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Does anyone else have insuffient glandular tissue? - Page 2

post #21 of 135
I have a group of friends who all have little ones. I'm talking about ladies who tandem nurse two, sometimes three of their children. So they have plenty of milk to go around! I used to find myself feeding my sons their bottle BEFORE I went to hang out with them because I felt stupid bringing out a little can of formula. They also couldn't understand why it was necessary that I do both. And my boys were really scrawny compared to their huge, fat babies. Its the same in the nursing mothers room at church...I usually make sure I've fed the baby a bottle before I go in there.

Sad, but some people get so militant about their breastfeeding stance. I know it is best and the way God intended, but I know now, from experience, to show some grace to those who don't or can't, out of ignorance or what have you.

I even contemplated not having any more children after my third because it hurt me so much that we couldn't have a normal BF relationship. But then I wouldn't of had my youngest son or my long-awaited daughter!

Kudos to you, Corey, for doing what you can to BF your son. That is what true parenting is all about: self sacrifice for our children because of the great love we have for them. And you know, this infancy stage is sooo short!
post #22 of 135
i love reading this thread, as helps so much when realise that im not alone.

an update on how im doing since last posted is:
well its been 6 weeks now, were still using sns and breastfeeding, if u can call it that as sure hes only getting a dribble but a dribble is better than nothing right!!!!
been on the domperidone for 4.5 weeks now and i think ive plateaued and that it hasnt really worked for me, as still got only approx 1 oz per feeding (sometimes if that), just hasnt seemed to increase as id hoped. Also had to up the amount of formula im giving him this week. Hated to do it but he was still hungry all the time, made me think about quitting again, but just wanted to say thanks as this thread has kept me going.
please keep posting updates

heather
post #23 of 135
Thread Starter 
Heather, just wanted to remind you that just because you have to give your baby more formula, it doesn't mean that you are producing less, it means that your baby is growing and he needs more than he did last week.

I needed to remind myself of that last week. we've gone from 6 oz. of formula back up to 9 and I was certain that it was because of me. I had to remember it is just because he has gone through a growth spurt.

I love this thread too. It means much more to me to read the experiences and encouragements from moms who have "been there" then from those who really don't know. Once I actually had a mom suggest that I might have an overactive let down - uh no that's not the problem!

What do your moms think about starting solids early? I have given my ds some mashed bananas, he really likes them and there has been no tummy upset or poop problems. Do you think it is worth doing if it replaces some formula? Still, he is only 2 months old.

Thanks
post #24 of 135
At this point, I wonder about introducing solids early as being the lesser of two evils...the other evil being formula. I've mentioned offering goat's milk before and I've also learned that almond milk is good (I would think homemade is best), as well as rice milk. I've even heard of giving infants fresh carrot juice and the milk of a young coconut. I don't want to believe that formula is our only option. As for solid food that I think would be very beneficial, how does mashed avocado sound? Or pureed mango? Bananas are great. I'm not a big fan of jarred, commercial baby foods, although I did give my second son rice cereal in his bottle so I could fatten him up when he was four months old. I wouldn't do it again.

I think as long as you feed your baby food that is in the most natural state as possible. I really don't think introducing solids is that harmful, although I would be a little leary offering it before the four month mark.

I have a quick question for all...my daughter doesn't seem to like the bottle (yay). I've tried to give it to her a couple of times when I haven't been up to using the SNS. She takes FOREVER to drink an ounce. I haven't gotten her weighed yet (I go in on monday), but it feels like I am feeding her constantly throughout the day and she seems satisfied. However, she doesn't poop regularly. I know some babies go a few days without stooling, but with my history of low milk supply and underfeeding, this is really freaking me out. She pooped twice on Monday but she hasn't done any since. She has peed alot though. And her stools haven't turned yellow yet (the last poop was a yellow-brown). She looks like she is getting enough, but in my heart I feel she isn't because of those darn poopy diapers! I know this may seem icky, but what does your baby's soiled diaper look like? How often do they stool? How much formula are you giving them in a day? Right now we are averaging maybe 4 oz. a day and she is 10 days old.
post #25 of 135
Hey there:

