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Low-Milk Supply Tribe - Page 3

post #41 of 1093
Curious, that's what my LC told me to do. zshe said that it would be less frustrating for dd and let her associate the breast with satisfaction rather than frustration. Thanks everyone else for the replies as well. i think I'm going to attempt using the SNS again and simply pray that she gets strong enought to nurse on her own. It's so hard to know what is the right thing to do.
I began stepping down off the domperidone because I can't afford it any longer. I already saw my supply decrease. I spent the last day and a half sobbing but there isn't any more money. My LC suggested getting the meds from New Zealand, I guess it's about a third of the cost. That being the case I'm thinking of borrowing yet more money to take one last shot. I can get a three month supply from New Zealand for what it costs to do two weeks here. I guess I'm doing to try and make it work somehow. It's just hard on the bad days to keep perservering. It would be so much easier to give up... especially given the fact that I don't have a full supply anyhow. But luckily a good day usually follows the bad and I remember that some breastmilk is better than no breastmilk.
post #42 of 1093
Elisabeth, I don't know if this is an option, but I was able to get my insurance to pay for the domperidone by having the pharmacist run it through as a "compound". I only ended up paying $9 for a month's supply (much better than the $100 I was quoted).

One thing that seems to be making a difference for me is drinking a Kaliber (non-alcoholic) made by Guinness every night. People kept saying drink a dark beer but I was worried about the alcohol getting to my small babe. He's already getting domperidone, after all. I'm starting blessed thistle today (fenugreek was too troubling gastrointestinally). I try not to get my hopes up. Yesterday I only gave 4 oz of formula and I was so proud...baby steps, you know.

Good luck and keep us posted.
post #43 of 1093
Originally Posted by elisabeth
I began stepping down off the domperidone because I can't afford it any longer. I already saw my supply decrease. I spent the last day and a half sobbing but there isn't any more money. My LC suggested getting the meds from New Zealand, I guess it's about a third of the cost. That being the case I'm thinking of borrowing yet more money to take one last shot. I can get a three month supply from New Zealand for what it costs to do two weeks here.
Have you checked out www.globaldrug.tv ? That may be the New Zealand source you already looked at....I'm so sorry you didn't get the information you needed to get the medicine you need cheaply!

Do you or your dh have a medical flexible spending account through work? This is something that could be deducted from any funds you have in there which would also give you a little bit of a price break.

post #44 of 1093

I hope everything works out for you and that you can find a way to get your meds. Knowing that there is something that you need and are not able to have for your baby is a sickening feeling and I hope that everything comes together.

I really meant to post a couple of days ago, but just have no time. I took dd in for a weight check and she gained 5.5 oz in 11 days, so we are doing pretty well. I know that I will have to battle with the dr because she is slipping down the growth curve, but I will face that battle when I get there.

I really enjoyed the post by Aussiemum and the subsequent posts by Victorian regarding the decision to stop or continue bf. I continued with my first dd and she eventually weaned at 8 mo (I am sure it had to do with the bottle but what was I to do). I am now sitting here thinking about how easy it would be to give this one a bottle now. I feel like I am improving (with the help of fenugreek and oatmeal) but I do not know what the cost will be to the rest of my family. My first is just 23 mo old and my dh is constantly away (going on two weeks now) and the constant nursing and pumping are truly wearing on me. Much less I am doing all of this with a toddler wanting me as well and I am still going to have to justify myself to the drs etc. Much less dh has a hard time understanding why I need to spend half of my day nursing and pumping! He has been very supportive of bf, but would like me to put the family before my desire to bf? I need to get things in perspective I know. Thanks for letting me vent.

I have another question about the cause of low milk supply. How many of you started to cycle again after the birth of your babies. I started to cycle at 8 weeks with both of mine with the slow gaining issues starting right at the same time. Could it be some hormones causing low milk? Just another thought.

post #45 of 1093
It absolutely could be hormones! If you want you can get a screen done- testing for prolactin, estrogen and oxytocin levels. That would pretty much let you know for sure. Good luck.
post #46 of 1093
Free49- to answer your question, I didn't get a cycle back until she was six months old. I am due for one now but now sign yet so I don't know if they are returning to normal yet.
post #47 of 1093

I was just shopping on the trading post and saw someone is selling domperidone for $15. Thought you might be interested based on your previous post.


