is now almost 14 weeks old and is partially BF and partially FF. I work part-time and when I am home I BF as much as possible and also at night. But he gets formula while I am at work since my supply dropped due to supplementing I don't have enough to pump extra for him when I am gone. I have been drinking Mother's Milk tea and that seems to help a bit but not enough.<br><br>
I really have started to regret not trying harder to EBF from the beginning and wonder if there is any chance of increasing my supply enough to do it now or if it's too late and I have already doomed my son to continued being supplemented.<br><br>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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No advice here, really, but to just let you know that I went through the same thing w/ DS. I did everything that I knew to do at the time and nothing seemed to work. Once we did start supplementing, DS was happy, full and healthy. Your baby will not be doomed if you're doing what you feel is best for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I know that at the time it was the best decision we could make for him and he is healthy and thriving. I just feel like I gave in too quickly.
 

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Many moms have found that taking a "breastfeeding holiday" can really help to boost their milk supply. Take a weekend (or anytime you have a couple of days together) and spend the whole time nursing as much as possible, and spending time in skin to skin contact. Don't go anywhere, just nurse, nurse, nurse. If you are still attempting to pump, I've found that I could pump a lot more when I pumped on one side and nursed the baby on the other side.<br><br>
And remember, you are doing the best you can.
 

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Yes, you can definitely work toward exclusive breastfeeding, or at least increasing your supply and decreasing the amount of formula.<br><br>
Milk supply, as you probably already know, is based on supply and demand. The more milk removed and the more frequently milk is removed, the more milk you'll make. Nursing frequently while you're together is the best way to increase your milk supply. Wearing your son in a sling and spending lots of time skin-to-skin can help encourage him to nurse more.<br><br>
Do you pump at all when apart from him? Even if you can't pump enough (and many women, even those who make too much milk struggle to pump enough) for his needs while you're away, it's important not to go more than 3-4 hours without the stimulation of breastfeeding or pumping. When trying to increase supply, the more frequent stimulation the better, even if you're not getting much.<br><br>
Galactogogue herbs can help. Teas are usually not the best, though, especially when trying to build supply, as the amount of active herb you receive is too variable (and usually too low). There are several tinctures on the market that are specifically for building milk supply. You can also take fenugreek (one of the most well-known galactogogues) alone or in combination with blessed thistle. Typical dose is 3 capsules of each three times a day. If you don't notice an effect within 3-4 days, it's unlikely these will work for you.<br><br>
It's actually normal to have one breast that produces more milk than the other (in most women, it's the right breast). This doesn't mean your supply is low or that there's something wrong with one breast, it's just the way we're built. Some babies also prefer one breast to the other and over time this can lead to production differences, as well.<br><br>
Have you had any latch problems? Sore/cracked/bleeding nipples? This could indicate that your son isn't (or wasn't) latching on correctly in the beginning. If he wasn't removing milk effectively, then that would have signalled your body to make less milk. If you've had any problems like this, it's important to get help in improving his latch, as more effective milk removal will lead to a greater supply.<br><br>
Have you considered contacting a local La Leche League Leader or an IBCLC? They could work with you in person to help increase your supply. There's also good info on-line at the La Leche League website (look for information on milk supply and relactation), at kellymom.com, and at lowmillksupply.org.<br><br>
Another thing to consider is that in a couple of months your son will start solids. Although breastmilk or formula will make up the majority of his diet for many more months, you can slowly begin to replace formula with solids (babies don't take in more calories after beginning solids; solids replace breastmilk or formula in their diets). By taking care to continue breastfeeding at the same frequency, you can eventually get to the point where he gets only your milk and solid foods.<br><br>
Good luck! It's definitely do-able, but no matter what, remember that your baby is still getting a lot of your milk. ANY breastmilk is better than no breast milk. When I had to supplement my babies, it really helped to think of the formula as medicine. At the time, they needed more than I could provide. In an ideal society, there would be milk banks in every city with plenty of donor human milk, but the reality is that most of the time this isn't an option. We're lucky to have an alternative.
 

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My two pieces of advice would be to 1) look into domperidone (there is a lot of info on it in this forum). It's a medication that has the side effect of increasing milk and is by far the most powerful thing for most women to increase milk supply. 2) I would also say to get a Lact-aid and do all of your supplementing at the breast so your breasts get that much more stimulation, thus increasing your supply.<br><br>
I have low supply from breast surgery and have had to supp since 1 week old. I didn't start domperidone until 2 months post partum and it helped me significantly increase my supply. I didn't start using the lactaid until 5 months and that helped as well. I also take 4 pills of fenugreek 3 times/day and take goats rue in a liquid tincture. I've gone from pumping less than an ounce to 3 ounces and significantly decreasing the amount of supp my daughter needs. You can definitely make more progress and it is for sure not too late! I find it is never too late to try something new.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
Cindy
 
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