Interventions during labor equates to troubles BF? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 02:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I mentioned the possibility of my horrendous labor being to blame for my troubles breastfeeding, but my daughters pediatrician looked at me like I had two heads. He doesn't think there is any relation, but I do!!

A bit of history - I have a history of blood clots, and while I test negative for any genetic predispositions, I was treated as a "high risk" patient for blood clots, often being cited as an APS patient (a clotting disorder). Anyway, because of this, I was on heparin (a blood thinner) for my entire pregnancy because my pathombrin times did change, indicating that I could be at risk for another clot. This was fine. BUT, being on the heparin made all my doctors (my OB and the specialist) squeamish about delivery, plus, the heparin made me grow a big baby, which put me at risk for a c-section.

They didn't want to let me go into labor naturally in case I had too much blood thinner in my system, so they wanted to induce me before I progressed too much on my own so they can sort of "time" the delivery to manage my medication. I'm against inducing early (well, pretty much all inducement) but at my 39 week I was 2 centimeters dilated and 50 percent effaced. Big whoop. This is my first child, I could be like that another 2 weeks. But they made a big hairy deal about it, and pretty much scared me with all the risks, so I went through with it. BIG MISTAKE.

I was admitted Sunday night and I didn't have my daughter until early TUESDAY morning. No sooner had they started the pitocin did they break my water, and it was all down hill from there. They exceeded the standing order for pitocin THREE times, and it got to the point where I spiked a fever and starting projectile vomiting. My hopes for a "natural" labor went out the window. My nurse, who I adored (she was very supportive of my wishes) was even advising me to get an epidural so I would relax. And I did. After that I begged them to shut the pitocin off to give me a break, and finally, 30 hours later, my daughter was born. I had a 4th degree tear that required surgery to repair, and I was so dizzy from the loss of blood that I couldn't hold my daughter. I didn't get to nurse her until 3 hours after delivery, and even then, I could barely hold my head up.

Anyway, I'm CONVINCED that my body was not ready to give birth, which I think impacted my milk coming in and/or supply. It took 7 days for my milk to come in, resulting in a lot of weight loss, jaundice and dehydration. But I stuck with it, thinking everything was going well, despite the bloody cracked nipples. LOL. At her 4 week check up she had only regained her birth weight by 2 ounces, and in the following two weeks started loosing weight. I started supplementing, as the dehydration set in (only 2 wet diapers in a 24 hour period).

I bought a double electric madela pump and started pumping after every nursing session to help increase my supply, and to avoid formula. I've got all the supplements possible, but still, it's a battle every day.

I tried the SNS to no avail, and am still pumping and supplementing, although it has improved a bit. We've gone from 12 ounces of formula down to about 5.

No one seems to believe me when I say all the interventions during labor has impacted the beginning of my breastfeeding relationship.

I have been working with a LC and luckily for us my DD has a great latch and shows no signs of nipple confusion. She goes back and forth from bottle to breast just fine. She also does not use a pacifier (she has me for that ). She has been slowly weaning herself from the supplements by actually being content after a nursing session and thus not needing the extra intake (nor wanting it), BUT, she still has poor diaper output.

Just when I think things are going well again I feel like there is another set back. Why would she not be producing enough wet diapers? Because I'm not producing enough milk, right?

I want to stop supplementing, but it seems like I can only produce so much and then it sort of hits a plateau where it doesn't increase at all.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#2 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 02:37 AM
 
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I'm so sorry to hear that you've had such a rough eperience. I don't have any advice, just

And p.s. . . . you rock for sticking with the breastfeeding despite the challenges!

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#3 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 04:54 AM
 
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this is not a happy thought, but breast milk supply at two weeks is extremely predictive of what supply will be like throughout BF. It's one of the reasons that we intervene so actively to increase supply in the first couple of weeks. So if you feel you hit a plateau, it's very possible that you are -- but all the breastmilk you can give your baby is worth it!

