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Brest feeding is often a challenge for new mothers, in fact three days after giving birth, 92 percent of the new mothers said they were having problems breast-feeding according to NPR’s article, To Succeed At Breast-Feeding, Most New Moms Could Use Help.  Only 13 percent (of mothers) manage to breast-feed exclusively for the six months that are recommended for a baby’s health.  Half of the mothers reported problems with getting the baby to latch on to the breast, or other feeding issues like nipple confusion, when a baby may prefer a bottle. And 44 percent said pain was a problem. And 40 percent said they felt that they weren’t producing enough milk.

So this is where I’m at, baby is hungry and breast feeding constantly but my breast milk can’t keep up and her weight gain in the last two weeks has not been significant enough.  So I’m left with looking at ways to increase breast milk supply while supplementing formula in order for her to gain much needed weight.

10 reasons for low milk supply when breastfeeding

1. Insufficient glandular tissue

2. Hormonal or endocrine problems

3. Previous breast surgery

4. Using hormonal birth control

5. Taking certain medications or herbs

6. Sucking difficulties or anatomical issues

7. Not feeding at night

8. Scheduling feedings and/or using a pacifier between feedings

9. Birth medications or jaundice

10. Supplementation

My midwife recommended herbal supplements to start, Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle three capsules of each, three times a day.  I did this for over a week and didn’t see any difference other than an increased appetite, headache and herb breath.  So, now I’m trying Domperidone (Motilium™) a drug that has, as a side effect, the increasing of milk production, probably by increasing prolactin production by the pituitary gland. Prolactin is the hormone that stimulates the cells in the mother’s breast to produce milk. Domperidone increases prolactin secretion indirectly, by interfering with the action of dopamine, whose action is to decrease the secretion of prolactin by the pituitary gland. Domperidone is generally used for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (gut) and has not been released in Canada for use as a stimulant for milk production. The Canadian Breast Feeding Foundation recommends you try this for at least two weeks and up to a month to see results.

While I wait for my milk to increase, I continue to breast feed first and supplement after, only if she is still hungry.  I started with using a small tube and hiding in in the side of her mouth while she breast fed, which is perfect because the nipple still gets stumulation and she gets additional milk and it doesn’t mess with nipple confusion.  All was going well doing this week 1-2 but in the third week at 3am I crashed and gave her the bottle nipple after struggling with the tube in the dark and spilling milk all over myself.  She seems to be a good sucker, doesn’t matter what it is, she’s just hungry and wants to suck on something, as soon as we can give her a soother, we’ll do that too.  But for now it’s all boob until she can’t get any more, then supplement until I GOT MILK!