Hope I linked that correctly.
post #48 of 1093
Just wanted to say hi. I am having BIG supply issues, hating my body for its betrayal, not understanding why it refuses to make enough milk for my baby. I have tried everything. My baby is 2 1/2 months old. Today, I think I have finally accepted that i will never be able to nurse him exclusively and have even entertained the idea of giving up completely. But now i am thinking that maybe I should just nurse part time and be happy with that. Because the thougth of never nursing him again breaks my heart.
thanks for listening

post #49 of 1093
karenge, glad you found the thread. I saw your sad post on the bfing bds and came over here to link this thread for you!

Then I started reading, and at the end, there you were already!

I did not have low supply. But I am a bfing counselor of 15 yrs and I just wanted to offer hugs and any support/info any of you might need. I think you are all heroes.

I just want to reiterate, any breastmilk is oceans better than none! Some adoptive moms jump through hoops to provide a few oz a day. It is worth it. If 2 days of colostrum gives a child immune support for 6 mos (and it does) imagine what a few oz or more of human milk a day does for your baby! Anecdote: I once knew a baby whose mom bfed him at first but her supply gradually went down as she nursed less and less. It wasn't until her baby was fully weaned to formula that it was found he had a serious heart ailment that required open heart surgery. So, he was able to avoid the surgery til he was a strong 6 mos old insted of needing it when younger and more vulnerable (we got donated human milk for him post-op and he healed so quickly, all his drs were amazed. I saw him 3 days after the surgery and his scar was already nearly healed!)

if you no longer have the time or stamina, it is also OK to quit. A newborn, a toddler, no dh at home and round the clock pumping/nursing/bottlefeeding is a Herculean task. But every mother defines her own bfing success. Listen to your heart and your children and thumb your noses at those who say it doesn't matter, you should quit, or "get over" your grief. Your feelings are normal!!! You decide what is best for you and your baby and children!

Best wishes, DaryLLL
post #50 of 1093
It looks like we're in the same boat. DS is seventeen months and DD just turned a month. I also have a husband who is working constantly-the sacrifice we made to have me be a stay at home mom. Pumping is near impossible with my son-he's into everything! But I just do whenever I can for as long as I can. I got a good tip to pump and leave the stuff out (don't refrigerate milk or clean the pump) and come back again even if it's only for a couple of minutes. I notice that's it's less stressful for me and I tend to get more. I also agree that every ounce of breastmilk is an ouce of victory. I have no idea how long I'll keep it up, but with my son I just kept promising to make it to different landmarks. Once I hit them it was easier to get to the next one and the next one and the next one. It's such a personal thing, but I just keep taking it one day at a time. We'll get there. PM me if you wanna chat and best of luck.

Thanks to everyone for the domperidone suggestions. I did order from New Zealand so cheers to another few months of at least partial supply!
post #51 of 1093
Karen, big hugs to you. I think you probably already know that I so understand the feelings of your body letting you down- this was a huge issue for me. It sounds so silly, but as a fairly non-mainstream woman, with an educational background in biology & environmental sciences, I just could not understand why everybody else worked like a proper mammal & I did not! I had all sorts of strange ideas about Darwinian evolution & genetic selection, let me tell you, which now seem fairly daft to me.......... Of course, now I know that it's not just me, that many of us face low breast-milk supply & we just have to do the best we can.

I agree with Elisabeth, it's a good idea just to take one day at a time. I feel like I say this about everything, but some days are just better than others, KWIM? Some days you might make more milk, & some days less, but in the end your bub is getting some breastmilk everyday. And that, for us, is a huge accomplishment. Huge. Most days now I know that to be true, & I hope that taking on board that knowledge as soon as possible will spare others some of the miserable thoughts that I went through when I was so convinced that I was an absolute failure. You ladies have helped me to know better!!