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#4 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 11:36 AM
 
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It absolutely affected your breastfeeding relationship. Any drugs given to the mother affect the baby, pit and the epi, being 2 of the biggies. Pit causes longer harder contrx robbing babe of oxygen and the narcotics from the epi cross over the placenta to baby. That is why LLL firmly comes out against any labor other than natural because it is KNOWN and ACCEPTED as a barrier to successful breastfeeding. I am sorry that those things happened to you it is horrible. The pressure docs put on moms to comply with them is criminal. Congratulations on sticking with bf'ing. I bolded not to yell, but to let you know how right you are. That ped is full of bull honky

Have you tried fenugreek and blessed thistle to increase supply. 3 caps of each 3 times a day. And oatmeal is at upping supply
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#5 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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I strongly believe that the high number of medical interventions and c-sections DO contribute to the high number of BFing problems. I had a c-section myself, and that along with sleepy jaundiced babies made things extremely difficult during the first weeks

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#6 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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After reading your post I thought my experience in upping milk supply might be helpful. I have been exclusively pumping for 4 month, every day is a chore but I know BM is the best for my baby so I continue, one day at a time, that is the goal just to make it until tomorrow then I can decide whether I will go on another day.

You mentioned that you are supplementing with formula (5oz a day). That is probably the culprit for your lack of wet diapers. My girl only goes every 1-2 days and sometimes longer and she is getting about the same amount of supplemental formula. My doc says that it is because any amount of formula totally changes the bacterial balance of the digestive track. He also says not to worry as long as she is gaining weight and not complaining about being constipated, that is the true test.

Also as for increasing supply I have had the same issue with a plateau in production on the pump. I have gone though 6 different pumps; 2 manual, 1 consumer grade electric and 3 hospital grade electric. And every time I would change pumps I would find an increase in supply. My theory is that each pump stimulates the nipple differently. Each change in pump was an upgrade on my part to a newer more "High-tech" pump. I keep detailed notes daily and my supply has increased from less than 10oz/day for the first month to 25oz or more /day currently. Also STRONG Breast Massage while pumping has brought about a dramatic increase. I squeeze each breast relatively hard in sink with the pumps suction. Also I do not time each pumping session, I stop when the breast feels very empty. This tells my body to produce more milk since it is still getting stimulated once it is as drained as possible that session.

I wish I could BF normally, Exclusively pumping totally SUCKS but it has taught me a ton about the technology surrounding BF. I feel like I am on the way to becoming a pumping expert. 2+ hours a day and obsessing about supply will do that to you :

Also to note I have only used fenugreek on and off. I have not been religious about it. So I can attribute the growth to the pump and the technique but I imagine herbal supplementation will be my next step, if I can keep my head in it. :

Best of luck on your part...it seems as if you are almost their...5oz is just a small amount...you can do it! Change pumps ASAP and start a Strong massage that would be my advice. Oh and one more thing..it take time for the supply to increase, I noticed a difference immediately and then a very gradual increase. Would love to hear how it goes!

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#7 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerALM
You mentioned that you are supplementing with formula (5oz a day). That is probably the culprit for your lack of wet diapers. My girl only goes every 1-2 days and sometimes longer and she is getting about the same amount of supplemental formula. My doc says that it is because any amount of formula totally changes the bacterial balance of the digestive track. He also says not to worry as long as she is gaining weight and not complaining about being constipated, that is the true test.
I'm talking about urine, not poop. My daughter also had an enlarged kidney in utero, so it's REALLY important for her to stay hydrated. She HAS to make 5-6 wet (urine) diapers per day. Stools are not important, number wise, as long as they look good.

