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Thread: Help... Supply is dropping. :(

  1. #1

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    Default Help... Supply is dropping. :(

    Hey

    I have a 4 week old who's still in NICU. She was 11 weeks premature.
    I was originally expressing every 3 hours during the day and every 4 during the night. I was getting around 300 to 400ml a day...

    My supply has dropped over the past week. Now I'm lucky to get 200 or even 250ml.

    I just hope my supply isn't dropping because its stopping completely. I'm eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, made lactation cookies, tried different pumps and tried double pumping. My LC at the hospital suggested pumping more so the demand comes and then the supply would come. But unfortunately its not. I've been expressing every 2 hours during the day and every 3 to 4 at night.

    I don't know what else to do. She needs my milk to grow... To get strong.

    Please help.

    Lysndan



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  2. #2

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    Hi,

    it's a tough gig expressing for a little one in NICU - you are really doing well. What sort of pump are you using? You need a hosital grade rental pump like a symphony. Apart from that, ask to do kangaroo care with her - skin to skin wherever possible. Just remember, the more you take out the more you will make. Ask your health care providers about getting a script for motilium

  3. #3

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    Oh hun. You are going through so much right now. You must be tired, stressed, so emotional.., I can only imagine what you are going through.

    The LC is on the money - supply = demand. But it may take time to build up.

    Can you up it to 2 or 3 hours at night? Do you feel the let down when you express?

    You can call the ABA anytime Lys. 1800 mum 2 mum. 24/7.

    Also bear in mind that the longer you express the easier it will become.

    Please hang in there. You are doing such a wonderful job under such difficult circumstances.

  4. #4

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    you're doing a super job.

    can you pump while looking at her, or with pictures of her? and imagining her noises in your head?

    I used fenugreek capsules and fennel tea. some people also get motillium or something - maybe ask your GP?

    otherwise, does your hospital have a breast milk bank that you can make use of for your daughter?

  5. #5

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    As always barb is great and your hospital LC sounds supportive. Sorry to go against OP but I wouldn't add to the night feeds, you being over tired and stressed won't help matters at all. In fact I'd probably suggest you have one night of at least a six hour stretch to recharge and pump no more than 2nd hourly. Skin to skin is the answer and it won't be long until she is on suck feeds. Your supply will sky rocket the more she feeds.

    You are doing a brilliant job for your daughter. You should be so proud!

  6. #6

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    I just feel its the only thing I can do for her right now. She is over an hour away in hospital so I can't hold her unless her cares are due. I've been looking at pictures of her non stop and I have some things of hers eg clothing beanies and I try and have them around when I express.

    As for the motilium, can you take that whilst on high amounts of blood pressure medications? And I have a medela symphony pump and the lactina set which includes the hand pump. I've also got the Philips Avent Isis Uno which seems to get more milk out than the Medela.

    I'll try pumping even more overnight. I'll try anything. I don't want to lose my supply. I want to breastfeed when I get her home eventually.

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  7. #7

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    firstly you are doing an awesome job, i have been through the NICU journey, it aint easy
    my son was a 30wkr and has just turned 1 and is still breastfed but i, like you suffered supply issues, i started using motillium when L was about 4w as i too was getting lots the first few weeks then no matter how much i pumped i was getting less and less. (im unsure if you can take it with other meds tho check with your GP?)
    the lactation cookies are good (eating the dough raw actually works better then cooked cookies, depends if you can stomach it)
    have you tried taking blessed thistle and fenugreek capsules from the health food store? 3x fenugreek 3x a day and 3x BT 3x a day? it will make you smell like maple syrup lol
    wishing you all the best for you and your LO's journey.
    i know how hard it is being apart from your baby, its like a piece of your heart is missing
    i hope its all smooth sailing for you, we have a few scary things (little bumps in the road) but L is now doing well, hes a little behind, even for his corrected age, but hes an absolute joy and his sisters adore him

  8. #8

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    You're doing a great job! I second the advice Barb has given:

    - use a Medela Symphony pump which you'll need to hire. I hired one from my local pharmacy on a monthly basis. I used it constantly for 3 months.
    - get on the Motillium pronto! It's amazing the difference it makes. Obviously you'll need to check if it's ok to take it with your other meds but do just that, check with your doctor ASAP! I was taking 40mg of Nefedipine a day for severe nipple vasospasm and I was taking a high dose of Motillium without any issues.
    - Fenugreek is also great (and natural) for helping boost your supply. I remember buying mine from a pharmacy on Rokeby Rd in Subi as I don't think it's available everywhere.
    - pump more frequently. I know you said you're already doing this but it can take a good week of increased feeds/pumps before you see the effects of the extra work. Supply and demand is the key

    Hang in there. Pumping is hard work, literally, and what you're going through is stressful enough. You're doing a wonderful job.

  9. #9

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    Have you tried letting her have a little lick or suckle at the Breast during a cuddle.
    From 32 weeks both my 28 and 25 weekers latched on...only for a very short time but they did suckle?
    Speak to your nurse about if you can have a cuddle around feed time, if possible arrange for the LC to be there to help (Sandy was wonderful for me) If bub does not suck it is ok it is still early but even expressing a little and letting her have a lick can do wonders for your supply. While she is still laying near your breast get them to do the tube feed.
    The closeness that both of you urgent is so beneficial, you may have to push a little, some nurses really encourage it, others are a bit more reluctant. The LC's are your best advocate.
    I had a terrible supply with the pump, both bubs needed donated milk but once they could suckle things picked up and I BF for 7 months. Domperidone (motilium) did help my supply, again ask the nurse or LC and they can get the doctor to write a prescription which you can pick up from the hospital pharmacy.

