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Corriander 01-23-2004 04:47 PM

I have just been told that I have this congenital condition. I think that I always knew that my breasts weren't quite "normal". But after attempting to breastfeed 2 children and the birth of a third I finally had a lactation consultant tell me this. She showed me photos in a lactation text book that looked just like my breasts: one smaller than the other, widely spaced apart, tubular shape.

Needless to say, it was devestating to hear that I might never have a full supply.

So I am trying to do the best I can with what I have and I wanted to see if anyone else had been able to bf their children with this condition. Without supplements my son (now 3 weeks old) was under his birthweight and not gaining. I started supplementing with an sns last night and he has already gained 6 oz.

I have started taking domperidome. Does anyone else have experience with this?

I need to rent a pump also.

I was already taking herbs and drinking mothers milk tea.

I guess what I am really looking for is someone with this condition to tell me that any or all of these things I am doing may actually make a difference. I know that this condition varies in severity and I don't think that I have the worst case - I have been able to produce some milk, just not enough to avoid supplementing.

looking forward to hearing from you!

shelbean91 01-23-2004 06:27 PM

I don't have that issue- but I know someone who does. She was diagnosed when her dd was about 2 mos- and used donated milk and formula in the sns to supplement. She was never able to get a full supply, but once she started solids- her dependance on the supplemental milk went down. Last I talked to her (about 6-8 mos ago), her dd was 3 1/2 and still nursing. She is a student LC and was/is studying to be a midwife. I'm sure she did all the herbs and supplements as she was working in a breastfeeding supply store that is owned/run by and IBCLC.

I think she said she had about 1/2 to 2/3 of the supply that her dd needed.

I only see her occasionally- we're not really friends, but she ran the mommy and me support group I attended for quite some time.

Anything you can do will make a difference- any breastmilk is better than none.

Edited to say- keep up the good work- you're doing a great job.

Corriander 01-23-2004 11:27 PM

Thanks for your encouragement shelbean! The few people that I know of who have dealt with this all seem to be the ones who are the most dedicated to bf. I'm trying to keep that attitude.

I did bf my first son for 16 months. Once he started solids it was easier to drop some of the supplements.

I just had my last baby so I was really hoping to "get it right" this time. I'm still in the process of changing my definition of perfection.

Thanks again.

Quirky 01-23-2004 11:58 PM

I don't have insufficient glandular tissue but I did have low supply issues and domperidone really made a big difference for me. I know it doesn't for all women but I think it does make a noticeable difference for many. If you run a search for domperidone or Motilium on this board you will probably find a fair number of threads discussing it.

For a pump I hope you will get a hospital grade professional pump. When I had to pump when ds was born, I tried my Medela Pump in Style I had gotten for going back to work and it just wasn't strong enough. The hospital grade pump made a big difference. Once my supply was established I was able to return it; I don't know if your condition would make things different.

As far as herbs, what are you taking? Fenugreek and blessed thistle, 3-4 caps each 3 times a day, is a good combination. You might try (instead of the pills) a tincture from Motherlove Herbals called More Milk Plus as well as one called Goat's Rue (

Inositol, which is a B vitamin (that is not found in regular multivitamins) is important for a healthy milk supply; it's found in oatmeal and other whole grains, which is why oatmeal is often recommended for nursing mothers. You can get it in supplement form online at places like (item 166) or other vitamin sellers.

Kudos to you for sticking with it and nursing your baby! :bf

Konur's Mom 01-24-2004 01:20 PM

A very good friend of mine has exactly that. She nursed her dd with the help of suppliments of EBM from a friend who had an over supply. She tried everything, and was unable to get her supply up. From what she told me, there is nothing that can work for her, its a genetic condition that cannot be fixed. The only thing she didnt try, that she would now if she got pg again was Goats Rue. It actually increases breast tissue. Here is a link to a tincture that has it in it.

She did nurse her dd until she self weaned at 4 years old. She only supplimented with her friends milk for the first year.

bradleybrat 01-25-2004 01:56 PM

I believe I also have insufficient glandular tissue. I have a six month old son, Stephen (my first baby). We have been breastfeeding and supplementing with formula using an SNS since he was three and half weeks old (at that time he was also still below his birthweight and not gaining). I have been taking domperidone (20 mg, four times/day) since he was eight weeks old. The domperidone seemed to possibly help my supply a little, so I have kept taking it.