I also don't pump exclusively, so my plateau is not pump related, it's just in general. She nurses at the breast all day, and I pump after her feedings to further empty them and continue stimulation. I also take fenugreek, BT, eat oatmeal, drink water, etc.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#8 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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Interventions absolutely affect breastfeeding! A side effect of pitocin is jaundice. Many mothers are super saturated with fluids after the birth because of the pitocin and epidural. Epidurals can cause babies to have suck confusion temporarily. They are often not sure what to do with the breast they have been given, not to mention groggy from the medications. Jaundice also makes a baby sleepy and lethargic, and decreases the time they are at the breast which decreases your stimulation and supply. Possibly the induction before your body was ready combined with a baby not nursing as often as they normally would have contributed to the delay in your milk "coming in". You also mentioned not being able to nurse in the first few hours. This isn't always a problem, but as LLL states it is always better to establish nursing by initiating breastfeeding within the first hour. This is hard to do sometimes because of the side effects of interventions.

Hang in there and keep working toward reducing supplements and exclusive breastfeeding. You can do it!
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#9 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60
.....No one seems to believe me when I say all the interventions during labor has impacted the beginning of my breastfeeding relationship.......
I belive you.
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#10 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama
this is not a happy thought, but breast milk supply at two weeks is extremely predictive of what supply will be like throughout BF. It's one of the reasons that we intervene so actively to increase supply in the first couple of weeks. So if you feel you hit a plateau, it's very possible that you are -- but all the breastmilk you can give your baby is worth it!
Sorry Mamma, but I kinda disagree with your post. In all my BF research I have NEVER heard of a 2wk supply plateau......from what I understand its all about supply and demand....as often as your breasts are *effectively* stimulated, more milk will be produced.
I'm totally not trying to sound snarky , I just dissagree.

At any rate, you are SO right with telling this Mamma that any BM is better than no BM
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#11 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Lact-o-MamaIn all my BF research I have NEVER heard of a 2wk supply plateau......from what I understand its all about supply and demand....as often as your breasts are *effectively* stimulated, more milk will be produced.[/QUOTE]

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#12 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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Have you considered trying Chiropractic care for you and the baby? Having had such a traumatic birth experience must have been rough on your little one as well as you. You may both benefit from some adjustments. Find a chiro that is trained in infant adjustments. I am currently 21 weeks along with my first and i see my chiro once a week and plan on taking my newborn along. My chiro will probably be at my birth to adjust me and baby! Good luck! I think you are incredibly strong for sticking with BF through all the setbacks.
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#13 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60
I'm talking about urine, not poop. My daughter also had an enlarged kidney in utero, so it's REALLY important for her to stay hydrated. She HAS to make 5-6 wet (urine) diapers per day. Stools are not important, number wise, as long as they look good.

I also don't pump exclusively, so my plateau is not pump related, it's just in general. She nurses at the breast all day, and I pump after her feedings to further empty them and continue stimulation. I also take fenugreek, BT, eat oatmeal, drink water, etc.
Hey, sorry I miss read the "Wet diaper" portion of your original post. I thought you mentioned stools.

Also not to get into the reason behind why I exclusively pump, I did understand that you put the babe to the breast all the time. I just wanted to pass on my experience with the pump. You may think that you have completely drained all you are going to get by the pump but their is still more to be had. I was only able to access further milk & intern increase my supply by changing pumps periodically and adding strong massage. Just thought the info might be helpful and did not mean to be offensive.

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#14 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BakerALM
I was only able to access further milk & intern increase my supply by changing pumps periodically and adding strong massage. Just thought the info might be helpful and did not mean to be offensive.
Thanx. This is my second pump, and by far my favorite. I often turn it off and restart it to get another let down, while also doing compressions and massage. I don't often get very much, if anything, from pumping after a feed, but without it I notice a big difference in supply, so I'm assuming the stimulation is helping. Or at least I'd like to think it is!

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#15 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 08:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama
this is not a happy thought, but breast milk supply at two weeks is extremely predictive of what supply will be like throughout BF. It's one of the reasons that we intervene so actively to increase supply in the first couple of weeks. So if you feel you hit a plateau, it's very possible that you are -- but all the breastmilk you can give your baby is worth it!
I second the pp who disagreed with the idea of a plateau at 2 weeks.

