losing my milk - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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it's been a long strange trip. :

i'm back on scary antibiotics, with which i cannot nurse my bear. even if i could, the pediatric gastroenterologist suggested putting him on alimentum for a time, just to see if that would help with the whole vomiting blood & bloody stools situation (i can't say that it has). anyway, when i went into the hospital on thursday, i had to send my sister to get mike and the girls (the boys were with me) and i asked him to bring, among other things, my pump-- which he forgot. i tried to hand express, but my hands locked up very painfully; all the attempts to start an IV and get blood drawn had messed with the nerves. : I couldn't get more than a few drops out before the pain in my hands, arms, and belly were too much and I had to get back in bed and sleep. i didn't get a chance to pump until saturday, and of course being tired and weak i couldn't pump every three hours for half an hour per boob... but when i tried, i got almost no milk at all. it's damn near gone, and i can't stay awake long enough to pump, it just takes too much physical energy that i simply don't have. i literally fall asleep after getting half an ounce in twenty minutes. (this is a big change for me-- pumping was something that always came easily to me. twenty minutes when Bella was two months old got me two or three full bottles of milk.)

is there anything else i can do? there's no way i'll have enough milk by the time i'm able to nurse bear again... he might be able to bring it in with a lot of work, but i feel like i shouldn't hold my breath. i'm so depressed about this... it's really hard for me. i don't know what i'll do if i never get to nurse him again. :

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#2 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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I dont even know if this is an option..but could you start with him nursing JUST long enough to trigger a let down .. he wouldnt get that much milk & it would make pumping a little easier ..

what antibotic is it? is it really that bad??

do you have an electric pump??
could your hubby help you pump ?
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#3 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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I am so sorry to hear you are having a difficult time.

My LO and I have been having a difficult time getting BF to work for us. Last week I switched from pumping to full time BF and thought all was well. I took her to the New Moms group after a week and when they weighed her, she had lost a whole pound! It turned out the nipple shield was interferring and she wasn't getting much from me. As a result my supply had dropped off too. I was so scared.

What I am trying to get to is to suggest getting your hands on an electric breast pump. I rented mine from a local pharmacy. It costs $2/day and is hospital grade. It is great cuz you can pump both boobs at the same time and your arms may only get tired from holding it in place instead of the effort from actually pumping. And I have also started taking fenugreek, 4 capsules 3-4 times daily. I started this on Wednesday and already smell like maple syrup and my supply has already increased. Another herb the lactation consultant suggested to me was Blessed Thistle although I haven't tried it yet. If the antibiotic you are on is truly not safe for your LO, pump and toss the milk. But if you keep pumping your supply will be there when you are ready for the LO to start taking it again.

Best wishes to you and your LO. Don't let the despair get to you. Hang in there cuz a positive outlook can really change things around. This too shall pass.
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#4 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The one he can't have is doxycycline; It's considered absolutely unsafe during lactation (and in fact my prescription information says that I shouldn't nurse for five full days after the last dose). Even if it wasn't, the fact that it makes me dry heave for several hours after I take it even though I'm taking two antinausea drugs (one of which was created for people undergoing chemotherapy) would make me very, very reluctant to nurse Bear while taking it... especially given that he's already having problems with severe reflux & vomiting. I'm afraid to let him nurse even long enough for the milk to let down... anything that might make him puke more is really really not on my list of things to do.

The only double electric pump I could get my hands on any time soon would be a Lactina, and those are really, really painful (I had one for a time when Bella was mini). I also found them to be less efficient and less effective than hand pumps. Of course there's the staying awake factor, but even holding bottles... I mean, *typing* has my forearms burning and is utterly exhausting for me. This post has taken longer than I care to think about .

I'm just so depressed about it all. :

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#5 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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*hugs* I'm so sorry.

I would try taking some More Milk Plus pills (they have fenugreek plus some other good herbal stuff in them) and start eating lots of oatmeal. If you're able, I'd also invest in a lact-aid or SNS so that when Bear can start nursing again you can build up your supply by supplementing him at the breast till you have enough to nourish him 100 percent on mama milk.

Till then...I'd ask your dp to help you pump. Have him hold the pump up to your breast while you doze.

I'm sorry you're in pain, and sorry that you're dealing with this.

A happy woman
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#6 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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I have an ameda purely yours double pump that works *ok*.. I used it with my 3 year old cause i worked fulltime..
so its used... but ive got no illnesses or anything of the sort .. ,if you want it I can send it to you..pm me your address if you want it

i would ask my husband to help me pump if i was that sick..


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#7 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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There are only two circumstances where domperidone is prescribed in the UK, and one of them is where a mother has been pumping and her milk supply starts to dry up. I know Dea said that she didn't think dom was prescribed over there (reglan instead, I think) but this is something that you need. It can help.
I am so, so, so, so sorry. It damn near broke my heart when Isaac weaned early and I knew he still needed the milk (allergies and crap like that) and he was well past his birthday. I can imagine your pain, and I just want to fix it. I am FURIOUS with your caregivers for putting you in this danger in the first place and for the way your care has been handled.
I did just have a thought, which is that the IV is messing with your fluid balance, which will also affect milk production. My gut instinct, based on what I'm seeing of my own body, is that the body has a very strong sense memory for lactation and it might be easier than you think to relactate once this sorry drama is over.
Oh, whilst I remember to think of it, ask your doctors about manuka honey in your dressings. The district nurses here are getting great results with it on leg ulcers with MRSA :

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#8 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Rynna - please tell me what I can do and I'll bully a sibling into driving me over your way.
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#9 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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My friend was suddenly hospitalized for an operation and could not nurse her baby. Her supply started dropping and I suggested she try taking a high dose of fenugreek pills and then encouraging her ds to nurse often and long when she finally got home. She did, and her milk supply eventually came back to the point she could stop formula and resume breastfeeding.

