I think much has to do with malnourished bodies. this could cause facial malformations (one kind being the ones Price described), also tongue tie has to do with not having enough vit A and folic acid. TT is a mid-line issue. Both my boys have midline issues to varying degrees. My milk supply tanks both times at 3 months. I have always assumed it was because of my own modern SAD malnourished body, and in essence it was, but the structural element was a pivitol (my goodness how do you spell that?) cause for me. I had to fight hard to get my milk supply up.
I am guilty of judging a mom (however silently) when she says she just couldn't make enough milk. I think most of us are, it's so easy to do, esp. when you feel like you have superior knowledge to most of the health care providers currently in the field (which a fair amount of us here at MDC do). Still, it is always important to remember that there are multiple factors which influence a mother's decision to persevere through difficulties to a successful BFing experience.
I think that it is so important to educate women as to the importance of education, diet, support system, and preparation for being a mom. I see a lot of parallels between getting married and becoming a mom: in the former, the wedding is the focus. Thousands of dollars, months of planning, hours of agonizing, etc. go into planning the perfect wedding, but next to no attention is given to the actual "marriage". Rarely do you hear of anyone preparing for the actual work of being married, of actually living with that person day in/day out with all their faults, which, IMNSHO is what has led to the astronomical divorce rate in the US.
In the latter, you see women devoting so much time to thinking about what the baby should have to wear, what crib to sleep in, what to register for, who to invite to the baby showers, etc. Childbirth classes are an afterthought; they prepare one for accepting the hospital practices more than the realities of childbirth. If you are lucky, you might get one (maybe two in a really good hospital) breastfeeding class. No one prepares for the work that is parenting a newborn, for the stress of hearing the baby cry, for the demands of balancing baby's intense needs with DH's very real needs, for the transition from working woman to SAHM, for the sleep deprivation.
I think these are issues that greatly impact a woman's ability to succeed, esp. when you compare the US with other countries with higher BFing rates. As a PP said, BFing is highly dependent on culture. Without a supportive culture, BFing becomes a lot harder than it should be. (signing off my soapbox now, sorry for the novella!)
... I have also been in touch with Dana Raphael, a medical anthropologist and author of the book "The Tender Gift", which she wrote years ago after she experienced lactation failure with her first child. She was so devastated by this that she decided to study other cultures where bf was the norm. She came to the conclusion that breastfeeding is the only biological process that relies on culture in order for it to work. She said in other cultures where breastfeeding issues are much more rare, these women have a confident and knowledgable doula figure at their bedside to ensure that breastfeeding gets off to a good start and in essence works. She likened it to needing someone to sit with you in order for your food to digest once you ate it. For highly anxious people like me, I think this is very relevant.
To be honest, I'm frustrated in a Western system that has not helped me in my quest to find out why I wasn't able to meet my baby's needs. I'm still searching for answers, and was very happy to come upon this discussion which seems to be looking at this issue much more holistically.
Or is it just a random genetic quirk that happens sometimes no matter what we do, and in established societies such a woman would use a wet nurse for her babies?
Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
I have to wonder if IGT is in any way related to nutrition and/or environmental toxins- do the breasts not form properly during puberty due to substandard nutrition during puberty itself and her diet since birth? Maybe breasts don't develop properly in female fetuses if there's something wrong with the maternal diet? I assume the same thing can happen to male infants but it wouldn't affect his ability to feed his children.
Or is it just a random genetic quirk that happens sometimes no matter what we do, and in established societies such a woman would use a wet nurse for her babies?
Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).
I dont think my diet is any worse than any other teenagers was. my mother has said that she couldn't eat while she was pregnant with me because she was so sick.
physical inhibitions of the mother
dieting too quickly
trying to get baby to sleep through the night
No one who I know sleeps with their babes. Some still BF successfully, of course, and some people can't even with cosleeping, but I think in some cases it would make the difference.
Another vote for mostly misinformation. In no particular order:
babies need to nurse often- usually more often than our culture teaches us
babies need to nurse more at night- also not popular in our culture
pacifiers interfere with milk production
artificial nipples interfere with the breastfeeding relationship
being separated and pumping is bad for supply and the nursing relationship (Disclaimer- I realize this is largely unavoidable, but we're discussing what's happening to milk supply- this is a factor)
pumping is not the same as nursing (see above)
spoonfeeding lots of solids messes with supply
other sucking can interfere with supply (sippy cups, bottles, etc)
juices and other milks can interfere
There are VERY few women I've heard of who avoided all of the above and had supply problems. VERY few. Do they exist? Yes. But historically wet nurses- aunts, cousins, etc- would have been available in those rare cases.