I was making very little milk at 2 weeks after a high intervention birth. VERY LITTLE. With hard work, my plump little ds was exclusively bf by 2 months, although I did have to work my butt off to keep supply up. So for me, the 2 week plateau is a myth. (My almost 2-yo gets more milk from me now than he did at 2 weeks old!)

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#16 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lact-o-Mama
Sorry Mamma, but I kinda disagree with your post. In all my BF research I have NEVER heard of a 2wk supply plateau......from what I understand its all about supply and demand....as often as your breasts are *effectively* stimulated, more milk will be produced.
I'm totally not trying to sound snarky , I just dissagree.

At any rate, you are SO right with telling this Mamma that any BM is better than no BM
Last Bf conference I was at in March. I'll try to find the citation.

remember too that studies never reflect individual experiences, that the results are for large groups of women. this particular research was done in NICU moms who had initially pumped (since the conference focused on BF the ill neonate) and was used to illustrate why L&D nurses and NICU nurses need to be extremely supportive of early and regular pumping.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#17 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 09:44 PM
 
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i completely agree with your theory. I was induced also due to a huge spike in blood pressure and some funky liver functions test results. I'm convinced that my baby wasn't ready to come yet - she was still high, and my pitocin induced contractions didn't do one damn thing, which ended in a-csection.

My baby went from 7lbs3oz at birth to 6 1/2lbs when we left the hospital. My milk took 6 days to come in, and at her 2 week appointment, she had only gained 1.5 ounces. We're finally on the upswing, but it took forever to get there. I didn't supplement (we had jaundice issues also!)

For what it's worth, her ped. blamed the intervention, induction and c-sec for the slow gain and slow milk. I hope that BFing gets a little easier for you, mama
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#18 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 09:56 PM
 
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If there's a plateau at 2 weeks, how does one explain the over production that often hits around 6 weeks coinciding with baby's first growth spurt?

With DS all those years ago, I don't know what I was doing at 2 weeks, but production most certainly increased over time until I was leaking and engorged in the mornings when he was about 2 months old.

Our c-section birth wasn't remotely as traumatic as the OP's though.

I can believe that a traumatic birth can affect breastfeeding.

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#19 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 09:59 PM
 
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I didn't say there was a plateau at two weeks. What I said (and if I can find my damn syllabus I'll post the reference) was that in this study, the amount of milk at two weeks was predictive of an adequate supply later on. Not that the amount doesn't change, but that if supply at two weeks was above a certain number of milliliters (which I can't remember), supply while breastfeeding was likely to be adequate. If below another cutoff, it was unlikely ever to be adequate despite interventions. In between the two, it varied. It was the OP who said her supply had plateaued.

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#20 of 23 Old 06-02-2006, 11:29 PM
 
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I ABSOLUTELY believe my son's birth interventions affected his ability to breastfeed. NOBODY has ever agreed with me on this, except my one friend who's a nurse said that I shouldn't have been induced.

My son's birth was an induction for doctor's convienience (sp?) I asked her at my probably 39-week appointment who was going to be at my delivery if she was on vacation. (Because I overheard her nurse and scheduler discussing her vacation, which was to begin on my edd.) That was the first and only time she mentioned me 'measuring big' and then suggested an induction.
Me being the stupid first-time mom I was, agreed to this, as my only experience with the word at that point had been a friend who was in labor 6 hours with induction and this sounded GOOD to me.....

So...they gave me the pill, and I walked with my doula (who thought it was weird that I was being induced, but it's not her job to give me medical advice, so she went with it.) And then about 6 hours in, I asked for pain relief. They gave me 'just a little' Stadol.
And I stalled. And I ended up with Pitocin.

I often think I'm very fortunate to have accidentally found out what a 'doula' was. I think without her, my birth would've been a c-section.

