Low Supply/ Formula...HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cross-posting in a couple of the Breastfeeding forums!

Hey ladies...needing some advice! I've had low supply issues since ds (now 6 months) was about 3 months old (when I went back to work- eek). Pumping has completely hurt my supply, in my opinion, and being out of the house from 5:30 am- 12:30 noontime doesn't help either. My cycle returned a month ago and I've now had 2 of them, I've noticed a serious dip in supply a couple days prior to the start of my period, and throughout the rest of it. Dp gives him a bottle of goat milk (plus vitamins, infant probiotics, etc) while I'm at work, and th emilk I pump at work he takes down when i get home, along with nursing. I nurse plenty during the night and attempt it as often as I can while I am home, as well as take several supplemental herbs and nursing teas, copious amounts of water, etc. Nothing helps! Anyway, this post isn't really about my supply as it is this: Although I've taken a strong stance against formula with ds and supplement with goat's milk (it is considered to be the closest animal milk to human milk), I am concerned that it isn't meeting all of his needs, especially now that we are starting to have to supplement more since my milk supply seems to be declining pretty quickly. I have seen Earth's Best Organic Lactose Free formula and also Similac makes an organic version. Any opinions on these? There were a couple of times when he was a newboen we tried giving him formula in pinch when I didn't have any milk and he refused it (I don't blame him, it doesn't taste good at all), so I'm not sure he will take to it anyway. To be honest I am pretty devastated about this and am working my way through a journey with post-partum depression so I feel like nursing is good for both of us and I feel like its the one thing I can really do for him...I feel like such a failure that I can't just whip out the milk for him whenever and wherever we are. I adore Mothering Magazine but every time I hear about extended nursing or see photos of toddlers nursing my heart breaks because I can already tell that its not going to happen with my firstborn. I feel like a failure because I can't seem to do what women were made to do. Argh. Anyway, any opinions or suggestions about formula would be most appreciated! Also, we WERE nursing on demand but I don't know how that works with bottle feeding. Should I create some sort of schedule? I hate to do that but I don't want to be shoving a bottle at him constantly if he doesn't need it. Please help!

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#2 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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Have you taken any galactagogues? Fenugreek, blessed thistle, goat's rue, nettle, so forth? They might give you a boost in production. I take about 20 pills 3 times a day to keep my supply up. I had a breast reduction 10 years ago and I only make a partial supply, but now that I take galacs I make more than I did before I started taking them.

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#3 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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Don't give up and don't supplement while you're home!! Let baby stay latch constantly (I know that's soooo hard, really I do). I struggled with keeping a supply after I went back to work w/ DD, but she was closer to a year. What I would do if I were you would be to rent a hospital grade pump, on days off-power pump- meaning you set up a pumping station at and pump everytime you walk by (you can add to the same bottles and empty every 4 hours or so) and also do switch nursing- meaning let your baby nurse for a while on one side then go to the other side and then back again to the other side. Each time the baby latches on it signals to your body to make more milk, so frequency is the key to upping your supply. You can do it mamma!

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#4 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post
Have you taken any galactagogues? Fenugreek, blessed thistle, goat's rue, nettle, so forth? They might give you a boost in production. I take about 20 pills 3 times a day to keep my supply up. I had a breast reduction 10 years ago and I only make a partial supply, but now that I take galacs I make more than I did before I started taking them.
I've tried Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle...to be honest I kind of gave up on them but perhaps I shouldn't. I was taking 9 each per day, is that too little? How do you split yours up throughout the day? I was also drinking a fresh herbal tea of fennugreek seeds, raspberry leaf, blessed thistle, and some others that a friend picked and dried from her herb garden. I haven't tried alfalfa or goat's rue. Are there any other "tricks" that have worked for you? How many of those herbs work for you and how many of each per day? I know its different for everyone, but just wondering. I'm also thinking the flanges on my pump might be too small. I usually have to sort of massage most of the milk out. I have a medula pump-in-style which I registered for because I thought it was one of the better ones but I've been hearing a lot of negativity about it lately. I have to admit, even on the highest setting now I can barely feel it but that might just be that I'm used to it. I can't afford to purchase another pump and I have heard renting hospital grade pumps is possible but I don't know how or where to do that and I'm not sure about the sanitary side of it, regardless of new parts.

