@germin8 - That's a really interesting article. It makes me think about how many different reasons for the IGT label there are, and think again about how not enough is being done to figure out root causes of lactation insufficiency resulting from issues women experience at different stages, whether they be a primary glandular issue (i.e. something one is born with, which may be environmentally related), an issue with development during puberty (PCOS, etc), or something that goes wrong during or after pregnancy (inadequate progesterone, thyroid issues, etc.) I also think that pollutants and environmental issues might play a role in more than one of these stages.
It seems like the IGT label gets put on all of us, and obviously can sometimes can be reversed for future babies, if the magical storm of perfect hormones/circumstances falls into place. It doesn't have to be a 'be all end all' of breastfeeding failure in many cases. If only we could all figure out that magical formula is, I think a lot more of us could have successful breastfeeding experiences!
Here is another good article: http://www.endotext.org/pregnancy/pregnancy5/pregnancy5_2.htm
Interesting! A quote from this article stood out for me: There are also some patients who present with minimal breast development in the absence of either a clear congenital defect or a defined defect in sexual maturation. These women can often successfully lactate, so it may be that this represents a problem in the stromal rather than the epithelial compartment of the breast. It has been suggested that these patients may suffer from an insensitivity of the breast tissue to normal levels of circulating hormones 79
I've been wondering about those of us who have normal "appearing" breasts and no outwardly obvious signs of IGT. In the "Making More Milk" book, as well as an article I read on the LLL site, there was reference to breasts that do not respond normally to the hormones of pregnancy, even though they may appear normal structurally. I suppose this has something to do with hormone receptors? Why would this be, and what can be done to fix it? How might we "activate" these receptors? I feel like there are pieces missing in this puzzle, which maybe could be found if more effort was made on the part of researchers?
I can't remember if I posted this here before or not, but I really like this blog article written by a doctor frustrated, like I am, with the lack of clear explanations out there.
I'll check out your link next... thanks.
I'm a 2nd time mama! Had low supply issues last time and am going to start taking alfalfa DURING pregnancy and goat's rue in the last month to see if I can get a jump start this time. I suspect IGT although I have never been formally diagnosed. I don't know what else it could be seeing that I worked with 2 lactation consultants and tried EVERYTHING (dom, MANY herbs/teas, pumping, supplementing at the breast, etc) last time. I was able to nurse for 6 months, after which I totally dried up, but never exclusively. Also going to look into placenta encapsulation this time around. I have read that can also help with milk production. I am having a hard time finding alfalfa dosing (in mg) for glandular tissue growth. All sources seem to list it in # of caps, but capsule strengths vary by manufacturer. Would appreciate if someone could post the actual recommended dose in mg. Thanks!
I'm vacillating between the 'woe-is-me with my malfunctioning body' and indignation that these issues aren't considered medically important for study or treatment.
I have domperidone and More Milk Special Blend waiting for the moment baby and I are both healthy on his/her birthday. I'm trying to be optimistic; I haven't tried either of these options with my previous drastically low supply issues. It would just be so easy to give up at this point, though!
I wanted to respond to your post- I can totally relate to what you're going through. I had a similar experience with both my daughters - the first time I was blindsided while my baby kept losing weight. The second time I thought I was prepared, in the sense that I had a hospital grade pump, Lact-aid, etc., lined up, yet was still emotionally devastated to be dealing with low supply again. I'm still breastfeeding my 18 month old daughter now, but the early weeks and months were a struggle to say the least.
Anyway, I wanted to offer you encouragement because MANY low supply first time mamas have full supply with their next babies. I personally think it is a matter of getting your hormones in order. In my case, I think it is low progesterone and possibly adrenal fatigue causing my issues. I also suffer from hyperemesis in early pregnancy, which can be linked to off kilter hormones. Unfortunately for moms in our situation, professionals don't always know how to approach things. I would recommend searching out a good homeopath/naturopath who can give you a good idea about your overall health and hormonal situation. A good LC might help as well. I recently joined the MOBI group on yahoogroups and found many other dedicated mothers who are trying to get to the bottom of the unfortunately under-researched and under-funded issue of low milk supply. So many of these women have great advice and tips to share and may be able to help guide you in the right direction as you prepare for your next baby! What I've learned in my 5 years of searching for the root of my own problems is that there are many reasons for low milk supply problems - PCOS, thyroid issues, other types of hormonal imbalances, etc. The trick is getting to the root of your own complex puzzle and fixing it so that next time you can have a more successful experience! Don't ever lose hope!
There are so many things one can try now...
alfalfa tea, natural progesterone cream throughout pregnancy. Goats Rue & Moringa just weeks before due date...
I just had my second child and still have low milk supply which is quite common for IGT mamas.
I'd write more, but I don't have the time/hands to be on here often... (baby in arms & toddler too). Do check the docs in the IGT FB page.
Also does anyone know if goats rue has any effect before conceiving?
Thanks to everyone who's been posting on this thread! I'm new here and have read/skimmed through all the pages over the past few days - very helpful stuff. It's nice to be in a place where everyone can share their stories and support each other. It seems like all my real life friends who BF had oversupply and I'm so jealous!
