Low-Milk Supply Tribe - Page 37 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-26-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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I would not ever hesitate to order it over this issue-ever. Just be aware that it is one of those things that is a slippery slope in general. My IBCLC for instance can't technically recommend it anymore-she gives out #2 of mamas who have used it successfully and lets them do the talking!

I don't believe that there are any legal ramifications for ordering it, just the danger that you could have it confiscated at the border and not receive it in a timely fashion.
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:59 PM
 
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I have posted a couple of questions on the breastfeeding board before, but never officially introduced myself as a low-supply mama, but I could use the support, so I've decided to admit (to myself) that I may never be able to not supplement.

Ds is 3 months old, and we've had problems from the beginning. I'm not sure of the cause of my low-supply but here's my story and the possible culprits:

I had a far from natural birthing experience. I had precipitous labor (about 3 hrs from start to finish) and the contractions were so intense that I ended up getting an epidural. Well, between the epidural and naturally low blood pressure, my bp just bottomed out. Then I had a contraction that wouldn't stop (I know it was at least 7 minutes). This, combined with the low bp, caused way too much stress on ds and his heart rate dropped. I ended up getting brethene (sp?) to stop the contractions, TONS of IV fluids, and epinephrine (sp?). I managed to avoid a c-section, though.

In spite of all this, ds latched pretty well initially and we bf right after he was born. He was 6 lbs. 11 oz. (which I think was inflated from all the fluids; I know I looked like a balloon!). We were using a ped that didn't have privileges at the hospital where I delivered, so she wanted to see him 2 days after we got out (4 days total). My milk had just come in the day before his appt. He was having poopy diapers and wet diapers, but his weight had "dropped" to 6 lbs. I know now that the ped was not bf friendly, and she told me to start supplementing. As a sleep deprived, post partum emotional, first-time mom, I was a WRECK. I felt beyond guilty and so defeated and inadequate. (I am getting teary just writing about it, partly because I still struggle with these feelings.) Ds was a VERY sleepy baby and had a pretty weak suck, and I think that, combined with the supplementing and stress I was feeling, just wreaked havoc on establishing a good supply.

I've done fenugreek/blessed thistle, mother's milk tea, oatmeal, and dom. Right now we're down from 12 oz of formula a day to between 0-4 oz. a day. On the one hand, I'm soooo proud of how far we've come, but on the other, I still get so sad that I can't ebf. I read all these posts about how bad formula is and I just feel so guilty. I worry about if it's going to increase his chances for allergies (I have SEVERE allergies, and part of me wonders if years and years of antihistamines every day caused some of my supply problems; I haven't had any antihistamines since he's been born though). I've also been thinking I might have more of a problem of low storage capacity, so I have been not supplementing the past few days and just watching ds weight. He woke up every hour last night, though, so I'm back to thinking I do have some supply problems, hence the reason I finally decided to post here. Thanks to anyone who read this whole thing!
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:26 AM
 
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Here we go again...

Dom was working great. DH and DS were out of town for a week, which gave me time to pump like mad and build up a nice freezer stash. Boobs were getting full in between pumpings, I was pumping at least 2 oz every time, life was good. They got back, I started nursing. DS went an entire WEEK with NO formula!! He also used up my entire stash - anywhere from 4 to 8 oz a day of ebm. No worries - I figured all that nursing had built up my supply enough to where I wouldn't need it after it was gone. Alas, that was only wishful thinking. He was fussy, and wanting to nurse constantly, but getting frustrated when he tried, for several days after the freezer milk was gone. I thought he was just being moody, maybe teething... then I realized, no, he's hungry. Got some formula last night. He's happy again.

I feel like a completely and total failure. I'm taking dom. I'm taking fenugreek. I'm nursing on demand, and only giving a bottle if my boobs are completely drained. I'm drinking water, eating oatmeal, everything.

I'm going to get more dom and increase from 90 to 120 a day. And start pumping after nursing. I don't know what else to do; I really think I might never get my milk back completely.