I meant to mention in my original post that Max is in the 25th percentile for weight, quite a skinny baby. People always comment on it and I feel so ashamed that I can't fatten him up, even though I think he's perfect the way he is (and of course that's true), but I worry that if it wasn't for my low supply he would be much healthier looking in terms of weight. I've pretty high strung and I'm sure stress and lack of sleep are a big part of all of this. I get up around 4 am for work and dp doesn't get home til around midnight so I usually get between 3 and 5 hours a night. And Max is really high needs so I'm always losing my mind when I'm home with him. So stressful.

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#5 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't give up and don't supplement while you're home!! Let baby stay latch constantly (I know that's soooo hard, really I do). I struggled with keeping a supply after I went back to work w/ DD, but she was closer to a year. What I would do if I were you would be to rent a hospital grade pump, on days off-power pump- meaning you set up a pumping station at and pump everytime you walk by (you can add to the same bottles and empty every 4 hours or so) and also do switch nursing- meaning let your baby nurse for a while on one side then go to the other side and then back again to the other side. Each time the baby latches on it signals to your body to make more milk, so frequency is the key to upping your supply. You can do it mamma!
I absolutely HATE pumping but I'm willing to try anything at this point. I'm not sure how to go about renting a hospital grade pump- see a lactation consultant, perhaps?- but that's probably a good idea. I have a medela pump-in-style and I thought it was great at first but now...not so much. As far as keeping him latched...I have no problems with that except when there isn't any milk coming out he will unlatch himself and arch himself away and scream. I don't feel comfortable forcing him to do that if he;s not going to be getting anything because he's so skinny as it is, I don't want him to go without. Sigh...Surprisingly I have never made an appointment with anyone from lactation since this supply problem started up. So hard to find time for anything! Dp and I share a car and work opposite schedules so any free time we have is spent grocery shopping or at the laundomat bc I don't know how to drive It hasn't been fun! I talked to dp and he said we can try to make an appt for Monday, which is his next day off so I'm gonna call tomorrow.

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#6 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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You're getting only 3-5 hours of sleep a night?

Mama, I don't know for sure that that's *the* problem, but &%$^***@, that has to have *something* to do with it. I am not so much surprised that you're seeing an effect on supply as I am surprised that you aren't walking into walls. Sleep deprivation also tends to intensify depression and anxiety. I can vividly imagine what you're going through, because I have been through it. You have all my sympathies, mama.

I don't know from organic formulas - when I started to switch over to formula (which I did for reasons relating to my own mental health - pumping sessions made me cry), we went with Enfamil. From the point of view of DD's health and growth, it's been fine. I am sure that other formulas would be fine as well. I am not so sold on goat's milk - Kellymom has a page on why it's not as appropriate for babies as human milk or formula. I would stop supplementing with goat milk in favor of infant formula, particularly if you have concerns about his growth.

Finally, I wonder what can be done to make your life easier and get you more rest. In a perfect world, there would be a central office which new moms could register with (just once! online!) to get five years of paid maternity leave, a weekly cleaning service, and massages on request. In the real world we actually live in - what can help? Grocery delivery? A cleaning service? A big crockpot, that you and your partner can set up twice a week to make big meals so that you can eat leftovers much of the rest of the time? A standing agreement that it is perfectly acceptable for you to spend as much time as humanly possible in bed? Inducing the child to take an afternoon nap by showing him how it's done? Creating a safe infant play area that he can't climb out of, with cushions and a blanket in it for you?
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#7 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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For what it's worth, Cecilia is the 10th percentile for weight and 25th for height. Neither my doctor nor I are concerned; she's just petite.

I take 4 fenugreek 3 times a day, 4 blessed thistle 3 times a day, 2 marshmallow root 3 times a day, 4 nettle 3 times a day and 5 domperidone 3 times a day. I also cycle fennel 4 days on, 3 days off (also 4 capsules 3 times a day). I get all of them from Swanson vitamins; they have great prices and fast shipping. The domperidone is by prescription or purchased from overseas.

Oats are also supposed to be good, as well as brewer's yeast and flaxseed meal-- you can use all three make lactation cookies (Google the recipe).

Also, when you are nursing him, do you have to supplement, or is that only for when you are at work? If you do supplement him when you're home with him, consider using a SNS (supplemental nursing system) so he gets his supplement at the breast. That will help your supply.

The PIS is a great pump. Definitely get larger phlanges and see if that helps.

