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Low-Milk Supply Tribe - Page 13

post #241 of 1093

Weaning from the supplementer but not the breast - any experiences?

I would like to hear from moms who have used supplementers (Lact-Aid, SNS, etc) and have managed to stop using the supplementer while continuing to nurse - or who have tried, at least.

Tristan is going on 9 mos old and while I would like him to nurse as long as he sees fit, we wouldn't mind stopping the formula after a year - the stuff's SO expensive.

Please share your thoughts!

Thanks, Jen
post #242 of 1093
Thread Starter 
Hi Jen. I used a SNS system when ds was small, switched to bottles after a while and supplemented the entire first year. We are still nursing at 23 months (and we went through a 26 day nursing strike!). He still takes a bottle of soymilk when he asks for it, I never "weaned" him from the bottle, he just stopped needing it after he increased his solids and tippy-cup fluids. How much supplement is he getting on a daily basis? I switched to goats milk/soy milk after 8 months when his donor milk dried up (at the suggestion of our Naturopathic doctor.) Have you tried WIC for help with the formula cost?

V.
post #243 of 1093
Dd hated the supplementer after her first good drink in days as a near newborn. She would fuss, and get tangled in the tubing. A few weeks later I stopped using it and went to a Haberman feeder, which she never liked much either. She nursed for what she could get and tolerated the bottle for the rest. And she didn't take solids until her first teeth came in at 13 months. We used Baby's Only organic formula. The formula smelled nothing like my milk (which smells like creme brulee), and that may have been part of why the bottle was always greated with low enthusiasm.

When she was 14 months old, she was taking lots of food, still nursing, and was pushed the bottle away with a great look of disgust. I never offered it again.

We are still nursing, and Dd is pushing 4.

I know this doesn't quite answer your question. You could try the MOBI (Mothers overcoming breastfeeding issues) because I know there are people there who have weaned older babies from the supplementerGood luck.
post #244 of 1093
We alternated using a Lact-Aid and giving bottles from age 4.5 months to age 9 months, when our son's solid food intake took off in a major way, i.e. he started eating more oatmeal for breakfast than either of us. He had 6 teeth at age 9 months. We supplemented with donor milk and goat's milk with oil, iron and folic acid added. We are still nursing at age 12 months, albeit only 3-5 times a day. We also accidentally nightweaned last month when I started breaking the latch because he was chewing on me and rocking him to sleep. I wish I hadn't had to nightwean because my moontime returned this past week, but if I have learned anything through all our milk supply issues, it's that it's not about what I want or need, it's about what our little guy wants and needs. It still surprises me that I had to recognize this when he was just 4.5 months old... I thought for sure I'd have at least a few years before I would have to acknowledge the beginning of his independence.

I'm happy to answer more questions or to tell you more about our situation. Let me know.

warmly,
claudia
post #245 of 1093
i found this thread looking for a conversation about supplementing with goat's milk, and wow you are all sure my tribe! i can relate to so much, the weeks of tears when i realized i would have to supplement ( i was really an emotional stressed out wreck!), the hiding of the bottle in public, the thought of why other people have so much and i can only make so little.....(and with my son 12 years ago i made abundandt milk)

my dd is now 8 months and i have been supplementing since she was 3 1/2 months, when i realized she had stopped gaining. this was after my (about) 60th plugged duct. (i take homeopathic phytolacca to clear it up before it reaches the full blown mastitis stage - which is a GODSEND for those of you dealing with clogged ducts/mastitis. also lethicin 3 x day) grace was born at 36 weeks (at home in the water, thank you midwives!) but was really not ready to be born. her lungs were underdeveloped and we had to transport. her thyroid wasn't quite working - we did vitamin supplements. she didn't poop but once in 23 days, but her weight gain at that time was borderline okay so the fact that she wasn't getting enough milk wasn't discovered until later when it was really too late to get my supply up. i make about 2 oz every few hours and all the pumping and herbs and prayers have not been able to change that. we went through horrible systemic yeast that i felt like added to the clogged duct problem that added to the milk supply problem. i have spent days just crying from the pain of yeast nipples and clogged ducts but nothing was going to make me give up breastfeeding. now she is on about half goat's milk half breast. we gave a bottle (so freaked out i didn't even consider the supplementers at almost 4 months)and now she is such a bad nurser during the day that most of it gets pumped out and given to her the next morning ( i also stay up late at night and pump after she is asleep for those precious 2 oz)) at night she is a good nurser and i let her as much as she needs to. i knew i wanted to supplement with goat's milk but found little support for it. as it turned out this was our only option, as my daughter is gluten intolerant and so sensitive she will react to the milk if the cows were fed grain (which all cows are) fortunately i have access to gluten free goats milk. we boil it, then make into a formula, cutting the protein with water, adding back in carbs (we are using organic mollasses - which i hope addresses the low iron) and hemp oil for fats. she is now loving her solids which helps too. i'm wanting to put her back on straight goats milk as it is time to begin proteins, so why not get them from the goats milk? i'm also wondering when it is safe to stop boiling it and begin to give her raw. does anyone know about this?