I just looked at this thread and read it with great interest. My son is about to turn a year old and I had similar problems with low breast milk supply. Essentially one breast was able to produce very well (up to 6 oz when engorged) and the other would never produce more than one. The breast that did the producing is larger than the other and now that I have stopped breastfeeding has made the moderate breast assymetry even larger (alas). I would be intersted to hear if anyone on this list had one breast that did produce and one that did not and if there is a size diff. But anyway, to continue--

We nursed until he was 8 months old and I would say he recived 65% mother's milk and 35% formula. We had a lot of complications in the beginning because he was in the NICU for eight days and I had to pump right at the beginning. And then he fell asleep at the breast, and then I couldn't get the hang of the SNS, and then we moved to another state (planned but bad timing), and finally I settled on supplementing with a bottle. And it was all so hard because I so badly wanted to bond with him since he was in the NICU for 8 days without me and on morphine with a tube down his throat. It still makes me cry. Not what I had planned at all!

But, I guess the reason I wanted to write is because I learned a few things on this hard road. And one big one is that sometimes life doesn't go as we plan and I think I personally got so HUNG UP on the breastfeeding issue that I was glad when my mother told me to take a step back and be THANKFUL that my child was alive and that I needed to make the most of our breastfeeding experience so that we enjoyed it. I tried the SNS again but I found it so cumbersome and it made the experience unenjoyable for me. My son always enjoyed the breast. He had no nipple confusion (we used Avent) and I essentially used the bottle as a "second breast". I would let him fill up on the one that prodcued and if he was still hungry we went to the bottle. I tried to pump the little breast but eventually I just gave up and became VERY lopsided. The pumping was too annoying.

So I guess I want to also say that I felt very uncomfortable around breastfeeding moms and I did and do continue to feel judged by them. It has given me more understanding of other people and differences because I think if I didn't have this situation I would be judgemental too. I did in the end decide to bring out the bottle with the breast fed moms because I wasn't going to let my baby be hungry because I felt bad.

I already worry about what it will be like with the next baby but I also now know a lot more. Breast compression is useful. I found herbs didn't help.

Maybe I will try that medicine people are mentioning. Or maybe not. Maybe I will just do the best I can with what I have and be happy with the special relationship I can create with my baby. I urge you all to look inside and recognize how wonderful and special your relationship with your child (children) is. It does not depend on breastfeeding. It depends on you and the love and trust you show your child.

Go easy on yourselves mamas, life is hard enough, and we are all trying. Don't focus on what you can not give your babies when you all give them so much. We wouldn't want to raise children who only focus on what they can not do and ignore the fine fine things they can do, would we? Shouldn't we embldy that lesson ourselves if we want to pass it along? Sometimes we are handed adversity because it has something to teach us. I learned about compassion, understanding, and focusing on the good. Give yourselves a pat on the back for working hard on something that is hard to do, explain, except, and be satisfied with.

xoxox

Llamamama
post #26 of 135
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your comments llamamama. It means so much more coming from someone who has been there. I am struggling with this every day. I am depressed when ds needs a lot of formula, I am elated when he needs less.

I just returned from a visit with relatives and decided to start using a bottle because I knew that I would not be able to use an sns around people who I love but don't see but once a year. I worried constantly about what people were thinking - "why is she giving him a bottle if she just nursed him?" But I'm sure that no one gave it a second thought. They just kept saying how beautiful he is.

This is one of those days that I feel like totally giving up, so I have to remind myself that weaning him will not make him sleep through the night, will not stop his gas, will not keep him from screaming in the car seat, will not keep me from feeling like a failure. It will not solve anything and may cause more problems.
post #27 of 135
Corey:

You only have this time with him once. Relax and enjoy it. Don't beat yourself up. I found the SNS to be a HUGE pain. Enjoy your relatives, enjoy your son, and enjoy your breastfeeding experience even if it includes huge formula additions from a bottle.