Cecilia is high needs too. And, because of my low supply we still get up at night to nurse with the supplementor, so I never get more than 3 hours of sleep in a go. I can so commisserate!

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#8 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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Are you taking a Calcium / Magnesium supplement since you have your period back?

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#9 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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nak so this will be short

have you thought about donor milk? my preference would be donor milk then a non-soy formula (not lactose-free, lactose grows baby's brain)

as for extended nursing, i know 2 mamas who supplemented from about 6 weeks, and both nursed for over 18 months. they used an sns until 6 or 9 months, then dropped the sns but sontinued to nurse. so hang in there, mama!
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#10 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MeepyCat- yes, I totally agree, my sleep schedule lately...well, for probably close to a year now- has been insane. I try to fit naps in but Max is so fussy that its hard to do that. Sigh...I don't have family around here either...all live elsewhere. We haven't had much help since the beginning and I am really proud of us but all of the stress lately has really been wearing on our relationship as well, which is heartbreaking because I know it wouldn't be this way if we were well rested and had a better schedule. Dp is a chef and works nutty hours so I'm pretty much on my own most of the afternoon and all of the nights. I am planning to call lactation tomorrow to hopefully get in for an appt on Monday and I'm hoping they'll ahve some insight (I'm sure they will!) Thanks for your kind words If it wasn't for the support of this forum I would be totally lost!

Cecilia's Mama- I'm gonna try all of that! I'm not sure about dom but I'll try the rest. An herbalist friend who I work with also told me that apricots, pecans, and sweet potatoes are supposed to be helpful as well. I think making sleep and nutrition a priority are my first big steps but it is so hard with Max always screaming/whining and now he has a tooth coming in so his Maxxer moods have increased beyond anything I ever thought was possible! Usually we just supplement while I'm at work but since getting my period back, the week or so I have it (and a day or 2 before and after) I seem to be supplementing more often and don't really feel any sort of let down, nor is there much for him when he nurses. As for his stats, 25%tile for weight, as I said, but 80th for height...long and skinny! Pants that fit his waist are shorts! Up to his knees! I'm waiting for my copy of Handmade Beginnings to arrive in the mail thid week and I'm gonna make him some long cuffed pants (sorry to get off topic!). I'm gonna find that recipe- thank you!

RaeDyCo- No, I've never heard of that...could you tell me more about it? Def something for me to look into.

PatioGardener- Leave it to the ladies of this forum to boost my spirits when I'm at my wit's end and about to give up! I definitely going to keep trying. As far as the donor milk, I just don't feel comfortable with it and ds isn't comfortable with it either, although i do think its amazing that mamas out there are willing to pump for people they don't even know. Absolutely amazing.

Thanks, ladies!

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#11 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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It sounds like you are very tired Liz. Honestly, I would concentrate on getting more sleep and perhaps switching out the goat's milk for formula. Goat's milk is hard on baby's kidneys bc the protein is much higher than a human baby needs. Plus there are tons of other vitamins and nutrients that plain goat's milk does not offer. As to how to increase your supply, perhaps sleep, reduced stress, hydration, and extra calories for you.

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#12 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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I know stress reduces my supply. Can you spend your afternoons with the baby snuggling topless in bed relaxing? Or in the bath? Places where he can hang out and nurse a lot and you can just chill. Nap with him if you can and leave your nipple in his mouth. Wear him in a carrier with him latched on nursing.

You've got lots of great advice already! Try eating oats everyday for breakfast, and drink a dark beer everyday.

Remember, even if you do have to supplement you are still nursing him some too, and any little bit of breastmilk you give him is a million times better than no breastmilk!

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#13 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know stress reduces my supply. Can you spend your afternoons with the baby snuggling topless in bed relaxing? Or in the bath? Places where he can hang out and nurse a lot and you can just chill. Nap with him if you can and leave your nipple in his mouth. Wear him in a carrier with him latched on nursing.

You've got lots of great advice already! Try eating oats everyday for breakfast, and drink a dark beer everyday.

