What to do in hospital when you know/suspect you'll have to FF - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so.  I started BF DD (now 2yo) a few minutes after she was born.  At our 1 wk checkup we realized she had lost too much weight, was dehydrated and my supply was practically nothing.  I was well educated on BF, thought things were fine because she was alert and didn't cry, we had no pain, etc.  She wasn't dirtying her diapers enough, though...and I never experienced any of the things you're supposed to feel when your milk comes in.

 

Fast forward, two months later, after every support (LLL, wonderful doctor, midwife) and prescription and herb, and bedrest and non-stop pumping and supplementing at the breast, I still had almost no milk (literally only a couple of ounces a day) and she was almost 100% formula fed from the supplementation.  I was exhausted and so sad and finally decided to let it go.  It was an enormous challenge for me and left me to deal with a lot of guilt and redefining the mother I was going to be.  In the end, my DD is healthy and beautiful and whip smart and we are so close, I am at peace with what happened.

 

I'm 30 weeks pregnant with DD2 and I decided early in this pregnancy that unless there were obvious signs of breast change (I had almost none with DD), I would accept that I was likely not going to be able to BF this baby and I would not put myself through weeks/months of sleep deprivation and pain trying to make it work.  So far, there has been almost no change again, just like the first time.

 

But now I realize I'm kind of clueless about what to do at the hospital when she is born.  Has anyone out there been in this situation?  Did you put your baby to the breast for comfort? I feel really wierd about the idea of doing this, like it's too emotionally painful to go there...but I do seem to be producing a bit of colostrum already, so maybe I should, just for that and a bit of comfort?  When did you first feed them a bottle?  Did you grieve all over again even though it was expected?

 

And before anyone asks, there is no milk bank in our city...and even if there were, I feel like using it would just compound my feelings of inadequacy...selfish, I know.  

 

Sigh.  


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#2 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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Hello, from another fellow low-supply mama! (xposted in DDC and the IGT second time mama thread)

 

My story:  DD latched on right away and nursed often, but kept losing weight.  Did the tube-and-syringe feeding with donor milk.  Herbs, herbs, herbs.  160 mg of domperidone a day.  Pumping (useless), pumping when all I wanted to do was hold and love up my baby.  Shame, shame, shame.  Tonnes of grief.  Overwhelming sense of failure. Finally resorted to a permanent fix of using a Lact-Aid at the breast supplemental system using a mix of donor milk and Nutramegen formula.  No bottles.  No articifial nipples.  No paci.  Introduced an open cup at four months, to have some options.  Used the Lact-Aid for over a year.  It's assumed that I have IGT (insufficient glandular tissue).  DD's latch was beautiful. 

 

My plan this time

No shame.

No guilt.

No sense of failure ... I will measure success based on my OWN story and experience.

And no effin' pump.  I am NOT doing that again.

I love the Lact-Aid system and will have it washed and ready to go from the moment I know the baby is coming.

I will have a prescription for domperidone in hand from 36 weeks so that I can fill it and have it at the ready for when the baby is born.

Start taking Mother's Milk tea in a couple of weeks.

Start with the fenugreek and blessed thistle and all the other herbs at 36 weeks.

Again, no pacis, no artificial nipples, no bottles. 

I still believe in the importance of at-the-breast supplementing, for all the bonding and nurturing time it provides, and for the fact that dd will get every single drop of milk that I can possibly produce. 

I was successful last time, by my own definition, and by the fact that dd (31 months) is still nursing several times a day.

 

Questions for you:

Was it ever determined why you didn't have enough supply?

Did you try domperidone?

Are you leaking anything this time yet?

Do you have a breast feeding friendly pediatrician?  (Mine was content to have dd on the 3rd percentile of the WHO breastfed baby chart.  I hear many peds are NOT okay with babes who are less that 50th percentile of the formula red baby chart.  Bah to that!)

 

As for in the hospital ... I would do the syringe feeding or LA feeding with donor milk if I can get it, or Nutramagen. 

 

Good luck!  And be kind to yourself!

 

 


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#3 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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I was in a similar situation and found that for me personally it helps to know that you tried and that you got the bonding part of it. The colostrum part is great too even if you dont plan to breastfeed this time. If you have igt then the work you did with the last one will increase your supply for this time, so u might actually have enough to make it feel worth it, and domperidone can really help too.
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#4 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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Low-supply mama here too.  My suggestion is to have some small goals in mind.  Maybe put the babe to the breast for comfort and colostum, let her stay there a while and then supplement each time after she's done.  Hand express colostrum and give it to her in a syringe or bottle?  Whatever plan YOU end up with is fine.  What is most important to you?  It may be that breastfeeding her, even if there's no milk there, is either a great thing for you or is way too painful to go through.  Maybe you are ok with bottle-feeding but only you or your DH do it and you "bottle-nurse" to keep it as close to breastfeeding as possible.  And you can change your mind as you go along.


