New here - No milk supply?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by Perplexed, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Perplexed

    Perplexed Mommy of 2

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    Hi ladies. I do hope it's okay to start a topic like this as I'm expecting my first and want to learn as much as possible about breastfeeding. :blush:

    I've been reading bf websites and trying to ease myself into all the information without being overwhelmed. And I do know there are lactation consultants at the hospital where I'm planning to deliver my LO, and they are very pro-bf so I am happy I would be getting support. However, there are no ante-natal or breastfeeding classes in my area so there isn't anyone to answer my concerns. But I do plan to bring them up with my doctor next time I see her.

    Anyway, I have been wondering about this one thing that I commonly here. It isn't really a worry but I just want to hear people's opinions and what they think about it.

    Why do so many women say that they can't breastfeed because there just isn't any supply? The literature all says these cases are truly very rare, but I wonder if the problem isn't actually supply but something else? Obviously I don't expect to troubleshoot every single problem that could occur now before I've even had my LO, but I feel some information beforehand can't hurt.

    Can some moms shed some light over this?
     
  2. MissAnnabelle

    MissAnnabelle Well-Known Member

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    I have low milk supply now after using a nipple shied for the first 7 weeks and getting 3 periods in one month. I'm working with a LC and taking mother love 4x a day and pumping after every feed to try and beef up my supply. My lo is gaining good weight and I'm bfing exclusively but she wasn't taking enough at one feeding and was very fussy. I'm feeding her what I pump and she's more satisfied. Anyway, breastfeeding can be challenging and there are a lot of things that can affect your supply but there's also a lot you can do to help it - it might not be easy tho but its worth it.
     
  3. Calif

    Calif Baby was born 6/2013!

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    Your supply can drop if the baby doesn't feed enough such as
    - newborn is too sleepy (wake him up to eat!)
    - you're supplementing with formula (for each formula feed, pump so your body knows to produce the right amount)
    -etc

    But it can usually be troubleshooted or corrected
     
  4. Perplexed

    Perplexed Mommy of 2

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    Thank you for your response!

    I do have a question if you don't mind... I am really just wondering because I truly don't know and would love to learn. But how do you know if your milk supply is low? Or is it one of those things that you know once you've come across them?
     
  5. Emz1982_in_uk

    Emz1982_in_uk Mummy to Dino & BaBa

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    All of my friends who tried breastfeeding have all said exactly the following:

    'I didn't have enough milk. The baby fed constantly and just wasn't satisfied'

    I also thought this with my son! Then I did a lot of reading and realised it was cluster feeding! I wish they told you real facts about bf from the start, then I'd probably have carried on with my son.

    Of course as a pp has said some things can effect supply but they can be corrected.

    If baby is peeing and pooing plenty and gaining weight then your supply is just fine :flower:
     
  6. Perplexed

    Perplexed Mommy of 2

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    Thank you! I will keep this in mind.

    That's exactly what I have been hearing also. That they didn't have enough milk. So it's cluster feeding, now I know exactly to read about so that I could understand what's happening there. Thank you so much!
     
  7. Emz1982_in_uk

    Emz1982_in_uk Mummy to Dino & BaBa

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    My daughter fed constantly and guess what, seemed unsatisfied at times. I powered through, believing it to be normal and got her weighed every week and kept an eye on the nappies. The child gained weight brilliantly and when I saw her little rolls of fat I felt proud :rofl:
     
  8. Pielette

    Pielette Mum to little men

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    Yes I think it's often because bub feeds constantly and doesn't seem satisfied for the first couple of weeks, but that's normal and is their way of building up your supply. I had one night when my LO was on and off the boob for 7 hours! But for this site I would have thought I didn't have enough milk too. There's a real lack of education on BFing and what's normal.

    Plus there can be all sorts of other issues - baby latching and unlatching, general fussiness, comfort sucking, all of which can make Mum feel like it isn't going well.

    Low supply can happen if you supplement with formula because bub isn't stimulating your breasts enough to signal them to make enough milk.
     
  9. Perplexed

    Perplexed Mommy of 2

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    That must have felt awesome! :hugs:

    You are so right...thank you so much for your info and experience. I am so glad to have access to this site and other online resources to learn what's normal and what isn't. Personal experiences help so much.
     
