With my daughter, I did everything under the sun to increase my low milk supply, but I ultimately had to supplement about 16-20 oz of formula per day. I still nursed her when we were together until 11 months, and pumped when we were apart (even though I brought home a single ounce on a good day).
I’m 26 weeks pregnant with my second now and curious if other mamas with a low supply saw any increase with their second baby?
Side note: My breasts never grew during my first pregnancy, and the midwives assured me it wouldn’t mean anything. And maybe it didn’t, but they haven’t grown this pregnancy either.
nectarine / 2243 posts
I’ve had a much easier experience BF my second. With my first we had slow weight gain, I had to EP for 6 months...ugh
With this kid he is a nursing champ and my
supply is SO much better. I don’t use the electric pump at all but I have been doing a nightly
Pump with a hand pump to make sure he takes a bottle. He gets 1 bottle around 6 pm and then still nurses before bed.
cantaloupe / 6171 posts
I combo-fed lo1 because of low supply but have had no problems with lo2! She’s now 17 months and still nursing!
kiwi / 500 posts
I exclusively pumped for both babies. I had c sections both times. The second c section resulted in a hemorrhage (known for tanking milk supply).
The first baby, I tried everything, but nothing really worked. After three months of heavy supplementing, I ordered domperidone online. That was what enabled me to continue breastfeeding at all, though I just barely kept up and eventually stopped at 9 months.
I read that it's most important to take Dom during the first weeks after giving birth, because that signals to your body how much milk you need to produce and affects your whole supply for the entire span of nursing. So I ordered it ahead of time, though I didn't expect much result after I realized I'd hemorrhaged (I started taking the medicine on day 3, and before that I couldn't pump a thing--no colostrum, nothing).
It worked! Immediately! Not only did I pump enough, I pumped extra. I had three months worth of milk stored up when I quit pumping (I could have kept it up but was glad to stop as soon as I could). So I'm a huge believer in domperidone. I'll definitely be ordering some next pregnancy.
nectarine / 2086 posts
@Hypatia: I didn’t realize it was something you could even order online. I’m glad it worked for you!
kiwi / 500 posts
@buttermilk: Yeah, you're allowed to order up to a three months supply for personal use of medicines like domperidone (anything that isn't an illicit drug is legal). I've ordered from In House Pharmacy in the past, but now I order from a business in Thailand because it's so cheap ($33 per 1000mg).
cantaloupe / 6669 posts
I had low supply with #1 and my supply was about the same with #2. With #2 he was in the NICU for 8 days so we were often separated and he developed a preference for the bottle quickly, so those things worked against us for sure. But, I don't think I would have had a full supply either way. From what I know, most moms with NICU babies can get to a full supply if they make a decent effort with pumping but that was not in the cards for us.
Without the nursing relationship to keep us going like it did for my first baby, we switched to formula completely pretty quick. I did have to grieve not nursing #2 like his sister, but I also knew how crazy-making breastfeeding and supply issues can be, so I wasn't willing to go down that road while also trying to juggle two little ones.
pomelo / 5554 posts
I had low supply with my first - I was taking a LOT of fenugreek and blessed thistle to have enough to keep him going. With my second I didn’t need to. Plus with my second “time to eat” was a ten minute process, as opposed to a 60 minute process, but he may have just been more efficient.
clementine / 828 posts
I am just sorting through this with LO2 almost 4 weeks, but it has definitely been better. After my ish with LO1, I panicked on day 3 when we didn't see many wet diapers and did supplement with some formula for a few days, but was able to get off of it MUCH quicker. This time our weighted feeds have been way more encouraging. In part I think this is because LO1 had some latching issues that we've been able to avoid with LO2, so my body got better signals, but it does seem like it was way easier to bring my supply up to the right level.
nectarine / 2432 posts
I can't speak from experience yet but my 2 best friends had a lot of trouble with their first (lathing, pain, low supply) and their experience with their second was a breeze!! Both had no problems at all and they were worried initially.
pear / 1930 posts
I had low supply with DD and ended up EPing because the pump expressed faster than she did.
With DS, I have to EP and knew that going in. My OB was kind of surprised I could ever provide enough milk as I had a traumatic delivery (nearly failed forceps plus nearly needed a transfusion). We got to five weeks with only needing to supplement to prime his feeding tube. I only made it to two weeks with DD!
I really feel like if I had a normal birth and I hadn't needed to EP (or if DS hadn't spent eight weeks in the hospital...) that my supply would have been much better the second time around.
olive / 50 posts
I didn't pump enough for my first, and supplemented with formula when she was at daycare and exclusively nursed on weekends when we were together. With my second, I made an effort to pump more earlier on, added in an extra pumping session in the evening before I went to bed after I went back to work, and ended up renting a hospital grade pump from months 6-12 when I started to pump less than he was drinking at daycare. It was a lot of effort, but I did pump more for him than for my daughter, and with the stash I built up in the beginning, we made it to about 11 months before I ran out, and at that point our pediatrician said not to worry about supplementing with formula.
So overall, my output increased but only because I put in the effort to build up a stash early on. Otherwise I think it would have stayed the same.
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
Yes! With my first, I was only able to EBF till 6 months, and supplemented till 9 months when I totally dried up. So many factors I feel like contributed to my low supply.
With my second, I think my supply was better, I was armed with more information, I had less pain, I was more active in trying to up my milk supply and also to build a stash early on. I think I also wasn't as stressed about it which may have helped to have more! I took specific supplements this time around that I've recommended to other bees, and I used that hakka pump in the early days to help build up a stash.
nectarine / 2086 posts
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I just ordered the book “Making More Milk” so I’m going to read that before delivery and have my supplements ready to go from day one. I also got a Spectra pump this time which I’ve heard some women are more responsive too than the Medela. I may start taking alfalfa and goats rue in my last month of pregnancy as well. Fingers crossed!
cherry / 119 posts
@buttermilk: To be honest, I don't really know. Breastfeeding was so hard with my first and it ended after 7 months due to work (something that to this day I regret). My second seemed easier because I pushed through the difficult weeks, and there was no job either. This one last two years.