I did bring my supply in later and successfully nursed....though it took me 5 months to get dd on the breast exclusively. She was fed at the breast with a lact aid. She did nurse for over 4 years though. Ds2 was the easiest....I got milk to come in within a few weeks and he was doing well by 2 months.
Very interesting. Everything I'd read has said that it's also genetic. My DH had it. My first son didn't. I was vegan with DS1 and was just lacto ovo with DS2. Now that I eat meat I'm curious to see how it alters my pregnancies. Maybe it can get me 3 ducts to make more milk
1. prenatal nutrition--somewhat better than SAD, mostly vegetarian diet coupled with undiagnosed food allergies and leaky gut
2. medications during pregnancy--antihistamines (drying), steroid for asthma and antibiotic for sinus infection (both probably exacerbated gut issues)
3. Somewhat stressful birth experience (transport from home to hospital 1 hour before birth because of signs of stress in baby)
4. overly managed third stage, increasing stress and denying us the quiet bonding time ideal for initiating breastfeeding
5. Totally stressed out baby with severe molding and bruising on head who screamed and could not be comforted for the first 45 minutes of his life.
6. Staying in the hospital too long because they wanted to observe baby due to bruising and high pitched pain cry.
7. DS had latch/suck issues--very weak suck or often he would get a big mouthful of breast but not suck
8. Bad advice from LC and she gave us a frackin' nipple shield, that we USED, and it took 2 month to wean him off of it.
9. No culture of breastfeeding--I was brought up in a world where you're not supposed to look at nursing women hence I didn't know what proper nursing looks like and couldn't tell that DS was not sucking effectively to stimulate the breast and remove milk so at 5 days old he had lost 1 lb, was lethargic, possibly dehydrated and jaundiced--we had to begin supplementing and had to continue supplementing until he was 8 months old, on solids and finally growing well..
10. Nutrition again--I think DS was not well nourished enough to meet the world. He had possible tongue tie and palate issues and he was just not very robust at first. I also just read something interesting in GUt and psychology syndrome about babes of mom's with leaky guts who pass gluten and dairy derived opiates to their babies causing them to fall asleep at the breast. DS was a very sleepy baby.
11. Pump didn't work for me--one ounce had me jumping for joy but usually just got a few dribbles.
12. LC's who didn't really do much...they never had time to sit with me and help me with his latch. Almost all of them (saw like 6), seemed to pretty much throw their hands up and tell me they didn't know what was wrong.
13. I also think I may have had some retained clots or something--I had some really weird bleeding at 6 weeks.
14. I had no village or tribe--my family gave me immense amounts of support but I was still so alone especially when DH went back to work after a month.
15. I maybe had hypothyroid that didn't show up on tests. I'm finally getting some treatment for that.
16. Lack of sleep--triple feeding (nurse, pump and bottle feed) took 2 hours and then and hour or so later we would start again. So I got maybe four 1-hour naps each night.
So...I still carry a lot of anguish over this even though DS is 2.5, still nursing (!) and has grown into a very healthy and robust toddler. Threads like this often make me want to cry.
ETA Sorry for the novel.
Globetrotting mama to DS (9) and DD (6)
I think the biggest thing is to not *assume* that we all need the same amount. Some of us do require far more than others, and some of us will be operating at a subclinical deficiency heading IN to pregnancy.
I attended and in service with a doctor who is a major speaker on this subject. Her data and experience showed that TT is worse in boys, and with each subsequent child. That got me thinking. I called her later and asked her if she thought that was because it was a nutritional issue she said she hadn't thought about it, but that it made complete sense. My point was that if it's genetic it would not get *worse* down the line. That to me points to maternal stores being depleted and not being bolstered before the next baby is conceived. The condition would be exaggerated with each new child *unless the mother actively replenished her stores.*
When I looked into it I did learn that there are indeed some genetic markers that could have bearing on it. There are also nutrients who's absence directly correlate with midline defects (as WAP showed us.) This is considered to be a minor midline defect and per the doctor I mentioned generally presents will other minor midline defects as well.
