Domperidone and Pumping Exclusively

Kathleen Tackett's picture

QUESTION

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!
Kiersten

ANSWER

Hi Kiersten,
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