Breastfeeding issues

DelmaDelma Posts: 1,121Registered Users
My son seems to be gaining fine and reaching developmental milestones on time if not before yet I'm still concerned about my supply, my left breast doesn't seem to make near as much milk as my right.
I'm having a really hard time getting him to nurse on the left side and when I just try to pump that side I can pump for 20 minutes and only get a few drops.

Would my best bet be to take some sort of supplement to increase milk overall?

Help!

Comments

  • mayimmayim Posts: 2,301Registered Users
    this subject comes up so often, i think it's pretty common for women to have one breast that produces more. i know i did. something was funny with the latch on the other side, and lydia really didn't prefer it. i just kept persisting, starting her on that side more often than not, to even things out a bit. i would keep trying, not just pump that side, because it is the suckling that stimulates the milk produciton.

    for me, the right still produces quite a bit more, but it's not as exaggerated as it was.

    i'm sure your supply is fine. have you taken any mama's milk tea? i make my own with alfalfa, fennel, marshmallow root, etc. (i can find the exact recipe if you want, pm me!) or you can buy it pre-made at the health food store.

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  • DelmaDelma Posts: 1,121Registered Users
    Thanks Mayim:angel7:. Just to be clear I am still feeding him on the left side but if he's just crying and won't take it then I try to pump it. I'll pm you for that recipe!
  • SigiSigi Posts: 2,379Registered Users
    I swear by oatmeal.

    I eat 2 packages of oatmeal for breakfast almost every day. Soren is almost 20 lbs now and he's the biggest of my babies. The other two were quite lean and didn't hit 20 lbs until they were about a year old. That's the only thing I can think of that I've done differently from my other babies. I still leak a bit if I don't apply pressure to stop it.
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    I feed on the weaker side, pump on the stronger side. I also eat a crapload of protein (1 to 1.5 grams per lb of weight daily) drink a lot of fluids. As for suppliments - fenugreek 3x a day.
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  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    I have a question. I tried to breastfeed both of my children and there was milk but it wouldn't come out. I went to the hospital to talk to the lactation and she tried to get the milk out along with several other nurses not one of them could get a drop out. By the time my doctor put me on Reglan with my second child, it was too late to build up a milk supply, but it finally started coming out. Is it possible that some women simply cannot breastfeed?
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Is it possible that some women simply cannot breastfeed?

    Possible, but very very rare. Are you certain that no milk was coming out when you would nurse your babies? Some women have a very hard time expressing milk manually or with a pump but the baby's sucking can get it out just fine.

    Delma, I would probably offer the left side first for every feeding until he builds the supply up on that side. Also, I don't even bother pumping if I don't get a spontaneous letdown because like you, I can only get drops. Do you ever get random letdowns when you just start leaking? Keep the pump plugged in and ready, and when you get one of those random letdowns run and take advantage of it.

    Sigi - wow Soren is big! I think Solomon might FINALLY be 20 lb but we'll know for sure at his WBV next month. I eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning too but haven't the whole time. And like you do, I still get random letdowns where I have to apply pressure so I don't leak.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • rnconniesfrnconniesf Posts: 256Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    You can try changing position on the left side. It is not uncommon for babies to have a preferred side and changing nursing position can "trick" them into taking the non-preferred side. If you usually use the Madonna hold try a foot ball hold, or a fact to face hold, or even laying down to nurse on that side. A lot of times if you can get them going on the non-preferred side they'll lose the preference and nurse from both breasts without trouble.
    Light travels faster than sound, that's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    Is it possible that some women simply cannot breastfeed?

    Possible, but very very rare. Are you certain that no milk was coming out when you would nurse your babies? Some women have a very hard time expressing milk manually or with a pump but the baby's sucking can get it out just fine.

    Delma, I would probably offer the left side first for every feeding until he builds the supply up on that side. Also, I don't even bother pumping if I don't get a spontaneous letdown because like you, I can only get drops. Do you ever get random letdowns when you just start leaking? Keep the pump plugged in and ready, and when you get one of those random letdowns run and take advantage of it.

    Sigi - wow Soren is big! I think Solomon might FINALLY be 20 lb but we'll know for sure at his WBV next month. I eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning too but haven't the whole time. And like you do, I still get random letdowns where I have to apply pressure so I don't leak.

