Thanks everyone for all of your support! My supply has been really sucky still...just ordered the dom a couple of days ago so it should be here within the next couple of weeks. I'm really hoping it works well for me because that would be awesome! We've been supplementing now with Earth's Best- the dairy based one and it seems to be going well.
Low Supply/ Formula...HELP! - Page 2
Just wanted to give you my support. We got there in the end, supplementing with donated milk in SNS, using fenugreek, and in the end, getting Domp. (which I really wish I had dared to try earlier). Domp. made miracles, and we could wean DD off the donor milk. Also, DD was always skinny, but she was born that way, her father is tall and skinny, and was as a baby. I think some drs have this weird misconception that weight and height need to match. This is of course not at all the case, People of all ages come in different shapes. DH would love to gain some weight, he just can't, this is his body shape. The important thing is that the baby is gaining, not necessarily in weight and height at the exactly same time, but that over time there is an ok curve (this curve may stand still for a while and then jump up, that is normal too). But it is fine that the baby is in 70th percentile for height, and 10th for weight. That's just a tall baby. 50% is just average, average for both. Trust me, I've known mums who were leaking milk everywhere, and whose babies fed really well, and still were on 10th percentile for weight.You can't make them gain more than they're supposed to.
I couldnt read your posts and not reply bc so many of your questions and concerns were/are the same as mine.
Firstly, re your Max in the 25th percentile: I too had a 25%ile baby. She stayed on that same curve during her entire first year. Her weight gain was usually 3-4 oz per week while it seemed like all other babies around us were gaining that recommended 5-8 oz per week and skyrocketing on the charts :( I too got all of those comments about how "tiny" DD was and it drove me crazy as well as felt like a knock against my self confidence and abilities to feed my baby. I too struggled with low supply due to surgery. Anyway, now i look back and realize DD was JUST FINE and that yes, 3 out of 4 babies were bigger than her but 1 of every 4 was actually smaller too!!! All of that worrying and obsessing I did, while it came from a good place of caring and love, was just so needless. I am not saying you dont have genuine supply concerns....maybe you do and maybe you dont. Be that as it may, the 25th%ile is GREAT!!
Secondly, re extended nursing: I had to bf exclusively from one breast and i couldnt think of how i'd make it to 1 month, 3 months, 9 months etc.....bc every single day seemed like such a struggle and was filled with so much anxiety and frustration. I ended up nursing until DD was 21 months! The hardest part is essentially over for you now. You've made it past the point of 6 months and now Max can start on a bit of solids etc. There is absolutely NO REASON why you can not keep going for as long as you want. After 12 months it gets even easier! Extended bf can be as little as 2 times per day, indefinitely and remember ANY AMOUNT of BM is A GIFT!! It doesnt have to be all or nothing from the very beginning but this is especially true after a year or 15 months!
Re renting a hospital grade pump: i would highly recommend. It made a significant enough difference for me that it was worth the 80$ per month that i paid (and i kept paying for over 12 months). I had the pump in style medela at first and after a while, i felt like you did about it and i also was experiencing some pretty sig discomfort at times so i switched to symphony (also medela) and it's been a lot better. i pump a bit more and i'm more comfortable and i think it takes less time as well. THere is no issue with cleanliness. You buy a separate personal kit of tubing and horns etc.
Re formula: I can relate to searching for an adequate formula with which to supplement. Have you looked into donor milk? There's a yahoo group dedicated to hooking up donors with moms in need of milk. That is just a thought for you. Anyway, I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that the best one was the organic baby over similac organic. This is mostly bc of production methods and purity and source of ingredients. Dont beat yourself up about having to use this formula. I do think it is a better option that the goat's milk bc it is more complete nutrition at this stage.
I hope some of this helps! keep your chin up. you are doing great. oh and have you tried domperidone?
I would encourage u to take all those herbal supplements if you can afford it. Even if they don't increase your supply, they will certainly nourish your milk and your baby will still benefit as he recieved all those herbs through your breastmilk.
Earths Best seems like a good formula. Good job on going organic!! I know it makes you uncomfortable but I would seriously consider doner milk over formula. Is someone you know have a little baby now also?
Wanted to add something--I had low supply with my first DD (previous breast reduction) and had to pump 5 times per day to get the 12oz she needed for daycare. I weaned her at 1 due to the stress of pumping and nursing etc. She was always in the 5th percentile for height to weight---meaning very tall and very thin. I felt like such a failure, like I couldn't fatten her up for anything. She is now almost 3 and guess what...she is still very tall and very thin. That is the way she is supposed to be--that might be the case with your LO too. As long as you are feeding him as much as he wants (BM or formula) he is the way he is "supposed" to be.
hugs momma, I have been there and it sucks but you are doing a great job!