I've more thoughts on this, but can't articulate them right now........ bad morning (unrelated to BF, thank goodness)...... my cranial hard-drive is shorting out I think.........
post #52 of 1093
Thread Starter 
does anyone else feel weird to read post about women that are weaning at the same age as your baby? (Let me just put in a disclaimer here - I am not bashing women for weaning - you do what you need to - I am talking about how it makes me feel)

For instance, I was recently reading a thread by a mother that has a 10 month old and is wondering what milk to give the baby as she is weaning him. I was just like wow! She is weaning? I am just now at place where it is not painful or discouraging to nurse my baby, and she is weaning!

It just feels weird. Does anyone else know what I mean?
post #53 of 1093
It does amaze me to think that Dd is still nursing enthusiastically, at an age past where many kids have self weaned.
post #54 of 1093
I'm a low supply mom at the moment,. but it's my fault, easing on the pumping and supplementing. I hope to get my supply back up soon!!!
post #55 of 1093
Hi, all! I am no longer battling low supply and can't post at length now. But I did have HUGE supply problems for nearly the first 6 months of Bleuet's life. He is still happily nursing at over 1 year now, still consuming a great portion of his calories in breastmilk. I'm happy to PM or e-mail with anyone who needs support around low supply issues, and I'll post my story later (you can read snippets in my posts in the Breastfeeding forum, particularly in Getting Established).
post #56 of 1093
I just happened to pop over here, didn't realize that this thread was here.

I am a quitter. I also have hypoplastic breasts. DD#1 was dangerously dehydrated by day 4, had no wet or dirty diapers, despite my round-the-clock nursing. I kept up a supplementing regimen, and gave up. I was crushed. With dd#2, I had done a lot more research, and knew what was going on. I did a lot of weigh-nurse-weigh checks, and dd was getting about 1/2 ounce in each feeding. I have seen 3 IBCLC's in the last 2 years. I used an SNS and pumped at first. But, this became nearly impossible, while taking care of my other child as well. After 3 weeks, I let off the pumping and SNS. She comfort nursed for 7 more weeks, until she refused entirely.

I saw someone else ask about hypoplastic breasts... here is a post that I made in another message board, with a lot of links.

Warning: there are pictures of breasts in some of the following links.

Breastfeeding and underdeveloped (Hypoplastic) breasts

PCOS and Breastfeeding

Lactation failure due to insufficient glandular development of the breast.

Patient with insufficient glandular tissue experiences milk supply increase attributed to progesterone treatment for luteal phase defect.

Breast augmentation (won't help bf'ing, but has discussion on hyplasia)

Low milk supply related to breast shape?

PCOS, hypoplasia / Lisa Marasco, IBCLC

This one will give you a bunch of "huge boob" pop-ups, just warning you:
Tubular breast reconstructive surgery (again, won't help bf'ing, but has pictures and descriptions)
post #57 of 1093
Thanks for those links, bananasmom. In some ways they bring up even more questions in my own head (which is a good thing ), but this in particular jumped out at me. From the PubMed site, abstract of Pediatrics. 1985 Nov;76(5):823-8.

Preserving the "every woman can nurse" myth contributes to perpetuating a simplistic view of lactation and does a disservice to the small percentage of women with primary causes of unsuccessful lactation.
From 1985!!! I don't go to breastfeeding support sites unless by accident, but I just read on a site the other day how 'all women can breastfeed' & not believing this will 'set you up for failure'. I really, really wish that the very well-meaning BF folks would just stop for a minute & realise the damage that can be done to a woman's emotional health with these sort of blanket statements.......

And yet I perpetuate it, because I don't want to be seen as anti-BF. A friend's wife just had a baby a few weeks ago. I spoke to her on day 3 & she said the milk hadn't come in yet, but she knew it would & of course she'd have no problems with supply, it's just a matter of wanting to bf & being willing to stick with it.......... Of course I made noises of agreement, because no new mama wants to hear my crappy story at 3 days post-partum. But man, from the bottom of my heart, I really hope it works out for her like she wants it to.....
post #58 of 1093
I always knew that breast-feeding would come easy. I would serve whole foods, bake bread, and make ketchup. We would garden, paint, create, dance, read books, and learn to care about all people in the world, even those who seem to have more. But, that’s not how it was.

