My DD#2 (baby #3) was dx'd FTT by my CNM at 4 weeks. I pumped and fed immediately until about 8 weeks when she seemed much better. Her pediatrician wasn't too concerned, as she was on the growth line, just a low percentile (DD#1 was FTT at four months and in 0 percentile, I had to supplement w/ formula and relactate; stopped nursing at 11 months). My son also stopped gaining at fiur months and I supplemented w/ formula. I'd like to avoid supplementing (at least with formula; if I can find donor milk through HM4HB, I'd rather start there, if necessary). I have been trying to incorporate every galactagogue I can get my hands on into my diet, including Vitanica lactation blend (herbal supplement, similar to Motherlove's More Milk, but much less expensive), Mother's Milk tea, asparagus, and goat's rue.
Anyway, she now is sleeping a lot and wants to suck her thumb instead of nursing, and my supply is dropping off. With two older children finding/making the time to pump for relactation is difficult, but I'll make the time if necessary. She's also pulling at the breast as she nurses, which makes it uncomfortable for me. I remember the pulling with DD#1 and DS, and I know it'll stop eventually. It's the thumb that's bugging me. DD#1 sucks her fingers at 4 1/2 years old and it's messing up her teeth. I wan to avoid that with DD#2' if possible. But she complains when I take her thumb out of her mouth and try to substitute breast or pacifier. Sometimes she'll take the paci for a while, but it often falls out or she spits it out. (I try to keep the paci in the car for when we are driving and she can't have me anyway, or when I'm getting ready for bed and DH can't take her.)
So, my questions:
1) Should I ditch the paci altogether?
2) As I begin to relactate, how frequently should I pump? I did every two hours after each feeding round the clock with DD#1 - it wore me out (I wasn't co-sleeping at the time, DD#2 sleeps with us). Should I aim for the same schedule?
3) Should I put her on a two-hour feeding schedule like I did with DD#1?
Any other suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
One more thing - I have PCOS, and I learned from the LCs at the hospital where DD#1 and DS were born that it can interfere with milk production. They were both c/s babies; DD#2 was born at home. I was hoping that without the drugs from the surgery and post-op/post-partum I would have fewer nursing issues.
How often are you feeding now? My DD is 12 weeks old and nurses very frequently still. Overnight she can go 3-4 hours between feedings, then morning she feeds every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, afternoon feeds every 1 1/2 to 3 hours, then 7:00-7:30pm hits and she wants to nurse almost non-stop until 9:30pm when she goes down for the night. Just to give you an idea of how often my LO is nursing, sometimes it feels never ending.
I think you just have to decide about the pacifier. It's possible it could be causing nipple confusion, or it could just be satisfying your LO's urge to suck so that she's not suckling as well at the breast. Maybe try going without it for a bit and see if that improves anything. I don't know if there's anything you can really do about the thumbsucking now, besides the paci. It's rare for it to continue as long as your DD#1, so hopefully it won't be an issue for DD#2 (fingers crossed).
To relactate you're supposed to pump 8-10 times a day, but it sounds like you're just trying to up your supply, since you haven't supplemented with formula or anything? I would try pumping right after nursing, you won't get as much, but it'll trigger your body to make more milk. If you need to express more milk than that, wait 45 minutes after nursing to pump.
Good luck to you and your LO. Hope you can figure things out.
My only suggestions are offering the breast very frequently, several times an hour and yes, to ditch the paci. All suckling from the breast if possible, it should stimulate milk production. I would not use any type of schedule per feeding, schedules can hinder milk production.
Good luck to you, and I applaud your effort.
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