I had to start supplementing... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At almost 3 weeks he's more than a pound under birth weight and losing. Had the MW out yesterday, and he's swallowing every 10 or 12 sucks instead of every 2-3 like he should be if he were getting enough. And it appears I have no hind milk, he's just not getting the fat he needs, and he'd turned into a sleepy baby - he just didn't have the strength to suck any more.

I feel like crap. Of all the things about being a mom, I was SO looking forward to the BFing relationship.

Even pumping, I'm not getting much at all. Maybe 1/4 oz at a time. In a full day of pumping I'd managed to get 1 oz total. He's drinking over an oz of formula at each feeding, and yesterday he was feeding every hour.

I don't know if he's tongue-tied, but it's a possibility... I know I was TT - I had it partially clipped in my 20s, but I'm still tied. I did ask my MW, but he doesn't have the front tie like I did, and I don't know that she'd recognize a posterior tie.


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#2 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Oh, I am so sorry, Cristeen! Are you trying all the rigamarole like beer, brewer's yeast, fenugreek? I can't imagine how sad you must feel. Don't beat yourself up, mama. There's nothing wrong with supplementing while you figure out what is going on. It doesn't make you a bad mom.

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#3 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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I'm sorry. I don't have any advice, just You're little guy is so lucky to have a mama who cares so much about him.

Christy wash.gif Mom to DS 4/21/04 reading.gif DD 9/20/09  dust.gif DD 7/2/11jog.gif

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#4 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Hugs. . .I am having some serious Bf challenges and I know how much it sucks. I too wanted and expected a smooth BF relationship and instead these first two weeks with my LO have been a hell of nipple trauma.

Try to keep believing you are doing everything you can for your babe.

photosmile2.gif Me= crunchy mama to one rambunctious toddler, born on October 1, 2009. And one sweet little baby born January 19, 2012. heartbeat.gif

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#5 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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I know this is hard for you, but he is still getting some breastmilk and that's great!! Do you ever pump while baby is nursing?? That way both breasts are stimulated at the same time. I know that helps me pump better .

I can't remember if your LO was the one who didn't poop the first 10 days of life? Is he pooping several times a day now that he's getting more fluids? output increased?

ETA: I just realized my above comment about poo could be misunderstood and sound crabby. I surely don't mean it that way. Just hoping your little one perks up and you two can get through this together.

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#6 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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awww mama
hugs to you
keep doing what you are doing and when he gets stonger he may be able to up your supply with a stronger suck...

wife & holistic mama of 1 girl, 1 boy and 1 :
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#7 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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Oh Cristeen!!!

First rule is "feed the baby", but you know that.

Give yourself a break, it's not that you're not trying, you're doing everything "right". Hopefully it is a fixable problem (tongue tie, or baby just got too lethargic and once he perks up from the formula and you build your supply, you can get him back on the breast).

I completely understand the feelings of missing out on the breastfeeding relationship. I had a horrible time feeding Connor. We managed to keep him on the breast and not supplement, but it was SO stressful that it definitely was not enjoyable!! Many feedings, especially at night, were me crying while trying desperately to feed him! Then I'd pump and cry some more! That's not how it's supposed to be! I feel you there, boy do I!

Right now, focus on getting his weight up and your supply up. You can do this! Even if you have to partially supplement all the time, he IS getting mama milk, and it's SO obvious you love him!!!!! You're a WONDERFUL mama!

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#8 of 21 Old 10-13-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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much love and hugs mama. keep up the hard work. i just replied to your thread in the breastfeeding forums. i am in the same boat and this is my second time dealing with it. the first time dd lost 2 lbs and looked horrible. i started supp at 2 1/2 weeks with her and now she is a beautiful and healthy 2 1/2 yo. it all works out.


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#9 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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Awww Cristeen! I'm so sorry, I can imagine how devastating that must be.

You probably are having supply issues because he's not nursing effectively. I'd try all of those things mentioned above; fenugreek always worked for me. What kind of pump do you have? I loved my Pump n Style, and hate the Medela hand pump that I have now.

My ds2 was tongue tied, and he got so tired trying to nurse. He could only do it for so long, and then he'd just fall asleep because he'd expended so much energy trying to get the milk. And then he hadn't gotten enough, so he had even less energy and slept even more... but his was the obvious kind of TT. I clipped it.