Remember, even if you do have to supplement you are still nursing him some too, and any little bit of breastmilk you give him is a million times better than no breastmilk!
So true...yes the sleep is definitely a huge factor, I'm sure. I usually get so caught up in the day-to-day routine of attempting to clean up around here that I don't take extra time to sleep and relax when I should. I read something on kellymom about an alcohol actually having a negative effect on breastmilk production despite what common perception is, especially in European countries but i don't know if that's true or not. I have heard that it could be helpful from many people. As for the formula, I'm just unsure of which one to go with, but I suppose any of them will be better. Most likely it will be Earth's Best Organic because I work in a store that sells it so I will, luckily, have a discount (pricey!!!).

PatioGardener- I didn't know that about lactose, however, Max had problems with dairy for the first couple of months and I couldn't it anything with any dairy derivatives, including lactose. I've read a lot about avoiding cow's milk for as long as possible, which is something I also tend to do myself with my own diet because I do believe it to be horrible for the human body. I'm also not interested in anything soy based as I believe that's awful as well, which is why I was going to go with the lactose-free one. I think omegas and dha are probably better for their brain and there are many supplements for that, but I usually give him mashed egg yolk or a teeny bit of flax oil for that.

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#14 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 11:01 AM
 
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I have merged the two threads into one in breastfeeding challenges where it belongs on topic. Since MDC is such a large forum, keeping threads on the forum topic is related to staying within the MDC UA. Thanks so much!

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#15 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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Liz -- here is more info on low supply due to menstruation and taking cal / mag supplements. I didn't get my period back until 14 months PP but DS1 was still nursing. I had to take at least 1500 mg Cal / 750 mg Mag to keep supply up.

http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/natur...s.html#calcium

http://www.motherandchildhealth.com/...struation.html

http://susuibu101.blogspot.com/2007/...stfeeding.html

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#16 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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Mama, I have nothing but hugs for you. It sounds like you're having a bit of a rough time. You mentioned that your baby is crying/whining a lot of the time which may or may not be totally normal. I'd really suggest that you look into the Happiest Baby on the Block book by Dr. Karp, his techniques helped us a lot in learning to soothe DS. Getting that crying under control could really help you relax.

Next- formula. If you have to supplement, you need to use a human milk replacement which is formula, not goat's milk. You don't need to start with a lactose-free formula because the lactose in formula is processed to be gentler on a baby's stomach than regular milk. Your baby needs complete nutrition to grow and ideally that's human milk. If you're uncomfortable with the idea of supplementing with formula, I'd highly suggest supplementing with donor milk.

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#17 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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RaeDyCo- Thanks for the links! I am pretty sure that is the cuprit because I'm on day 4 of my period now and it seems to be improving a wee bit. I'm gonna check those out and get some supplements when I go to work tomorrow. Supplements are coming out of my ears! Taking so many!

SeattleRain- Ahh, the stress and humbling a high-needs baby brings. Pedi says its normal and I know quite a few other mamas with babies like him. Here on the MDC boards we call them "spirited"...a term that dp thinks is hilarious ("Um...sure...well, that's an interesting way to describe him..."), haha. He is definitely a happy baby when he wants to be but has been impatient and easily irritated since day 1. He has 11 out of 12 of the traits on Dr. Sears' list of High Needs Baby Traits, plus all of the extra ones. I've tried everything under the sun and have a few tried and true tricks up my sleeve for his Maxxer Moods (as I so lovingly like to call them) but for the most part I've accepted it. I have read a lot of newer research about how it could be a result of a traumatic birth for the infant, compression of the brain, etc. Although labor for me wasn't traumatic (just insanely long- 36 hours), he wasn't engaged at all until the last 2-3 hours so for him it was, and he had a serious conehead with lots of bruising for a few days as well. I am definitely going to get formula for supplementing. I didn't have the car available today but we sell Earth's Best where I work so I'm going to purchase it tomorrow

Thanks again for all of the support, ladies! As always, MDC got me through another rough patch in this crazy mama journey. I'm sure it won't be the last!

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#18 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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I've been there. I've battled low supply and ended up nursing my son into toddlerhood.
I would REALLY strongly consider the domperidone. It works by boosting prolactin levels which, as a side effect, keep your periods away. I'm in Canada where family doctors routinely prescribe it but U.S. mamas can buy it online, I understand. You can check out Dr. Newman's BF site for a great FAQ on dom.
I'd also eliminate all bottles when you're home and use a Medela SNS or (better yet) a Lact-Aid to supplement. It's better to supplement small amounts more often.
As for what to use as supplement, I would choose a standard formula (organic if you want) which is at least designed to be safe and nutritionally adequate for human babies.