I may be beaten up on this list for saying this, but you need to create a comfortable, settled, positive environment for him. If the breastfeeding/lack of milk is making you so so upset that you can not bond with him then I would say preserving the bond (and creating a calming environment) is more important than forcing the breastfeeding if you are feeling so distraught. You have made it 2.5 months already. I would not start solids before four months. It makes me so sad to see you so torn apart by this because I understand it so well. Like I said, the breast is great, but bonding is so much more than how a child is fed.

You are doing great. Like I said in my last post, sometimes we are given challenges because they teach us something we need to learn. Look inside yourself, be calm, and all your answers will become clear. There is no "right" way to be a mother. What others can do we can not always do and that's OK.

Llamamama
post #28 of 135
I also enjoy reading this thread! Thanks to all of you who are posting.

Here's an update on Stephen and me. The experience of starting solids was not exactly what I imagined -- but then nothing about my mothering experience has been! I had expected that as soon as we started solids he would start taking less formula, but he didn't. We started solids at five and a half months, when he was taking 20 oz. of formula/day, and it took a few weeks before he was really interested in eating more than mashed banana once a day. Around seven and a half months he got a lot more interested in eating food (and in trying to feed himself!) and I started feeding him three meals a day, but it was a couple of weeks AFTER that, at EIGHT months, before he started taking any less formula. I don't know if that is typical or if it had to do with his slow growth due to insufficient calories early on. He is eight and a half months now and we are still nursing using the SNS five times a day, about 14-16 oz./day. I am very curious about details of how others worked out decreasing supplemented feedings as they increased solids. I would like to decrease the number of supplemented feedings (we nurse a few other times each day and all night without supplementing), but I'm afraid to stop offering formula at a feeding unless he just refuses to drink ANY -- but will that ever happen? He is very healthy and I think growing well now (I finally returned my rental scale when he was seven and a half months old and over 17 lbs.).

A few comments to the above posts:
AMOUNT OF FORMULA -- The one regret I have about this experience is that we didn't supplement with MORE formula, earlier on. I was convinced that would decrease my milk supply, and I definitely felt GREAT when Stephen took less formula and AWFUL when he took more. But finally around three months (when he STILL wasn't gaining weight really well), we upped the formula significantly (from 8 oz./day to about 12 oz./day) and we kept increasing by about an ounce each week until he started solids at five and a half months. He gained about two pounds/month during that time period, and I accepted that my supply was probably fixed at its maximum and he needed more formula as he got bigger.

EARLY SOLIDS -- I considered this, mostly because Jack Newman recommends starting solids, but we tried at four months and Stephen clearly wasn't ready. After all my research I have come to believe that formula is the most complete food we can offer our babies (after our own milk or donated breast milk). It is hard to imagine such a little baby eating a very balanced diet of solid food, and they would surely miss out on some of the concentrated calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. that they need.

STOOLS -- Pearmama: I would be very concerned about a 10-day-old baby having less than one stool per day. For a baby a few months or even weeks older, that might be normal, but I know that infrequent stools and lack of weight gain (which we unfortunately didn't realize until later) were the only signs that Stephen wasn't getting enough milk. He was alert, nursed often and for long periods of time, had lots of wet diapers, etc. Once we started formula the stool color was more green/brown than the normal breast-fed yellow, although I saw that sometimes.

Thanks again for the support of all of you wonderful mothers!

Robin
post #29 of 135
post #30 of 135
Treelove:

Why? Please share why you think you can't make enough milk. I am interested. Hurrah for you for knowing how to be so positive next time. This is all such a blessing! Again, focus on the things you can do!
post #31 of 135
i started a new thread-didn't want to high-jack this one.
post #32 of 135
My daughter is now 6 weeks old. She weighs 9 lbs. 11oz. This is great! My last three babies struggled with putting on weight for almost five months!!

I have given up on the SNS. I found that her latch was getting sloppy because I was so focused on trying to get that stupid tube in her mouth right. I found my nipples getting sore. So, I stopped. She drinks from an Avent bottle.