Now it seems I have been reading more and more lately about posterior tongue tie, and how it really takes an experienced eye to diagnose it. I have a friend whose son was not gaining weight well, and a posterior TT turned out to be his problem. She got it fixed and he is now gaining like crazy.

I know I was just reading somewhere on MDC about a group of doctors in New York who treat tongue tie... I think the poster even said that you could email good pictures for them to look at. I'll try to find it.

eta: OK, here's the thread I was thinking of. Hopefully there's good information in there (some people who seem particularly well-informed weigh in near the end of the thread).

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#10 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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Aw, Mama....I've been there. Looking back, I honestly wish I would've just taken the suuplements (the ones to increase bm, that is) sooner. The one I've been eyeing up right now is called "more Milk Plus". There's even a second product that has Goat's Rue to help build the milk ducts up - you might want to check that one out. And just keep nursing him and then pumping when he's done. That should help increase your supply as well.

Don't feel bad - you're doing everything you can for him. But, ultimately, you just gotta get nutrition into him one way or another - in one end and out another. You can also give him anything you pump via syringe so you make sure he gets all of that.

You're doing a great job!

Julia(34), Mommy to: Maddie(10), Grace(6), Charlotte (3) and our only Little Man (due 2/23). 

It's a crazy life!

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#11 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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Aww- I know it stinks, and it's really hard to feel like something that seems like it should be so easy/natural doesn't work. But, sometimes it isn't easy and it doesn't work the way you want. You're still nursing- and you can continue to keep nursing even if you need to supplement as well.

Please be aware that what you are able to pump is not necessarily what you can produce or what the baby gets. I do not let down at all for a pump- it gives e flashbacks to dairy farms and I get NOTHING. I can hand express pretty effectively, and I can pump effectively when baby is nursing on the other side. Some women just can't pump. Do before and after weights to see how much milk is being transferred- keep a log for a week or so, and certainly, supplement if you need to to keep the baby healthy.

Supplementing does not doom your breastfeeding relationship.

I'm struggling right now with HUGE overproduction problems, but it's all foremilk, so he's constantly hungry. I'm expressing about 3oz/side before feeding him in order to get to hindmilk, block feeding, and hoping. It's really frustrating when our bodies don't work as we expect.

Hang in there. You are nursing him, and that's the most important thing. Keep going, get his energy up and you may well get him back exclusively on the breast.

You're a great mama, he's blessed to have you.
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#12 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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Wanted to chime in and just offer hugs and support. I read your post but was nursing and couldn't reply. But thought about it all night. I am sure you will get your LO on track. The most important thing is your baby is healthy!

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#13 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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Cristeen, I remember a thread a while back when you (I think it was you anyway) mentioned your baby only peeing every 4 hours. I probably should have posted it, but my first thought when I read that is that he is not getting enough milk.

For ANYONE having breastfeeding problems, I think a great first step is to contact your local La Leche League leader. Attend a meeting if you can, but just give the local leader a call. If you don't get a hold of one, call another. Call one in the next town over if you have to. I can't speak for all LLL groups or leaders, but an LLL leader can probably help you, either by giving you breastfeeding info or by referring you to someone who can treat a particular problem, like tongue tie.

Not all lactation consultants are super helpful. Find one who is if you can't get in touch with LLL or LLL can't help you.

I have been on this list for years and it is a good source of breastfeeding support. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group...t_for_Mothers/

Many moms can't pump very well. How much you can pump is not necessarily a good indication of milk supply.

If the issue is that you have low supply, why? It would be good to know if the problem originated with you or the baby. If it is tongue tie, there is likely nothing wrong with you and you just need to get the tongue tie fixed and build your supply up. Do you have flat nipples and the baby is having trouble latching? Do you have a medical condition that could cause low supply?
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#14 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Not in you DDC, but I had many nursing problems with my DD starting out.

I would recommend contacting a IBCLE certified lactation consultant. They are going to be the prime, go-to experts on breastfeeding. I'm sure your midwife could recommend one. The woman I hired came to my house, weighed the baby, watched me feed her, helped us, and then weighed the baby again to see how much she got during the feeding. Then she wrote up a sheet of recommendations. In total she visited us two times.

