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Breastfeeding Support

post #1 of 242
Thread Starter 

Can't believe it's time for this thread, but here we go. I have some questions and I know you are all a great resource.


Lyle is back up to only two ounces under his birth weight, and we have the all clear from the pediatrician to EBF as long as my supply keeps up and he keeps gaining. Even BETTER, we no longer have to feed him 2 oz every 2 hours, which was driving us all totally crazy. I am just hoping he doesn't lose a lot of weight when we go to a more natural feeding schedule. We have a weight check Friday.


Anyway, I need to build supply. What is the best way to take fenugreek, any specific products to recommend?

post #2 of 242

I can't really help you with the fenugreek, but you can also eat a lot of oats. They seem to help with supply - whether in cookies or just oatmeal for breakfast. 


Here is the kellymom.com resource on low supply (if that's what you have):



post #3 of 242

Best way to build supply is keep baby on your breast a LOT. Like as much as it will take. Any type of nipple stimulation is helpful. 

Drinking mamas milk tea. 


Glad you don't have to worry about the oz anymore.

post #4 of 242

Yep, skin to skin as much as possible. Set yourself up in a comfy spot without a shirt, grab a couple books, and/or movies and just hang out!


I've also had a lot of luck with beer bread, it took me a bit to figure out why my supply would skyrocket but duh! It's the beer.

post #5 of 242
Cool! Do you have a good recipe you might be able to share?
post #6 of 242

Ah I knew someone would ask, was busy nursing when I mentioned it though :p


3 Cups self-rising flour (or all purpose +4tsp baking powder and 1tsp of salt)

3 Tbsp. white sugar

1 bottle of room temperature beer


Mix the flour and sugar, pour the beer in slowly to prevent too much frothing, stir until the flour is moistened. Plop it into a buttered medium sized loaf pan and bake at 350 for an hour. That's it!

It's a nice versatile dense bread that tastes really yummy, especially when eaten warm with a bit of butter :)

post #7 of 242

That is the easiest bread ever, however I might happen to mess it up!! Thanks mama, so many babies have been born recently, I forgot you were pp too! Hope you and the baby boy are well!

post #8 of 242

My DW is on a protocol to induce lactation so she can co-breastfeed with me, and the protocol suggests taking Blessed Thistle as well as Fenugreek - she buys it on Amazon, in capsules (see links below).  3 capsules of each herb 3 times a day with food.  Supposedly taking the Blessed Thistle in conjunction with the Fenugreek helps boost milk supply and neutralizes any stomach upset caused by the Fenugreek alone.  Also, as others have said, it's recommended to have 3 bowls of oatmeal (at least) a week, and the Mother's Milk tea is good supposedly.  Of course, make sure you're drinking plenty of water... but you probably knew that.  Good luck!   Glad to hear you don't have to worry about ounces anymore.  





post #9 of 242
Originally Posted by poppylove View Post

Best way to build supply is keep baby on your breast a LOT. Like as much as it will take. Any type of nipple stimulation is helpful. 
Drinking mamas milk tea. 

Glad you don't have to worry about the oz anymore.

This! Encourage baby to nurse all the time. Seriously like every hour, even if its just for a few minutes.
post #10 of 242
Thread Starter 

So we went ot the LC yesterday and her opinion is that I don't have low supply at all but he hadn't been latching deep enough (which could mean my supply dropped a little from when I was using the pump)  She told me to stop constantly checking on his latch (how much aerola, since I'm pulling the nipple back)  but it's hard to stop!  I think she's right it could be deeper, but honestly it is not that shallow because it never hurts and I can feel when he's just on my nipple.

She weighed him before and after a feeding and verified he'd gotten plenty of milk. It was VERY helpful to have her identify what active sucking looks /feels like because I thought that maybe unless it was more aggressive it was just comfort sucking.

I'm struggling with positioning and the size of my breasts (which were DD pre pregnancy, not sure now), we're doing mostly football hold and I've tried all sorts of pillows, etc. Even though we did sidelie in the early days I'm having trouble with it now.

Yesterday was our first full day of breastfeeding with no pump or supplement since he was 3 days old. It went okay but not fantastic, I get  really frustrated when we can't get the latch right and he was extra fussy at night. We're supposed to be tracking all of our feeding and it became a big blur last night. All I know is I woke up and he was snoozing in my face at some point, hehe.

post #11 of 242

Oh, sweet (the snoozing in your face part)

Well, sounds like the LC helped some. Can I just say you are doing great hanging on here, giving this a go. I know it can be so hard. Some really good news is that they tend to get better at nursing the more they learn too (at least that was my experience). Especially with my big boobs, it took weeks to figure out how to nurse. But babe got bigger, got more head control, and one day, it was easy. 


Keep hanging on mama, you are doing great. (And I am totally jealous of your sleepy snoozy newborn!) Hugs to Lyle!

post #12 of 242

I have been dealing with the opposite problem the last few weeks - painful engorgement and forceful letdown. Sometimes Armie is literally choking on the stream of milk cascading down his throat, and he pulls away distressed. We're trying leaning back so gravity helps slow the milk down, but he can't latch on well in that position and sometimes the act of leaning back messes up the latch...