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#5 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

Hello, from another fellow low-supply mama!

 

My story:  DD latched on right away and nursed often, but kept losing weight.  Did the tube-and-syringe feeding with donor milk.  Herbs, herbs, herbs.  160 mg of domperidone a day.  Pumping (useless), pumping when all I wanted to do was hold and love up my baby.  Shame, shame, shame.  Tonnes of grief.  Overwhelming sense of failure. 

 

This, this, this!!!!

 

Questions for you:

Was it ever determined why you didn't have enough supply? They assume IGT 

 

Did you try domperidone? Yep, right away and a high dose - it did nothing.  Also did Fenugreek and blessed thistle, oatmeal, bedrest, lots of liquids, pumping constantly, hot compresses and massage,  etc. 

 

Are you leaking anything this time yet? A tiny bit of colostrum, similar to the first time.  No change in size, no real tenderness.

 

Do you have a breast feeding friendly pediatrician?  My dr. is wonderful.  She is young and current and very pro-bf.  She spent some time working in Dr. Newman's practice.  She understood how important this was to me, to try everything I could, and was willing to try anything she knew of and do more research for new ideas.

 


I so admire your dedication to a.t.b.supp, starling&diesel....I found the lact-aid so awkward, especially in public.

 

Thank you ladies for your response.  It's just so nice to know you're not alone and that other people have experienced this....it was so embarassing to me for so long to bottle feed in public or to have friends surprised to see me bottle feeding and have to explain.  It actually makes me really angry now that there is such a stigma around FF'ing in our city (it is wonderful that this is such a pro bf'ing community, but...) Even when you explain what you went through, trying, there tends to be a response of "oh....right....hmm...", because after all, EVERYONE can bf if you just try hard enough, right?!?  Not.

 

I guess I'm realizing that this is still a bit of an emotional minefield for me and I need to do some more thinking on it!

 


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#6 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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I have a lot of embarrassment bottle feeding in public too.  :-(  Mama guilt is the worst.  I feel like I want to explain my story to anyone who is looking at me.


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4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#7 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katico View Post

 


I so admire your dedication to a.t.b.supp, starling&diesel....I found the lact-aid so awkward, especially in public.

 

Thank you ladies for your response.  It's just so nice to know you're not alone and that other people have experienced this....it was so embarassing to me for so long to bottle feed in public or to have friends surprised to see me bottle feeding and have to explain.  It actually makes me really angry now that there is such a stigma around FF'ing in our city (it is wonderful that this is such a pro bf'ing community, but...) Even when you explain what you went through, trying, there tends to be a response of "oh....right....hmm...", because after all, EVERYONE can bf if you just try hard enough, right?!?  Not.

 

I guess I'm realizing that this is still a bit of an emotional minefield for me and I need to do some more thinking on it!

 


It is so, so hard to have to supplement when all you want to do is breastfeed. I really understand.
Were you using the Lact-Aid brand supplementer or the Medela SNS? The Lact-Aid is MUCH less cumbersome to use and I often used it to nurse in public and no one ever noticed. Like Starling, I decided to do all my supplementing at the breast and my first son nursed to 18 months with the Lact-Aid. I had the Lact-Aids clean and ready to go before my second son was born.
Second, you may find you have a lot more milk the second time around. I still don't know why I needed to supplement my first nursling - although my breasts do have many of the hallmarks of IGT - but I've been able to EBF my second with domperidone and lots of pumping at the beginning to ramp up my supply although I had to supplement for the first few weeks with formula and then EBM.
Good luck, mama.

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#8 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 06:15 PM
 
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Oh, I'm there with you, too.  I remember feeling so embarrassed about FFing that I avoided going out in public.  Ugh.  Will not let that control me this time.

 

I fully, fully expect that I won't produce enough this time.  No significant breast changes to speak of with this pregnancy, either.  Last time (my first baby) it was just such a shock. I totally didn't see all the signs that my baby was hungry, because everything I'd read convinced me if I just tried harder everything would work.  Sigh.  I'm just hoping that at least knowing ahead of time that I'll be more mentally prepared.  I was a mess last time!

 

I still plan to try, but within reason.  I can't spend every waking moment with my nipples attached to a baby or a machine.  I am uncertain about whether I will do dom this time.  It is a pain to get in the US and I feel a little uncomfortable taking it.  I have been taking alfalfa throughout the pregnancy. I'm planning on adding goat's rue & shatavari, doing oatmeal, etc. I'll try the lact-aid (had an SNS last time). I'm also planning to try metformin to see if that helps (I have PCOS & that is supposed to help).

 

I'm also unsure what I'll do in the hospital... Do I take formula with me & use the lact-aid there? 