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#19 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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If you are not on Dom, you might consider getting some asap. It may take care of the supply issue. I take 15 fenugreek seed capsules (5, 3x/day), because I have a high bmi, but my understanding is that twelve a day is standard.

I hear you on the feeling of inadequacy. I have felt similar feelings owing to chronic low supply (igt), but I have learned that that is just one feeling of many. By making myself focus on the good things instead, I see that I have a wonderful baby and that motherhood is much, much, much more than milk. Women have all different milk supplies. Some could be wet nurses, and some need supplements to round out their babies' diets, and some do not lactate. But good mothers come in all forms. You are a good mom because of your love, and your baby needs you above all for your love and presence, not your milk supply. ((())) hugs to you, brave mama.

Re: formula, we use Earth's Best organic dairy formula to supplement our daughter, and it works well. Smells better than most others and does not upset my DD's tum. I have IGT, so we rely on this formula for about half of my daughter's diet. Sorry I cannot comment on lactose free variety, as my children inherited my soy allergy and we use dairy variety.
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#20 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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Liz, you say that the baby is very fussy and demanding and high needs, and it sounds like the ped's not taking you so seriously. Have you considered having him evaluated by Early Intervention?

You can call in and refer yourself for the eval - you don't need a doctor to be involved - and in some states, they can send someone around to your house to do it. I don't know what the costs are where you live, in many places, they're sliding fees, and very low.

My DD initially qualified for services because she was early, and requalified after six months due to (what I believe is a) hallucinatory language delay. She does the thing they said she didn't do, but she sure wasn't having any the day the evaluators tried to get her to do it. EI has helped us figure out strategies for soothing and feeding, and for six months, they sent a therapist to our house for an hour every week, and I could clean or sit down and drink a cup of tea all the way to the bottom while someone *else* fussed over the baby. I don't know how much it really did for DD (she seems to have gotten herself on track, mostly), but for me, it was a godsend. The program exists, and if it might help you, by all means you should use it.
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#21 of 27 Old 11-20-2010, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for all of your support! My supply has been really sucky still...just ordered the dom a couple of days ago so it should be here within the next couple of weeks. I'm really hoping it works well for me because that would be awesome! We've been supplementing now with Earth's Best- the dairy based one and it seems to be going well.


femalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gif crafty Mama to Maxwell, born April 5, 2010 and partner & best friend to Dan <3

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#22 of 27 Old 11-21-2010, 04:23 PM
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Just wanted to give you my support. We got there in the end, supplementing with donated milk in SNS, using fenugreek, and in the end, getting Domp. (which I really wish I had dared to try earlier). Domp. made miracles, and we could wean DD off the donor milk. Also, DD was always skinny, but she was born that way, her father is tall and skinny, and was as a baby. I think some drs have this weird misconception that weight and height need to match. This is of course not at all the case, People of all ages come in different shapes. DH would love to gain some weight, he just can't, this is his body shape. The important thing is that the baby is gaining, not necessarily in weight and height at the exactly same time, but that over time there is an ok curve (this curve may stand still for a while and then jump up, that is normal too). But it is fine that the baby is in 70th percentile for height, and 10th for weight. That's just a tall baby. 50% is just average, average for both. Trust me, I've known mums who were leaking milk everywhere, and whose babies fed really well, and still were on 10th percentile for weight.You can't make them gain more than they're supposed to.

 

 

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#23 of 27 Old 11-23-2010, 06:10 AM
 
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Hi Liz.Furtado,

I couldnt read your posts and not reply bc so many of your questions and concerns were/are the same as mine. 

Firstly, re your Max in the 25th percentile:  I too had a 25%ile baby.  She stayed on that same curve during her entire first year.  Her weight gain was usually 3-4 oz per week while it seemed like all other babies around us were gaining that recommended 5-8 oz per week and skyrocketing on the charts :(   I too got all of those comments about how "tiny" DD was and it drove me crazy as well as felt like a knock against my self confidence and abilities to feed my baby.  I too struggled with low supply due to surgery.  Anyway, now i look back and realize DD was JUST FINE and that yes, 3 out of 4 babies were bigger than her but 1 of every 4 was actually smaller too!!!  All of that worrying and obsessing I did, while it came from a good place of caring and love, was just so needless.  I am not saying you dont have genuine supply concerns....maybe you do and maybe you dont.  Be that as it may, the 25th%ile is GREAT!!