  10. megrenade

    megrenade Well-Known Member

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    I was only 19 when my son was born and had no classes or former experience. I just nursed him every time he cried and I haven't had an issue (still going at almost 15 months).

    Don't go more than a few hours without feeding your baby and pump in between if you need to!
     
  11. Emz1982_in_uk

    Emz1982_in_uk Mummy to Dino & BaBa

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    Just by doing your research and asking all of these great questions you're getting off to a great start. With my first I was naive thinking it all comes naturally etc I gave up very quickly. With my daughter I did lots and lots of reading and like you found out what was normal. 12 months later and we are still going strong :)
     
  12. JenX

    JenX Mom of 1

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    In the early weeks it is so easy to second guess yourself. Read and research and you'll find that what you're going through is normal, and that is really reassuring. At least that's what I did. The Kellymom site was especially helpful for this. Also take any help available to you: lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, etc. They really do help.
     
  13. CupcakeBaby

    CupcakeBaby Pregnant with a Princess

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    I'm sure I read somewhere its something like 1% who truly have supply problems.

    Most of the time I think it's just cluster feeding that makes people think their babies are hungry and they have no milk.

    Luckily I knew it was/is coming and that its the most important time to feed.

    One of my girls from my antenatal class (the know it all one - of course) I saw her 10 days PP and she told me how the day before had been awful and the baby had fed and fed but wasn't getting milk and her boobs were empty so her mum sent her to bed and fed the baby formula.

    I knew by the next time I saw her she'd be FF - and she was.

    You just need to trust that you do have enough milk and be prepared for LOTS of feedings in the early days. Don't mess around with pumps or bottles or anything as any of that can hurt supply.

    And if you are one of the 1% then I guess you know as baby won't be gaining weight etc.
     
  14. MommyJogger

    MommyJogger Well-Known Member

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    Diapers are the most reliable way of telling whether your baby is getting enough breast milk. They should have 1 wet diaper on day 1, 2 on day 2, etc. By a week old, they should be having 4-6 very wet diapers each day. It's so easy to second guess yourself. Any crying or fussiness, constantly wanting to nurse, frequent wakings or generally being wakeful at night, all of these normal things are easy to perceive as baby somehow not getting enough to eat.
    Expect to nurse constantly in the first months. Every peep baby makes, offer the breast. It's been more than two hours since the last feed? Offer the breast. Are you bored? Offer the breast. Sitting and watching tv? Offer the breast.
    The most reliable way to succeed at breastfeeding is to nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse. Something doesn't feel right? Have lo's latch checked frequently. And stock up on lanolin. Apply liberally after every feed if you're feeling pain, before and after every shower, any time you remember, just lanolin yourself. You may need it, you may not. But I think it's more common to need it. And if you don't use it all, it's also a good moisturizer for dry skin. I used it on dry patches on DS's face in the winter.
    The most reliable way to fail at breastfeeding? Introducing formula. Don't even entertain the thought. Just nurse, nurse, nurse. It will all eventually even out and life will start to resemble mild normalcy. My biggest parenting regret so far has been the tiny bit of formula lo received in the hospital. He didn't need it. It was a terrible decision and I got very lucky that it didn't send me down the path with the rest of the people who incorrectly believe they don't make enough breast milk.
    ETA: okay, not my biggest regret, but it's pretty high on the list, lol.
     
  15. LittleBean19

    LittleBean19 Well-Known Member

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    My pediatrician made me feel that I had low supply before I new about cluster feeding, he sent me home with a tub of formula. I did my own research and realized what was really happening and I am so glad I did! Breastfeeding has honestly been one of the greatest things I have ever done and after those first few weeks it is SO amazing and easy! These are some of my favorite articles, well blogs really.. :)

    http://nurshable.com/2012/01/05/the-advice-that-i-give-to-new-moms/

    http://nurshable.com/2012/01/18/what-is-normal/

    http://nurshable.com/2012/04/12/getting-enough/
     
  16. pinklightbulb

    pinklightbulb Single Mummy

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    I think it's that baby feeds constantly and doesn't seem "satisfied", combined with older relatives who FF, or other mums you know who FF, putting doubt in your mind. Also the lack of knowledge from professionals since many know jack crap about BF, as so many FF these days.
     