    No there was nothing. He was starving, he screamed for two weeks b/c he wasn't getting anything and lost ton of weight. I never experienced the tingle of let down until I took Reglan... it was really weird, but it worked.
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I am having this same problem and am very lopsided. Addison refuses to nurse on the slower side. I get her to nurse on that side about once a week. I have taken to pumping the weaker side everytime she nurses (except in the middle of the night). It has helped build up the supply but not nearly enough where she'll nurse on it. The nurse at the doctor's office said to pump the weaker side while you nurse. I haven't tried this but it might help.

    Addison is thriving and gaining weight like crazy just nursing on one side. I do however have to be careful to keep up with my water and food especially protein intake otherwise she gets hungry at the end of the day.

    As for food, I have found a big bowl of oatmeal in the morning works wonders. Instant didn't work for me but just the plain old Quaker oats that you cook on the stove. It gives me a big boost in the afternoon on my supply.

    I'll also second that there are some people who just can't nurse. I had a friend with this problem. She didn't realize her son wasn't getting any milk. He slowly lost weight. She and the doctor caught it in time and she had to put him on formula. She had the same problem with her second child. Her third, she was able to nurse successfully for 3 or 4 months. But when she only gained 2 oz between 4 and 6 months, the doctor insisted on her supplementing.
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    Aidan prefers the left, but he will easily nurse from the right side at night. I am so afraid I will be super lopsided when I night wean him next week (I have a week off from work and if he doesn't night wean I'm afraid I'll wean him entirely, I'm losing it). Anyway, is your baby less picky when he's sleepy?
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    cosmicfly wrote: »
    Aidan prefers the left, but he will easily nurse from the right side at night. I am so afraid I will be super lopsided when I night wean him next week (I have a week off from work and if he doesn't night wean I'm afraid I'll wean him entirely, I'm losing it). Anyway, is your baby less picky when he's sleepy?

    That is what I was going to say, sometimes when they are are sleepy you can trick them a little. I often would end up nursing mainly from the favorite side during the day, and then the other at night.
    Also, sometime I found if I got the milk started from the "evil" side, I was able to get my baby to nurse to nurse from that side. (Does that make any sense? I am a little out of it today) icon7.gif
  • DelmaDelma Posts: 1,121Registered Users
    When he's sleepy he doesn't seem to care which side, it's just during the day that he'll throw a little fit. That football hold seemed to help, and i'm also going to start paying more attention to what I'm eating to see if that helps and pick up some fenugreek. He was 18 lbs last time i checked , and he's got chubs on him so weightwise i think he's doing okay.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    If you are up for baking, these are really good! (found this on kellymom last year)

    Milk-Supply Cookies

    * 1 cup butter or margarine
    * 1 cup sugar
    * 1 cup brown sugar
    * 4 tablespoons water
    * 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal* (linseeds)
    * 2 large eggs
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla
    * 2 cups flour
    * 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
    * 1 cup or more chocolate chips
    * 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast* (be generous)

    Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.

    Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes.

    Cream (beat well) margarine and sugar.

    Add eggs one at a time, mix well.

    Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended.

    Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to margarine mixture.

    Stir in oats then chips. Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment.

    The dough is a little crumbly, so it helps to use a scoop.

    Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies. 8 mins if you like chewy and longer if you like crisp.
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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Is it possible that some women simply cannot breastfeed?

    That's a good question. I'm not sure about the situation you described. But I was very disappointed when my first baby stopped wanted to nurse around 5-7 months. I was working full-time and pumping at work, and I thought it was a combination of my supply decreasing and he started preferring bottles, so the breastfeeding came to an end when he was around 7 months old.

    Now with Oliver, he started doing the same things at that age--would only latch on for a few seconds at a time and didn't seem to have much interest in the breast. But since I had him, I am not working full-time, only a few hours at a time 4 days a week, so I doubted that my supply could have decreased or that he'd developed a strong preference for bottles. It was sort of a light bulb moment for me, when I realized that maybe it was a normal stage, not him trying to wean or get switched to bottle-feeding. So I became determined to keep breastfeeding him, and as of recently, I feel like things are improving. By the way, this stage of him being distractible/whatever has been by far the most difficult stage of breastfeeding, much worse than the newborn days or even having thrush.

