Anyone else inducing right now? I just started pumping this week, so nothing yet. (I posted to this thread a year ago, but that pregnancy ended sadly in miscarriage; DP is 30 weeks pregnant now and I'm so excited for the baby to come.)
Inducing Lactation - Page 3
i'm 22 weeks pregnant with twins and my wife (who posts here as bigfoot) is working on inducing lactation. she is still in the pills pills pills phase of the induction, but we have high hopes for success because, well, twins. she breastfeed our oldest kiddo, but that was a long time ago. hopefully the body remembers. how is it going so far for you??
Well, I'm trying to induce without meds - just herbs and pumping. I'm feeling discouraged right now. My nipples hurt and I've been noticing some unwelcome digestive changes likely as a result of the herbs.
Twins - awesome! I bet your wife will have success - relactation is supposed to be much easier than induction with no previous pregnancy.
Yes, I am consulting with a LC. Talked to her today and she suggested that I use a larger size flange and add goat's rue to the herbs I'm taking. I'm feeling better since speaking with her; it's hard to be in this place of not knowing whether what I'm doing is making any difference. Thanks for the encouragement, pokey!
Elspeth - I hope it is going better with the new herbs and flanges! I am taking domperidone 4 times a day. It sounds like you want to stick with herbs, which I understand. If you were interested in domperidone, I ordered mine online from http://www.inhousepharmacy.biz/ (and went with the cheapest one - Vomistop). I haven't gotten to the pumping stage yet but I already have some milk droplets and my breasts definitely got larger. I'm taking hormonal birth control after feeling like progesterone alone wasn't convincing my body I was pregnant as my cycles were still pretty regular.
My partner is trying to induce- using pumping & domperidone, no hormones. The problem is that the domperidone makes htem VERY drowsy/loopy, and I can't really drive, so they weren't able to properly try until after we finished with the semester (baby was 3 weeks) and on days where we have to drive a long way, they aren't comfortable taking pills until we get home- so they skip a few doses and that makes it difficult.
They're having a really hard time with let down- their chest will get engorged, but nothing will come out. We've tried 3 different pumps- 2 handheld (Nuk & Medela) and one electric (I can't remember the brand, it was covered by my insurance). It's gushed out 3 times now. I've read that some people had a really hard time letting down when pumping, even if the baby could nurse successfully- so I'm hoping that's the situation here, but the baby is not good at latching on, and it's hard to try too hard to get the LO to latch on when there may not be any milk coming out.
Does anyone have any advice about the let down, or how I can help my partner not feel so discouraged? Due to surgery, I can't produce milk (I literally get one drop at a time, and only from one nipple), we've been using donor breast milk but we both would really love for at least one of us to be able to breastfeed the baby.
Hi sapling ...
Even if you can't produce milk, you both can nurse at the breast using a Lact-Aid SNS or Medela SNS (supplemental nursing system).
I can't stand the Medela, but I used the Lact-Aid for a loooooooong time with both babies, using donor milk.
It's bit of a learning curve, but once you have the hang of it, you can nurse with it anywhere, anytime, with any kind of supplement.
And the baby nursing will help encourage any lactation that will happen.
starling&diesel- thank you so much for your reply! :)
We have a medela SNS from a lactation consultant- but it's really difficult to figure out how to use, very frustrating to try and get the baby to latch AND get that to work at the same time. Do you have any advice on using it? Is the lact-aid a lot easier to use? If it's worth it, then I'll get it, but it's a good amount of money to spend on something that might not work, so I'm a little worried...
We have been trying to get the baby to latch onto my partner with the SNS, but like I said- it's very frustrating. Even when the baby's in a good mood and trying to latch, the SNS ends up causing enough problems that the kid ends up getting angry at not getting any milk. (we're not trying to get the baby to latch onto me because I have so little tissue post-surgery and my problem isn't milk production but that my nipples were completely removed and grafted back on so the milk just has nowhere to go. If I have the baby on my chest and he roots, I'll offer it and he'll sort of latch on, but I'd rather save my energy with the SNS to try and get it to work for my partner)
The medela SNS sucks. I ended up literally throwing it across the room.
