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RANT - I'm crushed with inability to satisfy with breastmilk

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Let me just tell you that it's now 2pm and I've been up since 1:30am. I have twin nurslings whom I breastfeed at least 10-12 times per day, as much as humanly possibly. From the start there have been weight gain issues and weak sucks. I have TRIED TRIED so hard to do everything I can and I finally after 4 months thought I could slowly wean off the formula supplements and thought everything was hunky dory and come to find out they each LOST a few ounces during the last 2 weeks. It 's so upsetting I just need to rant. My husband is furious with me for even cutting back on formula. We were at 8 oz and I went down to 3 cutting back an ounce every 4 days.

I have tried 3 different kinds of pumps and have not been able to pump A DROP, including the highpowered double pump. I have seen lactation consultants, doulas, midwives, la leche leaders (I am just about to become one myself!!). I take blessed thistle, super foods, a gallon of water, yadda yadda.

I just cannot believe that someone with my health cannot feed 2 babies. It really hurts. I nurse those babies all the time and I also have a 3 year old to take care of. I actually sort of gave up today and fed them homemade oat porridge and they took to it really well. But they are only 4 1/2 months!

I just don't know what else to do. Everyone says, you need more rest! HA! I am co-sleeping with nurslings and maybe getting 3-5 hours of broken up sleep. I'm normally a happy positive person but I have just had it and I've been crying all day.

Even my breastfeeding friends say things like, "just pump!" and I feel like some are even scornful of the fact that I am feeding them formula at all.

I'm just miserable today - sorry you had to listen to all this.

Actually the twins are in terrific health other than the slow weight gain. They are happy and have been happier (less gassy) since I've lowered the formula amount. Developmentally they are doing great and very active and strong. They started out at 7.5 and 8.2. Today they were 10.6 and 11.7. I want so badly to breastfeed exclusively but it just isn't happening.

I've even had DHS come knocking because I wasn't supplementing at 3 weeks - I needed that like I needed another hole in my head. The pressure to breastfeed successfully is getting to be to much for me.

Please kind words.

Thanks, Mary
post #2 of 34

Just want to tell you that you're a super mama. I assume you've tried oatmeal? It made a big difference to me.

Thinking happy milky-easy nursing thoughts for you.

take care of yourself.

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
I tried oatmeal for the first timet today. At what age to you feed it to yours and what did you use, water, bm? How soon did you see a difference?

thanks, Mary
post #4 of 34

I have heard if you eat oatmeal, it is supposed to help boost your milk supply.
Sending warm and encouraging thoughts your way.
post #5 of 34
Know that you are an amazing woman and a great mother and that what you ARE giving them, breastmilk-wise, is a great accomplishment. It is not a failure on your part, it really isn't. Please don't be too hard on yourself.

In the past, I have had success with the mother's milk tea (yogi brand or the natural medicinals) and also with Fenugreek in pill form. You have to take it until your underarm sweat smells like maple syrup. It's awful!

Also, my son was exclusively breastfed for 6 mos and didn't show any interest in food...I expected my girls, who were preemies, to go at LEAST that long. But they were interested at about 4.5 months, and it actually worked out quite well for us.

My smaller twin does still have growth issues at a year and a half - they are identical and had TTTS - and we supplement her with pediasure, which I think is gross, but has helped build up her fat stores, and also with DuoCal, which is a powder you can put in their food to add calories. We got it by prescription, but you can get it on ebay and a couple other places as well.

You're doing the absolute best you can, mama. Good job.

post #6 of 34
Wildcrafter - I think she meant eating oatmeal for *you* - to increase your milk supply. Not for the baby, although for us, oatmeal is a big hit with all 3 of my kids.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Angela - I guess that was a big DUH! I thought you meant feeding the twins oatmeal! Thanks for your kind words.

Kathy, will you talk to me about starting solids with them? What foods, how much etc.

I also exclusively bf my 1st beyond 6months so I'm at a loss here.
post #8 of 34
Yeah, oatmeal for you Can't imagine why you'd get mixed up in your sleep-deprived state.... Oatmeal for you. Was quite impressive on the supply for me.

post #9 of 34
Wildcrafter, I'm cracking up at your signature!

Have you heard of domperidone? It really makes an enormous difference for a lot of mothers struggling with low supply for just one baby. It could help. It literally tripled my milk volume almost overnight.

Domperidone information on kellymom.com

It is not available in the US because the manufacturer (in Belgium, I think) has never submitted it to the FDA. However, it is approved for sale in many other countries (UK, Canada, most of Europe, etc.) and is even an over-the-counter medication in some places. It is legal to import it for personal use and many US moms order it from Global Drug in New Zealand. I've ordered from there twice with no problems. It takes about 7-10 days to arrive in the US.

Good luck!
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mamas. I really needed your feedback today! You'd think with all three kids sleeping I'D be sleeping but I was too upset. So here I sit.