I have a 2 month old and low supply and found out a few weeks ago that I might have IGT when I finally made an appointment with an LC. I had always assumed I would have a natural childbirth and breastfeed exclusively, but ended up with an unplanned c-section and all kinds of BFing problems. At first it was incredibly difficult to deal with and it made me cry to see my son taking formula from a bottle. The good news is that my LO is usually perfectly happy to BF even when he's not getting much and I think he's starting to get more . I was taking fenugreek and more milk plus since shortly after ds was born, but the LC recommended switching to the special blend (which I did a little over a week ago). She said I could probably stop taking the fenugreek but I was paranoid that my supply would get even worse so I haven't. She also recommended domperidone, which I've been taking for a week so far. DS has gone from approx 16 oz of supplement per day to 12 oz over the weekend and 8 oz yesterday! We have been doing the supplementing on demand by slow-paced bottle feeding after BFing. I'm a little nervous about cutting his supplement too much so I am trying to keep a close eye on his diaper ouput and his temperament in general. Any advice on regulating the amount of supplementation?
I'm so glad this has been recently bumped! I just had my 2nd and i beleive my low supply (most has been an ounce per pumping) may be due to IGT. I'm thinking about ordering goat's rue- been taking tea with 300 mg in it 2x per day for about 4 days. I don't pump everyday so i don't have a baseline to compare to, but i do beleive i pumped a bit more yesterday. Can any of you moms out there share your experiences with whether or not goat's rue worked for you? also started shatavari that same day. so we'll see. I have a whole slew of supplements that i've been taking and i don't know if i stopped them all if it would make a difference or not! lol. I've been taking:
Oh yea and also Fennel, weleda's blackthornberry elixir (a tip i've got off of a UK breastfeeding site- which ironically is the only place you can find to buy it) and a product called boob food, which has an extraction of torbangun (mallungay, indian borage or spanish thyme, whatever you want to call it, also impossible to find) and fenugreek in it as well. I have a medela pump in style pump, and i use the biggest flanges as my aereola's are practically the size of hockey pucks lol. Ten years ago i had my first daughter and this same thing seemed to happen...at that time i tried to relactate after months of trying and giving up and they perscribed me reglan and it didn't seem to help the drops i got after relactation. I'm also wondering if i couldn't have an underlying hormonal problem, because for as long as i've known me i have had some issues that might be caused by that- hair under the neck that i have to tweeze once a week and dark hairs on the belly that i tweeze, quick to anger, and prone to depression pretty easily, although i've attained some management skills of that over the years and seem to be better about it. I was just interested in finding out if the goat's rue is worth the money. That or i might try ordering some domperidone. Not sure i really want the excess weight gain though. Also if the method by which domperidone works is suppression of dopamine- couldn't the same result be attained from moderate daily exercise?
About domperidone and weight gain - not everyone has that side effect. I've been taking dom for at least a month now and even though I'm hungry a lot and feel like I'm eating a lot, I'm barely maintaining my pre-pregnancy weight. Also, I have a feeling that I read somewhere that you shouldn't take dom and shatavari at the same time, but I'm not sure - would definitely recommend looking into it to make sure though if you do try the dom. Dom and/or goats rue (started them at roughly the same time so I don't know which or if it's both) has definitely made a difference for me - before taking it I had an LC do a pre- and post-feeding weighing and LO got just 2/3 ounce, but after being on it usually he gets close to 2 oz when I do the pre- and post-feed weighing (I go to a BF support group every week or so and they have a scale we can use). My breasts also got fuller and heavier (it wasn't just me imagining it - my husband noticed too. lol.)
I was also taking fenugreek capsules but stopped because I didn't think they were doing any good, but i think my supply dipped a little so I re-started. I don't pump consistently though, so it's hard to be sure.
About raspberry leaf - it may or may not be a good thing if you are low supply. According to Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson - it's astringent and can occasionally be anti-lactogenic for women who are sensitive to that. she also recommends not taking it longer than a few days after birth because of the possible anti-lactogenic effect, although some mothers don't experience it.
For anyone on Facebook the IGT group there has 1400 members and is very active. They have some great information in the 'files' section and there are IBCLCs active on there as well. I wish I had found it before my 2nd and 3rd were born. https://www.facebook.com/groups/IGTmamas/
Taryn-31 Crunchy Conservative Catholic SAHM with DH-32
DS 7.5, DD 5 (vbac), DD 2.5 (vbac), and DD 12/30/13 (vbac)
I'm so glad someone responded! Well i ordered a small bit of dom- to see if it's worth the extra cost. i got 90 tabs so depending on how many i take at a time it'll have at least a 10 day trial run. I have heard some women take 3 tabs 3x a day up to 4 3 times a day, i've also heard as low as 1tab 3x a day.
I did read up on the shatavari/dom at the same time being bad, and that warning was recalled apparently because it was just for precaution- they believed they both worked by the same action by raising prolactin levels, and now it is ok to take both. I think i am only seeing maybe an 1/8th of an ounce increase from the shatavari, lol. Maybe it takes a while to kick in? I don't know. Today i just am taking the alfalfa and the shatavari and the goat's rue tea. I want to eliminate the ones that aren't working, so it's going to be trial and error.
Thanks for the tip on the raspberry leaf- i'll hold off until i know whether it's helping or hurting. I was also thinking about starting Vitex- as both times i was pregnant that helped me get pregnant within the month. I thin
k for now i will stick with 1 thing a week to see if there is something that triggers the increase. Also i have a bottle of dong quai- anyone have any good experiences with that?
Taryn thanks for the facebook page info- i'm joining!