Pretty Sure I Have Breast Hypoplasia, So Now What? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-06-2004, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello ladies. I'm new to the board and am looking for some opinions. I'm due with my 2nd baby in April.

I can't believe it took me this long to finally figure out what it's called. One of the LCs I saw when I was nursing Jack, my firstborn, called it something like "insufficient glandular development" and there are a few other terms but none will get you the hits on Google like hypoplasia. Last week I found a wealth of information on the subject and spent hours on the computer soaking it up.

I guess first maybe I should start off with an account of my breastfeeding experience with Jack:
http://www.crystalsboard.com/diary/s...dex.php?EID=40

I found some interesting pictures recently of what hypoplastic (or "tubular") breasts look like:
http://www.implantinfo.com/banda2/152pechter/index.html

Honestly, mine look a LOT like the ones on the left! It's pretty depressing. Not only have I always been small chested but they never quite looked right either.

Defining characteristics of breast hypoplasia are a space where they should join in the middle often 1 or 2 inches or more (I have about an inch of FLAT space between them and no real look of "cleavage" to speak of), a long "tuberous" shape (got it), one breast larger than the other (uh huh), no increase in size during pregnancy or when milk comes in (yep), difficulties with milk supply (yep).

I guess maybe there IS some hope for me. I did produce some milk for Jack.. hey even up to half an ounce with a pump, and this was nearly without any herbs or drugs to boost supply. I took Fenugreek but not for very long and I don't think I took enough cause they say you aren't taking enough until your sweat smells like maple syrup, mine didn't. Indeed, my boobs have increased some more with this pregnancy, I can see it (even though I'm still in the same miserable A cup). And I read this interesting tidbit from an interview on babycenter.com - it's a Q&A session with Kathleen Huggins, author of The Nursing Mother's Companion
Quote:
Widely spaced breasts that are more narrow than round and that do not grow in pregnancy are considered hypoplastic. With this, the milk onset is late! Up to one month for full production. But 40 percent of mothers with hypoplastic breasts do get full milk, while 60 percent make less than full production. So, Otto, you might want to pump after nursings with a fully automatic pump and take fenugreek and hang in there for at least one month.
See, I only nursed Jack for 2 weeks. Maybe if I'd have stuck with it longer? She says 40 percent (40 PERCENT!!) of moms with hypoplastic breasts get a full supply but it takes a long time. My breasts don't look quite as narrow and tubular as some of the pictures above so maybe I'm not such an extreme case and if I gave it more time...

OTOH do I REALLY want to invest money and time in herbs, drugs like Reglan or Dom (which is very expensive), renting a hospital grade pump for $45/mo, buying an SNS...?

The SNS. :\ I hated that thing. With a passion. Could I really stick with it for at least a month? I had a thought.. if I could stick with it, eventually I might not have to use it all the time as I could introduce a bottle and use that for supplementing instead. But still.......

The other thing is, I won't just have a newborn to take care of but a very active almost-3-year-old. It's not like I'll be able to spend all day nursing and pumping and cleaning the SNS, which is about what it would amount to.

I stumbled here and couldn't believe the wealth of information I found. It seems like a lot of you probably have hypoplasia. But, I haven't seen a single one of you talk about eventually getting a full supply and not needing to supplement with formula (where's the 40% Ms. Huggins talks about?). In fact, and I don't know how you do it, but most of you continue to use the SNS or bottles to supplement all the way until baby starts eating solids (at which point you supply, which is meager, seems to be enough). That is a long freakin time!!!!! Do I want to do that?

Do I want to do any of this?

The emotional rollercoaster and disappointment that followed our 2-week nursing relationship was hellacious. I don't know if I want to go through with that again. OTOH I keep thinking that whatever milk I can provide, no matter how small, is better than nothing. AND, my expectations are more realistic the 2nd time through because I know what I am up against whereas before I didn't expect any problems at all.

So, I need your thoughts, opinions, advice... this is so hard for me. What would YOU do in this situation? It really is a huge decision to go ahead with it, knowing what will be involved. I could be successful (!!!!) in many ways depending on how you define success, or I could just end up miserable and quit anyway. Right now I'm leaning toward trying it again, at least for a month, to see what would happen. I know that you usually have more milk with a 2nd baby no matter what, so there's that. I know that I could do a much better job of trying to boost my supply (my plan would be to eat oatmeal every day, drink my water of course, find a good tincture with some combination of any or all of the following: [fenugreek, goat's rue, blessed thistle...], possibly drink Mother's Milk tea, and possibly obtain some Reglan or Domperidone). I would use the SNS probably from the start, maybe not the first few days but I'd have it ready as soon as I was certain things weren't going well. And I would maybe rent a good hospital-grade pump. DAMN I think all of this would probably cost more than formula and that schtuff was expensive! Decisions, decisions........
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#2 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 12:07 AM
 