I did have oatmeal today, we eat it a few times a week. I'll step that up and check into that drug on Kellymom. And I'm getting some fenugreek. I thought blessed thistle was the way to go but I keep hearing more about fenugreek so I'll try.

I've had my good cry and feel better, just nursed my 2 little nurslings back to sleep - they are so precious and it just was breaking my heart that I couldn't feed them what they need. Dammit I carried 16 pounds of baby to full term and can't give them enough milk? It just kills me.

post #11 of 34

Eat a big bowl of oatmeal every day. Two if you can manage it. Drink more water than you think possible. Try some mother's milk tea. Get the fenugreek. I'm thinking that with a few of those in play it should up your supply significantly.

I was AMAZED at the difference oatmeal made- and I hate the stuff so I didn't even eat that much.

post #12 of 34
Have you thought of supplementing with a lact-aid? I never had a full supply because of a breast reduction and I found the fact that she was 100% fed at the breast even though it wasn't all breastmilk made me feel so much better. In regards to galactogogues try a combination of 9-12 fenugreek a day, 9-12 blessed thistle a day and 9-12 marshmallow root a day. I know that sounds like alot but I tried them all separately and different combinations and that was the one that produced the best results. Also sleep deprivation can really, really affect supply so is there any way you could get some help with the kids, maybe hire a mother's helper to come in the afternoons so you can take a nap? Good luck to you and keep up the good work!
post #13 of 34
I hear lots of moms have success with the drug pp mentioned. You're doing a fantastic job. I seriously don't know how moms of multiples do it. Anyone who even survives that gets a hat's off from me! :LOL Your siggy IS fantastic. I have to go search out your birth story now......
post #14 of 34
I hear lots of moms have success with the drug pp mentioned. You're doing a fantastic job. I seriously don't know how moms of multiples do it. Anyone who even survives that gets a hat's off from me! :LOL Your siggy IS fantastic. I have to go search out your birth story now......
post #15 of 34
I just wanted to say you are doing a fantastic job with what you are able to provide your twins! I wasn't able to bf my twins because they were 13 weeks early and I didn't have any milk. I even tried a med to get it to come in, but no luck. When I bf my littlest one, he wasn't a good nurser (he was lazy) and so I had to supplement with him. Even when I pumped, I didn't get a lot.

You are amazing for being able to nurse them both! I envy you because I wish I had been able to nurse the twins!
post #16 of 34
I don't have any advice, since my twins aren't arriving until Feb, but I just wanted to offer my support and awe at you mothers of multiples that BF. I hope that I can do it, and really, a to you!!!!!
post #17 of 34

Twins are hard. Breastfeeding twins can be VERY hard. You are to be absolutely commended for doing the best you can for your babies.

My advice is to check out what Jack Newman has to say and then get in touch with him. He will answer emails or you can phone his clinic at Sick Kids in Toronto (i'll see if I can find a number for you). His bedside manner is not always the greatest but he knows an awful lot about breastfeeding.

We had a terrible start nursing - one of my twins didn't latch for 2 months, we had VERY slow weight gain, recurrent thrush etc. I had a 3 y/o at the time as well. The hardest part for me was trying to manage to take care of me in the midst of the craziness. If you can try taking them to bed with you, have someone wait on you for no less than 24 - 48 hours, cook you healthy foods, drink lots of water (and maybe a beer :LOL ) sleep, take your fenugreek/blessed thistle combo. You probably do need rest!

When my milk supply crashed at about 3 weeks my wonderful LC who was a mother of twins herself gave me 'permission' to ff for 24 hours straight - actually to get someone else to do it while I slept. At this stage your need for sleep in order to stay healthy and sane trumps bfing for at least 24 hours. The big picture on this is a bit more formula in a determined plan vs wearing yourself out completely and/or giving up. Really - as committed as I am to nursing (and my 4 y/os are still nursing as is my 2 y/o) you sound like you need a real break, some rest and to be taken care of for a day or two -

Hang in there! Let us know how it is going!
post #18 of 34
First of all -((((HUGGS))))) to you

Secondly, I found that 6 tabs of Brewers yeast + 2 Fenugreek 3 times a day really helped my supply.

post #19 of 34
Here's the link at Kellymom.com on Fenugreek. You can find the dosage you'll need there.

post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Wow! You moms are great, thank you for all the help.

Things are looking better today. I've devised a plan. Going back to 4 oz formula/day with the nursing supplementers and a little oatmeal cereal for each as well. I tried it twice yesterday and they both really took to it even though in my mind and heart they are too young I feel I need to honor thier hunger right now. My neighbor is going to pick up some fenugreek and nut. yeast and I'll continue the fenugreek and oatmeal. I'll check back with my results.

Thanks again, Mary

oh yeah, I justhad a nap!~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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