Your description of your breasts sounds like mine. I have never seen a picture of what breasts with insufficient glandular tissue look like, but I would love to see one to confirm. I came to my diagnosis through process of elimination.

Here are the other things I tried that did NOT seem to help my supply at all:
--herbs (fenugreek and blessed thistle)
--double-pumping after feedings with a hospital-grade electric breast pump (Medela Lactina)
--feeding frequently (which we had already done since birth – he was born at home and we were never separated)
--suck training (he always seemed to have a good latch and an effective suck anyway)

Some things that DID help me were:
--the book “Defining Your Own Success” by Diana West
It was written for mothers who have had breast reduction surgery, but much of it was relevant and helpful to me.
--breast compression
(This is a Jack Newman handout. He is a pediatrician who has a breastfeeding clinic in Canada, and is a GREAT resource.)
--NOT supplementing at every feeding. I find it very helpful psychologically to have at least a couple of breastfeeding times each day without the SNS. Usually this is first thing in the morning (when a mother’s supply is usually highest), or “in-between” supplemented feedings in the afternoon and evening. I have always had an abundant enough supply to keep Stephen content overnight – and he nurses A LOT overnight.
--good support from my LLL leader

In retrospect, the one choice I regret was being somewhat miserly with the amounts of formula supplementation early on. I was VERY much in denial that I couldn’t have a full milk supply, and was VERY afraid that supplementing would decrease my supply. But, as long as you are supplementing using an at-breast supplementer (such as the SNS or Lact-Aid), the formula your baby takes isn't going to negatively impact your milk supply, but it might make your son get bigger and stronger faster so that he can suck well and get every drop of breast milk that is available.

I have a couple questions for you:
1) Did you notice any improvement in your milk supply from your 1st to your 3rd baby?
2) Do you know where I could find a picture of breasts with insufficient glandular tissue, or any more information? Any online?

Finally, I can say that Stephen and I have a beautiful breastfeeding relationship. He turned six months old yesterday, weights almost 15 pounds, and is healthy (only one minor cold and no other illnesses) and is developing well in every way. Even though we supplement with 20 ounces of formula per day now, he also still “looks” like a breastfed baby.

Good luck to you! Please feel free to email me with any other questions.

Konur's Mom 01-25-2004 02:02 PM

Here is a picture, towards the bottom of this page on the left. This is exactly what my friend's breasts look like.

Quirky 01-25-2004 02:05 PM

link to picture of hypoplastic breasts

if your breasts don't fit this description, is it possible you have PCOS? polycystic ovarian syndrome. i've seen some links on that site and others about PCOS being linked to insufficient supply.

Keep up the good nursing work, mamas! :bf

Quirky 01-25-2004 02:06 PM

eta: posted at the same time as konur's mom, and the same pic too!

Konur's Mom 01-25-2004 02:10 PM

:LOL :LOL Quirky! Great minds!

Corriander 01-25-2004 08:40 PM


I have seen a difference in supply from the 1st to the 3rd baby, but I think that is due more to my own experience in knowing how to encourage more milk than in my body's ability to make more. What I mean is I didn't find out about breast compression until my second was several months old. With this third baby I did compression from day 1 and I think that has made the most difference.

All my babies have had good latches, so that's not an issue. I take fenugreek but can't tell if its really had an effect - but afraid to stop just in case.

I haven't seen a difference yet from the dom (only been 3 days), but I have read it can take as long as 6 weeks. You can also increase the dose to as much as 12 pills a day.

With my first I only bf for 6 months because I felt like such a failure that it didn't seem worth it. I also didn't know about sns until she had already had several bottles and found she loved them.

With my second I used the sns and was able to drop some of the supplements when he started solids. He nursed for 16 months.

This 3rd baby is my last so I really put alot of pressure on myself. I think that book you mention would do me alot of good. I need to let go of the idea that ebf is the only form of success. My husband even suggested, very lovingly, that maybe I should see a therapist to help work all this out in my head.

bradleybrat 01-26-2004 10:09 PM

Thanks for responding to my questions! It sounds like you are a great mommy and have given your children all the benefits you possibly could in a very difficult situation.