It was so wonderful to have someone come to our home and see us in our natural nursing environment (as opposed to a clinic). This person is also going to be highly trained and "seen it all" so to speak.

Good luck and you can do it!

BTW, I also supplemented my DD so I know how you feel. I cried the first time I gave her formula. She is now 2 1/2 and still nursing. I hope that gives you some hope that it can be done!

Mama to my beautiful Ana Carolina (2/07), Isabel Cristina (6/10), and #3 on the way in August 2013!

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#15 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the support, ladies. The MW was back out today, he has noticeably gained some chub in his face in just 2 days. I'm getting a little bit more with the pump than I was 2 days ago, but it's still less than an ounce at a time, and most of that is off one side, the other barely produces enough to cover the bottom of the bottle.

In further discussing things with her, she thinks I may just not have much breast tissue - a side effect of PCOS during puberty. While I have considerable breast mass, chances are good that it's mostly fat stores. She's encouraging me to keep pumping and see what we can get, but to try to accept that I may be stuck supplementing him permanently.

I'm going to call my LLL leader and ask about getting an SNS, so I can keep him at the breast as much as possible, and I'm looking at my options for making my own formula.

I'm still , but it helps to hear that chances are there is/was nothing I did to cause it.

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#16 of 21 Old 10-14-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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That's so interesting. Did she say anything about goat's rue then? I thought that was supposed to help with that sort of tissue???? And I have to hear about the homemade formula.....

Julia(34), Mommy to: Maddie(10), Grace(6), Charlotte (3) and our only Little Man (due 2/23). 

It's a crazy life!

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#17 of 21 Old 10-15-2009, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Julia24 View Post
That's so interesting. Did she say anything about goat's rue then? I thought that was supposed to help with that sort of tissue???? And I have to hear about the homemade formula.....
Yeah, I'm on 2 goat's rue blends, and I'm going to head out tomorrow and pick up straight goat's rue. Between that and the changes in diet, I'd suspect that's the cause of the slight increase in production. It can only help so far, though. Without sufficient breast tissue, I may never be able to produce enough... and she suspects that the left breast (which is the lopsided one) has minimal tissue.

But the one good note so far... I had A on my lap tonight, and he was rooting, I tried giving him the bottle, and he spat it out and kept bobbing his head at my chest and making grunting noises... he absolutely refused the bottle, but latched right on my breast when I gave it to him. So he's not getting a whole lot from me, but he likes what he's getting.

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#18 of 21 Old 10-15-2009, 09:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
But the one good note so far... I had A on my lap tonight, and he was rooting, I tried giving him the bottle, and he spat it out and kept bobbing his head at my chest and making grunting noises... he absolutely refused the bottle, but latched right on my breast when I gave it to him. So he's not getting a whole lot from me, but he likes what he's getting.
that's awesome!!!

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#19 of 21 Old 10-15-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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#20 of 21 Old 10-15-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
But the one good note so far... I had A on my lap tonight, and he was rooting, I tried giving him the bottle, and he spat it out and kept bobbing his head at my chest and making grunting noises... he absolutely refused the bottle, but latched right on my breast when I gave it to him. So he's not getting a whole lot from me, but he likes what he's getting.
Mothering at the breast is almost as--if not equally as--important as nourishing at the breast. Keep letting him latch and comfort nurse!!!

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#21 of 21 Old 10-16-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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s Cristeen I notived you said you had PCOS and you have some challenges conceiving (your sig says you did ART for three years). Low supply and PCOS usually go hand in hand. You are doing the best you can with your body has dealt you. Have you thought about usually a SNS (supplemental nursing syetem) and give your breastmilk and formula in it. That way the constant stimulation of the nipple will force your breast to start producing more.
The bottle makes it easier for your LO to become a lazy feeder. I highly suggest you contact a IBCLC and find out about SNS you may have to supplement for the duration of your nursing experience but your could be doing it while the baby is at the breast and not with a bottle.
Ultimately, you have to do what works best for you. You are doing a great job so give yourself a huge pat on the back. I do not know if anyone mentioned this before but do you have a friend who could donate to you?

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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