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    Pumping & milk production problems!!
    ashb36 posted:
    I am the proud new mommy of a preemie & am having MAJOR milk production problems. My daughter was born almost 6 weeks early & is now almost 6 weeks old. Since birth, she has been given formula to suppliment breast milk, but I really wanted to nurse her. My milk came in about 3 days after delivery, but it wasn't much & it wasn't consistent. So, I sought the advice of a LC & rented a medical grade pump & was fitted for new shields. I needed shields 3 sizes bigger than the standard ones that came with the pump & at first it made all the difference in the world! I had become engorged & immediately was able to fill several bottles. My pumping sessions after that went okay.... I would produce anywhere from 60 - 120 ml's at a time. However, one breast has always produced more that the other & then one night, my production literally dropped to almost nothing. So now for the past month my daughter has been on almost ALL formula because I'm lucky if I can get 15 ml's out of either breast. =( I am BEYOND frustrated & stressed out about this!! I don't understand what happened. I try to drink a lot of water throughout the day, but I know that I'm not pumping as often as I'm supposed to. I know I'm supposed to pump every 2-3 hrs., but I have very little help with the baby, so there's lots of times where I physically CAN'T pump. Plus, factor in the fact that I'm not able to sleep much or even have regular meals. I still try to do the best that I can to get whatever I can..... but I'm really scared that the milk is not going to ever come back no matter what I do. =*( Any advice???
    hlove1988 responded:
    one thing to remember with breastmilk production is it is supply and demand but pumping is not nearly as effective as breastfeeding, my advise would be to try to change to breast feeding if u can, nipple shields are a great tool for changing from a bottle to the breast, i had to use one with my oldest, and im so happy i did, i tried bfing after we left the hospital i was suppimenting with formula and was on a slow path to all formula but was able to teach my self and her how to bf at around five weeks old and shortly after she refused the bottle and i succesfully bf till she was fifteen months and have exclusively breastfeed and pumped for my new lo so it can be done, also i eat oatmeal to help breastmilk production and there are othe herbs too, hth and good luck momma, and remember to be calm babies feed off our emotions and ur not a failure if u dont bf
    phoenix31674 responded:
    If you can switch her to taking the breast, she is more efficient than the world's best pump.

    Also, I know this is probably going to make things worse, but stress will reduce your milk output. Try to pump in a darkened room with soothing music either while holding your daughter if you can or get a baby doll that you can imagine is your daughter. This can trick your body into letdown.

    As the PP mentioned, it is supply and demand. You either need to pump or feed her every 2-3 hours and your supply will come back up. By not pumping as often you are signalling your body you don't need as much milk. If you can switch her to the breast, it should be much less stressful because you don't have to worry finding time to pump, just let her eat when she's hungry. This can help at night because you can just lie her down in the bed with you and let her eat without having to stress about getting a bottle ready while she's screaming making it easier for you both to go back to sleep.
    noelle1225 replied to phoenix31674's response:
    also, not that I claim to be an expert on bf'ing, but what you said about not getting regular meals struck me. You cannot ask your body to make milk if you aren't putting in what it needs to make it. That means regular meals and lots of hydration. I've read that one bfing session burns 500 calories and those have to come from somewhere:)
    ashb36 replied to noelle1225's response:
    You all make some really good points & I REALLY appreciate all the advice! I have another question, however. Whenever I put my daughter to my breast, she'll suckle for a minute or so, but then gets so frustrated that nothing really comes out, that she just screams until she gets her bottle. How do I get her to continue at the breast to MAKE it produce more milk?
    Has anyone else had this problem?
    phoenix31674 replied to ashb36's response:
    For right now I would suggest pumping to get to let down to get her used to feeding from the breast. She's gotten used to the instant flow of a bottle and needs to get used to needing to work for milk from the breast. You might also want to talk to a lactation consultant or La Leche League about how to transition the baby to the breast. Just an aside, but it would be worth checking to see if she's tongue tied - meaning the flap of skin under the tongue attaches very close to the front. That may make it hard for her to get a good latch and good suction. My son had that. He could still feed, but he was very noisy as you could hear him losing suction.

    I have the opposite problem - I was never able to get my son to take a bottle. Thankfully I stay at home or that might have been really stressful.

    Good luck to you.

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