We are just starting solids now, and I am very anxious to see when we can start dropping some supplemented feedings, and how well/how long Stephen will nurse without the SNS. And of course I'm very anxious to see how things will go with my next baby.


Corriander 01-27-2004 09:48 PM

I am on day 6 of the domperidone and I think I'm starting to see some effect. I feel fuller before a feeding, hear more swallowing on the left side (the smallest side that seemed to have little more than drops before), and we got throught the night without having to supplement t 2 nights in a row.

I haven't started pumping because it seems like such a hassle. I want to see what the dom does first and save the pumping for a few weeks from now if I still need it.

bradleybrat, I remember that it really got easier with my son once he started solids, so I hope that is what happens with you too. He really liked nursing so that made it easy to continue. By the time he was one the nursings were like snacks, but that made it more special because it was like an extra thing that he really wanted. Coming home from work in the afternoon and spending about 30 minutes nursing was our favorite time of day and the last nursing session to go when he eventually self weaned.

bradleybrat 01-28-2004 04:27 PM

Thanks, Corey!

I'm so glad the domperidone seems to be working for you.

I think you have made a smart decision to wait on the pumping. I kept a rented pump and paid for it for two months, but I hated using it, so I never used it regularly after the first week or so. In the early months, Stephen wanted to nurse constantly, so if I wanted to pump, I had to lay him down and watch him fuss while I pumped. Insane! I also never got more than an ounce at a time, and usually much less.


scubamom 02-06-2004 01:17 PM

well im glad i read this thread as im currently going through same thing.
my d/s is less than 3 weeks old, and we found out about my low milk supply in hospital after significant weight loss and jaundice and we have been using sns ever since, and also taking domperidone for 10 days, my supply has increased a little,( i think maybe he gets half an ounce each feed!!!!)
i also feel so down about whole thing. hes my first and i was determined to breastfeed, i thought sore nipples or bad latch would be problems never thought about not being able to make milk!!!!
Im just about hanging in there but i think even my lactation consultant is giving up on me esp after our last weigh in with her when d/s hadnt put on any weight, so she told me i had to up amount of formula in sns. i did but only a little and after weigh in with public health nurse (she much more positive) he put on 6 ounces in 3 days. I dont think i will ever have enough to not have to supplement but threads like this help me try to keep being positive and make me realise im not alone.

Has anyone else been through all this and ended up with a full supply???

Corriander 02-06-2004 09:51 PM

Hi scubamom,

I'm trying not to think of a full supply as my goal. I've taken domperidone for 2 full weeks and have seen the supplement amount per day go from 14 oz to 9 oz to our current 6 oz with a constant increase in weight. I've just increased the dom dosage to 12 pills a day to see if that can push us over the top.

I find it very encouraging to think about how much formula or breastmilk he needs to grow at this weight and therefore how much bm I must be producing even though I can't see it.

If you don't know how to do this:

baby's current weight in pounds times 2.7 equals the number of ounces the baby needs to receive each day to grow the recommended 4-8 oz a week. In my case, my son is now 9 lbs and 15 oz and has gained 6 oz a week for 2 weeks. So he must be receiving about 26 oz a day - 20 of which is from me! Also remember that even if the amount you are supplementing does not go down from day to day, your baby is still receiving more breastmilk over time because he is growing and needs more overall.

I think it is very important to surround yourself with support. If your lacation consultant is negative, then by all means don't go back to her!

I hope that everyone here can check in a leave updates periodically, because I also find this thread very encouraging.


Pearmama 03-01-2004 04:31 AM

Hi, everyone. I am new here. I was just looking for info on hypoplastic breasts since I've had the sneaking suspicion that this might be my problem. My fifth child (a girl) was just born six days ago and I was really hoping that I wouldn't encounter all the problems that I had breastfeeding in the past. I've been waiting for my breasts to even out ever since puberty. I've always considered them strange looking...widely-spaced apart, kinda long, without the fullness under the nipple, and my areolas are huge. But my hubby (bless his heart) hasn't complained.

Everyone's story might as well be my own. I've done it all: unrestricted nursing, electric breast pump, SNS, fenugreek, herbal supplements, tinctures, etc. The only thing I haven't tried is getting that prescription from my doc.

