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Words of encouragement?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been struggling with supply since day one due to IGT. I'm doing the best I can and its not good enough. I am sooo tempted to give up on this circus and just FF, but I love breastfeeding and bonding too much...

Labor, Birth and my immediate post-partum period were great. DD latched on quickly and well within and hour of birth. I nursed on demand, but my milk came in in trickles.

Since then I've seen good results from lactation consultant help, going to a support group, the whole array of supplements and Domperidone, but I still only have about a 2/3 supply.

Some days I just hate my body and even think that I don't want another child if I can't nourish them well.

As for my beloved daughter, she has been so patient and continued to nurse even though it often still left her hungry for a bottle, but now, at 5wks, it seems her patience has worn thin.

She will only nurse contentedly half the time, and I am worried that by supplementing more as her needs grow, I am worsening my supply because I am getting less stimulation.

Pumping is useless-- I get 10-15mL from both sides combined per 20min session-- And that's with compressions. I am trying some manual expression, and that seems better.

I am also about to try a Lact-Aid supplementer to replace the bottles, but I hate the idea of making our BF time complicated by using a contraption.

I am just so sad and frustrated I want to just give up. I think that at least then ill have the convenience of formula instead of the worst of both worlds.

I just need some words of encouragement for why I should still try to BF before these feelings get the best of me...
post #2 of 9

I am so sorry.   :Hug   You do sound so frustrated and tired.  I'm assuming you've seen articles like these, and that you've had a thorough diagnosis:

 

http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/insufficient-glandular-tissue/

 

It sounds like the supplemental system and just lots of good support might be the way to go. In looking at the photos on this website, I have to say that these moms and babies look like they' have gotten used to it, and maybe after a bit it doesn't feel as much like a contraption?? I'm sure others with more experience will be along to help you.

post #3 of 9
Cynthiamoon, I use the SNS to feed DD formula because I have no milk. It's a pain sometimes but to be honest I prefer it to giving her a bottle, for the closeness it gives us. PM me if you want to chat more about it.
post #4 of 9
I've been where you are...and yes it sucks--big time. I was never able to produce enough milk for DS1, and like you, didnt get much while pumping, so eventually was doing combo feeding with bottles.

With DS2 I had the same problems from the beginning. And with a 3-year old in the mix, I didn't have the luxury of time to do a lot of pumping. The first two months were awful, but I was able to slowly but surely increase my supply and drop supplemental feedings.

Long story short, I am able to BF DS2, something I never thought I'd be able to do. Feel free to PM me if you need someone to talk to who has been there.
post #5 of 9
Thought I would jump in.
Cynthia: my experience with DS1 was very similar to yours. I did not have the same diagnosis, but had a breast reduction in my 20,s. first time I gave up on SnS pretty quickly. I would BF then follow with a bottle. After going back to work I could pump just enough for maybe one bottle a day of BM the rest was formula. I would bf in the morning and evening. I stopped at 14 weeks it was just too much. I took fenugreek and mothers milk tea. I found I could bond better with babe if I was less stressed even though I was bottle feeding.

All that to say, DS2 arrived 1 month ago and while I am supplementing 2-4 oz per day, that's a drop in the bucket! I have done a number of things differently, maybe some you will find helpful.
I read making more milk by Diane west
I am taking alfalfa supplements
Drinking 2-3 coups of milkmaid tea by EMAB
Taking 4 capsules of mothers love special blend with goats rue
I got a hospital grade pump which I was to use after every feed (although I have been slacking big time)
After a big weight loss the first week he has made regular gains. I am still very concerned about supply and cluster feeds are a bear, but LC tells me repeatedly to just go with it. I am using the SnS to supplement some but using a bottle when I feel overwhelmed by that contraption.
All that to say, your doing great! You are clearly dedicated to your baby. I know it's hard to not be upset with your body, and if you want to keep trying you should but there is no shame in feeding DD other ways and next time could be a lot different if you decide to do it again smile.gif
post #6 of 9

I'm sorry you are going through such a difficutlt experiences. Have you considered Domperidone and/or Metformin? I have seen these medications work wonders with Insulin Intolerance. Do you have PCOS as well?

 

I'm a Lactation Consultant and have worked with a number of mothers with this condition, and a few with true amastia (lack of milk ducts) and most have found the SNS or the Lactaid a pain to learn to use, but in the long run much more convenient than bottles, as these devices don't cause nipple confusion (which will only add to the stress and frustration if baby is rejecting the breast, crying at the breast etc) and takes care of both supplementing and feeding whatever milk you are making at the same time.

 

Some moms find the nursing goes a little more quickly by using the widest tubes with the SNS, in moms with severely limited supplies, I have them use both of the thickest tubes in the baby's mouth at the same time to reduce frustration and increase the amount of supplement going in.

 

Also, make sure a good IBCLC helps you learn how to properly use an SNS system. There are some tips, tricks and even taping techniques that have to be seen and experienced to be properly utilized. I'm also a fan of keeping the tubes closed for the first 30-60 seconds of the feed, to simulate ejection (let down) so that Baby will learn patience at the breast. I've seen this work wonderfully, but it can be ignored if the baby needs milk NOW or seems extremely hungry and frustrated.

 

I've seen moms going through this and many find that once the bottles are taken out of the equation (or only used rarely, like 2-3 times a month) things do become less stressful. The baby can also be fed with a small feeding cup, one about the size of a shot glass  (there are some good videos on YouTube on how to cup feed, and your IBCLC can show you how) or a syringe. I use very large syringes for full feedings in babies whose moms have limited supply, so that the syringe doesn't have to be repeatedly filled. Also, there are feeding "spoons" that fill from a small container so that a cup doesn't have to be repeatedly filled. (The Medela SoftCup feeder and the Munchkin Easy Squeezy Spoon are two who come to mind.)

 

By the time the baby is about 4 or 5 months old, a sippy cup can usually be used for supplements, so the time using the SNS or LactAid may only be a few months. Unless you really find it suits your life, then you may find you like it and end up using it for the full amount of time the baby is breastfeeding.

 

Good luck. It's a difficult challenge, but it does get easier as time goes on.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks all of you for your thoughtful responses. The last week of transitioning to the Lact-Aid from bottles has been really succesful and makes me quite happy. I am even typing this as we NIP with it for the first time.

I am seeing my LC again tomorrow for a weight in and tune up of our situation and feeling optimistic again

When I wrote this, I think LO. was going through a growth spurt and that extra demand without extra supply was messing with our rhythm.

More personalized replies coming soon.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthiamoon View Post

Thanks all of you for your thoughtful responses. The last week of transitioning to the Lact-Aid from bottles has been really succesful and makes me quite happy. I am even typing this as we NIP with it for the first time.

I am seeing my LC again tomorrow for a weight in and tune up of our situation and feeling optimistic again

When I wrote this, I think LO. was going through a growth spurt and that extra demand without extra supply was messing with our rhythm.

More personalized replies coming soon.

:Hug I'm so glad things are getting better for you. The SNS or LactAid takes a little getting used to, but a lot of moms do get the hang of it and do well. I hope things continue to improve for you and your baby!

 

It's such a relief when things start to get better. Keep up the good work. :happyt

post #9 of 9
Been there, big hugs to you. The important thing is that you find what works for you and figure out what you can live with and still be happy and have time just to be with your baby. I am right there with you when I was wondering if I would ever want another because of all the issues I had the first time and here I am five years later with a very healthy older son (who had his share of formula when I couldn't pump nearly enough) and a newborn! This time is so short, it really is. Your baby will be a year old and you will wonder what the heck happened! Best of luck to you.
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