    Now that I've gone off on a tangent, let me get back to the question of increasing milk supply. I've taken fenugreek, but I recently ran out and I don't think I notice a difference, so I'm not sure how much it was helping me. I've also heard oatmeal is good. I personally believe in drinking one Guinness or other dark beer a day, though some say it's an old wives tale. I also like this article for some suggestions to increase milk supply and other issues related to babies' growth while breastfeeding.
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    By the way, this stage of him being distractible/whatever has been by far the most difficult stage of breastfeeding,

    ITA with this. From about 7 months to 11 months Solomon wouldn't nurse with ANYONE around, not even his daddy. My husband would have to leave the room every time and if he peeked around the door to see if we were done, Sol would just SENSE his presence and pull off. He'd still NIP if we were alone and not around anyone we knew (people passing by didn't seem to bother him) but if I tried to have a conversation with someone, forget it.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    my right one made more milk. i could fill a 9-ounce bottle first thing in the morning from my right breast alone, while i could get about 4-5 ounces from my left breast.

    it's funny that as both our kids got older and were speaking, they both said, "the udda one, peeze!" because they preferred the right breast that had a greater flow of milk.

    the let down in my left breast was strong, but i didn't always leak milk from it while nursing from my right side. our daughter would instinctively knead my left breast while she nursed from the right one (i guess she was priming it. :tongue:), so that it would be ready when she switched sides. ha! kids are amazing!
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    rainshower wrote: »
    our daughter would instinctively knead my left breast while she nursed from the right one (i guess she was priming it. :tongue:), so that it would be ready when she switched sides. ha! kids are amazing!


    That is hilarious. I wish Addison did this.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Is it possible that some women simply cannot breastfeed?

    I guess. But I think its more likely that establishing breastfeeding is easier for some women and harder for others. Those first few weeks are critical and relatively minor decisions/mistakes I think can jeopardize breastfeeding for some women.

    I struggled with supply with both my babies, for different reasons each times. I had baby on the boob literally 24/7 for the first 3 weeks in both cases. It was exhausting and looking back, if I didn't have the support I had (someone to look after me the first time, and someone to look after my toddler the second time) and if I hadn't been as stubborn as I was, I would have given up. But in both cases, breastfeeding went from difficult, to less difficult to easy over the course of the first few months.

    If you want to try breastfeeding again, educate yourself on doing it properly and get organized in how you are going to manage your other kids while still having time to breastfeed a LOT in the beginning. Good luck!
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    That's the thing with my son I was "breastfeeding" every two hour around the clock. He lost a pound and half and he was very jaundice. He lived in a bilirunbin bed for almost two weeks. My daugther was born not breathing and we weren't allowed to hold or feed her for the first two days of her life. I don't know maybe it's better for some people and not me. The lactation at the hospital said she'd never seen anything like it and it was the same one for both babies. I guess maybe I'm just one of those women who can't. I'm going to give it another shot, but I'm not going to kill myself over it. I have no one to help me so I'm going to have to go it alone. We have no family here and my husband can only take off work for 2 weeks and I don't really expect much from him anyway. My doctor said we could test out the Reglan for awhile. I know the milk is there I just never had let down until I used the Reglan.
  • Brown_Eyed_GirlBrown_Eyed_Girl Posts: 1,353Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    sarah42 wrote: »
    By the way, this stage of him being distractible/whatever has been by far the most difficult stage of breastfeeding,

    ITA with this. From about 7 months to 11 months Solomon wouldn't nurse with ANYONE around, not even his daddy. My husband would have to leave the room every time and if he peeked around the door to see if we were done, Sol would just SENSE his presence and pull off. He'd still NIP if we were alone and not around anyone we knew (people passing by didn't seem to bother him) but if I tried to have a conversation with someone, forget it.

    Us too. When we're out, Lydia might nurse in the car, but last week she went without for about 6 hours until we got home.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Oh yeah. I haven't tried to nurse in public for a while now. He just has to unlatch and look at or grab every possible thing that he can see. Meanwhile, my boob is hanging out in full view of the restaurant--no thanks!
    ehLB.jpg
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    Oh yeah. I haven't tried to nurse in public for a while now. He just has to unlatch and look at or grab every possible thing that he can see. Meanwhile, my boob is hanging out in full view of the restaurant--no thanks!

    I used to (and still do, usually) keep a burp cloth in one hand while I NIP so that I could use it to cover myself if he pulled off.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • Brown_Eyed_GirlBrown_Eyed_Girl Posts: 1,353Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    sarah42 wrote: »
    Oh yeah. I haven't tried to nurse in public for a while now. He just has to unlatch and look at or grab every possible thing that he can see. Meanwhile, my boob is hanging out in full view of the restaurant--no thanks!

    I used to (and still do, usually) keep a burp cloth in one hand while I NIP so that I could use it to cover myself if he pulled off.

    I learned to keep one hand on my shirt so I could pull it down quickly, but now she pretty much won't nurse in public at all.

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