Here's a trick I used with engorgement that I want to pass on: Around days 5-9 PP, my boobs were terribly full and painful. They stuck straight out and were this distressing torpedo bad-boob-job shape. They were so hard that my son had trouble latching, and my stupid bicycle-horn pump hurt and didn't work, and manual expression hurt and didn't work (I probably wasn't doing it right). I saw this idea on the internet and was desperate enough to try it:

- Take two mason jars with wide mouths (at LEAST 2 inches across, 3 is better)

- Fill with boiling water, wait 30 sec for glass to heat up

- Pour out water and carefully (holding the jar nearly upside down with a towel) run cool water over the mouth of jar only to cool it enough to touch

- Attach to your boobs (my DH helped me get into an all-fours position with my boobs hanging down into the jars, we also tried kneeling at the bottom of the staircase with the jars resting on a stair and me hanging over them)

- Let the jars make a nice seal all around your nipple and try not to break the seal

- The gentle suction of the slowly cooling jars combined with moist heat pulled a couple of ounces out of each boob painlessly. It took about 15-20 minutes, so be patient, but it provided tremendous relief and softened them up enough for Armie to nurse. Amazing!!!


I did this twice out of desperation. Now the milk supply appears to have stabilized somewhat (phew!)

post #13 of 242

That's a neat tip CCoello!

I've had good luck with my Avent hand pump for engorgement but it's not for everyone.

I also always have an excessive letdown for the first 3-4 months, I've found that by pressing the opposite nipple directly in, it stops a LOT of the leaking when feeding. Also I'll pump off an ounce or two before feeding, then baby gets just hind milk and it fills them up. Then I'll freeze the extras to have on hand just in case.  Baby is much more efficient than the pump which is another reason to pump first instead of after.

Oh and I only ever nurse on one side at a time, I don't remember why or how I got started on that but it's worked for all 4 babies now :)

post #14 of 242
Thread Starter 

Ugh, we're having a bad night. I nursed Lyle on and off for two hours and he was still acting hungry. I even took a warm shower to try encourage more letdown. Eventually after many tears and cries from both of us, huz had to give him a bottle of formula, and that only helped a bit, he still freaked out for awhile, he was just flailing and kicking so much I couldn't nurse him anymore.  He obviously is just having a bad digestive night or something, but also I am just feeling again like i may not have enough supply for him. He's nearing his two week growth spurt.

I am kind of pissed at the LC we saw Tuesday because she told us to totally stop pumping so of course we had no pumped milk and formula was the only choice. Basically I think she should have been more realistic that we might need a plan B.

I just tried to pump, it's been a few hours since I nursed him for any length of time (maybe 3 or 4) and I got about half of what I'd been getting before (25 ccs from both breasts). I don't know if stopping the pumping made my supply drop or I just can't keep up with is night time cluster feeding. During the day he seems to nurse fine to satiation.

I'm also having an allergy attack and feel nervous about taking anything, since we're at such a crucial point, but I may have to take some plain (non decongestant) claritin.

Feeling like we're going to maybe need to see another LC to solve this and I'm sick of people not being realistic, comprehensive, and helpful. I don't know if it's realistic to expect us to be able to transition to EBF with no back up plan.

I also kind of feel like I'm in a fishbowl within my circle of friends and acquaintences, who are huge BF advocates. One of them told me I needed a postpartum doula, "which may seem expensive, but so is formula and losing your confidence." The others are LLL leaders, etc. I just don't know that I want everyone in our business, especially since we are still having to supplement.

Then from the other side, the friend who is coming to stay with us for the weekend has FF all her kids and told me once she thinks BF makes you " a slave to the baby"...so I am not expecting support there and am nervous to have her around.

I'm also really nervous about the weight check at the pediatrician later today...Of course we only made it 48 hours-ish EBF....

In sort of good news, I had a much better time getting him to latch all day yesterday using cradle hold...


Poppy, thanks so much for your supportive words!

post #15 of 242
One of the big dangers of supplementing is that your supply will drop when you don't tell your body to produce milk. If you ARE supplementing, it is important to pump so your body doesn't regulate itself to make less. To increase supply, you must first increase demand.
post #16 of 242

Boots, I'm so sorry you're struggling with this.  Piper just started cluster feeding yesterday and it was a little surprising!  I had no idea a tiny stomach could hold that much.  I wrote more in the Bajingo thread, but one of the most frustrating things about this experience in the special care nursery is that everyone has their own opinion about nursing and how to do it, and a lot of times advice gets thrown around like it's the word of God or indisputable medical axiom.  We had nurses trying to force us onto a strict every three hours schedule, telling us to pump before, pump after, feed a little before nursing, don't feed at all before nursing, etc. etc. etc.  Ultimately, every baby and every nursing relationship is different.  I agree with you that you probably shouldn't have stopped pumping and it sucks you got that advice.  Our consultant recommends pumping after each feeding to empty the breasts and 1st Time Mama's advice about pumping when you supplement is good too.  Just remember that Lyle is going to be a wonderful healthy boy even if you need to supplement for a few weeks or even permanently.  I would go ahead and pump after nursing during the day and hope that triggers some extra milk production for nighttime.  Meeting with the LC again and being very honest about your concerns about supply and so forth might help.  Sometimes med professionals just need to listen more closely, so carefully spelling out your concerns and what's going on at night could help open the lines of communication.  I don't have any other advice, since we're just starting this whole crazy process.  We're still using the nipple shield and I'm fighting some serious pain at times from the constant pumping and nursing, so I'm obviously no expert.  I think like most of parenting, you just kind of try things out as you go.  Sending lots of hugs and support your way!  This is not easy and it would be much easier if people weren't so damn judgmental about how to do it "right".