You can check Craigslist for LA systems, even further abroad, if people will ship. It was absolutely worth the effort, in my opinion.
I'm happy to walk you through it via Skype if you do get the LA. I'm all for having babies at the breast, even without any supply. And it's as easy as dealing with bottles, in my estimation, and you get the incredible added benefits of bonding and attachment. Whoo hoo!
You can also check out youtube for homemade SNS tutorials. You can use a wee bottle and a length of catheter with a similar result, and for next to no money.
PM if you need help.
Wow, yeah, I'm pretty sure if it weren't full of formula/breast mil/something I don't want to clean up, I would have thrown the medela across the room by now... I'm glad to hear that the Lact-Aid works a lot better. :) Since reading your post, I looked around a bit and have seen similar responses about the LA vs Medela. We're going to look at our finances and options. I was able to find it on Amazon Prime, so if we do decide to go wtih it- we could get it here in 2 days, which is defintiely nicer than having to wait.
I'll check out the youtube videos about home made ones, too! I saw someone suggest doing that with a certain kind of feeding tube, but could not find anywhere to buy them that wasn't ridiculously expensive. If I can get that to work, I'll definitely give it a shot. :)
Thanks for all the advice!
Not sure where you are, but you can get the tubes (french catheters) from your local health unit, if they are supporters of breastfeeding. Our health nurses come around to meet new babies, and if there is trouble with supply, they give you a 5-10cc syringe and a length of the fine tubing and suggest that you top up baby that way until things improve. We did that for a couple of weeks with our first. Easy peasy.
LOVE the LA ... and like I said before, I'd be happy to walk you through it via Skype if you need the help. There are lots of tricks and tips I can share. A lot of them are on youtube as well.
Update: I stopped taking the herbs because it seemed like they might be connected to some GI trouble I've been having; unfortunately it doesn't seem like it's helped at all with that. Also started taking domperidone a few days ago in hopes of helping things along faster. And on the advice of a friend who's done this herself recently, I switched back to the small size flanges and started lubricating them with coconut oil before pumping. It's made such a difference; no more pain while pumping! I can't believe I spent 5 weeks giving myself friction burns every day because I didn't realize the flanges needed lubrication and the LC I was talking to never suggested it. Grrrr.
Hey bigfoot, are the babies here yet? How's it going? Hope all is well with your family and you're nursing those twins!
I finally decided to go the domperidone route and saw results really quickly after I started, which was super gratifying. It was so discouraging to be spending weeks pumping and taking herbs and not see any difference, and left me a lot of room for anxiety about whether I'd ever lactate and about my role as a non-bio mom. And it was infuriating to find that I'd been getting bad advice from the LC I was consulting with, too. I think she just didn't have enough experience with induced lactation. If you're trying to induce by pumping, lubricate those flanges!
I don't make enough milk for a full feeding, but I'm using a SNS for one feeding a day with our daughter (2 months old! unbelievable!) I suspect if I was more on top of pumping regularly I'd be producing a lot more, but I'm okay with where I'm at, and happy to not be tethered to a pump 6 times a day any more. DP does the majority of the feedings, but she can pass the baby to me when she wants a break, and using the SNS is enabling us each to have extended date nights with our other partners, which is great. Within the last 3 weeks I've started feeling a prickling sensation in my nipples sometimes that sounds like how DP describes let down, and hand expressing at the right angle gets a little spray of milk that surprises me every time I do it, which I think is so cool.
Not just mothers, even! There've been a few instances of men inducing (they generally have to take some female hormones to build up the tissue to do so, though), usually when a mother's not available but there could definitely be instances of straight couples each nursing the baby. Would definitely come in handy for multiple births! :D
Lots of folks of lots of genders can breastfeed! Here's one of my favourite resources on the subject: http://www.milkjunkies.net
(As an aside, I pitched this whole "let's-all-lactate" idea at a household dinner a few months ago when I was first pregnant... And was kindly rebuffed by my genderqueer female spouse and our two cisgender male & female housemates, all of whom suggested that while they understand it would take the pressure off me as the gestational parent & primary lactator, they'd rather support me by doing things like cook me nice meals and bring me cups of tea, instead of inducing lactation themselves... LOL.)