HTH and best of luck

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#10 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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oh my gosh, i'm so sorry!!

just what i've noticed since i've been pumping and then not, but my supply will increase or decrease drastically with the amount of pumping/nursing i do.

i think that even if you aren't producing much milk now, pump as much as you are able, don't stress, and when you are healed and bear's tummy issues resolve, try nursing again. i don't have any research on this but i've heard women are able to relactate up to 6 months after stopping.

just because your milk is lessening, doesn't mean it's gone, or even disappearing.

eh. who needs a signature?
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#11 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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You can buy domperidone without an Rx at inhousepharmacy.com

Do you have a lactation consultant or LLLL you can call? I feel like you need some hands on local help - someone to help find you a pump, or one of those bras that hold the pump on, etc... I want this to work for you, I'm feeling for you!!!

Lauren (33), writer, recovering academic, WOHM to a highly sensitive child (Robin, Feb '08) and mellow little Holly (Jan '10). Newly diagnosed Bipolar I. rolleyes.gif
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#12 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 10:28 PM
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Aww I'm so sorry, really and truly since I am in a similar situation.
Right now I am using the lactina pump 8-10 times a day, taking up to 5 fenugreek 4-5 times a day (also taking a momma's milk tincture which is fenugreek, red raspberry, nettle and fennel), and I'm taking reglan, which is all I can get here in the states, although apparently I learned today I can order the domperidone which is the better option. If you're already exhausted reglan may not be good for you since one of the side effects is making you sleepy.

I wish I knew more. Someone wise (I think that it was actually here) said to me that there is a reason that formula was invented, I am that reason, and you might be too. I've come to terms with it and now know it's not shameful. That being said I want to breastfeed as much as I can, and I will never be able to exclusively feed Trixie, but every little bit. Even if it is the littlest bit.

Deadra, Wife to Adam , Mama to Beatrix (02/08), Hudson (01/10), and Mazarine (12/13)
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#13 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 04:23 AM
 
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Still thinking of you today. Get some sleep while you can though, huh?

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#14 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 10:24 AM
 
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Huge hugs to you. Everyone pretty much said what I would say, but I want you to know you're in my thoughts.
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#15 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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No help here...just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you today! Hang in there!
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#16 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
The one he can't have is doxycycline; It's considered absolutely unsafe during lactation (and in fact my prescription information says that I shouldn't nurse for five full days after the last dose).
I had a similar situation. On my 5th day postpartum, my milk dried up completely because of a vaginal infection that caused a high fever and dehydration. (Prior to that day, I had a good supply for my newborn, and I had nursed DS1 for 3 1/2 years - so the cause of the supply problem was obviously related to my illness.)

I also needed to be on antibiotics, and tried several that didn't work - ultimately, in consultation with a pharmacist, I ended up taking doxycycline and clindamycin. I was very concerned about safety in lactation, but after reviewing the available medical literature on LactMed ( http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT ) I felt more comfortable with using those two medications. The concern about doxy and other drugs in the tetracycline family is that they may cause staining of the infant's permanent teeth - but short courses of antibiotic during breastfeeding are probably safe. Because I was desperately trying to restore my milk supply, I chose to continue nursing while I was on doxycycline, and I felt that the minimal risk was acceptable. You may want to discuss the literature cited on LactMed with your own doctor, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not doxycycline is an absolute contraindication to nursing your baby. Obviously, YMMV, if your little one is also having GI issues. We both took a LOT of probiotics that week!

My milk came back after a week of regularly pumping/putting baby on the breast, drinking a gallon or more eveyr day of Traditional Medicinals Mother's Milk Nursing Tea, and regularly taking Motherlove's More Milk Plus formula (a pp listed the herbal ingredients; tastes nasty but works great). I really encourage you to use a double electric pump so you can stimulate both sides at one time, and a hands-free nursing bra (Medela makes one, although I've also had succcess just wrapping the straps of my Bravado around the horns of the pump) so that you can rest and relax while you're pumping. Rent a hospital grade pump if you need one, they are totally worth it.

I hope that you recover your health and strength quickly!

Cindy, part-time family doc, full-time Mommy to Jared (2/04) and Connor (2/08) :
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#17 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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*nak*

Rynna,

I am so sorry that you have been aving such a rough time.

i wish there was something i could do to help, is there anything?

i think you should keep trying to pump even though you faall asleep. can you ask someone to set a timer for 20 mins,put up the electric pump and go to sleep, then someone can wake you when the timer goes off?


Allyn birthmom to S 3/12/03, placed in open adoption 4/06, married to W 6/22/07, mama to H 2/5/08, mama to M 8/26/12.
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#18 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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You are still in my thoughs
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#19 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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I've been thinking of you a lot lately after catching up on your blog the other day - I'm sorry it's been so rough for you.

I'm having a similar problem, but for entirely different reasons, and I fear that I'm loosing my milk supply as well. I don't have any good answers, and it breaks my heart to think that nursing may well end soon with this little guy. It's too early, and while I'm grateful that formula exists so that he doesn't starve, I'm just sad overall....

Just wanted to commiserate. Loosing the nursing relationship sucks, and sometimes, there's not a lot you can do about it and remain sane, kwim? I thought about starting reglan, but one of the common side effects is depression, and since I've amazing managed to not go there with this postpartum time (had ppd badly with DS1), I just can't risk it again.
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#20 of 20 Old 03-30-2008, 06:42 AM
 
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Been thinking about you! I agree with Helen, I would look into domperion or Reglan. I am so so sorry that you are still going through this, I wish that I could help somehow! Hugs to you
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