I have accepted the amount of milk that I can produce is not enough. When she nurses and I don't hear any swallowing for a while, I take her off and switch sides. When she is finished, she drinks her bottle of formula...between 2-3 ounces a feeding. Trying to get her to drink more is impossible. She takes forever to drink the amount I give her as it is! I say she drinks about 15-20 ounces a day. She nurses exclusively all night.

Her poops have greatly increased. You don't know how happy it makes me to see those yellow, cottage-cheesy poops!! Its ridiculous, but true. Her other poops look dark green and smell nasty. But to see those bf diapers make me feel good that she is indeed getting something from me.

I just read an article about women being deficient in Omega-3's having a hard time producing enough milk for their infants. Its becoming very common with women in the U.S eating a SAD. Soooo, this could explain how many women I'm reading having such a hard time producing milk. I'm going to the health food store this week and buying myself some flax seed oil. My daughter can drink a few drops too.

I'll let you know if this helps!
post #33 of 135
Thread Starter 

Update

My son Peter is now just over 3 months. He was 12 lbs. 11 oz. three weeks ago. So I'm sure he is well over 13 lbs. now. He had a real growth spurt about 6 weeks ago and went from taking 9 oz of formula a day to 16 oz.

I was using the starter SNS, the one that holds 3 oz. and was having to use it for every feeding. So I switched to the 6 oz SNS and now use it 3 times a day, bf only other times during the day and at night. I'm still taking domperidone.

From my experience of bfing three children I think that my body simply has an upper limit of what it can produce. This is depressing, but I have to remind myself that what I am producing is probably about 20 oz - nothing to sneeze at. Those cans of formula powder that I have a love/hate relationship with would be used up alot faster if I was not nursing. I also have the experience of bf my older son for 16 months, so I know that a long duration is possible even if quanitity is not.

So we're at the point where we can continue like this indefinately and I'm feeling better about it all the time. I read in the "Defining your own success" book that the amount of antibodies in a woman's breastmilk increases as the amount of breastmilk decreases. Meaning that I am still giving my son the full health benefits of nursing while only nursing parttime.

p.s. I also LOVE those yellow seedy poops!
post #34 of 135
This is the support I've been looking for. Have 19 month old twins, but was only able to bf for 5 months and even then was supplementing each feed with a few ounces of formula. Have a newborn and tried to exclusively bf. Lactation consultant commented on how small breasts looked (not tubular just flat-chested) and asked if they expanded during pregancy. I commented that they did not seem fuller. The baby latched on right away and appeared to be getting colostrum so she said not too worry. Milk came in on day three. Unfortunately, baby lost weight and appeared slightly jaundiced. She lost too much weight at first and ped. said to supplement with formula as I had done with twins. Baby pooped at every feed. It was seedy. At 4 week checkup, the pediatrician commented on how she seemed to be getting most from the breast b/c of how great her poop looked and how frequently she went. Weight was back up past birth weight. I was so excited. But now at 6 weeks, my supply has dropped. I'm only getting one ounce each time I pump. Baby is only pooping once a day. Am trying fenugreek and thistle. I'm on day 2 but it doesn't seem to be helping. Any advice?
post #35 of 135
Thread Starter 
Hi 3under2! I'm glad you found this thread.

I can only give advice based on my experience. If you are like me then it's not that your milk supply has dropped, it's that it hasn't kept up with your baby's increased needs. Don't look at the pump to determine how much you are making. Most babies need 2.5 ounces of milk per pound of body weight per day. If (for instance) your baby weighs 8 lbs then she will need 20 ounces of milk. If you are giving 10 ounces of formula then you are making 10 ounces.

I have found (after experiencing 3 children) that my body takes a long time to catch up to my child's needs and probably has a maximum amount that it will produce. Right now my 4 month old weighs 13 lbs, and takes about 18 ounces of formula so I am making at least 15 ounces. The amount of formula that he receives has not changed in at least a month so I know I must be making more than I was a month ago.

