Dear Lactation Consultant,
My son is almost 3 weeks old and my supply has never been great. I just never produced enough and so he started losing weight and ended up refusing the boob altogether. We also had thrush. So now I pump exclusively which I do every 2-3 hours (I go 5-6 hours at night though for some sleep) I am also currently on Domperidone.
My problem/question is why is my supply not any better? Every three hours, I can get 1-2 ounces out of my left breast and around 2 ounces out of my right. I cannot for the life of me boost that. I have been on the Domperidone for almost a week now and was expecting something to happen with the frequency of my pumps. If it continues like this, I will not be able to get to my goal of 6 months.
Just as a sidenote, my nipples are white at times, most often after a feed. Could this be my problem? Is there still anything I can do other than what I am doing to boost supply?
Thanks a bunch for reading and any advice would be great!
It sounds like you've had a really challenging time. I'm sorry things have been so rough.
I have a couple of things to suggest, but let me also ask you some questions. How many times a day are you pumping? At this point, you'll want to empty your breasts 8-12 times. Have you been able to do that? Don't worry about amount at this point. Let me know and we can come up with a plan.
So here's a suggestion to get you started.This might even help getting your baby back to the breast. Spend some time skin-to-skin with your baby upright between your breasts. Cover yourself with a big shirt (given that it is getting cold), and just spend time hanging out. Don't worry about feeding at this time. Having your baby next to you will help with your supply. If your baby starts bobbing down toward your breasts, let him and just support him with your arm. He may attempt to latch. Or he may just hang out there. You want him to start associating your breast with nice feelings. That can get a lot of babies back on track. Do this when he has been fed or is not really hungry. It's just a learning time for you both.
You haven't told me about your sleeping arrangements. If you can sleep next to your baby, that will also help your supply. Night nursing raises prolactin levels, even your baby just next to you in his crib. Next to you in your bed or a cosleeper would probably be easier. But just having him in the crib next to you is also helpful.
As for your nipples blanching, it could be that your blood vessels are spasming. That usually won't hurt supply, but it can be painful. The main thing is to relax and keep warm as cold and/or stress is what triggers this response.
Feel free to write back and tell me how things are going. Good luck!
-- Kathy Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Research Associate Professor of Psychology specializing in women's health at the Family Research Lab, University of New Hampshire. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in both the Divisions of Health Psychology and Trauma Psychology. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a La Leche League leader, chair of the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Taskforce, and the Area Coordinator of Leaders for La Leche League of Maine and New Hampshire.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is author of more than 140 journal articles, book chapters and other publications, and author or editor of 15 books including The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood (2005, Hale Publications), Depression in New Mothers (2005, Haworth), and Breastfeeding Made Simple, co-authored with Nancy Mohrbacher (2005, New Harbinger). She is on the editorial boards of the journals Child Abuse and Neglect, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and the Journal of Human Lactation, and regularly reviews for 27 other journals in the fields of trauma, women's health, interpersonal violence, depression, and child development. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is the "Ask a Lactation Consultant" columnist on Pregnancy.org and serves on the Board of Directors of Attachment Parenting International.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett received a Bachelor's and Master's degree in psychology from California State University, Chico, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in social and developmental psychology. She has won several awards including the Outstanding Research Study Award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and was named 2003 Distinguished Alumna, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, California State University, Chico.