this has been a crazy journey and sure not what i expected. i still get stressed on low milk days that it will dry up completely and our nursing relationship will be over. i am grateful every day i can give her a 4-5 oz bottle of pumped milk in the morning - the efforts of pumping 3-5 times during the day. i am also thrilled that our skinny little baby has blossomed into a fat little girl, thriving on the goats. i am a doula and prenatal yoga teacher and i am very grateful for the experience which will help me help others. since this began for me there have been 3 other woman in my classes who for one reason or another cannot make enough milk. 1 of them is using the supplementer system and i applaud her amazing commitment. she gets 1/2 oz when she pumps and that makes my 2 feel abundandt. none of us are alone. i'm glad i found you all.
post #246 of 1093
Hi Talia, a belated welcome to the tribe! How is it going with the goats milk? I'm afraid I don't know the first thing about the stuff, hope it's still going well for you.....

And I am shamelessly bumping this thread to front page again.

word on the streets is that another MDC mama with breastfeeding difficulties is out there, & she needs a little love & support.... hope she finds us......
post #247 of 1093
Quote:
word on the streets is that another MDC mama with breastfeeding difficulties is out there, & she needs a little love & support.... hope she finds us.....
THATS ME!!!!!! Help me mommas!!!
this is so tough!! here is some backround info:

I had my first DS when I was 17 and had a HORRIFIC c-section birth experience.
I was told my milk 'never came in' (now i know this wasn't the case) I was given some type of drug to produce milk and that didn't work. They put my son on formula about day 3! (MISTAKE but I didn't know at the time) anyway I supplimented and that was pretty much the end of our brestfeeding experience. I was told horrible things like I was too young etc...

With my second DS I research ALOT and had a wonderful BEAUTIFUL home birth!!! and was determined that breastfeeding would work....
I ended up calling my midwife day 3 or 4 crying because I didn't think my milk had come in and DS was acting so hungry. Her assistant came over and realised that my milk had come in *sigh* (it was happening again...) anyway I didn't want to give up and kept feeding at 3 weeks and being supplimented with SMALL amounts of breastmilk (from a friend) from a dropper at night my DS was still 8oz below birth weight and was one unhappy hungry baby
I was at a loss and started on formula after nursing him first...
I've tried oatmeal, fenugreek, pumping in between feeds and after feeds, mothers milk tea, brewers yeast, and amromatherapy spray used to increase supply... all with no luck. He is currently being supplimenting with Organic Formula
Some days I want this to work more then anything and others I feel like giving up. I'm at a loss of what to do...
I just want to cry... I feel so horrible that this is happening..

for more info I am overweight (have recently read this could have something to do with it) and also have very small breasts...
what is the reason for low milk?
I haven't had time to read this thread but will start tomorrow!
post #248 of 1093
Thread Starter 
s you are doing great. Have you tried pumping WHILE nursing? That worked for me to get more milk. What pump are you using? Have you tried Domperidone (a prescription drug)? Did your breasts change at all during pregnancy?

Are you seeing an IBCLC? They can really help, breastfeeding is what they do. Even a midwife is no substitute.

Congradulations on the newone!!!!

Victoria (who over came all the problems you are having, supplemented till 1 year, had mastitis and plugged duct and a 26 day nursing strike at 18 months and is STILL nursing at 24.5 months - and it is SO WORTH IT)
post #249 of 1093
Amanda, honey, I think there is no one out there who can tell us why this is happening to us. Even the so-called experts end up throwing their hands up in the air when we list off everything we've tried that didn't work. We vex them. And I honestly think they don't like it. My experience was very similar to yours except I got a hybrid situation - I had the horrible c-section, my first, but was very supported with working on getting my milk to come in, etc. Herbs, oatmeal, beer, domperidone, constant nursing, you name it, I did it, it didn't matter, I've made max 1/2 oz per breast per nursing. I have had mastitis, and I have had numerous plugged ducts. Tristan has been on formula since 1 month with a switch to organic around 4 mos (took us that long to find it, duh), we still nurse daily with the SNS and sometimes without if he's full on solids. It has been assumed (basically all of the options narrowed down) that I have only a few working milk ducts, the others did not mature during pregnancy as they were supposed to or there just aren't enough; my breasts are also typical for hypoplasia. If there is a baby #2 I will be taking progesterone supplements to see if it makes a difference; a study done showed that this sometimes can stimulate your body to make a better supply.

