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Encouraging Mammary Development This Time Around

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have hypoplastic breast also known as insufficient glandular development .  With DS I didn't know.  All the books say that it is a very rare case that a woman can't breastfeed and it isn't about the size of the breast but about supply and demand.  Who knew I would be rare?  greensad.gif  So my question is what can I do now to help Mother Nature?  I have started Goat's Rue.  I am taking 1mL twice daily.  I am also taking Alfalfa.  I take 3 tabs 3 times daily.  I will be starting a pregnancy tea tomorrow.  And that will be 1 cup 3 times daily.  I plan to start raspberry leaf tea {got to get that uterus in shape!} after 35 weeks and also Chastetree Berry for the last two weeks before due date.  I am reading both Mother Food and Making More Milk.  Both more or less focus on after baby is born.  Hope I am doing all the right things...

post #2 of 17

Wow - I have the same disorder. Honestly I never thought I'd hear someone else say they truly can't breastfeed because it is so incredibly rare. And we're in the same due date club! I have three children and I'm sorry to say it was the same with all of them. My first DS I had no idea, went through 6 months of hell trying to breastfeed (goats rue, mothers milk, domperidone, supplemental nurser, pumping, etc) and mourned for many more months the inability to nurse. With my second I went on supplements before he was born and jumped right in and after about 4 months realized it was really not going to happen. With my third I started domperidone while pregnant and did all the supplements and, again, nothing. I am now pregnant with my fourth child, and honestly, will not go to great lengths to try this time. It was too emotionally hard to get hope, try so hard, and then have to mourn breastfeeding with each child.  With all of my children I've never produced more than drops - never even enough to measure how much I'm producing.


The other thing I've come to realize is that while I still believe breastfeeding is important and really should be done if possible - my children were all formula fed and are smart, healthy (allergy and ear infection free!), healthy weights, etc. etc. I was SO incredibly devastated when I was not able to breastfeed and now that my oldest is 6, I see that his health and intelligence and our bonding is a collection of MANY factors. My inability to breastfeed didn't harm my children. And that has given me peace with my disorder.


I'm sorry I don't have concrete advice. I hope the best for you - my lactation consultant told me women with hypoplastic breasts often produce more milk with subsequent children. That wasn't the case for me - but it is worth the effort for you to find out with #2!

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

I know that pain.  We only breastfed two months.  I just did not know as much as I should have known even though I read all the breastfeeding books suggested to new moms.  None of them even mention hypoplastic breasts.  None of them said anything to the effect that not all woman feel let down, or leak, or get engorged.  So that didn't help much for my confidence in whether or not I had milk.  I was told in the hospital by the nurse that I was starving him.  He had lost more then the usual 10%!  I cried giving him that formula the first time.  Felt guilt for a long time that I was willing to starve him because I didn't like formula.  I wasn't really willing to starve him.  Just being irrational!  I worried for so long about his weight and growth.  Just now feeling good about it!  I think I made almost enough for him.  I could hear him swallow.  And I could get a teeny tiny bit from pumping, but pumping isn't supposed to be a good indication.  I have more realistic veiws of what to expect this time.  If I don't make enough then that is okay too.  And I will give that dreadful SNS a better try then I did before!  And I will relax too!  Whatever happens happens.


And me too, my son is a bright happy boy and I don't think breastmilk could have made him any better then he is!  And we are two peas in a pod.  We do it all together.  Which is easy because he is only 3!  He is a huge help to me even now.  We did Dr Sears Attachment Parenting and just didn't do the B for Breastfeeding one.  Although I never propped his bottle and he never did hold his own bottle for that matter.  This one is actually due December 1st, but there isn't a December thread yet.  Chances are this little love will arrive in Novemeber anyway.  orngtongue.gif  I am excited and nervous and I just know DS will be the best big brother ever!


I heard good things about taking Alfalfa during pregnancy.  I don't know how serverly you are affected but you might want to try it.  If it doesn't do anything for mammary tissue it does have other benefits.  Vitamins and such.  And the Making More Milk book is good.  Very good.  I only wish it were around back in 2006 when I was expecting the first time around!


Here is to the best for both of us and both our babies!  champagne.gif

post #4 of 17

Similar story here.  I was told I had Insufficient Glandular Tissue and was starving my son.  We supplemented during the first few months while working hard to build my supply.  I took domperidone for a month but suffered bad side effects and went off it.  I took Mothers Milk Plus until my son was12 months.  By some miracle, we were able to stop supplementing at 4 months and he is still nursing today.  I know it isn't possible for everyone to breastfeed and I definitely didn't understand that before having my son.  I feel for the other mamas on this thread.


I am nervous about breastfeeding a newborn again and worried about how much milk I will be able to make.  I will be proactive about herbs (which I guess means starting now?  Need to research asap!), and am currently planning to wean my 19 month old before the new baby comes because of the low supply issues last time.  Here's hoping that I will make more milk this time around, but either way I will try not to stress as much or be devastated if supplementing is required!

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Great that you stuck to it for all this time!  Truth be told I just threw in the towel. 


