Supplementing gone wrong

Question:

My son, Rex, was born very skinny. He dropped a lot of weight after birth and had a really hard time gaining it back. At five weeks he was still no where close to gaining back his birth weight so his doctor told me to supplement him with Nutramigen. Finally at three month the doctor gave me the go ahead to go back to strictly breast milk with Rex. That day I went home happy as a lark trying to breast feed him like crazy, but he didn't seem happy or satisfied with my breast. Finally it got so out of control that he almost NEVER took my breast and was eating mostly formula. So I started to pump so I could at least feed him that till I figured out what was wrong. I pumped for two hours and only got half an once of milk. I thought I had fond the problem. So I started working on getting my supply up. About a week or so later I am now producing about two or three ounces but don't seem to be getting it much higher. So my first round of questions is. What are some ways I can build up my supply other than just pumping a bunch? What are some things I can do to make pumping not hurt so much? And How can I make pumping more effective so that I am getting ALL of my milk out, and faster? Now Rex has been taking my breast a little bit more but not very often, he seems to prefer the bottle. My last question for now is. Is there anything I can do to get him to feed from my breast instead of a bottle?

Answer:

Thank you for reaching out to us.  We can understand this is a frustrating and worrying time for you and it can be confusing with balancing supplementing and trying to get baby back to the breast.  It would be recommended that you see a  lactation consultant so she can take into account your specific situation and so she can work with you and baby in person to work to get baby back to the breast.  In the meantime, keep offering him the breast before supplementing and keep pumping but if your pump is adjustable, move the settings so it is more comfortable for you.  whenever he is feeding away from teh breast, be sure to pump at those times (replicate his feeding schedule when pumping) so your body gets the regular stimiulation it needs to keep making milk.  Pumping is like tricking the body into thinking it is a baby so it is ideal to be able to mimic baby's sucking speed when pumping.  Allow your body to rest in between pumpings as what is removed the body then replenishes but constant pumping will just end up making you more sore.  There is also a method called Power Pumping--see more details here: https://www.lansinoh.com/en/resources/power-pumping-what-is-it-is-it-for-me   In addition, gentle massage before and during pumping can be helpful as can wrapping a warmed breast therapy pack like Therapearl around the pump flange can also be helpful (as your baby's mouth is warmed, a warm breast will respond by releasing the milk).  It is also important to consider the artificial nipple you are using as a nipple that allows the milk to come out without baby controlling the flow (such as a nipple that was designed to enable the baby to use the same sucking actions as when at the breast) so it could be that baby is preferring the articificial nipple instead bc when at the breast he needs to initiate a let-down for milk to flow. All of this can be discussed with the lactation consultant. If you need assistance finding an LC in your area there is a locator on the association website: ilca.org 

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