My baby seems to be doing fine although she was a little jaundiced. She seems content and I can hear her swallowing during a feeding. No, my breasts aren't huge with milk but they are definitely heavier and they tingle all over! However, we hit a brick wall about the fourth day postpartum. She hadn't pooped at all, since the second day when she passed two meconium diapers. I was dreading this, but I was also prepared. I gave her an ounce of formula in the SNS (left over from my last baby) and she pooped twice.

Now I am in the "what should I do now?" vortex? Should I try to build up a supply again? Should I just use the SNS so the baby doesn't fall so far behind in her weight gain? Should I just forget about the frustration with the SNS and give her supplements in the bottle? I don't know! Sometimes this is just too much to cope with! I just want what is best for my daughter. With my second and third child, I went to great lengths to maintain the BF relationship, and I felt horribly inadequate when I had to give them a bottle of formula. I don't feel that way now because I now I am doing all that I can. Or am I?

I went to the other site and saw the pics. My breasts don't look like the bulbous ones at the bottom of the page, but they do look like a pic from the group that said they were able to fully breastfeed. This is horribly confusing. About three years ago I tried to look for research about this problem...couldn't find anything. Now all this...

But it is definitely encouraging to hear from everyone who is determined to breastfeed. It gives me that little push to keep going and make this work...even if its not 100% ideal. The longest my boys BF'd for was 18 mos. I think thats pretty good, don't you?

Corriander 03-01-2004 02:49 PM

Hi Pearmama,

I think that 18 months is great! I bf my second for 16 months and hope the third will go for at least that long.

I would urge you to use the sns as long as you can stand it. I would also encourage you to try domperidone. You can get it over the internet without a perscription or a compounding pharmacy will make it for you. I have to go pick up the kids from school - will write more later.

Pearmama 03-02-2004 02:55 AM

Thanks for the encouragement, Corey.

I have to admit, I really dread using the SNS. It's such a hassle to get the tube on correctly (so the baby won't gag), then you have to make sure they still latch on properly...then you have to take care that your newborn's flailing arms won't pull on the tube...and finally, you can be sitting there all *hooked up* and come to realize that the tube isn't positioned right and the milk hasn't even flowed out (this is one reason why I like to use the formula slightly cool--that way I can feel it on my nipple and know the baby is sucking it down). Then...the feeling of failure while you are sitting there feeding your baby with a tube taped to your nipple.

Since I have used the SNS with my last three babies as well, I know that I will only use it for so long...usually the first couple of months and not for every feeding. For me, it's to condition the baby to want the breast, not the free-flowing bottle nipple (this is one reason why I use a newborn nipple even when the baby is a few months old). When I am lazy, I do use a bottle.

I had a heck of a time with the SNS with my last baby because he had a finger sucking habit that he seemed to develop in the womb. He literally started sucking the same two fingers when he was a day old. This really interfered with his BFing. His latch was lousy and at night he would prefer to suck on his fingers rather than the breast. He only breastfed for five months, much to my sadness. This is why I am really praying that things will be different with my daughter. She has a good latch and has been nursing strongly since her birth (seven whole days ago!

Another issue I have is the fact that I hate formula. When you have prescribed yourself to the whole natural/attachment parenting/compleat mother/la leche league philosophy, you come to a point when you realize that formula is BAD. But what other alternatives are there? With my last son, I supplemented with goats milk. But I can't get any right now so formula will have to do.

I guess I have the same question that you have, Corey. Has anyone successfully (fully) breastfed their baby having these extreme supply issues that we all seem to have?

I have gotten to the point in my head where I am just thankful that I am able to give birth to healthy babies...if I have to seek out an alternative in the way I feed them, then so be it. How many women would be grateful just to have a baby, period? And here I am, fretting over how much milk I have/don't have?!

But, ya know, sometimes I wish I just didn't care so much!

Corriander 03-02-2004 06:43 PM

I only bf by first child for 6 months for several reasons:

1. I didn't learn about the sns until she had already had several weeks of bottles

2. she loved those bottles

3. and I didn't think it was acceptable to bf only part time.

