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When you don't have enough milk

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 


DD is 5 mths old now. We have had many problems from the beginning like reflux, painful latch, biting incessantly. 

These issues were always chalked up to something else when one day I realized that she was tongue tied. I feel like such a dumb person for missing this. I also am upset that no one (not my LLL leaders or pediatrician) figured this out sooner.


Now, since she can't suck hard enough, everything is making since. She fusses immediately after my let down is over (no more milk coming out). This is also when she begins tugging and biting (duh, for more milk).

For weeks she has been fussing and I just thought she was super needy and I was always complaining about how I needed a break from nursing. She wants to nurse every half hour to an hour.

And now, our insurance won't cover the procedure to have the frenulum clipped. We can't afford it. 


Isn't this so sad? I am just a mess about this. 

She has also is only in the 15th percentile for weight gain. 

I finally broke down and gave her formula, but I hate it. She has been happier, much calmer, and drinks way more than I thought she was capable of. 


What should I do mamas? How do I continue bf'ing? How should I help her be satisfied??

post #2 of 10

hug2.gif  i get so angry when I read about tongue-ties that aren't diagnosed by health care providers!  i am so sorry you both are going through this.  this is not your fault!


a couple of questions...


have you looked into getting a dentist to clip?  could be much cheaper.


can you supplement her at the breast? then you can breastfeed and supplement at the same time. 


have you thought about donor milk?


hang in there, Mama!  every feed at the breast does her good love.gif



post #3 of 10

wow, how awful that you can't get the problem fixed. i agree, supplementing at the breast would at least give your breasts the stimulation to produce more milk. i would also get a pump if you can, or hand express, so that your breasts are stimulated to produce. if she can't latch properly your hands may do a better job at stimulating. and then you can quickly feed her the expressed milk to help satisfy her hunger.

post #4 of 10

I'm right with you. We started supplementing with formula after DS2 dropped from 50% to 1% in terms of weight and length.  Half of me feels horrible about it, the other half is relieved.  Sometimes I feel really awful and guilty, because I am "failing" to EBF.  But I have to remind myself that there are worse things than supplementing... a baby that is not getting enough food... a mom that is going insane...

Rather than beat myself up about needing a bottle, I try to be thankful that I am able to BF and I still have that relationship with my son.  It's not exclusive, but it's there. 

post #5 of 10

I'm curious.... How did you find out insurance wouldn't cover it? To be honest, I've never known any insurance not to cover it so long as the professional performing it is the "right" one and it's deemed to be medically necessary by the doctor. 

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well thank you for your positive responses. Litchick, I am making peace with that. My dd is like a completely different child now that she has a full tummy! It is amazing. I am just nervous about cow milk/soy. I have to get over that too since it doesn't appear that I am able to up my supply. I didn't even know that was possible. I thought your supply just increased when you need it too.

I only get a 1/2 oz pumping every 2 hours. 


My husband has an identical tongue tie and he was ebf until 1. We have not looked into a dentist for the procedure. Still considering options. Thank you for the suggestions.

We have a bare minimum PPO. I wish my insurance covered something like this. They will only pay for part of the doctor visit, not labs, procedures, or anything else. 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I considered donor milk, but then I felt as if since she was ebf for 5 months that it wasn't right for us to use from the short supply in our area. The milk banks are always begging moms to drop off some milk around here.

post #8 of 10

Have you looked into getting donor milk from Eats on Feets? I donate to mamas that have found me with my local chapter. It's informal milk sharing and you "screen" the mothers yourself by asking the right questions about their health history and meeting with them. So it's a little different then getting it from a bank. Most mamas who donate only ask you pay for the cost of the storage bags.



post #9 of 10

Have you emailed any MWs in your area re the frenectomy? I know there are lots of MWs who do the procedure- the one here (in Houston) only charges $80 or so. 

post #10 of 10

DD had a heart shaped tongue at birth that was obviously tightly tied.  It was clipped when she was two days old and took about 30 seconds.  I know it's a more of a big deal the older the child.  The reason we had it clipped right away though was that in addition to the breastfeeding issues, it can lead to speech problems.  I know it might be out of your price range, but perhaps you can reach out to some doctors who would be willing to put you on a payment plan.  I would not compromise on this issue, and I would do everything in my power to get the tie clipped if it is serious enough to interfere that badly with nursing. Best of luck to you. 

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