 

Katico you might want to read through this thread on IGT & 2nd time mamas -- I got some good info there http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1252021/igt-and-second-time-mamas

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#9 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 10:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katico View Post

 


I so admire your dedication to a.t.b.supp, starling&diesel....I found the lact-aid so awkward, especially in public.

 

Thank you ladies for your response.  It's just so nice to know you're not alone and that other people have experienced this....it was so embarassing to me for so long to bottle feed in public or to have friends surprised to see me bottle feeding and have to explain.  It actually makes me really angry now that there is such a stigma around FF'ing in our city (it is wonderful that this is such a pro bf'ing community, but...) Even when you explain what you went through, trying, there tends to be a response of "oh....right....hmm...", because after all, EVERYONE can bf if you just try hard enough, right?!?  Not.

 

I guess I'm realizing that this is still a bit of an emotional minefield for me and I need to do some more thinking on it!

 

Total emotional minefield, eh?  My breastfeeding 'failure' has been the one most devastating experience of parenting thus far.  Hands down.

Had you not mentioned that you did not have milk bank in your city, I would've guessed that you were in Vancouver ... and more specifically, here in East Van with me!  I can honestly say the part of my stunning 'commitment' to the LA at the breast supplementing is partly due to the over-powering judgement from mamas who nurse easily and cannot understand what my problem is. 

The social shaming is razor sharp and totally gets under your skin.  It's so horrible. 

That said, I have fallen in love with the Lact-Aid system and thank the universe for it on a regular basis. 

It makes NIP an even pleasant experience!

 

(xposted)
 

 


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#10 of 16 Old 08-17-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katico View Post

 

 

 

Thank you ladies for your response.  It's just so nice to know you're not alone and that other people have experienced this....it was so embarassing to me for so long to bottle feed in public or to have friends surprised to see me bottle feeding and have to explain.  It actually makes me really angry now that there is such a stigma around FF'ing in our city (it is wonderful that this is such a pro bf'ing community, but...) Even when you explain what you went through, trying, there tends to be a response of "oh....right....hmm...", because after all, EVERYONE can bf if you just try hard enough, right?!?  Not.

 

I guess I'm realizing that this is still a bit of an emotional minefield for me and I need to do some more thinking on it!

 


I SO understand. I had low supply  for many months with my baby (dc #5) and I felt the same way. My pro-bf friends really meant well, but after numerous "Have you tried this? Did you do this?" I just wanted to scream, "YES!!! I've done it all! This is my fifth kid and I nursed the other ones exclusively so YES, I really know what to do and it's still not working!"  I honestly was never more thankful for my formula-feeding friends. I have quite a few, and many that do it from day 1 of their babies' lives, but they supported me when I was so sad that I couldn't ebf and supported me some more when I asked them stupid questions about how the heck to bottle feed.  And then, when I got my supply up and my baby (after many months) finally was able to nurse full-time, they supported me again with their genuine happiness for me.  To be quite honest, this whole thing has sort of rocked my world view of breasfeeding and the assumption that, "it's natural and EVERYONE should be able to do it!"  But I guess that's another thread, lol.  

 


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#11 of 16 Old 08-17-2011, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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.  To be quite honest, this whole thing has sort of rocked my world view of breasfeeding and the assumption that, "it's natural and EVERYONE should be able to do it!"  But I guess that's another thread, lol.  

 


Yes, and it showed me the dark side of the pro-bf world....This push to inform people that ANYONE can breastfeed with enough dedication doesn't tell the whole story at all.  Before I had this problem I totally thought it was true and that enough effort would fix any problem.  And there is a lot of "formula is evil" propaganda, too.  Well, formula kept my baby alive thankyouverymuch. And you know what?  She isn't sick, stupid, overweight, poorly bonded or any of the other things I was afraid might happen!  Of course I wish we could have never set foot in the formula aisle, but I wish the facts about the superiority of BM could be presented without so much fear and shaming.  

 

Above all, I felt like it was so much harder to meet like-minded moms.  