Try reaing this webiste.  http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/default.aspx     


I am holding off on the pregnancy tea til the 4/5 month.  And especially waiting on the red raspberry leaf for the first trimester!  I think knowing will lessen the shock.  Who knew "we" would be the few with this condition!  Atleast now, for me, I know I have tried all I can to improve my situation.


I took Reglan and suffered from sever depression.  And I just LOVE how my OB/GYN that persribed the medication didn't talk to me about the possible side effects OR even ask about any history of depression.  I know I should have read the slip that came with the pills or even asked on my own accord, but I wasn't thinking clearly enough and just wanted to fix it and fix it now!  He didn't have the best bedside manner to begin with.  orngtongue.gif  Telling me when I asked about why babies are breeched sometimes anyway and he tells me it is often due to birth defects!!!  OMG! Thank you for telling me that!!!  angry.gif  Going with a different doctor all together.  If I could find a midwife I would go with her instead but I am in NC...

post #6 of 17

I am so glad to see this thread.  My actual due date is Oct 23rd, but since I could go late I am reading the Nov11 DDC as well!


My DD is about to turn 2 and before she was born I was so excited to BF.  I read EVERY book and article I could, brushed up on what to do in case of problems or low supply.  But I had no idea that I would face having NO supply!  They tell you that every woman can make it happen if she wants to, and that it is so rare for it to be impossible.  well....count me in for rare too.


Looking back, I know now that there were signs before she was born - I didn't have any real breast changes during pregnancy.  I did have a very small amount of colostrum leaking in the last month or so.


When she was born, we got right to it....and I guess when you don't know what let-down etc feels like, you just assume that everything is working.  Baby gave no signs she was hungry (she didn't fuss, etc) but then she went a week with no BM, and it became obvious.  So, off to the Dr, she had lost nearly a pound and I felt like the most horrible mother in the world because she was starving.  And then I felt extra bad standing in the drugstore trying to pick out a formula - because I knew nothing about formula!  or bottles!  because I was going to breastfeed!


Lactation  consultants, my midwife, my wonderful MD...we took all their advice....hospital grade pump on constantly, bedrest, herbs, domperidone, baby led latch, hot compresses, supplementing at the breast via a tube..............and nothing.  The most I ever pumped was 1 ounce....and everytime I BF her with the formula tube at the breast she went through 4 oz of formula, obviously she was getting hardly anything from me.


2 months later, I was exhausted and so sad, and finally accepted that this baby was not going to be BF...and I decided to stop focusing on it and start enjoying my little girl.  But it took me so long to feel better about it....it was so embarassing for me to bottle feed her, and to have people ask and KNOW they were assuming I didn't try hard enough (because I probably would have assumed the same before going through this) (I ran into one old friend who asked if I was still BF and when I told her we had a terrible struggle and no supply ever really came in, she said skeptically "hmmmm.....well, I guess she seems healthy"  ) And of course, I worried so much about her health etc.  But at 2, she is the smartest, healthiest, most beautiful child I have ever met, and we have a beautiful bond.  


So, phew, thanks for listening to all of THAT.....my Dr. asked me the other day what I planned to do this pregnancy, and I am still not sure. I don't think I can put myself through getting my hopes up this time - I expect it won't work, so maybe I should just let it go?  But then I feel selfish, like I should try for this baby's sake, no matter how painful it is for me to deal with.


I hope we can keep up and compare notes on our decisions and progress!  It is so nice to know there are other people who GET it.  


post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanx for sharing your story Katico.  It really is just so unfair for those of us that want to breastfeed and give all our effort to do so and then can't while woman who can chose not to for one reason or another.  We should be able to trade breasts!  It is humbling though.  Now when I see a bottle in a baby's mouth I don't think poor baby.  Never again.  Shame on me for even thinking it!  However, I still get pretty irritated when I see a bottle propped up in a baby's mouth. 


I'm not terribly sure of what other options are there for us out there.  You pretty much covered all the same bases I did.  I am doing teas this time around.  I really didn't think I would have any problems because my mom had no problems so I didn't do much to prepapre for trouble before birth.  I'd like to know what people think about Goat's Rue and how safe it is to be taken during pregnancy.  The book Mother Food said it could be taken during pregancy in lower then theraputic levels.  But doesn't go into great detail.  For some reason she doesn't go into great detail on quite a few of the herbs.  It is like she assumes you already know!  Like she said you should never give garlic to babies and children.  I can understand babies, but why not children?  DS has

had garlic!  Yet she never tells WHY!


Got awhile to go yet.  Hopefully we all have better success compared to our previous attempt/s.

post #8 of 17

OT but Catherine, where are you in NC? You can still use a midwife it just has to be a CNM. We're planning a homebirth in Jacksonville with a midwifery practice.

post #9 of 17

I must have missed this thread, but Im glad somebody started it!  I kind of have insufficient tissue, I have a variation of tubular breasts- definitely not the worst it could be, I still have breast tissue on the sides so they look normal in a shirt or bra, but I have absolutely NO bottom breast and very little top breast tissue.  No cleavage here that's for sure!  Im a DD right now, and its...well...pretty awkward. 