 

Secondly, re extended nursing: I had to bf exclusively from one breast and i couldnt think of how i'd  make it to 1 month, 3 months, 9 months etc.....bc every single day seemed like such a struggle and was filled with so much anxiety and frustration.  I ended up nursing until DD was 21 months!  The hardest part is essentially over for you now.  You've made it past the point of 6 months and now Max can start on a bit of solids etc.  There is absolutely NO REASON why you can not keep going for as long as you want.  After 12 months it gets even easier!  Extended bf can be as little as 2 times per day, indefinitely and remember ANY AMOUNT of BM is A GIFT!!  It doesnt have to be all or nothing from the very beginning but this is especially true after a year or 15 months!

 

Re renting a hospital grade pump:  i would highly recommend.  It made a significant enough difference for me that it was worth the 80$ per month that i paid (and i kept paying for over 12 months).  I had the pump in style medela at first and after a while, i felt like you did about it and i also was experiencing some pretty sig discomfort at times so i switched to symphony (also medela) and it's been a lot better. i pump a bit more and i'm more comfortable and i think it takes less time as well.  THere is no issue with cleanliness.  You buy a separate personal kit of tubing and horns etc.

 

Re formula: I can relate to searching for an adequate formula with which to supplement.  Have you looked into donor milk?  There's a yahoo group dedicated to hooking up donors with moms in need of milk.  That is just a thought for you.  Anyway, I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that the best one was the organic baby over similac organic.  This is mostly bc of production methods and purity and source of ingredients.  Dont beat yourself up about having to use this formula.  I do think it is a better option that the goat's milk bc it is more complete nutrition at this stage.

 

I hope some of this helps!  keep your chin up.  you are doing great.  oh and have you tried domperidone?

 

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#24 of 27 Old 11-27-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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Props to you for all the hard work you've already done! Hang in there mama!

I would encourage u to take all those herbal supplements if you can afford it. Even if they don't increase your supply, they will certainly nourish your milk and your baby will still benefit as he recieved all those herbs through your breastmilk.

Earths Best seems like a good formula. Good job on going organic!! I know it makes you uncomfortable but I would seriously consider doner milk over formula. Is someone you know have a little baby now also?

Crunchy Christian mama to my home birthed, unvaxed, uncirc boys Shane and Cody!!joy.gif
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#25 of 27 Old 12-14-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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Wanted to add something--I had low supply with my first DD (previous breast reduction) and had to pump 5 times per day to get the 12oz she needed for daycare.  I weaned her at 1 due to the stress of pumping and nursing etc.  She was always in the 5th percentile for height to weight---meaning very tall and very thin.  I felt like such a failure, like I couldn't fatten her up for anything.  She is now almost 3 and guess what...she is still very tall and very thin.  That is the way she is supposed to be--that might be the case with your LO too.  As long as you are feeding him as much as he wants (BM or formula) he is the way he is "supposed" to be.

hugs momma, I have been there and it sucks but you are doing a great job!

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#26 of 27 Old 12-22-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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Hi Liz,

 

First I want to acknowledge you on continuing to breastfeed after returning to work and facing such challenges; you're doing great! Many mothers will discontinue breastfeeding at this point, because they're feeling they don't have enough milk to keep up with the demand of their baby, or they're not feeling the support they need to continue after returning to work. As a CLC-very up-to-date on my training-I can tell you that the CHARTS are wrong.  Over and over again mothers are told by their pediatricians that their babies are not gaining enough weight.  The charts they're using are formula based charts from the NCHS-National Center for Health Statistics, not breastfed baby charts.  A good resource would be the charts recommended by the WHO-World Health Organization.  Their charts make exclusively breastfed babies the growth standard and they look very different from the NCHS charts American pediatricians use.

 

Now, I've read most of the posts that have responded to your issue and much of it is accurate.  Yes, if you want to continue to breastfeed exclusively, stay away from formula, as it will only help to decrease your supply (remember, the more you supplement, the less pro-lactin your body needs to produce to make the milk).  I say that it will help to decrease your supply because the less times your nipples are stimulated-either by your baby, a pump, or manually by you, the less the signals are sent to the brain to make milk. Secondly, I agree that a hospital grade pump is the way to go if the other pumps aren't working for you.  The advantage to renting is that if it doesn't work after a month or two, you can return it.  I think I also read you don't enjoy pumping-while I can appreciate that, how many times are you pumping while you're away from the baby? Additionally,I'm assuming from your posts, before you went back to work, your sleeping habits were different?  Think about how they were different?  Were you co-sleeping?  Has that changed?  I'm assuming the baby nurses throughout the night-very common when mommies return to work. If you are interested in talking to me off-line, we can do that free of charge. My email is me2@timarroyo.com.