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#12 of 16 Old 08-17-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Hugs, Mama! I totally understand!!! I'm another low supply mama. I homebirth or do the birthing center, but my second was a c-section so I had a hospital stay there. After going through all the trama/drama with my first kiddo, I knew how a baby would act if he/she was not getting enough bm. I nursed my 2nd for about the first 24 hours before she had the telltale signs of not getting enough. Then, I just asked the nurse for formula and every feeding after I nursed first, the did a bottle.
As for emotional? Yup. I went there. I cried probably nearly every time I got up at night and made a bottle. Asked a hundred thousand times why me? And why does this have to be so hard? And all the rest. I thought I had let it go, but I hadn't.
Baby number 3 was a vbac at home. Nursed her for maybe 1 day before supplementing. But this time, I had a Lact-Aid. I kid you not, Mama, it makes a HUGE difference!!! Imagine waking in the middle of the night to baby's cries, and simply picking baby up, laying her next to you, latching her on, and the two of you peacefully dozing as you breastfeed-baby content snuggled next to you, you getting the rest you need and comforting your sweet little one like you always dreamed...sigh. You can do that with the Lact-aid! I kid you not, once you master the Lact-aid all those horrible feelings and emotions are pretty much non-existent instead of in your face and dragging you down. I could cry just remembering the difference I felt once I dropped the bottles and switched to the Lact-aid.
To be honest, the first 6 weeks or so of using it, I wanted to scream. It seemed so hard to get that little tube into the baby's mouth and keep it there!! I bounced back and forth from selling it on eBay, or sticking it out.
I stuck it out.
And honestly, it was one of THE BEST decisions I have ever made. As long as I can help it, I will always use the Lact-aid over a bottle.
With baby number 4 I nursed with no supplementation the first day before I brought out tge Lact-aid. There was no stress with it that time. Using the Lact-aid is like riding a bike-you don't forget, or have to require the skill. I was so proud to be "exclusively breastfeeding" my baby! It wasn't all breast milk, but it WAS all at breast. It was the best feeling.

As far as breast changes during pregnancy: I am now pg with number 5 and this is the first pregnancy I can honestly, truly say I have grown some. I have filled out a bit too-a little rounder than I was. And I have TONS of veins! I'm so excited!!
Every kiddo I have nursed, I have had a little more milk-but it wasn't until number four that I really saw a big noticeable difference. He took an ounce or two less a feeding than the other kids did. I think that using the Lact-aid really helps me produce more-all that constant nursing helps my body work at its absolute best and max.

I take only alfalfa tablets (all pregnancy and nursing) and Goat's Rue tincture (I make it myself) and drink iced Mother's milk and red raspberry tea (after baby is born). With my first 2 kids I took tons of different herbs. I realized all of that was causing stress on me (and my dh's wallet!) and I decided it wasn't worth it. I pumped with my first some but gave that up-Its way too stressful and never seemed to do me any good.


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#13 of 16 Old 08-18-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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like homemademom, I got lots of support from formula-feeding moms!  They were so happy for me when things got better and also supported my efforts to get donor breastmilk!

 

I am so impressed that so many mothers here continue to breastfeed with low supply with subsequent babies!  Low supply has made me not want to have any more kids because the process of bf'ing with low supply has been so painful.  I'm sure I would try with subsequent babies but boy, that takes a LOT of courage, ladies.  Tons.


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#14 of 16 Old 08-18-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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Gemasita ... I felt the same. For a looong time, I didn't want to have more children after such devastating breastfeeding failure. It truly has been the most painful parenting experience thus far. It wasn't until my daughter was about 18 months old, and we were well past using the LA and she was still nursing, and I was starting to think about night-weaning that I realized we'd done it ... Stayed at the breast through all the challenges and had come out the other side with our nursing relationship flourishing. Then, and only then, did I realize that we had been successful ... In our own way. That's when I knew that I had the inner resources to do it again.
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#15 of 16 Old 08-18-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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Hey there, just another extremely low supply/IGT mama here with you in the emotional minefield.  There is lot of great support and advice here and on the "IGT second time mamas thread".  I am preg with # 3, 22 weeks.

 

With #2 I knew I had IGT and was "ready" I thought with herbs, dom, and a hospital grade pump.  I did not supplement in the hospital decided to wait until there were signs that baby wasn't getting enough.  He was dehydrated by 5 days old. And that caused quite a bit of stress.  

 

SO my plan this time is to nurse right away and start supplementing at the breast right away which I think will mean bringing the lactaid to the hospital.  I am skipping the pump this time around because I never got anything.  I mean nothing not even drops when I tried to pump after feedings. And I think the pump contributed to my failure feelings. As for herbs and dom, i haven't decided what I am doing with that. I just figured this time I would nurse and supp at the breast and not put pressure on myself to anything more than that.


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#16 of 16 Old 08-18-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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Phyisiology is just  that, physiology.

 

Some people can BF some not. Some people can give birth vaginally some not.

 

Mechanic of birth or feeding is nothing to be proud off or ashamed. A lot of those thins are outside of our control, modern cult of positive thinking nowistanding.

 

Thank science there are c-section, epidurals, NICUs and formula so mother and babies do not have to be victims of evolution.

 

Things like vaginal birth, breast milk, what diapers you use, is not what makes you good mother.  There are plenty of natural birthing, breastfeeding, cotton diapering sorry excuses for parents there.

 

Adoptive mothers do not get to birth or nurse (sometiem they nurse but not most of the time), does it make them parental failures? Of course not. They are mothers.

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