Baby 1 month old, still no milk. Suggestions? Giving up. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am still on this breastfeeding journey with my daughter.  Her labor was induced and the hospital staff was not very supportive of breastfeeding from the start (this is her first child and the staff convinced her that she needed to give him formula).  Anyway, she is been a real trooper, very dedicated to breastfeeding:  She took fenugreek & blessed thistle, then Reglan and has been pumping with a good pump (first a single pump, now on a double pump) round the clock all these weeks.  The milk increased a little with the Reglan, but as soon as she finished the prescription, it trickled back down to almost nothing.  She has asked her doctor who checked her thyroid.  Her thryroid was slightly low but  "nothing to worry about."  She is at a loss and ready to give up.  I know there must be a reason for this!  Any suggestions?

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#2 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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Does baby latch on?  Does she ever feed at the breast?  If baby will latch, would she be interested in feeding with a tube at the breast?  See http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=128:inserting-a-lactation-aid&catid=6:video-clips&Itemid=13  Dr. Jack Newman explains why this is such a great way to supplement during the video (if I remember correctly).

 

Domperidone has also been shown to help to increase milk supply.

 

Anemia and thyroid are worth looking into with low milk supply.

 

And it helps to remember that some women just do not respond to the pump, but can nurse their babies just fine.

 

Have they been seen by an IBCLC?  Baby checked for tongue-tie?

 

Sorry about the randomness of these thoughts - I wanted to reply quickly while my baby sleeps!

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#3 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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I'm so sorry :(  I was also induced early and pumped for a half h our ever 2 hours. The Lactation nurse told me most women will give up by 6 weeks? It was a certain time frame anyway. I cried, I was very depressed. They also gave baby formula and she never latched. They tried everything on me. Fake nipples, expressing. I was getting maybe an ounce a day of milk so certainly she needed formula also. but it was a very depressing situation that had me a ball of tears.

 

Just let her know it's not her fault and it doesn't make her a bad mommy. Sometimes these things just don't happen. Her baby will still be healthy and just fine and ignore anyone who might piss and moan about it (doubt anyone will).

 

Just remember her body wasn't ready to have the baby. It is OK!! Do not tear herself up over this. She has a beautiful baby and that's all that counts right now!

 

And only she can decide when she has given up, so let her try as long as she likes. I tried forever and nothing happened

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#4 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, she uses a feeding tube and he does latch, but not so much now that her milk has dwindled again.  She has seen her hospital's IBCLC (who is very busy and not a lot of help) and I just made contact with another IBCLC in a town about 1 hour from her.  I hope they can help, although I see from another poster than it just might not ever happen....because she was induced prematurely?  (Ooooo that makes me upset!)

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#5 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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If the LC is no help try going to a LLL meeting or calling a leader for ideas.


Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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#6 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

If the LC is no help try going to a LLL meeting or calling a leader for ideas.



Here is the Le Leche League locator page:

 

http://www.llli.org/Webindex.html

 

you can obtain an answer online from LLL also:

 

http://www.llli.org/help_form

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#7 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the LLL suggestions.  Actually, that was our first resource.  The local LLL consultant came over right away to help and was wonderful.  However, she has reached the end of her expertise.

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#8 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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My thoughts are with you and your daughter. I hope it all works out, best wishes.

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#9 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 05:08 PM
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Just being induced early doesn't mean you won't be able to breastfeed, or that you will have problems with it. Any kind of intervention CAN cause problems, but most can be sorted with good support.

 

But breastfeeding isn't necessarily easy, and in some situations, due to really bad luck, it can be extremely difficult, and, of course, occasionally impossible. Our bit of "bad luck" was that DD mostly wanted to go to sleep, but couldn't, and therefore sucked very well, but didn't swallow much. In combination with my slow let-down and slow milk flow, my supply suddenly dipped at 4 weeks (and DD lost weight), and we had to work hard for 5 months to sort it out.

 

Don't give up. Every little bit of breastmilk helps. And I can't pump, I just don't get much out at all. In your daughter's shoes I'd use the lact-aid ad SNS, but try to feed without for a short while before putting it on maybe (or if baby is very hungry, maybe start with SNS for a few minutes, then close the tube on the bottle, and remove the other end from baby's mouth  for a while). We used Domp., although not initially, and while we could start slowly weaning off it after about 6 weeks or so, I know others who had to stay on it for as long as they were breastfeeding, or supply would plummet.

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#10 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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You've got a lot of good suggestions and I'd keep going as 4 weeks in is still early but I wanted to say that breastfeeding isn't just about the milk.  No one should feel like they have to give up those sessions at the breast even if it's one or two per day, just because they don't have a full supply! It's much more the process than the product. Even if a mom is breastfeeding with little or even no milk, that doesn't mean that there aren't wonderful things going on. 


