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Low-Milk Supply Tribe - Page 12

post #221 of 1093

Oh, the irony.

Sorry to hear about the nursing strike. I have only read what Victorian said, namely to try to get them to nurse when they're sleepy as they'll maybe do it out of habit/instinct.

Does anyone else find it sickeningly, bitterly ironic that some (many? most?) of us suffer from the same ailments every other nursing mother does - mastitis, plugged ducts, milk blisters, etc - and yet we don't get the little benefit of being able to breastfeed without supplementation?


I've just had my 3rd plugged duct in 4 months, had thrush for 3 of the 5 months he's been alive and have already had a close call with mastitis and even a breast cancer scare!

I have to remind myself frequently how much I love my kid, and that's why I do this...

post #222 of 1093
Thanks for your story. I hope it doesn't last that long. I don't know how I could make it through that. I'm only on the 3rd day and am already crying all day. I have to work and I'm already incapable of focusing at work with all the pumping I have to do, and now this is making it impossible for me to do anything. I am so worried that it's probably causing the supply to reduce just from the stress. I have pumped every 2-3 hrs today and each time I only seem to be getting about 2oz. I assume this sudden reduction is due to the lack of real nursing. My biggest fear is that very quickly there will be nothing left, and then what on earth will I do? It's promising to know yours dried up and then started again when your baby started nursing again. I've tried nursing him while he sleeps but he's a light sleeper and immediately wakes up and turns away. He has 2 ear infections and bronchialitis, and I'm really hoping that this is the reason he's doing this. However, I've tried all kinds of other positions that would avoid any pain to the ear, so I guess that leaves the stuffy nose reason. He has no problem with a bottle, though we've minimized it to one bottle at night. During the day we're using a dropper but it takes forever and he's not getting enough that way. The worst part is the doctor wants us to work on getting his weight up. He's 10 months, yet he weighs only 15lbs 9oz. He was 1 month premature, and has always followed a normal curve (even though he's just below the chart) until now. He recently slipped a little, probably due to being sick, but now with this strike... I'm torn between using the dropper to avoid him weaning and using the bottle to make sure he gets enough. I don't know what to do!
post #223 of 1093
I forgot to answer the question about hiring an LC -- I suppose I should talk to one. However, I talked to LLL and they gave me a ton of advice. I don't know what more they could tell me, as it's not a latching on problem, it's an "I don't want anything to do with it" problem. Perhaps there's an infant psychologist who can help me! (just kidding)
post #224 of 1093
Hang in there, nursingMom! If he is 10 mos and loved to nurse before, he will love to nurse again once he feels better.

Besides the antibiotics, there is a good herbal treatment for earaches, garlic and mullein oil in the ear. You can drip a little in at least one ear when he is sleeping on his side. It contains anti-bacterial properties and also soothes pain.

If he is in a lot of pain, are you doing Motrin? The risks are tiny and the benefits would be huge if he will then feel up to coming back to the breast.

Are you using humidifiers in the house to make the air less dry? This can help with stuffiness too, esp in the bedroom at night.

Are you staying topless at home? Are you wearing him in the sling a lot, you topless, him in just a diaper? Some striking babies will nurse upright on your hip as you move and walk, when they won't do it in the cradle hold sitting or lying down.

What about in the tub? Take a bath together. Don't neccessarily offer the breast, just have it out there at all times. That is my idea.
post #225 of 1093
We do have humidifier that follows him wherever he sleeps (sometimes his room, usually ours). I have had the skin-to-skin contact from the time I get home till bed time in one way or another. I still have to try the bath. The biggest problem is that my stress from not getting other things done increases when I do something like take a bath, and also, my toddler has his 4th birthday party on Sunday, and I have practically zero time to even get ready for all the folks coming over. I am going to try really hard tonight to get to try a bath.
post #226 of 1093
These low-supply threads just help me out so much! I found out about my low supply when my ds was 7 weeks old, still at his birthweight, and hadn't gained any weight in 2 weeks! Our doctor (midwife and naturopath) was very lax the whole way along about the weight gain- DS (obviously) wasn't at his birthweight at the 10 day visit & she said don't worry- he had lost a lot of weight after birth & since I had to have a c-section (after 4 nights and days of labor), sometimes it took longer for milk to come in. He was nursing ALL the time & has an awesome suck.