Pregnancy was a breeze. My doctor was great. I gave birth at the hospital, as planned. I did not plan on staying for a week. Emma had come out grunting, like a baby gator. Not crying. Not pink. She could not fight the pneumonia. She needed oxygen and intravenous antibiotics. I could not hold her and put her to my breast. She seemed to accept the daily regimen of needle pricks. We hesitantly allowed the night nurse to wheel her from us to the intensive care nursery for the antibiotic IV. One night she returned, something was different. Her scalp and both feet and hands had been repeatedly pricked in and effort to start the IV. When her little veins protested the IV, she was given 3 shots in her thighs. Guilt.

Breast-feeding was the worst. I loved the idea of breast-feeding. My milk came in and I loved the feeling of breast-feeding. I slept with my baby, skin-to-skin. I nursed her often and dreamily watched her suck. She was with me all of the time. I drank plenty of water and ate well. I nursed in public and nursed in private. I felt powerful.

Then, Emma’s rate of growth became a concern. She thinned out. Her eyes developed dark circles. She nursed continuously. She cried inconsolably before and after feeding. Over the course of three months, she dropped from above the 95 percentile in weight and height to closer to the 50th. She is from a family of big people. She was born 21.5 inches and 9 pounds. Her first month she gained 18 ounces. Her second month she gained 11 ounces. Her third month, she gained only 7 ounces, which might be enough if she was meant to be a smaller baby, but it was not enough for her. My breasts always seemed dry. They never leaked. I could barely squeeze any milk from my nipples, regardless of how long it since she last ate. She was starving.

Yes, I did everything advised to increase my milk supply. I don’t want to remember it all now. I drank teas, relaxed, slept more, held her to my naked chest in bed for days, nursed in private, and hooked up to the Medela pump-n-style and later the industrial breast pump for additional stimulation. The pumps could not pull more milk from breast than Emma could drink. I pumped until the elasticity left my nipples and they hung long, permanently. I only got milk if I waited several hours after Emma’s last feeding. By that time, Emma was ready to nurse again but when she tried, the milk was gone. It was now in the bottle. It felt wrong to pump my breasts only to serve her a bottle.

Everyone had advice. Maybe the doctor was wrong and she was growing well enough. Maybe she was meant to be thin. Maybe she had colic. Maybe she was a lazy sucker. Maybe I was still doing something wrong. Maybe there was something else I could do.

There was something else I could do and I did it. The fourth month, I began to offer her formula–just one ounce after she had nursed as long as she wanted. Emma quickly drank that ounce and then cried. Was she gassy or still hungry? I gave her more formula and when she finished that, she cried. Five ounces later, she fell asleep. I know she was hungry. I continued to breast-feed her first, then offer formula. That month, Emma gained more weight than her first three months combined. She gained 42 ounces. At six months, we stopped breast-feeding because Emma did not desire my breast. She did not search for my breast. She loved her bottle.
post #59 of 1093
Redsmom, my heart aches at your story. Finding this tribe has helped me with my struggle, though. At least I'm not the only one out there who has these issues who has tried everything. I do wish people would be more understanding that there are select few of us out there who have tried everything and aren't just giving up easily.

At the co-op Saturday I found another book about herbs for women. It mentioned borage (something I hadn't tried) to increase supply so of course I had to pick some up. I came home and did research only to find it causes liver damage, so I guess I'll be returning it. Every galactalogue seems to have some kind of side effect. My DS is on a growth spurt right now and I've gone from feeding maybe 1 oz of formula a feeding to 2 oz. I had hoped we had plateaued at 1 oz/feeding, but now it's double. I think he might still be getting more BM than formula, and I hope to keep it that way. Every day is a struggle.
post #60 of 1093
I have great news! I FINALLY got my supply up. It took taking a ridiculous amount of domperidone (I am topped out at 160 mg. a day!) and stopping nursing because my daughter was nursing in a way that actually prevented my supply from increasing. My LC is truly a genius. So now I have a full supply and we are back to nursing exclusively. I never realized you could safely up the dosage of domperidone, but that was definitely my turning point. Good luck to all the hard working and dedicated mamas on this thread-I'm sure I'll see you elsewhere on the board.
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