To be honest, I want to give up and just wean. I don't know if this is worth it. But I know I would regret it, so I keep going... and I am making myself miserable in the process.
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Old 05-28-2006, 09:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kallieb
:

I've done fenugreek/blessed thistle, mother's milk tea, oatmeal, and dom. Right now we're down from 12 oz of formula a day to between 0-4 oz. a day. On the one hand, I'm soooo proud of how far we've come, but on the other, I still get so sad that I can't ebf. I read all these posts about how bad formula is and I just feel so guilty. I worry about if it's going to increase his chances for allergies (I have SEVERE allergies, and part of me wonders if years and years of antihistamines every day caused some of my supply problems; I haven't had any antihistamines since he's been born though). I've also been thinking I might have more of a problem of low storage capacity, so I have been not supplementing the past few days and just watching ds weight. He woke up every hour last night, though, so I'm back to thinking I do have some supply problems, hence the reason I finally decided to post here. Thanks to anyone who read this whole thing!
Hi Kallieb,
I read your whole post! :-) I doubt that your antihistamine use affected your current supply, unless you were using the meds while BF'ing. So your ped also was not BF-friendly. Sounds like a common phenomenon, which I don't understand, as the benefits of BF'ing should be pushed by peds. It sounds like you have done remarkably well, having decreased supplements to 4 oz or less per day.

Can you share your protocol? I'd sure appreciate it. Did you BF exclusively at some feedings? Did you SNS? How did you gradually get to the 4 oz? I would love to know the specific details. I'm having a hard time decreasing right now. Thanks. :-) Bunny
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Old 05-28-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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Just wanted to post a quick hello to KallieB. I read your whole post. Coleysmama - read your whole post, too. Unfortunately I have a crying cranky baby right now so I don't have time to respond.

Just wanted to say...don't give up...even on your worst day. Things DO get better. Hang in there! big ((((HUGS))))
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnykae
Hi Kallieb,
I read your whole post! :-) I doubt that your antihistamine use affected your current supply, unless you were using the meds while BF'ing. So your ped also was not BF-friendly. Sounds like a common phenomenon, which I don't understand, as the benefits of BF'ing should be pushed by peds. It sounds like you have done remarkably well, having decreased supplements to 4 oz or less per day.

Can you share your protocol? I'd sure appreciate it. Did you BF exclusively at some feedings? Did you SNS? How did you gradually get to the 4 oz? I would love to know the specific details. I'm having a hard time decreasing right now. Thanks. :-) Bunny
Sure...where do I begin? I've tried so much When I first started supplementing we were doing 1 oz at every feeding after I nursed. Like I said, ds was a sleepy newborn, and we had to wake him every 2 hrs to nurse/eat, so he was getting 12 oz of formula a day. I'd pumped after every feeding, but only got like 1/4 oz total, but I did that faithfully (even during the night) until I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I lasted about 2 weeks I think, and it just got to be too much; I was only getting like 45 min-1 hr of sleep at a time, and the lack of sleep wasn't helping things, so I started pumping just once or twice a night.

I started taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. I don't remember how much blessed thistle I was taking, but I took 4 fenugreek capsules 4 times a day. I also started eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast everyday, and I tried the mother's milk tea, but I was allergic to something in it, so I stopped that pretty quickly. Anyway, I started noticing some improvement, so what I started doing was letting ds nurse, then pumping and then giving him whatever I was able to pump, THEN giving the formula until he didn't want anymore. This meant that he got whatever he got when he nursed, plus about a half an oz from me pumping, and then he'd take about 1/2 oz of formula, so right away I dropped down to about 6 oz of formula a day. When I got my dom. I started taking 90 mg, I then I could pump about 4 oz total (before a feeding obviously). Ds started having green stools, though, and I stopped taking it. Anyway, ds went through a growth spurt around 2 months, and I started back on it, but bumped down to 60 mg, and the green stools came back. I don't think it means anything since he seemed perfectly fine and green stools can be normal, but I stopped just to be safe. I'm still taking the fenugreek and I pump after every day time feeding, plus anytime ds has been sleeping for a while, etc. (so I basically get emptied out at least every 2 hours). Now I offer ds formula only if he's nursed, I've pumped and given him that, and he's still hungry. Some days are better than others, but generally it ends up being about an extra 2-4 oz. We've had a couple of days where he didn't need any, and I'm hoping for more of those. I've also noticed that I'm one of those people whose milk production is VERY sensitive to my water intake. I have to drink about 64 oz of actual water (not juice or any old liquid) every day.

I don't know if that really helps or not. Thankfully, I don't really have a big eater. He's never wanted more than 3 oz at a time, so that helps. I still have hope that one day he could be off formula completely, but if I think about that too much I tend to get discouraged on days when he needs extra formula.

