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What else can I do? *update*

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My breasts seem to hate me. I have serious supply issues. My milk came in quickly and well, but never increased with the needs of my baby. I'm still producing his one week old diet at 12 weeks and it's driving me crazy. So far this is our regimen: we nurse on demand around the clock. If he fusses after a feed I always put him back to the first breast before offering a supplement. I can't stress enough how much time he spends nursing, saying once an hour while he's awake would be an understatement. Thankfully he hates his bottle and just wants mom, so i just let him nurse around the clock. I try to pump three times a day while he's sleeping. I usually get an ounce from both sides (and this is after working my butt off for it, before I'd get droplets and nothing more). If I pump first thing in the morning after he's been asleep for up to 12 hours straight with only little five minute dream feeds interspersed I'll manage to pump 2-3 ounces both sides. I'm also taking fenugreek and blessed thistle 4 pills each 3 times a day and domperidone 10mg 3x a day.

I really want to ebf and cut out the supplementation. It really gets to me watching him fuss and pull away from his bottle and latch on me over and over crying when he can't get anything. The poor boy is just so frustrated. Do you guys think there's any possible way I could eventually ebf? I'll never give up giving him whatever I can, and I think I can make peace with the idea of continuing split feedings indefinitely if I have to. What do you think, am I a lost cause?
Edited by Skelly2011 - 7/19/13 at 11:14pm
post #2 of 21

It is really hard to tell from a pump how much milk you are making or that his fussiness is from your breast being empty.
 

Supplimenting is a hard beast to defeat once you start. Have you tried fenugreek? Also how much sleep are you getting?

 

I had to ditch my cell phone and computer for a while then because I was keeping myself up when i needed sleep and it was effecting my supply. Also drink lots of water.

 

I seem to remember the nursing constantly and pulling off and fussing ending somewhere around 5 or 6 months. Hang in there mama. I don't think it is a lost cause. Do yo have a lactation consultant near you?

post #3 of 21

Just wanted to give you hug2.gif and encouragement! stillheart.gif

 

I agree with everything said above.  We went through lots of fussing at the breast, and I could never pump more than an ounce or two out of each breast a day (max).  I did, at one time, start thinking the fussing was because he had no milk, and thought I needed to supplement - found out it was more foremilk/hindmilk imbalance from oversupply, and overactive let down - so actually, the opposite of what I feared!  So you just never know - I had oversupply, and still couldn't pump much of anything - it's not a good indication.  I agree that a lactation consultant could be super helpful in this situation. He could also be reacting to food/supplements you are eating, could be fussy for any number of other reasons, could have latch issues, etc.  

 

To increase supply, you can eat lots of oats and drink (literally) gallons of water - I still need to drink tons and tons of water to keep up my supply (DS is two years old).  Also, I would try him on both breasts before giving him the bottle - and give yourself some time for letdown (can also apply warm washcloth for a few minutes prior to feeding, and do what you can to relax, deep breathing, happy place...).  How did you get started supplementing, if I may ask?  What is the history there - poor weight gain?  Or just the fussing/lack of pumped milk?

 

Good luck, mama!!!  You are doing such an amazing thing for your lil one.  Don't give up. smile.gif

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys so much. I really need support and suggestions right now.

We initially started supplementing when my son was in the NICU. He was full term (overdue even) but very sick. The energy he needed to just live far exceeded an average newborns calorie intake. He was only a few days old and I would pump him 100ml, he'd drink 100 more in formula and STILL lose weight. He went from 9 lbs 6 oz to 8 lbs even during that time. Had he been a healthy typical newborn we wouldn't be having this problem. But he needed more than I could pump for him, was too sick to latch and he and I were separated before I established a supply. We've been on an uphill battle from getting him latched again, to now bringing my supply back up.

To answer some of those questions, fenugreek does help a lot (before fenugreek I was basically dried up.) I take 4 fenugreek 3x per day, 4 blessed thistle 3x a day and a total of 40 mg of domperidone a day to boost supply.

The amount of sleep I'm getting may be a problem, but not how you may think. I think I may be sleeping too much. He often sleeps 12 hours at night. He'll night nurse a bit in there, but he falls back asleep long before even one side is well emptied.

As for the fussiness, actually he's doing it right now so I'll just describe. He latched on my right side about ten minutes ago, I've been hearing him gulping, about a minute ago he started frantic sucking, grumbling and little cries, pulling off and immediately jumping back on, the sucking increases but the swallowing noises stop. If I were to try to hand express right now (hand expression works much better than pumping for me) I'd get maybe a drop. I won't be able to get letdown again for a while, so once this process is repeated on the left side I just don't know what to do with him. (although not this time, he just fell asleep on my left side smile.gif )

That's our routine a good dozen+ times a day. I guess my main question/concern is how to bring my supply up to his demand without him being pretty damn hungry for a while? He hates his bottle, he hates when he can't get what he needs out of me, he and I are stressing out!
post #5 of 21

Quick thoughts...pumping is not necessarily a good indicator of supply...also, if you truly need to supplement, do so at the breast with an SNS instead of using bottles.

post #6 of 21

Have you looked into lip or tongue ties?  They can make a baby inefficient at nursing, which is really easy to mistake for low supply.  Constant, constant nursing all. the. time. can be a sign.  So can clicking while nursing.  Slipping off the breast (sometimes off the bottle, too).  