So...after 12.5 hours, probably 9-10 of actual active contracting labor, my son was born. He was jaundiced slightly, which I now know is a side effect of Pitocin. He was very sleepy, which I know is a side effect of the jaundice, but I also believe that 'little bit' of Stadol had a lot to do with it too. And he didn't latch on. And he wouldn't nurse. And that was our story from there on out.

This is why I've switched to a midwife who has already told me she is just there to inform me, all the decisions are mine, even if I'm at 42 weeks. This is why I've switched to a different hospital for a birthing location. This is why my next birth will be entirely unmedicated and NOT induced. Because even if nobody else believes me, *I* think the unnecessary interventions wrecked my breastfeeding relationship with my son. I guess we'll see in approximately 34 weeks if I'm right or not....

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#21 of 23 Old 06-03-2006, 01:13 AM
 
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I thought I would reply here because I know when I was having supply issues I could have really used some hope. We had a terrible time at first but I consider my story a happy one. My daughter is 5 1/2 months and is now EBF and very happy and healthy (and quite chunky!).
I know your situation is not the same (everyone has unique circumstances!).
First of all your doing a GREAT job. Even if you have to give her 4oz or 8oz of forumla a day, compared to all the breastmilk she is taking in that is not much. Even if you always have to do one bottle of formula a day that is great, just think how many bottles of formula you would be giving if you were not nursing.
I 100% agree with you that labor inteventions effect production. In fact it seems absurd to me that any Dr could suggest that they don't. I had a very high intervention birth that ultimately ended in a c section.
I am living proof your supply does NOT peak at 2 weeks. It took FOUR weeks for my milk to come in, and another two after that before I could quit supplementing. I do believe it could have taken longer and that if I had kept it up eventually my body would have clued in.
I could give you a long list of things that might help but if I want to try to keep this short. The only thing I haven't seen mentioned is co sleeping. My girl is an all night nurser and co sleeping *really* helped increase my supply.
The first 6 weeks were very very hard for me. Now we EBF and I feel honored to have this nursing relationship with my child. There were times I hated it and wanted to quit but thinking of the happiness I would have denied myself if I had given it up breaks my heart.
So supplement if her wet diapers are low, but don't let anyone tell you its one or the other. There is no reason you cant do both (sns, cup feeding ect really help prevent nipple confusion but it looks like you had this covered).
I thought it was an all or nothing thing but I realize now that even if my supply had not built and we had to do some formula every day that I would treasure every nursing moment I was able to have.
Wow this got long afterall. Your doing a great job. There can by happy endings to low milk supply stories.
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#22 of 23 Old 06-03-2006, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We kind of co-sleep. She falls asleep in bed nursing and then I move her to her bassinett for her 6/7 hour stretch, then bring her back to bed when she wakes at 5. I do this for various reasons. One being that I almost suffocated her when she was 2 weeks old. Thank God my husband woke up. So now, during my soundest sleep, she's safe in her bassinet. She also doesn't nap during the day, so I'm hapy to let her sleep like the log she does for those 7 hours. I do pump after she's asleep, though.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#23 of 23 Old 06-03-2006, 11:50 PM
 
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I believe this is true for some people. My water broke before labor. I waited 12 hours to see if I would go into labor naturally, but didn't. So I had to get pitocin. Audrey ended up being in the birth canal a long time and was not positioned well, so she had to get the vacuum, too. She had blood type incompatibility jaundice, too. So she wouldn't BF at birth. She had to be trained to suck properly as she wanted to thrust everything out of her mouth. And she had a weak suck because of the jaundice. She did BF after 3 weeks, but it never went well. She went through multiple refusals, screaming at my breast. We only BF 2.5 months and now I exclusively pump, which sucks. It has been a very sad experience for me and one that I still grieve over. But I know people with babies that have jaundice, or get the vacuum, and their babies BF fine. So I guess it depends.
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