I am still struggling with the third one. All of the literature as well as discussion boards and support groups are all about doing formula OR breastfeeding. But when you can't breastfeed exclusively and have to use formula parttime, then which group do you fall into. I consider myself a breastfeeder, but I find that I always have to explain myself in the company of breastfeeders and then I feel like a fraud.

As far as the sns goes. I have tried to use it long enough to get my supply (such as it is) established. I am going back to work part time next month when ds is 3 1/2 months. He will get a bottle in the morning and I won't have a chance to pump, so this will force us into a schedule of bottle/breast that I hope we can continue indefinately. A few months after that he will be eating some solids which will encourage more of a schedule of feedings. I find that it is easier to have a schedule when combining bottle and breast.

Right now I never really know when he is going to need formula, I just try to bf as much as I can and it is really exhausting. I really envy mom's who can feed their babies and then be confident that the baby will be satisfied for several hours.

another thought: When visiting the LC in the hospital another woman came in to use the pump because her child is in the NICU. No matter how I am able to feed my child I am very grateful that they were all born healthy and remain that way.

Pearmama 03-02-2004 10:57 PM

I have a group of friends who all have little ones. I'm talking about ladies who tandem nurse two, sometimes three of their children. So they have plenty of milk to go around! I used to find myself feeding my sons their bottle BEFORE I went to hang out with them because I felt stupid bringing out a little can of formula. They also couldn't understand why it was necessary that I do both. And my boys were really scrawny compared to their huge, fat babies. Its the same in the nursing mothers room at church...I usually make sure I've fed the baby a bottle before I go in there.

Sad, but some people get so militant about their breastfeeding stance. I know it is best and the way God intended, but I know now, from experience, to show some grace to those who don't or can't, out of ignorance or what have you.

I even contemplated not having any more children after my third because it hurt me so much that we couldn't have a normal BF relationship. But then I wouldn't of had my youngest son or my long-awaited daughter!

Kudos to you, Corey, for doing what you can to BF your son. That is what true parenting is all about: self sacrifice for our children because of the great love we have for them. And you know, this infancy stage is sooo short!

scubamom 03-03-2004 11:26 AM

i love reading this thread, as helps so much when realise that im not alone.

an update on how im doing since last posted is:
well its been 6 weeks now, were still using sns and breastfeeding, if u can call it that as sure hes only getting a dribble but a dribble is better than nothing right!!!!
been on the domperidone for 4.5 weeks now and i think ive plateaued and that it hasnt really worked for me, as still got only approx 1 oz per feeding (sometimes if that), just hasnt seemed to increase as id hoped. Also had to up the amount of formula im giving him this week. Hated to do it but he was still hungry all the time, made me think about quitting again, but just wanted to say thanks as this thread has kept me going.
please keep posting updates


Corriander 03-03-2004 09:35 PM

Heather, just wanted to remind you that just because you have to give your baby more formula, it doesn't mean that you are producing less, it means that your baby is growing and he needs more than he did last week.

I needed to remind myself of that last week. we've gone from 6 oz. of formula back up to 9 and I was certain that it was because of me. I had to remember it is just because he has gone through a growth spurt.

I love this thread too. It means much more to me to read the experiences and encouragements from moms who have "been there" then from those who really don't know. Once I actually had a mom suggest that I might have an overactive let down - uh no that's not the problem!

What do your moms think about starting solids early? I have given my ds some mashed bananas, he really likes them and there has been no tummy upset or poop problems. Do you think it is worth doing if it replaces some formula? Still, he is only 2 months old.


Pearmama 03-04-2004 07:47 PM

At this point, I wonder about introducing solids early as being the lesser of two evils...the other evil being formula. I've mentioned offering goat's milk before and I've also learned that almond milk is good (I would think homemade is best), as well as rice milk. I've even heard of giving infants fresh carrot juice and the milk of a young coconut. I don't want to believe that formula is our only option. As for solid food that I think would be very beneficial, how does mashed avocado sound? Or pureed mango? Bananas are great. I'm not a big fan of jarred, commercial baby foods, although I did give my second son rice cereal in his bottle so I could fatten him up when he was four months old. I wouldn't do it again.

I think as long as you feed your baby food that is in the most natural state as possible. I really don't think introducing solids is that harmful, although I would be a little leary offering it before the four month mark.

