Mourning loss of Milk - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My milk is gone.

I'm sleeping with her, carrying her with me all day long, drinking tons of water and milk and juice, my diet is better than it's ever been, and I'm pumping every two to three hours, around the clock. After all of that, my milk has still dried up. I just pumped and got only a few drops from each breast.

This is one of the main things I was looking forward to in having a baby - getting to breastfeed - and now it looks like I'm not going to get to do that either.

So, I lost out on my ideal birth situation, I had my baby taken from me immediately, we were separated from each other for a month while she was in the hospital, and now I can't feed her.

Feelin pretty darn low now.

Any mamas have advice on how to accept that you have to feed your baby formula? I know it's not the end of the world, but after everything else that has gone wrong, it feels like I've completely failed her.

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#2 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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Oh Sarah, I'm so sorry. Have you posted on the Breastfeeding board for surggestions? Or maybe read through the low supply tribe and see if they have suggestions? I know a lot of mamas have ideas on how to increase supply, or bring supply back up, have even read about woen relactating after several months....keep the faith and see what you can find out from the other wise mamas here!! :

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#3 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 04:52 PM
 
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Oh, I'm so sorry. That must be terribly hard. Allow yourself time to feel sad about it -- it's perfectly normal. I would suggest the same as donosmommy -- post on the breastfeeding forums. And I have heard about mamas relactating, that might be a possibility too.

Kellymom.com is an awesome resource.

Hugs, mama. As far as suggestions for feeding formula -- the only thing I know is that keeping it as close to breastfeeding as possible is desireable... like feeding on demand, feeding skin to skin, etc. Dr. Sears' book The Baby Book has a great section on feeding formula.

Mama to 3 kids. We live in a yurt!
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#4 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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I'm assuming from your post that you have not yet bf'ed, but have been pumping? If so, it is common for milk supply to drop drastically or even stop.

But, it is not a permenant problem... relactation is relatively easy within the first couple months.

First, continue to pump, even if you get nothing. And put that babe on the breast as soon as possible.

Second, do the boosting thing: lots of water, oatmeal, fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettles, mother's milk tea... if you are really concerned, get online and find some goat's rue (hard to find, but THE best milk making herb).

Thirdly, maintain a positive attitude. Keep telling yourself that you are woman and made to bf, etc. Attitude and mindset effect your hormones, which can help or inhibit milk production. Concentrate on your love of the baby, not your so-called "failure" (cause it isn't a failure; it's a circumstance).

Look up relactation online and double check w/ the bf board here (it's where I've gotten most of my info).

HTH and GL

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I'm a head-covering witchy mama to DS ('06) and DD ('10) with DH, Stormie, a Heathen breadwinning daddy.
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#5 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much, mamas. The LLL leader near me thinks that the main problem is inhibited letdown, and not an actual loss of milk. I am putting DD to breast before every feeding, so she's learning what it's for, and then I give her a bottle while holding her against my chest. I'll also look in to getting a supplemental nursing system to help.

And I will keep pumping, even if I get nothing. Hopefully soon, I can "relax" and all will be fine.

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#6 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 06:34 PM
 
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Sarah, I'm sorry you didn't get the birth, babymoon and breastfeeding esperience you were dreaming of I truly hope that something helps.

Mamato Ruby Violet joy.gif(6 with autism) and someone 1sttri.gif who should make him/herself known sometime in the next month.

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#7 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 07:48 PM
 
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Make sure you post on the breastfeeding forums here. Don't give up yet. I have always had a good supply, but ask me to pump an oz and I couldn't. I would look into the sns! Good luck mama!
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#8 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 08:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sehbub
My milk is gone.

I'm sleeping with her, carrying her with me all day long, drinking tons of water and milk and juice, my diet is better than it's ever been, and I'm pumping every two to three hours, around the clock. After all of that, my milk has still dried up. I just pumped and got only a few drops from each breast.

This is one of the main things I was looking forward to in having a baby - getting to breastfeed - and now it looks like I'm not going to get to do that either.

So, I lost out on my ideal birth situation, I had my baby taken from me immediately, we were separated from each other for a month while she was in the hospital, and now I can't feed her.

Feelin pretty darn low now.