It's a fascinating subject to be sure....and yes. I have had to deal with it in my own kiddos.
I love BF, but have some issues.
My diet isn't bad. I cook at home, very little processed. A lot of meat protein (most organic), I went off carbs for a while, and lost a ton of weight. I went from 110 to under 100. I couldn't afford to loose it. I don't look good - everyone is telling me to gain back my weight.
I BF my kids. I'm fine on one side, and on the second side, my milk disappears after a few weeks. I had that with all 3 kids. I did go to the osteopath after birth to "adjust" what was needed on the face. I did see a LC. What can this be from? The side that I don't have milk, is the one that is fuller in the beginning. (After my second I would pump after every feeding... It was extremely draining, and tiring. I had milk after that one for the longest though. I did start with pumping when my 3rd was a week old after feedings, but it didn't help much, and I didn't have the strength. I have 3 little ones around.) I nursed my kids until I became pregnant when my milk would disappear. My second actually knew I was pg. before I did. He wouldn't nurse, and I couldn't figure out why. He stopped on his own. Quick weaning.
He nurses every 2-3 hours by day, at times even more often. At night, I'll be lucky if he'll give me a 5 hour stretch somewhere. Not very often. I am tired.
My baby is 11 months, nursing on one side very nicely. He's eating food already, because he wants it - at 8 months, and is gaining no weight. He eats on his own. No mush food.He will drink water after meals. Although he usually prefers to nurse after meals. So he'll nurse before and after! He likes his Mommy! No formula. Only my first had formula for a few weeks in transition.
Sorry this got long. I would love to know how I can "fix" myself up for next time. What should I do?
I think the numbers of women who have an actual inability to produce enough milk are teeny tiny. I've always heard the "I don't make enough milk" saying as "My doctor scared the carp out of me by claiming my kid is FTT" or "I don't know a thing about babies and their growth patterns so I thought my kid wasn't getting any milk" or "My baby seemed skinnier/longer than FF babies so he must be starving to death" or "My baby wants to BF every 2hrs and I don't want to do anything near AP, so he is obviously not getting enough"
I suppose for those very few women who are actually experiencing a problem, hormones in our food and junk food aren't really helping. But I doubt that it would alleviate much of this "starving BF kid syndrome"
I also see a lot of women who judge their production by pumping, which we know is not a good indicator. I have NO idea how much my kids got. I just nursed til they stopped. But I do know that despite leaking all over the place, I could not pump much!
There are always exceptions and I think I've met a very few. I know some moms who are really torn up about supplementing but just couldn't see an alternative. My goal is to just be supportive and encourage them to still nurse as much as they can. Increasing their confidence will often increase their supply.
Other reasons may be the push for babies to sleep through the night and a society where women feel timid about NIP.
Oh, and don't forget those lovely mainstream pediatricians. Upon finding my newborn had dropped to under 5lbs I was advised to pump my milk into a bottle and feed him that way to make sure I was producing enough. This despite the fact that I told him I was engorged and could feel my milk let down but baby fell asleep every time it did. All while standing at a baby scale with a sign over it that said "Be sure to ask your nurse for your FREE can of formula!" after being given 4 cans just in case.
Luckily I did not take his advice and contacted LLL instead. Even now I have a great supply but I can't get more than 2oz out with my hand pump. If I had blindly followed advice I would probably have been convinced that my body wasn't producing enough milk.
|I haven't read all the replies, but I agree with this. Most of the moms I know with issues get scared by their doc. They are told to come by DAILY to weight their baby. What does that do? It STRESSES the mom out. She keeps thinking about how much her baby weighs and what will happen when she show up and the baby hasn't gained any. That stress adds to a vicious cycle that usually ends with supplementation.|
I went home feeling like there was something wrong with me and this I believe was the start to my problems. The same day I got a terrible stress related migraine headache and know that our breastfeeding was not effective all day because I was in pain and also feeling psychologically defeated because my milk had not come in yet. The next day my milk came in, but not to the extent that I had expected. In retrospect I believe this was because of my stress levels and the weak latch/minimal sucking my daughter had from the very start.