Jessica, wife to Greg since 7/04, mama to the rainbow1284.gif Gman 7/06, 3 brokenheart.gif , rainbow1284.gif Asher 1/11 and a wonderful surprise due in August!

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#11 of 25 Old 11-29-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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I've had this problem before.  It's not fun and it's so frustrating. Everyday I wanted  and did cry.  Finally, I took my baby and went to bed.  Literally.  Then...I drank water, water, water and nursed and nursed and nursed....but I stayed in bed and little by little the milk came....it just took..a long time to get there.  I wish I had better advice and a magic pill.....greensad.gif


 

 

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#12 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by at-home View Post

I am still on this breastfeeding journey with my daughter.  Her labor was induced and the hospital staff was not very supportive of breastfeeding from the start (this is her first child and the staff convinced her that she needed to give him formula).  Anyway, she is been a real trooper, very dedicated to breastfeeding:  She took fenugreek & blessed thistle, then Reglan and has been pumping with a good pump (first a single pump, now on a double pump) round the clock all these weeks.  The milk increased a little with the Reglan, but as soon as she finished the prescription, it trickled back down to almost nothing.  She has asked her doctor who checked her thyroid.  Her thryroid was slightly low but  "nothing to worry about."  She is at a loss and ready to give up.  I know there must be a reason for this!  Any suggestions?


What a struggle.  Props to you and your daughter for working so hard at this.

 

Did anyone check for a bit of retained placenta? 
 


Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.

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#13 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I too am wondering about retained placenta.

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#14 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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Also, I know that abrupt weaning (of mom) from domperidone can result in a huge dip in supply - may be the same with reglan.

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#15 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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PCOS can also cause low supply issues. Does she have PCOS?


Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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#16 of 25 Old 11-30-2010, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've wondered about PCOS, too, although she hasn't been diagnosed with that.   Also, retained placenta has been a concern of mine, but her dr. insists that is not the case.  Thank you everyone for your suggestions. 

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#17 of 25 Old 12-01-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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At any rate, if it doesn't work out, would you consider supplementing with donated milk? You can use milk share or eats on feets to find a donor. There are so many women out there with extra milk, that would help out. Best wishes. What a wonderful mom to try so hard.


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#18 of 25 Old 12-01-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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Well done for sticking it out this long. Another potential reason - Insufficient glandular tissue? 


New Mom to little G May 16, 2010.
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#19 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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Bravo to your daughter for doing what she can this far.  Breastfeeding is not so easy for everyone.  I had an extremely difficult time, but in the end breastfed my daughter 10 months.  A strong support system is ESSENTIAL. Even those well-meaning women saying "breastfeeding is so easy and natural and the most beautiful thing in the world"  bothered me to the core as I bled and ached with each feeding.  Every situation is different.  The combination of my holding her wrong and her not latching on very well contributed to our challenges.  I began exclusively pumping, so that I can heal and in the end that worked for us.  I mostly pumped and latched her on at night and in the mornings (once I healed)


Here is what worked for me.  This helped me get through 10 months --

 

1)  Strong support system - I went to a breastfeeding support group weekly and worked with a LC

2)  The baby's latch will get better as her neck muscles strengthen

3)  Latch the baby on --- ALL THE TIME -- not only to feed but for stimulation - even at night.

4)  Pump after the the baby feeds for additional stimulation. Even for 10 or 15 minutes.

4)  Throw away feeding schedules and put the baby to the breast anytime he wants.

3)  Lots of cuddle time (skin-to-skin contact) will increase supply

3)  Relaxation, relaxation, relaxtion!  - When my supply would dip, I would settle comfortably on my couch, dim the lights, soft music and pump with the baby in the room). If I was stressed and tried to pump, I wouldn't pump much.

4)  If exclusively pumping - pump at night too, every 3 or 4 hours

4)  Lots and lots of liquids (water, vitamin water, chicken broth)

5)  Oatmeal - All the time!

6)  Eating well and healthy - lots of veggies and fruits.

 

Good luck!! It is possible.  Remind her that she is a fantastic Mommy no matter what!!!! 

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#20 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Hi!

What a rough situation for your daughter to be in.  This sounds incredibly frustrating.

I agree with what alot of the pp wrote- rest, bed, lost of round the clock nursing are essential for helping to bring in the milk.

Also, every drop of milk counts, so even if your daughter feeds one or two feedings a day and then has to supplement with formula, it is still a success.  How is the baby's diaper count?  Enough wet and poop diapers?

Also, for me, a good dark beer really helps my milk flow- especially in the evening.  Also, drinking chamomile tea helped me with my supply- but I don't know if the tea is recommended or not.