Any mamas have advice on how to accept that you have to feed your baby formula? I know it's not the end of the world, but after everything else that has gone wrong, it feels like I've completely failed her.
Its hard to pump exclusively- trust me I know! After about 3 weeks of getting 20 oz daily, my milk production slowly decreased to getting one oz every session. I was warned but my LLL friend. I switched to a hospital grade pump and that helped. Thankfully my production is back on full force now that Maggie is home but like said keep pumping every two hours. Once you get her home, it should improve within days.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#9 of 24 Old 05-26-2006, 08:21 PM
 
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yes, if you can do the supplemental feeding system (the tube on your boob!) - I'd do that every time I could over a bottle. And dittos to what everyone else suggested...

Keep trying and like wolfcat said, you are not a failure. This is simply the circumstance. Even if you try everything and it doesn't work, that doesn't mean you failed her. Failure would mean you never tried...

WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014

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#10 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Amy, she is home. She's been home since last Wednesday, and that is when my supply really started to dwindle. Lousy timing on my body's part!!

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#11 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 10:18 AM
 
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I don't have any real helpful advice to give you but I just want to send you some empathy. I can't imagine how painful this must be for you. I am just taking a moment to focus on some healing energy for you and your family. Just keep your love flowing strong!

Syrinx, Soulmate to Pan, Mama to Zion (5), River (3), Silver (1) and expecting a baby Storm...
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#12 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 10:27 AM
 
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Besides all the nutritional/herbal remedies there is a med out there called Domperidone that can help out lots with supply. Get a supplemental feeder if those interest you at all, then you could feed her pumped milk/formula while also teaching her to breastfeed. I wish I would have done this with my early baby (my first) as I think it would have helped lots. Keep in touch with your local LLL leader and group because if one suggestion doesn't work, they might have another one for you. Keep going, you can do this!!!!! Exclusive pumping is extremely hard and it is very, very hard to keep a milk supply up when doing it and you have done great! GIve yourself a big pat on the back and continue to do what you can! Even 1 drop of breastmilk is better than none at all!!!!

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#13 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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Sarah I don't know if you saw my post on the pump thread but I totally agree with Wolfcat and Amy. DON'T stop, this can just be another little bump (I know it doesn't seem like it right now).

Try to relax as much as you can when you try to pump. Are you using any kind of warming pads to help ease letdown? That always made a HUGE difference in how much I was able to pump out. I just got a new set from Earth Mama Angel Baby. They are called "Booby Tubes".

http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/booby_tubes.html

Also if you can get your hands on a SNS! Your LLL leader should be able to get one or tell you where to get one quickly.

http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/speci...ml#startersSNS

It will help Samantha to encourage a stronger suck because she will be sucking on you and not a bottle nipple. It will help to have her actually stimulating the nipple and encourage your body to letdown.

It is not totally uncommon for a woman to have a milk supply but not be able to really pump it out.

Don't give up yet.
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#14 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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Oh yeah, forgot she was home- loss of sleep here duhhh.

But the milk feeder can be a huge assett. Also Mother milk tea, brewers yeast- both which I am using right now. Hang in there- your boobs may be having a milk strike but with hanging in there, it should come back.

Also- like leighann said- you're not a failure, that would be if you never tried and this has been an uphill battle since day 1.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#15 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 11:15 AM
 
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Not in your DDC but wanted to reply.

I am sorry about the loss of your dream birth and yuor problems with supply. I am a big fan of homeopathy and wanted to give you a link to this lady. She's in Australia, but she is a certified LC + homeopath and she specializes on homeopathy in lactation. Please read over her website and try contacting her!! She even wrotre a book on this subject.
I had problems with my supply and homeopathy really helped me!

http://www.patriciahatherly.com/

Good luck, hope everything will get better for you.
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#16 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 11:17 AM
 
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It's not too late!!!!
You can take a drop of fennel oil and put it on your chest. That will increase your supply. I've heard of ppl becoming engorged after a "dry up". Also takeBlessed Thistle, up to 12/day. My milk increase dramatically with blessed thistle when my son was 8 months old. I was asked to donate for a friend's premie. I was feeding him and pumping 16 oz a day. You could try fenugreek tea also, but sometimes baby has a hard time with digestion from that.
Good luck, and do get the tube thing. It works.
Hang in there.
I do have a recipe for homemade formula also if you are interested.
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#17 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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Sarah, I'm just replying to give you a BIG (((((hug)))). Others have given excellent suggestions, and my advice is you take theirs, lol. Also, I want you to know that you are such a sweet and giving Mom to be so concerned and worried about this. So many (it's so sad) wouldn't give a rat's arse if faced with the situation you are in. I am sending you the best of luck and positive thoughts on increasing your milk supply.
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#18 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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Sarah, I can't remember... Have you tried the nipple shield for bf'ing DD? If you could get her on the breast, even if it's an artificial nipple, that would likely help a TON. You can get a nipple shield at BRU. They make it much easier for a preemie to latch on and get milk out of the breast when their mouths are so tiny.