I just wish I could reach into the computer and give you a big hug and then make you look into my eyes and say: yes. It's horrible. Be stubborn. Breastfeeding your baby is soooooo important. Try a supplementer like a Lact-Aid or an SNS for a month (don't give yourself just a few days, it will make you crazy and you will throw the fool thing in the trash!). Some women like them, some don't. At any rate, don't think that just because you are supplementing means you have to stop nursing your baby... see my sig!!!

good luck, Jen
post #250 of 1093
Welcome, amanda! You actually weren't the member I was thinking of when I wrote my last post, but i'm sure glad you found us. So, that now makes two mamas that I know of who need our help & support right now.....

I second all of Vic's suggestions. Maybe try the breast compression technique whilst feeding your little one. It helped a little for me, but prolly would have been most useful if I tried it in conjunction with a hands-free electric pump.... didn't think of it at the time. Ah well.

Also, as far as I know, breast size doesn't matter when it comes to milk production. Anectdotally, I can think of a number of small breasted mamas who didn't have a supply problem (including one friend who bf twins for a year). I don't know if being overweight can cause supply problems- I haven't heard that one before. Intuitively it doesn't make sense to me, but I dunno.....

Let's see, if I calculate the dates right, your new bub is about 10 weeks old. I hate to ask the dreaded question, but how's his weight gain going? And how much formula do you estimate that you supplement each day? Just trying to get a fuller picture of your situation........ you are doing great, mama, hang in there, & most importantly, remember to be gentle on yourself when you're feeling down...
post #251 of 1093
Quote:
It has been assumed (basically all of the options narrowed down) that I have only a few working milk ducts, the others did not mature during pregnancy as they were supposed to or there just aren't enough;
Yes, I suspect this was a issue with my breasts as well. I remember one day visiting with a friend who was pumping at the time, & I was just amazed that the milk came out from like 5 different places at once! Heck, I didn't even know that breasts did that! :LOL For me, there was a little dribble that would come from one place on the right breast (at full steam pumping only), & I think I had two working ducts on the left side.

Quote:
Amanda, honey, I think there is no one out there who can tell us why this is happening to us. Even the so-called experts end up throwing their hands up in the air when we list off everything we've tried that didn't work. We vex them. And I honestly think they don't like it.
I'll second that one as well, altho I think that more & more LCs are starting to understand that the old idea that any woman can breastfeed if she just tries hard enough is wrong. It's more complicated than that, as we all know so painfully well. I reckon there's a reason why wet nurses used to be so popular......
post #252 of 1093
I'm so glad I found this tribe!!! What great support for those of us with low supply! I'm currently nursing and using an SNS. I've been so fortunate to have 3 of them just given to me for FREE!!! I try to pump and use breastmilk in it when/if I can, but more often than not it's formula.

I just ordered my More Milk Special Blend and some more domperidone, but honestly if this doesn't increase my supply significantly, I may just give up. I'm so tired of all this SNS tubing, etc. I tried just nursing and then following up with a bottle, but that extended our feeding sessions to over an hour. Not that I minded the excuse to snuggle my girl for over an hour, kwim? But I also have a 5 yo and 6 yo who kinda want my attention as well...okay...they are craving my attention. (I also homeschool).

Anyway, that was just a short introduction. Oh, I almost forgot, I am fortunate to have a really good ob/gyn this time around. They did bloodwork and discovered I have a mild case of PCOS which may be contributing to my low supply. I also have some really whacked-out hormone imbalances - my prolactin levels are in the low teens/high twenties - not too good for someone trying to nourish a babe.
post #253 of 1093
hi all.
i havent been back thru all the posts ive missed as its been a while so hi to all.

im just popping back in, as i am expecting #2 and still have no idea why i had such a small supply last time. Any tips ideas of things i can investigate to make easeier this time around?. Although my nipples more sensitive this time, never had any breast changes b4 so maybe a good sign, or im just being delusional.

heather
post #254 of 1093
Hi marcy, welcome to the tribe. And scuba, glad to see you are still here at MDC.

Marcy, quick question, how old is your little one? And how much do you reckon your dd takes each day thru the SNS? I hate to ask repetitive questions, but I do think it's important when trying to work exactly where you are in the nursing relationship, iykwim.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamom
im just popping back in, as i am expecting #2 and still have no idea why i had such a small supply last time. Any tips ideas of things i can investigate to make easeier this time around?. Although my nipples more sensitive this time, never had any breast changes b4 so maybe a good sign, or im just being delusional.
No, I don't think you are being delusional, I think it's very possible that you will have no dramas bf'ing your second child. Again, anecdotally, I can think of mamas who were unable to fully bf their first child, yet have successfully bf their second child past two years, so.... But just in case, be mentally prepared for the possibility that you may face round two of low milk supply... I don't know of any ways to try & increase your supply before your baby is born, but hopefully other mamas might have some suggestions.
post #255 of 1093
Thread Starter 
I have heard of this in scientific journals that I have (but am too lazy currently to go find ) that with each baby your chance of fully breastfeeding increases, especially if you have breastfed for a while with the others. They recken that milk ducts can expand and grow as they figure out that you need them too.

what is the saying? Expect the best, but prepare for the worse. For example if you are comfortable with donor milk you could line up some donors now, maybe have some in the freezer just in case.