Some ideas: Be sure to use some kind of at-breast supplementer. Read the book "Defining your own success" by Diana West, it's about women who have had breast reductions, but it absolutely applies to us. Just keep at it. My second child probably only took 2-3 feedings a day from the breast but we just kept going and he breastfed until 15 months old. My current baby is doing even better than that. You may want to try Domperidone. I have been taking 120 mg. a day since 4 weeks old and I think it has made a difference.

Good luck and keep in touch.
post #36 of 135
Thread Starter 

correction!

My ds was just weighed today and he is 14.5 pounds! So I am producing even more breastmilk than I thought I was!
post #37 of 135

thats great
i think i may be too, even though doesnt seem like it, but if that formula is true and works then i am producing 15 ounces. Doesnt seem possible!!! could my ds need less than the 2.5 ounces per pound?

even if not true for us, makes me feel good too think i may be producing 15!!!!!!

im just glad that i stuck it through,it was worth keeping at it even though upsetting at the time, and felt like would be easier to quit. But i now have a very healthy and well baby, whom i love feeding, i am now so comfortable with the sns that i find way easier than a bottle.
its thanks to everyones support here that i made it this far, and continue to every day.

the lady at the post office asked me today if i was breastfeeding, and i said i did but supplemented (my usual answer as feel guilty if dont add that use formula, like im not being truthful). anyhow she said that she could tell he was breastfed as looked so well and healthy and a contented baby!!! it made me feel great, its so all worth it.
post #38 of 135
Thx. Corriander for the suggestions! Tried SNS, but it was rather cumbersome or should I say comical to try to use and chase after toddlers. Formula flying everywhere. The fenugreek, pumping, oatmeal, and/or water seem to be working. Seems like the supply is starting to go up. Thx for the 2.5 oz. per lb. formula. Now I'll really be able to check and monitor any progress.
post #39 of 135
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Just wanted to post an update on us and keep this thread alive for anyone who needs it.

My ds is now 5 months old. We have almost completely given up the SNS. I'll use it about once a week. When I saw that he had no trouble going from bottle to breast it was easy to give up the cumberson SNS.

He has started solids and that seems to have decreased his need for formula without decreasing my supply. He will take between 12-18 oz. of formula a day, depending on how much solids he eats I guess. So I figure that I'm producing at least 25 oz. of breastmilk a day. Before solids he was taking as much as 20 oz. of formula.

I am still on domperidone, though I have dropped my dosage down to 80 mg from 120 mg.

I am happy to say that I have (finally, after 3 children) come to peace with my situation and accepted that I cannot exclusively breastfeed a child. Gone are the days of constantly researching for new herbs to try, fruitless pumping, measuring out meager amounts of formula and dispairing when I realize that he needs more and more. I can now relax and enjoy what I have: a happy breastfed child who LOVES the breast, needs it to relax and fall asleep, who needs some extra calories from formula but who is getting all the benefits of breastmilk from me.

I would like to read updates on everyone else who has responded to this thread in the past. It would be great to hear how everyone is doing.
post #40 of 135

Looking all over for other mommas!

For the longest time I have been searching the net and other bfing support groups to find other moms with igt and almost everyones post on mdc told my story. I was determined to bf and was told my small breasts wouldn't slow me down.. I tried everything, fenugreek, brewers yeast, big bowls of oatmeal, mother's milk tea, super switch nursing, double pumping with a hg pump, sns, and finally reglan.. the only thing i didnt take was dom, planned on it with next kid but now with the crackdown on it who knows.. I am just glad to be able to talk to other moms who deal with the regret of not supping earlier and the embarassment of bottle feeding in public... Just think some ladies are worried about breastfeeding in public and we get more nervous about bottlefeeding : it is always something isnt it?

for those moms who breastfed for an extended timeframe (12+ months) any hints? did you only use sns? or were you able to breast and bottle? and when or is there an age the breast and solids were enough? I think i produce around 18 oz if that helps...

Thanx and good luck to everyone!
Jenn
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