When I brought Joshua home, my ability to pump went WAY DOWN. I couldn't pump much of anything after a while, even though I'd been pumping exclusively for 4 weeks while he was in the NICU. But with the nipple shield, I was able to have him at the breast for his feedings instead of getting a bottle, and that kept my actual supply up, even though I couldn't pump a thing. So I think the key right now is to get DD on the breast anyway you can - nipple shield, SNS, anything that will work for you! It's not too late to get that supply up, and if it's just that your body isn't letting down, it may be a psychological thing with the pump - I think that's why I couldn't pump much anymore either. Baby had no problem getting tons of milk out, but that pump... I'd been using it for so long and I just HATED it. It hurt like crazy, and the "girls" just stopped responding to it!


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#19 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 10:05 PM
 
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Well I'm just seeing this now and it looks like you've already been given lots of great advice, so I hope you stick with it and something someone suggested will help!! I'm glad you're in touch with your local LLL Leader, too. Just wanted to give you some and encouragement - sorry you're having such a rough time right now but I hope things improve soon and your supply rebounds quickly!!

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#20 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 10:42 PM
 
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I just got over the same situation. After having Marlow in the NICU for 3 weeks I lost my milk. I had mastitis, then thrush (I'm still getting over that one), and I was exclusively pumping. It really upset me.

I've been taking fenugreek and continued to pump (although very painfully) every three hours. My milk has finally come back to 120cc a pumping (it was down to 20-30cc). My nipples still hurt a lot but I believe that the thrush has a lot to do with that because the side that has it worse hurts the worst.

Keep trying to pump if you can. I didn't think I was going to get the milk back but it really seems to have worked.
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#21 of 24 Old 05-27-2006, 10:42 PM
 
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I just got over the same situation. After having Marlow in the NICU for 3 weeks I lost my milk. I had mastitis, then thrush (I'm still getting over that one), and I was exclusively pumping. It really upset me.

I've been taking fenugreek and continued to pump (although very painfully) every three hours. My milk has finally come back to 120cc a pumping (it was down to 20-30cc). My nipples still hurt a lot but I believe that the thrush has a lot to do with that because the side that has it worse hurts the worst.

Keep trying to pump if you can. I didn't think I was going to get the milk back but it really seems to have worked.
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#22 of 24 Old 05-28-2006, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much, mamas. My supply is back up (laugh) to around 40cc every time I pump. My parents suprised me by renting me a Lactina pump, so I've been using that since yesterday evening, and just since then, my supply has doubled. We're trying to stay ahead of the curve so that we don't have to give Sam formula again. She drinks as much formula as she does milk, but she's hungry again an hour and a half later, instead of three hours later like with my milk. That's tough to deal with in the middle of the night, as I'm sure some of you know!!

We're still going to breast at every feeding, and when she gets frustrated, we stop so that she doesn't associate frustration with breastfeeding.

On the plus side, I did find organic sunscreen for her today. I didn't want to put anything with tons of chemicals on her, but need to slather her with something!!

I'll talk to my LLL leader on Thursday about the SNS. Hopefully we can get one soon.

Thank you again, mamas.

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#23 of 24 Old 05-29-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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I posted to your other thread but realize your supply is back. What great parents you have. Remember, although breastfeeding is supposed to be natural, I don't think anyone will tell you that it's easy. Hang in there.
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#24 of 24 Old 05-29-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdabbler
I posted to your other thread but realize your supply is back. What great parents you have. Remember, although breastfeeding is supposed to be natural, I don't think anyone will tell you that it's easy. Hang in there.

It WAS easy w DD1 this has not been easy but not as hard since I know what I am doing but this supplementing bs does bring the supply down.

At first I pumped 20 oz daily. now I can get 5 if lucky. With MAggie at the breast now, when I do pump its thicker and comes quicker.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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