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HI,
I cant believe the luck of running in to your post today. I just posted a similar post a few hours ago. I understand completely what you are going through. I spent my whole pregnancy researching breastfeeding and how important it was. I was so ready and resolved to breastfeed and I was going to do it till my baby decided he didn’t want to anymore. I was so committed and so ready to stand up to anyone who said anything to me about it. I would constantly tell everyone how my baby was going to be a breastfeed baby. Then our baby was born and right away I put him up to my breast before they even cut the cord. (our baby was born at home) we spent the whole night with a crying screaming baby that seemed so mad when I tried to breastfeed him. But to save you from the play by play , my midwife recommended I see a lactation consultant who told me I had breast hyperplasia (type 3-still no clue what that means).
So I tried all the supplements and they helped a little but not much, I tried to pump to no success because pumps are not created for the shape of my breast. So now we are using an sns feeder and as much as I hate the thing I can say ill keep at it. I love the way my son looks up at me when he nurses. And the way I can calm him when he is up set.
Now don’t get me wrong I am still very depressed and angry about not being able to breastfeed. And very very confused, but he is going to be so small for such a short period of time I have to put those emotions aside and enjoy this time while I have it. I know its easier said than done, I have my days where all I can do is cry. But then something happens to upset my son and he franticly grabs at my shirt and settles down calmly to some non nutritive sucking and I cant help but feel thankfull.
So my advice to you is at least buy the short term sns for like $15 to have on hand incase you need it. And id like to think that at least in those first few months breastfeeding is about a lot more than just milk.

ps.. wow that came out a lot less bitter than i thought it would, humm maybe i am making progress
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#3 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 12:20 AM
 
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Ok - I'm trying to find info to help you. I did find a few threads and some articles but they're not as specific as you'd probably like. I will keep looking. I do know that you grow more glandular tissue with each pregnancy, so you may have more milk this time around - it may not be so nightmarish - I hope. I would like to thank you for posting this - in my researching your condition I found out a name for my missing pectoralis minor muscle - Polands syndrome - never heard of it until today. Thank you for sending me on this search!


http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ast+Hypoplasia

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ast+Hypoplasia

http://www.naturalhealthweb.com/arti...ilverman1.html

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...61#post2096061

http://www.breastfeeding.org/newsletter/v3i3/page3.html
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#4 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the links Becky, I had not seen a couple of those before.

Childishgoth, how old is your son now? How long do you think you will continue nursing and using the SNS? Thank you for sharing your story......
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#5 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 02:43 PM
 
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Hi-
I too have breast hypoplasia- which sucks because not only do I have small breasts (difficult as a teen and for bathing suits) but they didn't have enough glandular tissue for me to fully feed my baby (9 mos). I would recommend the above links, a Yahoo group called MOBI (mothers overcoming breastfeeding obstacles), a book called something like Breastfeeding After Reduction (people who have insufficient glandular tissue have similar problems to those who have had reduction surgery), and a book called Mother Food. Also, if you go to BabyCenter's (very mainstream) breastfeeding problems board, they will try to diagnose whether you actually do have breast hypoplasia.

ETA: Kathleen Huggins is their consultant on the BabyCenter board.

I'm breastfeeding and supplementing and hoping I'll have more glandular tissue for #2.
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#6 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 03:45 PM
 
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Hi, My son is two months almost 3 months now. I bought the lact aid system in hopes of using that instead but the bags are just to expensive for me. but i hope to continue to use one of them till my son decides he is done. I know it might be hard but what can i say he has me wrapped around his little finger. hehehe
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#7 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 03:56 PM
 
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I am a bfar mom. My daughter will be 2 in January. We had a really, really rough start. On top of the surgery complications, I also have very flat nipples, and the surgery caused some adhesions that gave me a bit of pumping grief the first little while. I really feel your pain and your discouragement.

I'm here to tell you, though, that it can be done!!! Even though we had a rough start, I was able to exclusively feed my daughter for most of her first year with the help of domperidone and drugs. I did supplement some at first, but with the pumping regimen, strictly breastfeeding on demand and help of drugs, we eventually got a full supply.

I actually think the domperidone is very affordable...I got mine from New Zealand, and it was about .10 a pill. (contact me via pm if you want to give any a try...I do have a surplus I won't be using)

I think the sites that were posted will be worth looking at, but I'd also look at the http://www.bfar.org site. I'd also get the book from your local LLL leader and go through, in particular, the appendix with the check list of things to have on hand. This will include a baby scale and a supplementer and perhaps a pump, among other things. Lots of WIC programs actually pay for some of these items to be rented, since it is essential to the baby's well being.

