Eeks, I'm dried up... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-04-2003, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it's been coming. DS has been nursing less and less because of teething and a cold and now I'm pumping my second pump of the day and am getting nothing! Last night he nursed and it sounded like he got some but that was the only feeding I could get him to take the whole day.
I don't know what to do. I guess I should go to the health food store and try the fenugreek stuff. I'm at a loss.
I have to be honest and say that I hadn't tried pumping first, letting the milk come down and then trying to feed DS because that pump is so hard to get out. There are so many parts, it's such a pain to clean. So, it's all my fault.
Part of me is so tired of the friggin' supply fight. Not to mention the never-ending battle with thrush. First it was in his mouth, now it's in the form of a diaper rash. DS is almost 8 months old (which is 2 months longer than my original goal) and I'm feeling very fed up with the whole thing. I guess I'm asking for support and ideas on how to fix what I've done.
I work full-time (please don't bash me, I have no choice) so DS gets bottles during the day. He can't drink out of a sippy cup, he has never figured that thing out and I'm not prepared to starve him all day just so he can breastfeed at night.
I'm in tears writing this post because I'm so tired and fed up, but I know that bf'ing is so important.
HELP!
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#2 of 12 Old 04-05-2003, 01:57 AM
 
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I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time.

First of all, about the thrush--have you got it too? If you are not bothered and baby is not bothered, you don't need to do anything about it. Yeast is with us all the time, and generally it is only when it gets out of control, that you need to treat it. If it is just diaper rash, what has always worked for my kids was to put a layer of Lotrimin ( or Gyne-Lotrimin, or store brand) on their bottom, followed by a layer of zinc oxide to seal it in. Also, if you fill a spray bottle with 1 cup water with one tablespoon of white vinegar and then spray this on their butt after cleaning, this seems to help a lot too. One of my daughters had a rash that just kept clearing up and coming back, and I found that putting her in a disposable diaper (I usually use cloth) at night for a while helped her get rid of it for good.

You say you are two months past your goal, but because you are so upset, has your goal changed? Pat yourself on the back for how far you have come already. Try and really think carefully about what you want to do and try and make peace with whatever decision you come to. Weaning doesn't have to be all or nothing, remember.

Check www.lalechleague.org for info on increasing your milk. Do you have La Leche League meetings in your area? Other working/nursing moms might be found at evening meetings, and some real live support might really help. Call the Leaders in your area and ask if they have members who work full-time and nurse.

It is hard work being a mommy and I have found it to be full of compromise, guilt, regrets, and a ton of joy. You can only do what you feel is best at the time for the circumstances you find yourself in.

Jeanne
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#3 of 12 Old 04-05-2003, 03:17 AM
 
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I can relate to supply issue. I have always had a low milk supply and have had to take domperidone & fenugreek just to keep up. I wouldn't judge your supply by how much you're pumping though. Some women just don't pump well- and no pump is going to work as well as a baby's suck. Why don't you put the pump away for the night, take a warm bath, breathe deeply and relax-maybe have a cup or two of Mother's Milk tea. Try to take the day off if you can (from work,housework,errands). Get into some cozy jammies, grab a big bottle of water and rest and try to revive yourself. Basically, have a nurse-in. Just rest and nurse your baby. Be kind to yourself-sometimes all the stress of pumping can cause your supply to go down from all the worry and exhaustion.

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#4 of 12 Old 04-05-2003, 03:39 AM
 
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You need a pat on the back and a big cyber hug for having made it two months past your goal. That is great. Have you been getting enough sleep lately. Are you under more stress than usual? Maybe you are also coming down with a cold and need more rest? The funugreek, extra water, Mother's Milk tea and lots of relax time are all good suggestions. There are a number of things that help with supply. Punch in supply in the search engine (top left corner of screen) and see what other ideas have worked for some.

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#5 of 12 Old 04-05-2003, 02:50 PM
 
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I had supply issues for both kids. My daughter weaned at 6 months and never looked back. I needed therapy to get over the guilt and disappointment.

I had the same supply issues with my son. I was working also. We were better at nursing, but by 12 months he was only nursing twice a day. Again I felt like a failure and thought I should just quit. But I stopped feeling like every feeding had to be a complete meal. I started saving nursing for first thing in the morning and last thing before bed instead. At some point we dropped the morning nursing, but he still nursed for 16 months total.

If it's only one feeding, one sip, one drop - its ok! Most anyone else with your schedule, your body, and your circumstances would have probably stopped long ago. Your ds will KNOW that you are doing the best you can for him.
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#6 of 12 Old 04-07-2003, 01:03 AM
 
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Marcy, ! No one here is going to bash you for working outside the home! You're a great mama.

Try fenugreek and blessed thistle, 3 capsules each 3 times a day. If you can't find blessed thistle at your health food store, you can get it at http://www.breastfeed-essentials.com/herbs.html.

Also remember to drink a lot of water. Then drink some more!

Eating oatmeal for breakfast is something a lot of mamas swear by.

For the yeast/thrush, here's a great page of ways to combat it:

http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/yeast.shtml

Hang in there, you can do this!

Come visit the NEW QuirkyBaby website -- earn QB Bucks rewards points for purchases, reviews, referrals, and more! Free US shipping on great brands of baby slings and carriers and FREE BabyLegs or babywearing mirror on orders of $100+. Take the QB Quiz for personalized advice!