Then we did a quick weigh at about 5 weeks w/diaper and onsie on when I had stopped in to get some vitamins-- he was just above the birthweight & she was pleased that he had gained weight since the last visit (though I calculated just 3-4 oz a week in that time, & was kind of woried that he seemed fussy at the breast- like he wasn't getting enough).
The next visit at 7 weeks he was actually 3 oz less, but didn't have the clothes on... still at birthweight!! Doc then gave me some formula and told me to supplement him with this while I worked on getting my supply up. I couldn't believe that a naturopath had just gven me formula, but in retrospect, I think she was a little shocked and scared that she hadn't noticed a problem sooner. she said, "I had one other lady this year that had similar problems". Only one other lady??? I called up the LC to help me organize how I was going to icrease my supply and get my baby up to speed all at the same time, since I figured they deal with these problems more than our doctor!
LC gave me a sheet about pumping that they give to moms with babes in the ICU and a regimine that looked like this: 1. nurse your baby, 2. feed your baby EBM, 3.feed your baby formula if still hungry 4. pump REPEAT 8-10x day I did this for a couple weeks, then went down to pumping just a few times a day.

These are the other things I have done: vitamin B shot, checked my thyroid & started taking thyrod for a 'so-so' function, fenugreek, brewers yeast, oatmeal, goats rue, greens. I just started the goats rue, it seems to work pretty well. that and the fenugreek have made the biggest difference.
I also feed baby all the time, & co-sleep. my breasts have always been kind of small and wide spaced, though not so small as the hypoplastic ones posted around on these threads. I didn't go up a bra size while pregnant, though I did 'fill' my pre-preg size better.

I started back to work part-time & when I'm away, I pump usually around 2-2.5 oz from both breasts combined every 2-3 hrs. Wondering how well some of you others do in the same boat? 9work/pumping?)

DS is 16 weeks now. I have increased my supply, but not enough to cut out the supplements.
I know most of you get angry at your doctors for being too rigid with the weigh ins, but I get kind of angry that our doctor wasn't rigid enough to detect my supply problem sooner. Who knows if I would have done better if we had caught it right off the bat & had me pumping more right away?? The LC said to focus on 'maximizing my potential', but I can't help but wonder if there wasn't a way I could do better than that and cut out the supplements???
I feel so crappy about giving formula. In fact, so crappy, now my doctor says she worries about me & thinks I need to join a support group. Well, at least these threads make me realize that there are more of you out there, and also, that my feelings of sadness and upset at the issue are normal.
post #227 of 1093
Hello! Another low-milk momma over here... I found out when my baby girl was about three months that I simply could not produce enough even after drinking 80 ozs of water a day, eating oatmeal, taking motherlove more milk and the whole nine yards... I've been forced to put my darling on formula because of this but still can pump anywhere from 2-4 ozs a day... I figure that's still better than no momma milk at all...

In any case, I feel better knowing that I'm not alone over here and am glad to "meet" you all.

post #228 of 1093
I'm glad to find this tribe, although I'm sorry there are so many of us.

I breastfed my last two children without any supply problems that I know of & tandem nursed for almost 2 years, so finding I had low supply came as a complete shock.

When I took my newborn twins in for their 2 week checkup they had lost quite a bit of weight. I knew they weren't nursing enough because they slept so much during the day, but I was scared that they had lost so much weight. The ped recommended supplementing at that point. One of my dear friends is an LC and helped me figure out how much each babe needed to get in ounces. We were fighting yeast and although I pumped and bottlefed for a while my supply got less and less.

I finally decided to add formula and they are still getting more formula than breastmilk. My supply is almost nothing on one side (due to lumpectomy years ago I think) so I have used a SNS on that side several times, but the nipple is also flat and it's a royal PITB.