  10. #10

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    The nurses haven't yet let me see what happens when she's put near my breast. I really want to though. I need my supply to go up. I've got frozen EBM at the hospital and they are adding calories and fats to my milk to help her gain wait fast.

    Ive also tried hot face towels over my boobies. No change.

    It's frustrating me.

    Am I doing this all wrong ? I can't even have a healthy pregnancy. I can't pump properly... I feel like a crappy mum. :'( i feel by pumping its all I can do for her right now.

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  11. #11

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    aww hugs hun
    you are doing an awesome job!!!
    i too have walked in your shoes- i had twins at 30 weeks who had a 10% and 20% chance of survival

    i found that my supply started to settle down at 4 weeks as well and had to work damn hard to keep it going.
    but i did and i ended up expressing for 12 months!
    blessed thistle tablets helped me so worth giving them a go- fenugreek did nothing for me
    what also made a difference was my water intake and the time of day that i expressed. i always got more around in the AM hours than the PM hours so always tried to stock up and express 3 hourly overnight/morning and 4 hourly arvo. I also found that if i relaxed and read a book whilst i was expressing, then i would get more milk. also when you think you have got all the milk out, keep the machine on for a bit longer and see if you get another let down to happen!

    also remember that your body is making enough milk for your bubbas needs now!! as she demands more your milk supply can go up as well. bubs are heaps better at getting milk out of boobies than machines!

    The type of machine you use makes a big difference. For instance with a manual domestic machine I would get say 90mls but with a hospital grade machine i would get 120-150mls- so a big difference!!

    this expressing is a hard gig but as you said, you at least feel like you are doing something to help!

    if you want to chat at any time, please feel free to PM me!!
    this is a tough gig that no one should have to go through- but we do and it does change you and shape you as a person. It certainly puts everything else into perspective. People that have healthy full term babies do not realise how lucky they are!!
    hang in there hun and remember there are people here for you to support you!!!!
    hugs

  12. #12

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    Oh Lys lovely girl you are doing it so tough right now. Don't for a moment think your body has let you and little A down in pregnancy or birth- the body is a trillion times more complex and influenced by external things than we can imagine. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing right now to be there for her. You are there for her, she may have had to arrive early but she's doing well considering, and you are feeding her with your own love and food. even if your supply is plateauing at the moment it sounds like you've done plenty as there is EBM stored and waiting for her and you can still express new milk. Obviously I can't offer advice on supply as I've no experience of my own yet but the others have offered lots of support and practical advice.... Just try to remember that you are doing just fine and you are caring for her in just the right way for what she needs. Take care

  13. #13

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    Get on the motillium. I was taking it while taking nifedipine and labetalol following my pre-eclampsia. Check the dose as doctors often don't give you a high enough dose. It takes around a week to fully work.

    Good luck.

  14. #14

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    Lyns - the motilium can sometimes increase blood pressure (it's used to treat the low blood pressure that is a side effect of Parkinson's medicines), but it works in a very specific way, so it depends on the mechanism of your other medicines and your high blood pressure. Maxalon is another medication that can increase milk production - though it is older and used less than motilium.
    If your Dr says "no" then have a talk to Rodney Whyte at Monash Medical Centre, who is an expert on medicines and obstetrics/breastfeeding. His phone number is (03) 9594 2361.

    Can you hand express out the last bit after expressing - even if you don't keep it, everything you get out is sending a signal to "make more".

  15. #15

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    Hunni you are doing a FANTASTIC job! When my boys were admitted to ICU at 7 weeks old my supply dropped dramatically, J was on CPAP so i had no choice but to pump as his NGT had obviously been put in, L was on a ventilator, intubated with a NGT so no chance of feeding there either.
    I went from 200ml a pump to a measly 60ml no matter how much I expressed. I started taking motillium and noticed a little change, im still having supply issues and they are now 8 months old nearly just we have to mix feed which breaks my heart.

    You are doing great though its a tough position to be in the added stress and lack of sleep dont help your supply but theres not much we can do is there. Just keep going the best you can, you are a great mummy to be doing this for her

  16. #16

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    Are you in contact with your local ABA group? They can arrange a hire pump for you. A really good one might make all the difference.
    You're doing really, really well in very, very difficult circumstances. I'm sorry you're feeling really down about this - you brought your girl safely into the world and you continue to nourish and care for her the best way you can.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadB View Post
    Are you in contact with your local ABA group? They can arrange a hire pump for you. A really good one might make all the difference.
    You're doing really, really well in very, very difficult circumstances. I'm sorry you're feeling really down about this - you brought your girl safely into the world and you continue to nourish and care for her the best way you can.
    MadB I'm using the symphony pump by medela... Is that not a good pump? It's what I used in the hospital.

    I haven't called the ABA but I will if tomorrows supply drops. Managed to get 250ml today so far and I have another couple of expressions planned yet so hopefully be close to 350mls

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  18. #18

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    That's excellent, really. Just stick consistently to your pumping routine, don't let anything get in your way. You will find that if you had a couple of stressful days where you couldn't pump as often as you needed, then your milk will go down. It may take several days to a week to build it up, but it will happen. The symphony is just what you need. As others have said their should be no reason why you can't hold your baby and let her suckle - you need to talk to the staff and let them know how important this is to you. When they are busy they don't automatically *know* how you feel. Stick in there
    Last edited by Jennifer13; December 28th, 2011 at 10:25 PM.

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