Extremely low breast milk supply

Discussion in 'Premature Babies' started by Futurejedionbo, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Futurejedionbo

    Futurejedionbo Well-Known Member

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    My baby boy Christopher was born at 31+2 after I developed severe pre-eclampsia, I was so poorly that they had to give me magnesium sulfite before giving me an emergency c-section. After the birth my blood showed that my platelets had gone down to about 40.
    Baby is doing fine now and he's being tube fed. I am pumping every hour and a half, taking fenugreek, mother's tea, eating and drinking quite a bit and having loads of skin to skin but the most I can get out of an expression is about 30 ml and that's on a really good day, sometimes I get 20 others 10... I'm at the end of my wit's and they had to start supplementing with formula. Anyone has any tips on how I could possibly increase my milk supply? I was really hoping to breastfeed as he is my first child
     
    #1 Futurejedionbo, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  2. Elfs Mummy

    Elfs Mummy Well-Known Member

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    I think that's fantastic after all you've been through :) my advice would be even after you're getting nothing continue to pump for 10 minutes. Pump whilst having skin to skin, lots of oats, best time to express is in the early hours when your supply is at its highest and just enjoy your baby and relax he's getting your milk which is fantastic. X
     
  3. flexilexi394

    flexilexi394 Well-Known Member

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    Fenugreek supplement from holland and barrett is supposed to help increase supply too xxx
     
  4. babyscotcher

    babyscotcher Well-Known Member

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    I had to express while little one was in SCBU and thankfully had a good supply but met a few other mums who struggled.

    Tips I was given was to ensure you pump during the night as this is the most important time, to keep pumping after your have stopped producing and most of all to make sure you drink lots.

    Good luck and don't forget that any of your milk will do him the world of good. Don't be too hard on yourself as you have been through a tough time. X
     
  5. flexilexi394

    flexilexi394 Well-Known Member

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    :wall2: sorry just seen you are already taking fenugreek!! I hope you are okay that sounds like you have been through a hell of a lot xxxx
     
  6. Futurejedionbo

    Futurejedionbo Well-Known Member

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    I just hate all the pressure I feel... I live with a pump on my breasts... Can't even visit my son properly as every hour and a half I need to pump again... I have no idea how breast milk supply works or if it'll be able to increase at this stage (Chris is now 12 days old) my milk didn't even come in for an entire week. I managed to get it after I was discharged... Before that I was pumping maybe 1-2.5 ml out of each breast. Now I'm still lucky if I get between 10-15 out of each breast. I wish I was one of those mums who come in with full bottles of milk. :(
     
  7. Phoenix85

    Phoenix85 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with continuing to express for 10 minutes or so after your milk has stopped coming.


    However, please remember that a pump is not as efficient as a baby at getting out milk - many full-term mothers struggle to express milk but feed their babies directly from the breast with no issues.

    Are you using a hospital grade pump? Have they offered you an alternative pump in case one works better than another? Has anyone checked you are using a good fitting flange etc?

    Please ask your hospital (NICU nurses etc) to let you speak to the IBCLC or Infant Feeding Co-ordinator.

    Also you can request your baby is topped up with donated milk-bank breastmilk in the meantime.
    If milk-bank milk is not available you could ask on Human Milk 4 Human babies (on facebook) for donated milk and take it in along with your own.
     
    #7 Phoenix85, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  8. babyscotcher

    babyscotcher Well-Known Member

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    Personally every 90 minutes seems too often. I was told to express 8 times a day which is every 3 hours. I would also advise massaging your breast first before starting with the pump and if you cannot pump while you are with your local then use a picture of him to help while you express. Keep at it if you can but please don't beat yourself up about it. You are giving him some milk which is brilliant. X
     
  9. Futurejedionbo

    Futurejedionbo Well-Known Member

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    I was doing every 2 hours... But the BF specialist told me to try every 90 minutes as to keep the breast empty in order to produce more... But every 90 min seems to be getting me about 10-15 ml in total which isn't much :( I do keep a picture of him by my side while expressing and I usually massage before and stimulate the nipples before starting. I just feel like I'm doing something wrong. I just started the fenugreek today. And I'm also having the mother's milk tea + one or two bowls of oats a day. I wake up at least once or twice during the night and use the pump. They keep saying to relax but I just can't do it :(
     
  10. flexilexi394

    flexilexi394 Well-Known Member

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    That must feel like a huge amount of pressure on you, but my goodness you are doing brilliantly, well done and hats off to you, it must be really hard work. I hope your supply just surprises you and comes thick and fast so you don't feel like this xxx
     
  11. daisyduke76

    daisyduke76 Well-Known Member

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    When my LO was in SCBU, I really struggled to pump. As soon as we were home it was much easier, and my supply was so much better. I can't add much to what the other ladies have said, but I found a video of my LO helped more than a photo and seemed to help. Hope it gets better for you soon, stick with it, you're doing so well. xx
     
  12. Futurejedionbo

    Futurejedionbo Well-Known Member

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    They had to go down on his feeds as he's not digesting them fast enough :( we don't know if it's because he's not tolerating the formula that they are using to supplement my breast milk or because of how fast they upped his feeds (0.5ml every 6h) he was on 9ml and has been put back down to 7ml
     
  13. Phoenix85

    Phoenix85 Well-Known Member

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    Just to say, 3 hourly is not enough, expressing more often is better because you really need to mimic how often a newborn feeds and a healthy newborn ought to be feeding every hour or two, so telling you to express every 90 minutes is good advice (though admittedly it is hard work and tiring).

    Make sure you are drinking plenty.

    Also, could you not sit and express in SCBU/NICU at your baby's cot side?

    Are you allowed to do kangaroo care yet? Expressing whilst holding or touching him would also help maximise milk output.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Ella1979

    Ella1979 Well-Known Member

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    I also suffered severe pre-eclampsia, had magnesium sulphate, emergency section and was very poorly with my first baby. I really feel for you as I remember exactly what it was like going to SCBU with barely any milk. My milk supply never properly came in. I pumped regularly (1-2 hourly) and only ever managed a max. of 5ml. I tried over a period of 5 weeks and then gave up (obviously SCBU were giving formula during all this time too as she wouldn't have survived on just my milk). She was fed by nasogastric tube as well and was too tiny and weak to feed directly from me, which obviously didn't help.

    Are you still on medication for your blood pressure? This also reduces milk supply.

    You have been through so, so much. I remember my midwife saying that it was a lot to ask of your body to produce milk whilst recovering from such a serious condition. You may have lots of people saying carry on - and obviously that's entirely your decision - but I remember the despair of not being able to feed my baby and to be honest, it's just too much when you've been so poorly and your baby is in SCBU. I have to say that the day I gave up, put the pump away and got on with feeding my baby with formula was the day a massive weight was lifted from my shoulders.

    Any questions, please PM me. My little daughter is now a healthy, happy 4 year old who is bright and rarely gets ill. I may have felt guilty about not being able to breastfeed her, but she has certainly suffered no detriment from it that I can see xx
     
  15. Futurejedionbo

    Futurejedionbo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm still on quite a bit of medication, like 1200gr a day of blood pressure medication... I have an appointment at the GP today and he might start weaning me off as my blood pressure seems to be doing much better. I just hate the feeling of not being able to fully feed him you know :(
     
  16. Ella1979

    Ella1979 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know. I got so upset about it all. I was on the highest dose of labetalol and around 40mg nifedipine when I was discharged after 8 days in hospital. It took around 6 months to wean off them. I think because you're on so much of it, it would definitely be making a difference to your milk supply. Try to make sure you're taking care of yourself as well.
     

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