Ive breastfed twice.  Th first time took 4 MONTHS.  It was agonizing.  I was a new teenage mother of a premature baby, and the thought of formula gave me so much guilt that I literally did not leave my house because I did not want anybody to see me formula feed my baby.  After 4 months of pumping and nursing constantly, my milk came in while I was washing the car one day.  I cried with joy for days and was able to exclusively breastfeed after that. 


It took much less time with my second child,  but instead of just pumping at around 2 weeks I started using Fenugreek.  I think I was able to exclusively breastfeed around 6 weeks with her. 


The Fenugreek is my plan this time.  Im also blessed to have way bigger boobs this time than with my previous 2.


I absolutely hate it when people say, "everyone can breastfeed, you just have to really try".  My motto is "most people can breastfeed, but if it takes the joy out of your child's infancy for you, reconsider".  There is a lot of time I cant get back- for the first 4 months of my sons life he had a hysterical basket-case mother who slept all day and cried over her mis-shaped inadequate breasts.  If I could go back in time I would tell my 18 year old self that I was missing too much joy, and to just give the kid a bottle without guilt.

post #10 of 17

Have any of you looked into donor breastmilk?  I donated for 9 months to a woman that had a breast reduction and also didn't produce much milk.  There are people out there that are willing to donate their time to help a baby. 


Also, it sucks that SO MANY women lie about not being able to nurse.  It makes breast-feeders simply not trust a woman when she says, "I couldn't breastfeed for x or y reason".  It also makes it so much harder on women who have a legit issue.  I'm sorry that you are all going through this. 

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Apmama...I live in Matthews which is near Charlotte. I don't think I can do a home birth as I had a csection. There is a midwifery in SC that isn't too far from me BUT they don't take VBACs. I really wanted a center birth with a midwife, but there just isn't any around or they are just very well hidden!

Dashely...Your breasts sound like my breasts. It's like the bottom hemisphere forgot to grow!

Abraiseme...I thought about looking into donated breastmilk but was just way too wahhh poor me to think clearly. I actually wanted to donate BUT that's never gonna happen!
post #12 of 17

I had a friend who nursed my son for me a few times.  After I could breastfeed I also fed her daughter while she ran errands or whatnot.  As a young mother, it never crossed my mind that it would not be an accepted mainstream practice until my friends started having children also, and I realized none of them would EVER.


Breastmilk tends to be a bit pricey, and Im not sure it would be something DH was comfortable with.  I know there are a few places around here that donate to premies or children with health problems for free.  Ive borrowed breastmilk from close friends to treat ear infections and pink eye, but thats about it.

post #13 of 17


I don't think there is any official source for donated milk here, where we live....and honestly, (deep, dark, selfish confession).....I wouldn't have been able to use it anyway.  I was already feeling so terrible about "failing", the idea of another woman feeding my child?  I just couldn't have.  

post #14 of 17

If you can find a local donor, the only cost is for bags and a pump.  I donated my time and the breastmilk for free.  Check out 'Eats on Feets', they have a Facebook page for nearly every state.  I know that breastmilk from a milk bank is WAY too $$ for the regular person, but person-to-person breastmilk is nearly free.  The lady that I donated to had 2 donors and her baby was fed 100% breastmilk for the first 9mo of her life.  The more people share this idea, the more available it will become.  I wish you all luck!

Originally Posted by dashley111 View Post

I had a friend who nursed my son for me a few times.  After I could breastfeed I also fed her daughter while she ran errands or whatnot.  As a young mother, it never crossed my mind that it would not be an accepted mainstream practice until my friends started having children also, and I realized none of them would EVER.


Breastmilk tends to be a bit pricey, and Im not sure it would be something DH was comfortable with.  I know there are a few places around here that donate to premies or children with health problems for free.  Ive borrowed breastmilk from close friends to treat ear infections and pink eye, but thats about it.


post #15 of 17

Just wanted to chime in with my experience with donor milk.  Our local lactation consultant sends out the word when a mama needs milk and usually mamas with overflowing freezers volunteer.  It definitely involved some awkward conversations at first, but I met with a woman who was nursing her second baby and had trouble with low supply with her first so she was very understanding and really wanted to help!  She was such a kind, loving, and generous mama... it was such a gift.  I had a little hurdle convincing hubby, but he was supportive.  I bought bags for her and made hats for her kids and just tried and tried to express my gratitude.  I really hope I won't have to ask for donor milk this time, but I did have a wonderful experience last time that I wanted to share.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hmm, my LC just said to give him formula.  I need to find a better support network this time around.

post #17 of 17

Regarding donor milk, Eats on Feets I think now goes by the name "Human Milk for Human Babies", so search for that on Facebook. You can look for your state or a nearby one. I have donated two small donations to an adopted baby and I think it's a great idea. I gave them a copy of my pregnancy blood work and we ended up having a mutual acquaintence that could verify I lived a healthy lifestyle.

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