Fast forward two weeks and though my daughter was gaining slowly, she was not up to her birth weight yet. I was told by my pediatrician that I needed to bring her in every two days to be weighed. I felt SO NERVOUS and upset; it was like a test, and if I failed then I could never breastfeed. We did this a few days and she wasn't gaining, so they told me to supplement and bring her in every day. When we supplemented (at 3.5 weeks) she started gaining and the drs. were all happy, but my confidence in my body plummetted. I could never establish a full supply despite so many later interventions and attempts. I fully believed (and unfortunately still do sometimes) that my breasts are insufficient or that there is some other physical reason why my body just doesn't work.
When I am looking at the whole picture, it seems like my failure could have been avoided with a different experience. I do think my daughter was an inefficient nurser too, but I believe the lactation failure I experienced was a result of the lack of support, which resulted in a very real physical reaction to the stresses I experienced. Sorry for the length of this, but I wanted to post an excerpt from a journal article from the Global Library of Women's Medicine which explains the scientific reasons why anxiety inhibits lactation. We sometimes fail to realize that there IS a mind-body connection and that stress does cause very real physical symptoms and problems in our bodies.
|The greatest cause of difficulty with nursing or milk supply is anxiety. This anxiety may be secondary to fears of inadequacy related to breast size, to concern about the ability to produce sufficient milk (usually for the first pregnancy or if such a problem arose in nursing a previous infant), or to unconscious or conscious negative feelings about nursing. The stress and anxiety caused by these feelings are associated with increased catecholamine production, which inhibits the stimulation of the myoepithelial cells by oxytocin and causes vasoconstriction that diminishes the supply of both oxytocin and prolactin to the acinar cells of the breast. This condition is similar to psychological impotence; the physiologic mechanism is intact, but there is an autonomic block that originates in the psyche and inhibits the normal physiologic function.|
with my first son i took him to all his presribed doctors visits as recomended for all newborns, 2 days, 2 weeks, 1 month, ect. this time i didnt take my baby in until she was 2 months and even then i just wanted to see how much she weighed. even though my daughter was born in the hospital, my homebirth midwives came at day 2, day 4, week 1, week two, week 4 and week 6 and were on call for me 24 hours a day by phone for the first 6 weeks. that support alone was worth the all inclusive 3000$ cash cost of hiring them.
As a mother who struggles with IGT it is difficult for me to read posts in which the mother is blamed for low supply. I have faced many judgments living in a very probreastfeeding town in a very probreastfeeding state. I tried everything there was to try to increase my supply (I wont give the extensive list) and my son never has had an artificial nipple in his mouth. He was starving to death, as a mother (or person) you know when that is happening. I used a SNS to feed him and he is fine. I believe my deformity is a result of environmental toxins that my mother and her mother were exposed to while making the eggs that became my mother and I and those I was exposed to while a fetus. My mother did not suffer from low supply but I believe she carried the toxins on to me. I think as our world becomes more and more poisoned with endocrine disrupters and hormones in our water the numbers of people with reproductive deformity (and other kinds too) will rise and rise. Obviously, misinformation, stress and diet will help or hinder those with the predisposition for these kinds of dysfunctions but they do exist to begin with and they are on the rise and they are intergenerational but not genetic per say. Because of my careful upbringing and adulthood my daughter will be better equipped than I am. I think blaming mothers and doctors and chocking it all (or mostly) up to unsupportive cultures and uninformed practitioners is putting our heads in the sand about a big indicator of the invisible poisonings that effect all of us in different ways.
this perspective is so helpful to take note of. i have heard that monkeys/chimps in the zoo often refuse to breastfeed if their baby is born by csection or if they are alone with no other monkeys around to show them or for them to observe nursing. babies have an instict to breastfeed but i dont know that mothers have it in the same biological way. we have to think about it to do it, it isnt second nature.
With all three of my living children, I've had to force myself to breastfeed at first. I made a deliberate, conscious, intellectual decision to make bonding/attachment happen, including making myself put my baby to the breast. I had to remind myself of that decision literally hundreds of times in the first couple of weeks with each baby. I don't know if it was because of the c-sections or not...but it's been very real. I have no idea what I'd have done if I'd had supply issues beyond the couple of days when I had trouble with dd.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
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