Good luck!

~maddymama

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#21 of 25 Old 12-08-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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I had no supply at 3 weeks and weaned.  It broke my heart!  SO.... at 4 months  I re lactated.  My dd never got just momma milk but she got a lot of it!  She can do it!  I got Domperidone and it really helpped my supply and I always fed with an SNS.  it was a pain at night but I don't regret it one bit!  I am sure that if I hadn't stopped I would have been able to nurse her with just my milk at some point in time.  every drop helps!  Please encourage her to continue!  She can do it and I bet she would be so happy when it finally works!

 

Big Momma

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#22 of 25 Old 12-09-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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It can be so hard to figure out the problem when it comes to breastfeeding. If only babies could just tell us and breasts were transparent. I just want to chime in with my own experience having never found out why I just never had enough milk. I supplemented first with donated milk, then formula until DS was 10 months. I always breastfed and fed on demand, and continued to breastfeed on demand until just very recently, since my son is 5 and 3/4 and is just about done.

 

I was at the absolute rock bottom when I couldn't breastfeed fully, but I found a way to accept my special breastfeeding relationship with my son and my dream of child-led weaning came true in the end.

 

I hope your daughter finds a way to fully breastfeed and let me tell you how wonderful it is that you are supportive. My mom wasn't.

 

Keeping my fingers crossed.

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#23 of 25 Old 12-14-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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This story is so similar to mine that I had to register just to reply to this. Someone I know sent me the link to this thread because it is so similar to what I've been through.

 

My baby is 3 months old tomorrow. I have been determined to get a full milk supply since day one. At first, I had no milk. Nothing, not even steam when I would pump. I was a basketcase. I nursed my first baby for 18 months with no problems whatsoever. With this birth, I lost a lot of blood. I've seen doctor after doctor after LC, and no one can find one determining factor that can explain my low milk supply. They can all blame the blood loss though.

 

I've been doing everything Peaches5 listed. I pump as much as I can, but when I was on maternity leave with a newborn and a two year old, some days I could only get one pumping in. But I DID nurse my baby every single time he was hungry. Then gave him a bottle. At first, I got nothing from the pump. Then I got drops. I got drops for weeks. Months actually. Now I can say I am actually getting whole ounces. I'm back at work now (since last week), and yesterday I pumped two times for 15 minutes each and brought home THREE OUNCES. It is such an accomplishment. I am so proud of those three ounces, I kept opening the fridge just to look at them. The day before, I brought home 2.5.

 

So what I'm saying is, don't give up. It can happen. It is so gradual, and such a slow buildup, that it won't be noticed day to day, even week to week. But basically, in three months, I went from nothing to 1-2 ounces in one feeding/pumping. Any amount of breastmilk you can give your baby is worth it.

 

I tried Reglan but it was not good for me. It made me sleep all day. I was able to get ahold of an off label drug called domperidone which I take every day. I'm not sure if the domperidone has helped me, or if my milk is just building on its own. Domperidone is a lot safer than Reglan and you can stay on it for a long time.

 

I've had a wonderful support system, complete with a group of donors who have supplied me with enough milk so that my baby has never needed to take formula. Breastmilk donation is a wonderful thing. I owe everything to the women who have been feeding my baby. It has kept me from giving up.

 

Just think: I nursed my first baby for 18 months. So if it takes 6 months for me to get a full supply to nurse this time, that's 12 months of nursing I wouldn't have had.

 

It can happen! It is happening for me, and I think it is sheer stubbornness from me that has made it happen! :)

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#24 of 25 Old 12-14-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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I need to add that one LC I saw told me my baby has a weak suck. I'm convinced that he never learned to suck hard because my milk didn't come in when it should have. As my milk comes in, I have noticed that he is learning to suck harder and harder from me. He sucks much harder now than he did a month ago. As the milk builds, the baby will learn. He was simply not getting rewarded for suckling before. Now that he is, he's learning to do it. The LC also told me not to use an SNS because he will get rewarded with milk from the SNS if he uses a weak suck. I hope this helps your daughter. Tell her it happened for me. One month vs. three months is nothing in the life of a mother and child. If it takes 6 months or even a year, that is still such a short time when compared to the rest of our lives.

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#25 of 25 Old 12-14-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I just skimmed the rest of the thread and have one more thing to add. I rented a hospital grade pump, a Medela Symphony.  Later, I was told by the lactation consultant that it was a good thing I did this. A regular pump will not build a supply. A hospital grade pump will. So if the baby has a weak suck, and the milk supply is low so the baby doesn't learn to suck, it is crucial to have a hospital grade pump taking place of the baby to do the work of getting the milk to come in.

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