 

I can't legally suggest Dom or fenugreek (as the research is mixed on Dom and fenugreek "may cause reduced absorption of all medications used concurrently" Skidmore-Roth, Mosby's Handbook of Herbs and Natural Supplements), but I can tell you I tried it with my first (very similar situation to yours), and Dom worked for me-fenugreek didn't.  I now use fenugreek with my youngest who is 19 mos and every time I have a period, I have to up my dosage to about 8 capsules daily; if I don't, I notice a decline.  Could be a placebo effect, or just that every baby is different, etc...

 

Anyway, I hope I didn't confuse you any further.  Like I said, you are free to contact me off line to really get to the bottom of what's going on if you're interested. 

 

Maya y Mariposa's Mama

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#27 of 27 Old 12-28-2010, 05:07 AM
 
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I really feel for you!  Keep going, it sounds like you are doing great!

 

I have had a lot of success with Nutritional Yeast.  You can buy online at vitacost.com or any health food market.  I have also seen it at a Kroger!  I prefer the KAL brand and I just sprinkle it on buttered toast in the am and by 2:00, I am full and stay full (my breasts, not my belly:)).  It is also yummy sprinkled on top of hot popcorn.  Several of my friends have been successful with nutritional yeast.  The difference between brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast is that brewer's yeast is a by-product of the brewing process and thus has a slightly bitter taste.  Nutritional yeast is nutty and almost cheesy.  Many vegan cookbooks have a fake cheese recipe that calls for this ingredient.  It is chock full of b-vitamins and amino acids. 

 

I also believe that barley helps.  Try cooking barley a couple times a week instead of another whole grain.  Look for hulled barley rather than pearled because it is more nutritious.  Great time of year for barley!  Eat oatmeal!

 

Red Raspberry leaf tea?  This seems to help me.  Maybe because of the calcium in it.  I find it soothing as well.  It is not my favorite tea, but I like drinking it because I feel like I am making a good choice for my baby and myself.  It should also help support you as your transition back into regular cycling again.

 

Hydrate and graze!  Drink water constantly and eat several smaller meals throughout the day.  When I am in full nursing mode (i.e. baby < 1 yr)  I seriously eat at least 6 times a day.  That alone is very difficult because I want to choose healthy options every time.  Make a trail mix to take in the car and stash some larabars in your purse/diaper bag. Keep cooked grains and beans in the fridge and make a toasted nut/seed mix to sprinkle on top.  My favorite is pumpkin and sunflower seeds dry toasted and mixed with Bragg's Liquid aminos.  It is so good on top of cooked rice/barley/quinoa/millet/etc....  Think protein!

 

I also am a big fan a babywearing.  It keeps the baby close and happy while allowing you to do the work of the day.  You can also be super in touch with the needs of the child this way.  Esp. nutritional and elimination needs.  The cues are so obvious when the baby is on you.  I LOVE babywearing and am greatly looking forward to doing it again soon (due in 6 weeks with my third)!

 

 

My last bit of advice would be to up your omega-3's.  Do you take a fish oil supplement?  It should boost your mood and help you cope with the difficulties of having a spirited child on not much sleep.  Make sure to get a good one like nordic naturals if you can afford it.  I take my prenatal, calcium/mag, and fish oil before bed.  I think the calcium helps me sleep and then I am not awake for the discomfort that the others can cause my stomach.  I take iron in the morning upon waking.  I really like floradix brand iron.  Check out the vitacost website if you haven't already.  They really have great prices on supplements.  One more note about fish oil.  I have super low blood pressure it only climbs to 90/50 when I am pregnant!  and would get dizzy when I first started taking it because it can drop your BP even lower.  If you also have low BP, try taking it only every other day until your body adjusts.  I still take it only every other day but I immediately noticed a difference in my mood.  I felt more leveled out and better able to cope with anything that life threw at me. 

 

Good luck and Blessings to you and your family!

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