post #17 of 242

Boots, I hope things are better today! It sounds like getting help from another LC would be a good idea - it really is frustrating to get different advice from everyone, but I bet there's someone out there who will be able to point you in the right direction for you & Lyle. 


LilyTiger, I hope you get some relief from the pain - I know how much it can hurt! You are dealing with such a tough situation and I hope Piper can be home with you soon.  


We're having our challenges over here as well. Calder wasn't latching well and we had a realllly frustrating night in the hospital. We saw the hospital lactation consultant before we were discharged and she gave us a nipple shield, which helped immensely. We had our 5 day peds appointment yesterday and he had lost weight since discharge (7lb 12oz at birth down to 7lb 8oz at discharge and 7lb 4oz yesterday) and wasn't having as many wet diapers as we'd want. The pediatrician looked in his mouth and diagnosed tongue-tie, which explains why he was latching poorly and why it hurt even with the nipple shield. She got in touch with a local ENT who clips them and cajoled him into seeing us today even though he wasn't supposed to be in the office. The appointment went really well (my mom held him for the procedure - I couldn't stay in the room, even though the dr said it's only as painful as biting your tongue) and his latch is already improved. We're still using the nipple shield but I think we'll be able to go without it once he gets used to his new tongue abilities!  

post #18 of 242

Oh! the cluster feeding and the 2 week growth spurt!

I feel like my nipples are going to fall off.

post #19 of 242

Hey Boots, 

I just wanted to mention that babies (especially newborns) have a really strong sucking reflex - and that manifests itself at nighttime more than any other time (at least, that's the way I feel :) - so some babies can seem 'hungry' (and be rooting and fussy), when what they really want is to just suck suck suck.  So, the formula may not really be the answer (and I could be wrong here - I just want to offer an alternate explanation for Lyle's fussiness based on my own experience with my babies).  He may just need to nurse, nurse, nurse.  And while the combination of constant nursing and fussy baby is not fun, it still might be your best bet if you do want to EBF.  I had a baby like this and my husband would give me breaks and walk the baby and give the baby a knuckle to suck on while I rested a bit, and after a while, we gave the baby a pacifier when we knew he'd eaten enough, but still wanted to nurse my nipples raw :).  


If the LC is telling you your supply may not be the issue here, and they weighed Lyle after a feeding and can see he's getting enough, then you may just have a fussy/needs-to-nurse-a-ton baby on your hands.  Which isn't fun, but I've been there and can only say... it doesn't last forever; babies do settle in, even the fussy ones... sleep when that baby sleeps, get some help so you get breaks, and hunker down and nurse, nurse, nurse, and wear the baby (it cuts down on fussiness, in my experience).  


Another idea - are you burping him often? I know that's perhaps a dumb question, but with my first - I wasn't burping him often enough and he was fussy because of that at times.  


I've never heard about any need to pump while nursing - unless you're trying to build supply or build a stash for some other reason.  I hate pumping and avoid it like the plague, and figure putting the baby to my breast is the best way to stimulate more milk production.  I also don't want to encourage any oversupply, and I think, pumping after a feeding to empty the breasts (again, unless your'e trying to build supply or build a stash) - would only encourage engorgement down the line.   


I am not an LC, just offering my experience after 3 kiddos.  I hope it all smooths out soon for you!  Hang in there - I remember the first few weeks or so of breastfeeding my first were so tough (oversupply, overactive letdown, cracked/bleeding nipples and a raging case of mastitis), and then it just got easy from there on out.  And then breastfeeding my 2nd and 3rd has been a breeze.  That first is just not easy.  Way to stick with it!! 

post #20 of 242

We are having a good day and a bad day over here.  The bad part is that I think I have a plugged milk duct.  I saw a little milk blister the other day, but didn't have time to research it.  Apparently, it can lead to a plugged milk duct.  I can feel a lump now and the breast is somewhat painful, especially during letdown.  The good news is that I finally managed to get her latched to that nipple without the nipple shield for an entire feeding.  I'm not sure how much she actually got out, but she's sleeping again, so I assume it was something.  The other side will be more of a hassle for shield-less feeding, since that nipple is pretty small and she has shown no inclination whatsoever to latch onto it thus far.  I feel a pretty tremendous sense of accomplishment just getting her latched well on that one side at least, so I'll be happy with that. 


How's everyone else doing?  Boots, is Lyle still cluster feeding?  Any update on milk supply?

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