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#7 of 12 Old 04-07-2003, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I've pinpointed the supply problem. DS just won't nurse anymore. He sucks one or two sucks and then turns his head. I'll squirt milk into his mouth, he'll suck once and then turn away again. By the time I get the pump out, set it up, get a flow going, he refuses to take the breast at all. He's moved on to other things.
He won't even nurse at night anymore. We have had colds this week, but this weekend we're all feeling better. I'd make sure his nose was suctioned out before the feedings, but it didn't seem to help. I didn't want to traumatize him by forcing a boob in his mouth, so I began to give up. I pumped a few times to try to maintain a supply and have started taking fenugreek too. Is this just a long nursing strike due to his cold and on-going teething? Is he self-weaning at about 8 months old?
My original goal was 6 months, but after having him I realized the longer I could nurse the better. I really don't want to start having to deal with ear infections and illnesses. I plan to keep pumping at work and as much as I can at home so that he can at least get a little ebm each day. I don't really feel great about our nursing relationship coming to this
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#8 of 12 Old 04-07-2003, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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First, thanks to everyone for your support and kind replies.
Well, I've pinpointed the supply problem. DS just won't nurse anymore. He sucks one or two sucks and then turns his head. I'll squirt milk into his mouth, he'll suck once and then turn away again. By the time I get the pump out, set it up, get a flow going, he refuses to take the breast at all. He's moved on to other things.
He won't even nurse at night anymore. We have had colds this week, but this weekend we're all feeling better. I'd make sure his nose was suctioned out before the feedings, but it didn't seem to help. I didn't want to traumatize him by forcing a boob in his mouth, with him squirming and crying (), so I began to give up. I pumped a few times to try to maintain a supply and have started taking fenugreek too. Is this just a long nursing strike due to his cold and on-going teething? Is he self-weaning at about 8 months old?
My original goal was 6 months, but after having him I realized the longer I could nurse the better. I really don't want to start having to deal with ear infections and illnesses. I plan to keep pumping at work and as much as I can at home so that he can at least get a little ebm each day. I don't really feel great about our nursing relationship coming to this. I also dread a long, emotional weaning when he's older and the breastfeeding becomes more of comfort than a nutritional thing. So, I don't know if this is a blessing or what.
There is a LLL meeting on Tue. nights in my town. I've never been before, but perhaps now I should quit being shy and just go. Should I call before I go to see what the meeting topic will be (aren't there certain nights specifically for older babies nursing problems?)
Argh, thanks for listening and thanks for the hugs...
Marcy
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#9 of 12 Old 04-07-2003, 11:05 AM
 
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Marcy--

. I know how hard this is for you. Did you try the idea over the weekend to just lie in bed, naked and offer the breast as part of the activity/ play? Do you ever bathe together? Do you wear him around top off, him in just a diaper, in a sling? Do you massage him? Glad you got some fenugreek.

It wouldn't really be self-weaning at this age, tho some will call it that. When there are artificial nipples involved, early weaning can happen, but natural self weaning doens't happen before 12-15 mos, at the earliest.

YOu can think of it as a nursing strike. all the ideas we have been offering are nursing strike ideas.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/strike.html

Babies are at their most distractable at the age yr son is. When he gets a bit older, he may take to it again, as part of his love affair with you, so good idea to keep your supply up! Just keep your boobs in his face, but don't force.

Yes, try the LLL mtg! There should be Leaders and some moms there well familiar with what you are going thru, and you will get moral support as well as lots of ideas similar to what you read here. Don't worry about calling first to find out mtg topic. They will always address anyone's issues at every mtg, no matter the official topic. Usually it averages out to half the time spent on moms' specific q's, half on the topic.

the topics are:

The benefits of bfing
The early weeks (birthing, getting started, dads, siblings)
Avoiding and overcoming difficulties
Starting solids and weaning
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#10 of 12 Old 04-07-2003, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DaryLLL, I didn't try the naked in the bed thing for a few reasons. First, I wasn't sure how I'd keep DS in bed all day, he's just got to keep going or he gets real upset. I'm not skilled enough in my Maya pouch wearing to be able to position him to feed while in it, I'll have to keep practicing.
I just hope that if the experimenting doesn't work, that he'll come back to it on his own.
Thanks for the help!
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#11 of 12 Old 04-07-2003, 11:45 AM
 
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Well, we weren't meaning force him to stay in bed. We meant, be comfy, be topless, just make yourself available, when home. If he likes to be on the go, out and about, fine, that is normal. But when home, stay available.

At his age, he is old enough for the hip carry in the sling, right? Just wear him that way, and the boob will be right there, should he want it.

One more idea, do you let him hold his bottle, get down off your lap and carry it around? Try not to do this. Make sure all his feeds are in your lap. Is he having a pacifier? Try to stop this use.

And you are co-sleeping, right? Drinking lots?

Bring your sling to the LLL mtg and they can give you a lesson in carrying and nursing positions.
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#12 of 12 Old 04-07-2003, 01:34 PM
 
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As far as nursing in the pouch, I don't have advice. If you have a Maya Wrap sling, though, you could try placing his head on the ring side. I have to use the gathers of the sling as a pocket for his head if I want to nurse standing and relatively hands free.

I've cooked dinner like that. But I have to move slower than usual. I like my nipple attached.

Most of all Marcy, please don't say "It's all my fault." There's no fault here. You've done a great job so far. I suspect you want to continue nursing and I think other posters here feel that way, too. That's where our advice comes from, kwim? Good luck, mama.
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