I have a quick question for daughter doesn't seem to like the bottle (yay). I've tried to give it to her a couple of times when I haven't been up to using the SNS. She takes FOREVER to drink an ounce. I haven't gotten her weighed yet (I go in on monday), but it feels like I am feeding her constantly throughout the day and she seems satisfied. However, she doesn't poop regularly. I know some babies go a few days without stooling, but with my history of low milk supply and underfeeding, this is really freaking me out. She pooped twice on Monday but she hasn't done any since. She has peed alot though. And her stools haven't turned yellow yet (the last poop was a yellow-brown). She looks like she is getting enough, but in my heart I feel she isn't because of those darn poopy diapers! I know this may seem icky, but what does your baby's soiled diaper look like? How often do they stool? How much formula are you giving them in a day? Right now we are averaging maybe 4 oz. a day and she is 10 days old.

Llamamama 03-14-2004 10:22 PM

Hey there:

I just looked at this thread and read it with great interest. My son is about to turn a year old and I had similar problems with low breast milk supply. Essentially one breast was able to produce very well (up to 6 oz when engorged) and the other would never produce more than one. The breast that did the producing is larger than the other and now that I have stopped breastfeeding has made the moderate breast assymetry even larger (alas). I would be intersted to hear if anyone on this list had one breast that did produce and one that did not and if there is a size diff. But anyway, to continue--

We nursed until he was 8 months old and I would say he recived 65% mother's milk and 35% formula. We had a lot of complications in the beginning because he was in the NICU for eight days and I had to pump right at the beginning. And then he fell asleep at the breast, and then I couldn't get the hang of the SNS, and then we moved to another state (planned but bad timing), and finally I settled on supplementing with a bottle. And it was all so hard because I so badly wanted to bond with him since he was in the NICU for 8 days without me and on morphine with a tube down his throat. It still makes me cry. Not what I had planned at all!

But, I guess the reason I wanted to write is because I learned a few things on this hard road. And one big one is that sometimes life doesn't go as we plan and I think I personally got so HUNG UP on the breastfeeding issue that I was glad when my mother told me to take a step back and be THANKFUL that my child was alive and that I needed to make the most of our breastfeeding experience so that we enjoyed it. I tried the SNS again but I found it so cumbersome and it made the experience unenjoyable for me. My son always enjoyed the breast. He had no nipple confusion (we used Avent) and I essentially used the bottle as a "second breast". I would let him fill up on the one that prodcued and if he was still hungry we went to the bottle. I tried to pump the little breast but eventually I just gave up and became VERY lopsided. The pumping was too annoying.

So I guess I want to also say that I felt very uncomfortable around breastfeeding moms and I did and do continue to feel judged by them. It has given me more understanding of other people and differences because I think if I didn't have this situation I would be judgemental too. I did in the end decide to bring out the bottle with the breast fed moms because I wasn't going to let my baby be hungry because I felt bad.

I already worry about what it will be like with the next baby but I also now know a lot more. Breast compression is useful. I found herbs didn't help.

Maybe I will try that medicine people are mentioning. Or maybe not. Maybe I will just do the best I can with what I have and be happy with the special relationship I can create with my baby. I urge you all to look inside and recognize how wonderful and special your relationship with your child (children) is. It does not depend on breastfeeding. It depends on you and the love and trust you show your child.

Go easy on yourselves mamas, life is hard enough, and we are all trying. Don't focus on what you can not give your babies when you all give them so much. We wouldn't want to raise children who only focus on what they can not do and ignore the fine fine things they can do, would we? Shouldn't we embldy that lesson ourselves if we want to pass it along? Sometimes we are handed adversity because it has something to teach us. I learned about compassion, understanding, and focusing on the good. Give yourselves a pat on the back for working hard on something that is hard to do, explain, except, and be satisfied with.



Corriander 03-15-2004 09:52 PM

Thank you so much for your comments llamamama. It means so much more coming from someone who has been there. I am struggling with this every day. I am depressed when ds needs a lot of formula, I am elated when he needs less.

I just returned from a visit with relatives and decided to start using a bottle because I knew that I would not be able to use an sns around people who I love but don't see but once a year. I worried constantly about what people were thinking - "why is she giving him a bottle if she just nursed him?" But I'm sure that no one gave it a second thought. They just kept saying how beautiful he is.