post #7 of 21
I have trouble with supply issues too. It took me awhile to get any kind of supply going, and a whole lot of extra work that I'm pretty sure normal people don't have to deal with. it definitely wasn't easy for the first couple of months. with child #1 i had to go back to work, and could never pump enough to EBF. Growth spurts can be hard to keep up with, and pumping never worked all that well for me. It took a few months to get to a place where I no longer needed to supplement. But that being said, it was totally worth it, to be able to breast feed even some of the time, if not exclusively. Don't beat yourself up about it, if you have supply issues it can be soooo hard compared to other women, who have a totally different set of issues/experiences. If you need to combo feed, do that, especially if you're working outside the home.
post #8 of 21
Oh, and if you haven't already done so, get an at-the-breast supplementer like a lactaid or SNS. It helps so much with keeping them from getting too frustrated with the breast (breast refusal). You can order them online easily if they aren't available locally.
post #9 of 21

I have a friend who has supply issues, and is still breastfeeding with her son at 2 years. He doesn't get much milk from her these days, but he still loves nursing on occasion so it can be done! She has supplemented the whole time with formula to make up for where she lacks. She also took domperidone with some success.

 

She has said she believes her supply issues were due to her chemo/cancer treatments so she had medical reasons preventing her from upping her supply.

 

I second the suggeston for an SNS system. My friend used it and it was a great help for them, and probably also made a big difference in being able to keep her supply up to where it was. Also, if you can try to keep switching breasts until he gets sick of it. If that means you have switched between breasts 5-6 times then so be it.

post #10 of 21

Make sure you are taking care of you as well! It sounds like you are doing everything possible. Drink plenty of fluids, eat every few hours, and try to get some rest yourself. If you don't see a change after awhile you might want to use the lactation herbs I use, only it's a tea called Breastea (not to be confused with mother's milk tea). Sometimes switching herbs can help with the milk supply, Breastea has worked great for me!
 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so so so much for all your amazing advice and suggestions.

This thread really inspired me to believe that all hope isn't lost. I'm proud to say that at the time of this update my son has had just one bottle in 24 hours! That may not sound like much of a victory, but to me it's huge.

We've been on a week long nurse-in. I followed one of the pieces of advice mentioned above and just kept switching sides over and over. When he'd start fussing after draining the second breast I'd put him back to the first over and over. I've barely put a shirt on all week, but it's really working! My bad side, which had gotten so bad I was considering nursing one sided has suddenly become the stronger side and that's helped immensely. He's actually preferring that side now.

He's also been rejecting the bottle altogether when I offer it. He'll make a 'yuck' face and pull away. There have been some tears when he isn't getting much from me, but nothing that nursing while walking and bouncing can't fix.

I'm hoping we may finally be able to cut out those last 4 ounces this week. I'll update if/when we do smile.gif
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skelly2011 View Post

Thank you all so so so much for all your amazing advice and suggestions.

This thread really inspired me to believe that all hope isn't lost. I'm proud to say that at the time of this update my son has had just one bottle in 24 hours! That may not sound like much of a victory, but to me it's huge.

We've been on a week long nurse-in. I followed one of the pieces of advice mentioned above and just kept switching sides over and over. When he'd start fussing after draining the second breast I'd put him back to the first over and over. I've barely put a shirt on all week, but it's really working! My bad side, which had gotten so bad I was considering nursing one sided has suddenly become the stronger side and that's helped immensely. He's actually preferring that side now.

He's also been rejecting the bottle altogether when I offer it. He'll make a 'yuck' face and pull away. There have been some tears when he isn't getting much from me, but nothing that nursing while walking and bouncing can't fix.

I'm hoping we may finally be able to cut out those last 4 ounces this week. I'll update if/when we do smile.gif

 

That is awesome!!!! You are doing great!

post #13 of 21
That is so inspiring to hear!
post #14 of 21
I find myself inspired by all you are accomplishing. The first two to three months of breastfeeding my son were very similar. Sending positive vibes your way! smile.gif
post #15 of 21

You should start reaching some "peak production" fairly soon and you'll be exploding with milk as your body catches up to his demands so keep it up!

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
http://instagram.com/p/cAIsKFp811/

This is the face of a boy who has had TWO ounces of formula in the past 21 hours. Im through the roof happy. It's taken me three months to get here and it's finally working.
post #17 of 21
OMG, is that ever a cute baby!

Your story is very important as it will help others who come after you to feel inspired to persevere. Thank you for sharing!
post #18 of 21
That baby is just such a cutie! He's certainly happy and healthy looking for all the milkie troubles you two have shared. This is such a great story! Please update again soon. I'm sharing this with a friend who "couldn't" nurse and who later learned how statistically unrealistic that was. She's pregnant again, so fingers crossed! Keep up the good work!
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedbyblues View Post

That baby is just such a cutie! He's certainly happy and healthy looking for all the milkie troubles you two have shared. This is such a great story! Please update again soon. I'm sharing this with a friend who "couldn't" nurse and who later learned how statistically unrealistic that was. She's pregnant again, so fingers crossed! Keep up the good work!

Oh please do share it with her! A part of our story I hadnt mentioned yet is that this is my second complicated nursing relationship. The first time around I was only 18, had awful advice from the hospital, and my daughter never once successfully latched. I now suspect it was a tongue tie at fault, but at the time I gave up and figured we just "couldn't". Now I don't judge full time formula feeders in the slightest, and I know I did the best I could for my baby with the skills and knowledge I had at the time, but having gone through that experience the first time my motivation has just been that much stronger to push through our challenges this time. I hope your friend has that same drive and ends up smooth sailing. I can't say enough how happy I am to have fought for it this time around. Now my preschooler keeps telling me "why wouldn't I want mommy milk when I was a baby? Baby brother says its yummy!".
post #20 of 21

Soo happy to see that things are looking up for you. 

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