I think we are finally kicking the yeast after 3 weeks of diflucan, and I am now taking domperidone in order to up my supply. Life is really stressful right now with the twins, colic, having to switch formulas due to dairy sensitivity, and nearly no sleep but things are slowly getting better.
post #229 of 1093
We used an SNS for a couple of weeks too and they certainly are a PITB!!! The stress wasn't worth it at all...
post #230 of 1093
Originally Posted by puffmama
...I started back to work part-time & when I'm away, I pump usually around 2-2.5 oz from both breasts combined every 2-3 hrs. Wondering how well some of you others do in the same boat? 9work/pumping?)
Dear puffmama, thanks for your post. It appears we are making the same amount of milk. I also make 2-2.5 oz per 2-3 hours. I was told by a friend that she was getting 1 oz per hour. My baby is 10 months old. He is only almost 16lbs. Although I think he looks fine, the last two visits we had with the doctor she said that he's no longer following the normal growth curve. She had said he was not even on the chart, but that this was fine as long as his rate of growth was consistent. I'm very stressed that it is now not consistent. I was okay the 1st time I heard it, but then after adding yogurt to his diet and trying to feed him as much as possible for a month and then going back to find he only gained 4oz, really stressed me out. The worst part is that he has been on a nursing strike for over a week. This means I have to pump constantly just to try to make enough for him. I seem to be able to make 15-18oz of milk and am giving him organic plain yogurt and cereal that has formula ingredients in it to him as a supplement. But for drinking, it's EBM. I am taking fenugreek but it doesn't seem to do that much anymore (or maybe I'd be getting less if I weren't taking it?). I've been thinking of adding Blessed Thistle since that's supposed to go well with fenugreek. I am mostly distraught that he's underweight and that he won't nurse. The not nursing sure makes it even harder to keep up the supply. It's one thing to pump 3x a day at work, it's another to also have to pump once before leaving work, 3x at work, once when I get home and once or twice before bed time. I am SO EXHAUSTED and still very sad that he won't nurse because I figure if he just would go back to nursing the supply might go back up again. By the way, it takes me like 30-40mins to pump! I am doing 2-sided with a hospital grade electric pump that I rented. Are you doing it two-sided? That's supposed to increase the hormone that causes your supply to go up.
post #231 of 1093
What do you all do to get over the emotions that come up when you're with someone who's nursing and has a full supply? e.g.: listening to another baby nurse gulping down breast milk, or having someone say right after their letdown that if they let go of their nipple, their milk would shoot across the room. I find myself sometimes so overcome by sadness and sometimes jealousy and would love to hear how all of you deal with it and have overcome it.

Thanks, jen.
post #232 of 1093
I think that we are all capable of having a very close, loving relationship with our children with or without breast feeding. I think that all of us with the low supply are doing our best to give our children as much as we possibly can so that they can benefit from breastmilk, even if it isn't "shooting across the room". I think it's wonderful that you're doing whatever you can and there's no reason to feel guilty or bad or inadequate that your child is being supplemented. The important thing is that you do everything you can for your child. In the end, your satisfaction can come from knowing that you left no stone unturned and that your child received as much benefit as could be derived from what you were able to offer. I think this applies to parenting in general. That person sitting next to you may have had tons of milk for her child and you may have a lot less, but I am positive that there are other areas of caring for your child in which you will excell over her or others, and vice-versa.
post #233 of 1093
well said, nursingMomOfTwo...

how are you doing today and how is your little one doing?

sending you and JenInMpls lots of love and hugs...

post #234 of 1093
Originally Posted by TurboClaudia
sending you and JenInMpls lots of love and hugs...
Thanks, I can use it, I have a wicked case of mastitis right now... :

And nursingmomof2, good points, I try really hard to remember those things... one thing that has helped me a lot was something that one of the other Sept 04 mamas told me: love is an act. When I go to so much trouble to do something for Tristan that I feel is important to him, it shows him love.

Tristan has determined: even salty, infected breast milk tastes better than formula!! :LOL

post #235 of 1093
JenInMpls, I know well those feelings of sadness & jealousy. WIth my first child, I don't think I dealt with it very well- it was just such a shock to have low-supply... I mean, I never ever imagined that such a thing could happen... I thought everyone could breastfeed forever if they wanted to, if only they tried hard enough.... So, I spent way too much time mulling that one over, & I didn't go outside the house if DD was going to need a bottle. I'd wait until she had her bottle, & then go to the park, or the shops, or wherever. Finally I just avoided other mothers for a while, until she was about 12 months or so, & then I would take a sippy cup out with us instead of a bottle.... I don't think this is a particularly healthy approach, it's just what I did. When my DS was born 2 years after DD, I didn't really have much choice but to hang around other mums, & I knew it was possible that the low supply problem would happen again, so I just had to suck up & deal with it, I guess. My closest friend had twins 2 months after I had my DS, & she pretty much exclusively bf them for a year. So I had a lot of practice feeling happy for the good fortune of others, whilst trying not to dwell on my own problems. Making myself feel happy for others & being encouraging in general towards bfing really helped me deal with the jealousy monster, I think..... It sounds a bit mad, but I am now genuinely pleased when I see a successful bf story- I am so happy knowing that someone else will not go through what I & so many others have had to go thru. But I still gave DS the bottle at home only, unless I absolutely couldn't avoid going out. I hated people seeing me giving my kid a bottle. :

It's such a cliche, but I think overall it's time that has helped me heal the most..... (& the kind words of some very wise mamas around here) ((((Jen))))
post #236 of 1093
Originally Posted by TurboClaudia
well said, nursingMomOfTwo...

how are you doing today and how is your little one doing?

sending you and JenInMpls lots of love and hugs...