You know that you can produce milk....that is wonderful! Even if you don't produce a full supply for your new baby, you can breastfeed!! It won't be as easy as some moms have it, but you will value your breastfeeding relationship and experience all the more because of how much it meant to you to make it work. What a great opportunity to overcome a difficulty and prove all those nurses, ped's, etc wrong!

edited to add that most bfar moms I know who supplement prefer the Lactaid. It is easier to deal with and much less obvious.
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#8 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 04:03 PM
 
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althogh domperidone has worked for alot of people i would urge anyone who is going to take it to treat it like they would any other drug and read about it and study it to make sure its right for them. some good places i found where

http://www.bflrc.com/newman/breastfeeding/domperid.htm

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWER.../ANS01292.html

http://www.iacprx.org/Domperidone.html

but a basic google search will hgive you alot of info

Im not saying to use it or not use it but it never hurts to be informed
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#9 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 04:35 PM
 
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those are all great links, and when the talk paper came out, I was very concerned. My experience, fwiw for people thinking about herbs or domperidone, included lots of research. I decided it was still right for us. I think taking any drug is a risk. If reglan was my only choice, I would not have taken it. To me, it is too dangerous, even though the FDA thinks that is a better option. :

I also know that breastfeeding was the best thing I did for my daughter her first year. We still breastfeed a few times a day, but not exclusively. When that weaning started, she began to develop tons of infections and colds. I truly believe our exclusive nursing kept her healthy for the first year and hopefully preventing many of the allergies and asthma I dealt with as a child. To me, the benefits outweighed the risks. Even if I could only contribute a small part to her development and immunity, it was worth all the effort and cost.

I really don't want to change the tone of this thread away from the original post, though. There is a mom who has a genuine concern. I was just sharing my experience a bit, and hope that she can see that whatever nursing relationship she develops with her new child can be positive and successful. If she decides not to use any herbs or other galactagogues, with the help of supplementation, she can still breastfeed.

I think anyone who has had to use a supplementer knows the love/hate relationship you develop with it. But when you think of what nursing can do for your child and your relationship with that child, it can truly be a blessing to have one around. (I got my SNS free from the hospital LC when Emma was born, btw). It's definitely an emotional roller coaster, but better than regret the rest of your life wondering "I wonder if..."
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#10 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 09:23 PM
 
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hi dscokween if i seemed negative in any way im so sorry i did not mean to appear or sound that way. thank you for sharing your story and advice it helps me to. i just felt i should share some of the stuff i found. sorry again to everyone if i sounded negative or seemed like i was changin the tone of the posts.
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#11 of 14 Old 12-07-2004, 10:25 PM
 
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oh I didn't think you were negative at all...I thought you posted some very reasonable research that showed many perspectives Sorry if I came across as sensitive about it
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#12 of 14 Old 12-09-2004, 07:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosy
Hi-
I too have breast hypoplasia- which sucks because not only do I have small breasts (difficult as a teen and for bathing suits) but they didn't have enough glandular tissue for me to fully feed my baby (9 mos). I would recommend the above links, a Yahoo group called MOBI (mothers overcoming breastfeeding obstacles), a book called something like Breastfeeding After Reduction (people who have insufficient glandular tissue have similar problems to those who have had reduction surgery), and a book called Mother Food. Also, if you go to BabyCenter's (very mainstream) breastfeeding problems board, they will try to diagnose whether you actually do have breast hypoplasia.

ETA: Kathleen Huggins is their consultant on the BabyCenter board.

I'm breastfeeding and supplementing and hoping I'll have more glandular tissue for #2.
Hey Nosy- Good recommendations I am on MOBI too and think they are fab and am still desperately waiting my Mother Food book, hoping it will have lots of good recommendations to increase my tissue and milk for the future-child #2.

I've started a yahoo group specifically for IGT mamas

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EveryD...guid=207955516

Keep on flowing everyone!
Jenn
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#13 of 14 Old 12-10-2004, 11:03 PM
 
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Yes, a supplementer is a pain but for us it made bf an adopted baby possible. With the help of a Lact-Aid, I was able to fully bf and also managed to induce a 1/2 milk supply. For me it was well worth the 2 years we spent with this little crutch. We then went on to solo bf for almost another year. You can adapt the top to use with a small bottle instead of the bags or adapt regular bags to fit the top...
Dana West's book, Defining Your Own Success, has many helpful thoughts and hints for those with a low milk supply.
Since only a few ounces daily provide all the needed immunities that are not found in any formula, it seems well worth the effort to provide whatever you can.
Insurance often pays for at least the initial supplies and may even continue to do so since yours in a medical condition...
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#14 of 14 Old 12-11-2004, 12:36 AM
 
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I really believe that I have this problem too. My breasts do not change much during pregnancy. My supply with my dd was never up to par and we had to start supplementing at 5 months, and she weaned at 8.5 months due to no milk. I'm really hoping this time that I can maintain an adequate supply.

student/sahm to three awesome girls who are always on the go!
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