I can totally relate to that feeling of wanting to quit. It takes sooo much extra effort (I have a love/hate relationship with my pump ), but I just try to remember how beneficial any bm is to him. I have really bad allergies, eczema, and asthma (in spite of the fact that I was ebf for a year) so I want to do everything I can to minimize his susceptibility to those problems. My biggest challenge has been that I tend to let bf define what it means to be a mother, and I try to remind myself that I provide my ds with more than just milk, kwim? It's so hard, but don't quit! You doing a wonderful thing for your dc, and if nothing else you'll be able to look back proudly and know you did everything in your power to give your dc the absolute best.

ETA: I forgot to address your questions about the SNS. We just use bottles when we supplement. I didn't know about SNS until we'd already started supplementing. Ds did get a bottle preference though, so had I known about them I might have tried it. He actually still gets bottle preference when we have days where he's getting a lot of pumped milk/formula, and the next day or two, I have to undo it. We've had our fair share of mini nursing strikes, and it takes a total standoff with him until he gets sleepy and then he'll usually nurse laying down.
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:50 AM
 
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kallieb - I can relate to where you are. I've been there. Nurse, pump, bottle...and 2 hours later do it all over again. And I have two older children that I homeschool. That routine led to sheer exhaustion. Things got MUCH MUCH better once we went complete bottle and pump free. We exclusively SNS. She gets her supplement while we nurse, plus I get the stimulation directly from her and don't need to pump. Much easier! I highly recommend getting rid of the bottles and going to the SNS. Try different sizes of tubing. In our case we had to use the largest size tubing. I keep a 2 cup-container of formula already made in the frig and just fill up the SNS whenever it's time to nurse. Well, now that she's older I'm using regular soy milk in the SNS, but when she was on formula that's what I did.

Just my two cents...hope that helps.
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Old 05-29-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcyC
I highly recommend getting rid of the bottles and going to the SNS.
ditto
we have forgone the pumping & bottles too...and it is so much easier on both of us. Using the SNS took a bit of getting used to - especially in public - but, once you get it down, it's pretty easy.


coleysmama - our babies have the same bday. I hear ya on the wanting to quit. But, you are right, in the long run, we would probably regret it. I wonder if cole recently went through a growth spurt or something. rowan did and now she needs more supplement all the time. it is frustrating when you think you are doing so well and then all of a sudden they need more supplement. ugh. anyway, we are doing good things for our babies!! just remember that.

good luck to both of you.



jill
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Old 05-29-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Okay so - I went to visit the LC today and got the SNS. DS and I tried it and he got about 2.5 oz. until he was pretty much "no way."

Anyways, I know as a relactating Momma - I have come so far but this was a bit of a discouragement. On Friday, my milk supply was awesome and now it is back down to 2 oz. per pump DS did not do so hot on the SNS. I wonder if he is just too old at 4.5 mos.?

The LC recommended two weeks of Reglan just to give my prolactin a boost. I don't know... I just needed to vent and get some support. The LC says that I should be proud of myself - but why am I teary eyed?
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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2.5 oz of formula or ebm PLUS whatever milk he drew from you - for a 4.5 month old that might just be enough to sate him?

You're crying because it's frustrating and hard and this should just be something natural, like breathing, and it's not, and it's not fair, but here we are. jen

: mama to T 9/04 and E 11/08
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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Coley, If it helps to know, I wanted to give up about 55 times. I didn't and am happy I didn't! Hugs to you!

It's taken a lot of work and now my babe is 100% bf'd (for this week anyway). My DH is able to be home in the summer and brings her to me to nurse for the 2 days a week I work at home. When I'm apart from DD and have to pump, I can't keep up so she gets formula. The good news this week is that I have a lot time to pump extra because DD will be with me in person more than usual, so I'll be taking advantage of nap time!

That is our current story. I am surprised that it's an always changing adventure. I'm grateful to have the times that I *can* bf her and am also grateful for formula -- believe it or not!! -- because it helped to keep her alive when my body wasn't up to making all the milk on its own.
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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we started using a lact-aid when our son was 4.5 months old and continued using it until he was about 9.5 months old, when he started eating solids like a fiend and still nursed a good amount. your little one is not too old, but you may have to be sneaky about where you position it on your breast and when you use it. (we always nursed bare breast on the first side with breast compression, and then added the lact-aid to the second side with breast compression.)

sending milky vibes to all...

~claudia
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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new thread for May/June 2006 in the NEW BREASTFEEDING CHALLENGES FORUM!!! http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=459969

~c
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