Thanks for asking, he's doing great. I found a lot of helpful information at the following kellymom.com web pages. I would encourage everyone to read them if you haven't already:





This helped me to know that I'm not doing too bad with what I'm producing, though I did start giving him a cereal that my doctor recommended that has ingredients of formula in it. He is also having yogurt each morning. I'm hoping these two things will help get his weight up, along with my constant pumping to keep the supply up, since he is still on the nursing strike. I am keeping a log on how much I produce every day and it seems that my supply is not decreasing even though I'm only pumping. I just hope this keeps up. I had thought it was decreasing, but this just turned out to be the fact that I do it different times of day each time and that was causing inconsistency in the amounts. Now with the log, I can just look at the overall total at the end of the day. This made me realize that the times when I only pump like 1oz vs 3oz, really don't matter as long as at the end of the day I am making about as much as I made the day before. Each morning I attempt to get ds to nurse again. He kind of considers it, then makes some fussy sounds, then considers it again. He used to give me a little bite (not really biting down, just putting his teeth there and then turning away... kind of weird). Now he's not doing that. He just looks like he's turning to nurse but then turns away making fussy sounds. Without letting it get to the point of frustrating him, I try this each day and then move on to his breakfast and then bottle. I am not giving him a cup or dropper any more because I have decided to give the weight issue priority and we just can't get enough of my breast milk into him with the other methods either because of spilling, or because of his impatience. So I will do the bottle of breastmilk thing till he's not sick any more and weight is up.
Thanks again for asking.
post #237 of 1093
This thread seems to have died, but I'm gonna post here anyway, because I seriously need a shoulder to cry on.

Like so many of you whose stories I read, I've struggled with supply issues from day one. DD was 10 lbs. 9 oz. at birth, and every single person in the hospital, from the midwife to the LACTATION CONSULTANT told me I'd have to supplement because I'd never be able to make enough milk to feed her. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy or whatever, but as much as I tried to prove them all wrong, I couldn't. We did okay on the weekends and rarely had to supplement when I was with dd all day, but I went back to work when she was just 7 weeks old and was never able to pump enough each day to keep from supplementing during the week. I tried fenugreek, oatmeal, herbal teas, pumping more ... nothing I did increased it, but we kept up a fairly stable routine until she hit 5 months. DD got sick then and limited her nursing a lot, which caused my supply to drop. I tried the whole gamut again, even adding the motherlove more milk and more milk special blend, with absolutely no increase at all.

DD will be 7 months next week, and I'm lucky if she'll nurse 2-3 times/day, for a minute or 2, before she pulls off screaming. I wanted to bf so badly, but I'm just so tired and stressed out from this. I'm going to try to keep going until the 21st (when she's officially 7 months), but after that I just give up. It's breaking my heart, but I can't keep doing this. It's affecting my job, and I'm the family breadwinner.

I don't know what I expect to get out of posting this, except to get it off my chest once and for all. Thanks for listening.
post #238 of 1093
heathenmom: sending you lots of hugs and love

I can totally relate to the feeling of I can't do this any more and why doesn't my baby want to breastfeed because I really want him to. And then I cry and sob and squeeze him tighter as he screams inconsolably. And then I remember that now that he's physically not connected to me anymore means that my job as a parent has changed. I'm no longer the only thing he knows. I'm his teacher and guide and safe place to fall back on, but ultimately I have to prepare him to be his own person. I certainly never expected to be reminded of that fact when he was four months old, though.

I don't feel like I'm explaining myself well, but I wanted to send you lots more love and hugs and the reminder that you are being the best mama you can be.

post #239 of 1093
Thanks so much, Claudia ... it really does help to know that you're not the only mom going through this. It seems like every mom I know IRL has/had no problems at all and stopped just because they considered bfing an inconvenience (grrrr) or something. Bottom line, though ... I'm going to have to learn to let than anger and frustration go and deal with things as they are instead of how I want or expected them to be.

Thanks again ...
post #240 of 1093
Hugs to you heathenmom!

Just think, you've given your little one 7 months of breastmilk! That's awesome!

Keep your chin up and know you're not alone.
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