  17. MissAnnabelle

    MissAnnabelle Well-Known Member

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    The easiest way to tell if your baby is eating enought is by counting dirty diapers and weight gain, but in our case those things were good. She was fussy and wouldn't nap in her own especially in the evening and I had to nurse her every 45-120mins. Finally I did a feed and weight (I went to a place that specialized in breast feeding, I have done them at the pediatricians and now I'm renting a scale so I can do them at home until we're where we need to be) where you nurse the baby but weight her beforehand and then after each side. In our case she only took 1oz total when she should have been taking 3oz
     
  18. MommyJogger

    MommyJogger Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to offend, but because we're discussing expectations and what's normal to a soon-to-be mom, all of that sounds normal to me. It's normal for bf babies to go a long time w/o a dirty diaper and different 'specialists' have different ideas about what's a good weight gain.
    #1 as I labelled is clusterfeeding and sometimes baby won't come off the boob at all for hours at a time.
    #2 as labelled above sounds very strange to me. 3oz is a lot of milk for a young baby and there really is no amount a baby 'should' be getting because they'll take different amounts at different times of the day and some babies take less oz more often and some babies take more oz less often. I'd be very suspicious of anyone telling you a volume baby "should" be getting per feed. Lots of health professionals, even ones specializing in breastfeeding, don't actually know much about breastfeeding and can give sabotaging advice. I know some 6mo old ebf babies who don't take 3oz at a time.
     
  19. CupcakeBaby

    CupcakeBaby Pregnant with a Princess

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    My baby won't nap on her own at any time. And still at 14 weeks I can be feeding her every 45 minutes.

    Not saying you don't have low supply but that just sounds like a normal baby to me.

    Especially as she gained well and had dirty diapers.
     
  20. TheNewMrs

    TheNewMrs Well-Known Member

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    Honestly a lot of it is poorly educated HCPs.

    Here's the situation. In the 60's Formula Companies marketed their product to be "better than mothers milk", they preyed on the fact that babies would be exhausted from digesting another Mammals milk coupled with the exhaustion a new mother has from the constant feeding in the early days the stuff flew off the shelves! We lost generation after generation of breastfeeding mothers. It used to be that mothers helped their daughters breastfeed and care for newborns but now mothers didn't know how to help because they hadn't breastfed and any Grannies that had breastfed did it on a schedule like formula feeding and the mother soon gave up because the baby would scream-clearly so because babies are not designed to go hours between milk feeds, especially not in the early days. (Obviously I am generalising here, I know there are some families where nobody ever FF'd).

    So those women that used formula gave birth to sons and daughters who used it and they had sons and daughter too who used it and grew up and became Doctors and Nurses and Midwives, most of those who have (in Ireland anyway) 20 hours MAX of breastfeeding training in their whole career. They don't see, know of, or experience BF so when a BF mother comes in with a baby who is feeding every 90 mins (Normal!) and waking every 2 hours at night (Normal!) and feeding for 2-3 hours at a time every evening (Normal!) S/he tells Mum she has poor supply and she moves to formula. That mother then tells her Mum/Sisters/Friends that she "couldn't breastfeed" because she had low supply. Of course she will believe it to be true I mean it was a Doctor/Midwife/Nurse who told her this after all. And so the cycle continues. Its a cultural problem. A lot of mothers who say they cannot breastfeed have been told they can't by someone they really trust. Now had that mother called an LC or a Peer Supporter she would have been told "Your baby's behaviour is entirely normal for their age. The reason they feed so much right now is that they are building your milk supply and letting your body know how much milk s/he needs. You must be so tired, why don't you nap when baby naps and see how you feel about co-sleeping to help you both get a lot more rest."

    That ending would be entirely different. But I know in Ireland and the UK especially, our GP's are the "go to" unless we know about LCs or Peer Support, (Which I didn't when I was expecting).

    I know my generalisations are not the reality for some Doctors and Nurses and I am very thankful for those HCPs who know what information to give but sadly they are few and far between,.
     

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