This is one of those days that I feel like totally giving up, so I have to remind myself that weaning him will not make him sleep through the night, will not stop his gas, will not keep him from screaming in the car seat, will not keep me from feeling like a failure. It will not solve anything and may cause more problems.

Llamamama 03-16-2004 01:55 AM


You only have this time with him once. Relax and enjoy it. Don't beat yourself up. I found the SNS to be a HUGE pain. Enjoy your relatives, enjoy your son, and enjoy your breastfeeding experience even if it includes huge formula additions from a bottle.

I may be beaten up on this list for saying this, but you need to create a comfortable, settled, positive environment for him. If the breastfeeding/lack of milk is making you so so upset that you can not bond with him then I would say preserving the bond (and creating a calming environment) is more important than forcing the breastfeeding if you are feeling so distraught. You have made it 2.5 months already. I would not start solids before four months. It makes me so sad to see you so torn apart by this because I understand it so well. Like I said, the breast is great, but bonding is so much more than how a child is fed.

You are doing great. Like I said in my last post, sometimes we are given challenges because they teach us something we need to learn. Look inside yourself, be calm, and all your answers will become clear. There is no "right" way to be a mother. What others can do we can not always do and that's OK.


bradleybrat 04-05-2004 04:20 PM

I also enjoy reading this thread! Thanks to all of you who are posting.

Here's an update on Stephen and me. The experience of starting solids was not exactly what I imagined -- but then nothing about my mothering experience has been! I had expected that as soon as we started solids he would start taking less formula, but he didn't. We started solids at five and a half months, when he was taking 20 oz. of formula/day, and it took a few weeks before he was really interested in eating more than mashed banana once a day. Around seven and a half months he got a lot more interested in eating food (and in trying to feed himself!) and I started feeding him three meals a day, but it was a couple of weeks AFTER that, at EIGHT months, before he started taking any less formula. I don't know if that is typical or if it had to do with his slow growth due to insufficient calories early on. He is eight and a half months now and we are still nursing using the SNS five times a day, about 14-16 oz./day. I am very curious about details of how others worked out decreasing supplemented feedings as they increased solids. I would like to decrease the number of supplemented feedings (we nurse a few other times each day and all night without supplementing), but I'm afraid to stop offering formula at a feeding unless he just refuses to drink ANY -- but will that ever happen? He is very healthy and I think growing well now (I finally returned my rental scale when he was seven and a half months old and over 17 lbs.).

A few comments to the above posts:
AMOUNT OF FORMULA -- The one regret I have about this experience is that we didn't supplement with MORE formula, earlier on. I was convinced that would decrease my milk supply, and I definitely felt GREAT when Stephen took less formula and AWFUL when he took more. But finally around three months (when he STILL wasn't gaining weight really well), we upped the formula significantly (from 8 oz./day to about 12 oz./day) and we kept increasing by about an ounce each week until he started solids at five and a half months. He gained about two pounds/month during that time period, and I accepted that my supply was probably fixed at its maximum and he needed more formula as he got bigger.

EARLY SOLIDS -- I considered this, mostly because Jack Newman recommends starting solids, but we tried at four months and Stephen clearly wasn't ready. After all my research I have come to believe that formula is the most complete food we can offer our babies (after our own milk or donated breast milk). It is hard to imagine such a little baby eating a very balanced diet of solid food, and they would surely miss out on some of the concentrated calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. that they need.

STOOLS -- Pearmama: I would be very concerned about a 10-day-old baby having less than one stool per day. For a baby a few months or even weeks older, that might be normal, but I know that infrequent stools and lack of weight gain (which we unfortunately didn't realize until later) were the only signs that Stephen wasn't getting enough milk. He was alert, nursed often and for long periods of time, had lots of wet diapers, etc. Once we started formula the stool color was more green/brown than the normal breast-fed yellow, although I saw that sometimes.

Thanks again for the support of all of you wonderful mothers!


TreeLove 04-06-2004 02:20 PM

Llamamama 04-06-2004 02:28 PM


Why? Please share why you think you can't make enough milk. I am interested. Hurrah for you for knowing how to be so positive next time. This is all such a blessing! Again, focus on the things you can do!

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