V.
post #256 of 1093

Thank you!

Thank you so much for the quick response! She takes anywhere from 0-5 ounces via the SNS and she nurses 5-6 times a day. She's been sleeping 10-12 hours at night so usually in the morning she can nurse w/o the SNS with no problem, but by mid-afternoon or early evening she can drain 5 oz. (that's when my supply is lowest).

She's 3 1/2 months (she'll be 4 months on Aug. 13th). I don't know her current weight, but she's got rolls!
post #257 of 1093
Marcy - I will quickly say that the SNS gets easier. I only ever use one tube at a time, I tuck the other one up in the neck strap and open it for air return so it doesn't get an air lock going. Are you able to use it without doing the taping? I found that that somehow eased a lot of the stress with it for me. You are SO lucky to have gotten 3 for free! That's a sweet deal!!

I still sometimes grouch about the SNSes, grumbling about "what did I do to deserve this? mumble mumble..." but it's honestly gotten to be 2nd nature for both of us now.

Just to give you a little for your hard work

xo j
post #258 of 1093
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcyC
Thank you so much for the quick response! She takes anywhere from 0-5 ounces via the SNS and she nurses 5-6 times a day. She's been sleeping 10-12 hours at night so usually in the morning she can nurse w/o the SNS with no problem, but by mid-afternoon or early evening she can drain 5 oz. (that's when my supply is lowest).

She's 3 1/2 months (she'll be 4 months on Aug. 13th). I don't know her current weight, but she's got rolls!
why is she nursing so little? has she always nursed so little? You might need to bump that up to 8-12 times a day. Has she always slept so much? Did you do sleep training or is it her natural rythem? the milk at night is highest in fat, in the morning it is more in quantity but less fat. Do you work?
post #259 of 1093
Oh, heavens no! She hasn't always nursed that little! My pediatrician asked me very early if she nursed for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours. I said no, she nurses for 2-3 hours every 20 minutes...LOL! She would stay latched on for HOURS! Then she started going a little longer, but was nursing AT LEAST 12 times day - sometimes more than 12. It wasn't until the LC diagnosed me with true low milk supply that she started going longer. I think it took the SNS - she now gets full while nursing. Before she just wasn't getting enough.

She just fell into this sleep pattern on her own. I've always done the eat/play/sleep routine. I'm not a big fan of babywise by any means, but I developed that routine all on my own, kwim? It just kind of made sense to me. She just gradually started sleeping longer (no crying necessary). I don't know if it'll last or not. She doesn't nap regularly during the day...I'm just kinda following her lead.

No, I don't work unless you count homeschooling the older two...doing housework, etc.

I'm glad to hear the SNS gets easier. I still have to tape it down - she's fond of just popping on and off so much that I'd be constantly readjusting the tubing if I didn't tape it down - it's a pain, but honestly right now - it's worth it.
post #260 of 1093
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiemum
I'll second that one as well, altho I think that more & more LCs are starting to understand that the old idea that any woman can breastfeed if she just tries hard enough is wrong. It's more complicated than that, as we all know so painfully well. I reckon there's a reason why wet nurses used to be so popular......
What got me was that it all seemed so black and white when I had Tristan - the LC I worked with saw it kind of as "Well, either you have a full supply, or you bottle feed" - and that was not the answer I was looking for. But when I went looking for answers on my own, it was like a kick in the gut every time I heard "well, there may have been difficulties at first, but it was usually baby's latch, and when baby got latched on right and breast compression was used, and baby was nursed enough, milk supply just 'took off'" (I got this reply almost word-for-word from Dr. Jack Newman after telling him my story and asking him if he knew anything more about hypoplasia. The brush-off really stung). Yeah, I understand that some babies aren't latched on right. Mine was. Or they have a weak suck. Mine didn't. Or mom wasn't eating right or resting enough. I was. But the onus kept falling back on me, it must have been something I was doing wrong. Now I know that it's really my breasts. I look at them in the mirror and frequently say "hey guys, why aren't you making enough milk?". No answer yet

The tide seems to be turning, though, with the publishing of "Breastfeeding After Reduction: Defining your own Success"; the article about mums who bf after reduction in Mothering was great, too. LLL is writing a book about low supply. I reeeeeeally hope it's good...

jen
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