First I want to acknowledge you on continuing to breastfeed after returning to work and facing such challenges; you're doing great! Many mothers will discontinue breastfeeding at this point, because they're feeling they don't have enough milk to keep up with the demand of their baby, or they're not feeling the support they need to continue after returning to work. As a CLC-very up-to-date on my training-I can tell you that the CHARTS are wrong. Over and over again mothers are told by their pediatricians that their babies are not gaining enough weight. The charts they're using are formula based charts from the NCHS-National Center for Health Statistics, not breastfed baby charts. A good resource would be the charts recommended by the WHO-World Health Organization. Their charts make exclusively breastfed babies the growth standard and they look very different from the NCHS charts American pediatricians use.
Now, I've read most of the posts that have responded to your issue and much of it is accurate. Yes, if you want to continue to breastfeed exclusively, stay away from formula, as it will only help to decrease your supply (remember, the more you supplement, the less pro-lactin your body needs to produce to make the milk). I say that it will help to decrease your supply because the less times your nipples are stimulated-either by your baby, a pump, or manually by you, the less the signals are sent to the brain to make milk. Secondly, I agree that a hospital grade pump is the way to go if the other pumps aren't working for you. The advantage to renting is that if it doesn't work after a month or two, you can return it. I think I also read you don't enjoy pumping-while I can appreciate that, how many times are you pumping while you're away from the baby? Additionally,I'm assuming from your posts, before you went back to work, your sleeping habits were different? Think about how they were different? Were you co-sleeping? Has that changed? I'm assuming the baby nurses throughout the night-very common when mommies return to work. If you are interested in talking to me off-line, we can do that free of charge. My email is email@example.com.
I can't legally suggest Dom or fenugreek (as the research is mixed on Dom and fenugreek "may cause reduced absorption of all medications used concurrently" Skidmore-Roth, Mosby's Handbook of Herbs and Natural Supplements), but I can tell you I tried it with my first (very similar situation to yours), and Dom worked for me-fenugreek didn't. I now use fenugreek with my youngest who is 19 mos and every time I have a period, I have to up my dosage to about 8 capsules daily; if I don't, I notice a decline. Could be a placebo effect, or just that every baby is different, etc...
Anyway, I hope I didn't confuse you any further. Like I said, you are free to contact me off line to really get to the bottom of what's going on if you're interested.
Maya y Mariposa's Mama
I really feel for you! Keep going, it sounds like you are doing great!
I have had a lot of success with Nutritional Yeast. You can buy online at vitacost.com or any health food market. I have also seen it at a Kroger! I prefer the KAL brand and I just sprinkle it on buttered toast in the am and by 2:00, I am full and stay full (my breasts, not my belly:)). It is also yummy sprinkled on top of hot popcorn. Several of my friends have been successful with nutritional yeast. The difference between brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast is that brewer's yeast is a by-product of the brewing process and thus has a slightly bitter taste. Nutritional yeast is nutty and almost cheesy. Many vegan cookbooks have a fake cheese recipe that calls for this ingredient. It is chock full of b-vitamins and amino acids.
I also believe that barley helps. Try cooking barley a couple times a week instead of another whole grain. Look for hulled barley rather than pearled because it is more nutritious. Great time of year for barley! Eat oatmeal!
Red Raspberry leaf tea? This seems to help me. Maybe because of the calcium in it. I find it soothing as well. It is not my favorite tea, but I like drinking it because I feel like I am making a good choice for my baby and myself. It should also help support you as your transition back into regular cycling again.
Hydrate and graze! Drink water constantly and eat several smaller meals throughout the day. When I am in full nursing mode (i.e. baby < 1 yr) I seriously eat at least 6 times a day. That alone is very difficult because I want to choose healthy options every time. Make a trail mix to take in the car and stash some larabars in your purse/diaper bag. Keep cooked grains and beans in the fridge and make a toasted nut/seed mix to sprinkle on top. My favorite is pumpkin and sunflower seeds dry toasted and mixed with Bragg's Liquid aminos. It is so good on top of cooked rice/barley/quinoa/millet/etc.... Think protein!
I also am a big fan a babywearing. It keeps the baby close and happy while allowing you to do the work of the day. You can also be super in touch with the needs of the child this way. Esp. nutritional and elimination needs. The cues are so obvious when the baby is on you. I LOVE babywearing and am greatly looking forward to doing it again soon (due in 6 weeks with my third)!
My last bit of advice would be to up your omega-3's. Do you take a fish oil supplement? It should boost your mood and help you cope with the difficulties of having a spirited child on not much sleep. Make sure to get a good one like nordic naturals if you can afford it. I take my prenatal, calcium/mag, and fish oil before bed. I think the calcium helps me sleep and then I am not awake for the discomfort that the others can cause my stomach. I take iron in the morning upon waking. I really like floradix brand iron. Check out the vitacost website if you haven't already. They really have great prices on supplements. One more note about fish oil. I have super low blood pressure it only climbs to 90/50 when I am pregnant! and would get dizzy when I first started taking it because it can drop your BP even lower. If you also have low BP, try taking it only every other day until your body adjusts. I still take it only every other day but I immediately noticed a difference in my mood. I felt more leveled out and better able to cope with anything that life threw at me.
Good luck and Blessings to you and your family!