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7 weeks...too late to try?

907 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Mother2Amaya
My dd is 7 weeks old and I tried to BF at about 4 weeks and she did okay for a few times but when we visited with the LC, my dd screamed because of the position that she was put in and I think it turned her off. She fussed the rest of the day. I got a Medela PIS and tried to pump but didn't get anything at all and pretty much gave up, even selling the pump.

Now I regret quitting and want to try again because she is on formula that is just horrible tasting and expensive because she has allergies.

She can still latch on but usually fusses after a few sucks. I still try, even though I get frustrated.

I think I still have an okay milk supply because I can express a spray from both sides at times and have been doing it alot to try to keep the supply up.

Anyway, I really can't afford to buy the PIS again and need to probably pump... do you think an Isis would be good enough? Any tips for getting her to latch or how to do this? Is it way too late?

I get so frustrated but really want to do this. I really need to get more patience with the situation.
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LLL in your area can help! Maybe with a supplemental nursing system she would get less frustrated- and have milk without getting a bottle.

I've heard that our local WIC office loans breast pumps to.

Since it doesn't sound liek you've ever stopped lactating maybe you just need to boost your supply rather than actually relactate. More time at the breast would help- and if she is getting frustrated than a SNS might be great. I'm sure your local LLL could help set you up with one. Also you can take fenugreek. Honestly the best thing I found for supply was lots of oatmeal and lots of water.

You CAN do this
I'm sure of it, it WILL be worth the struggle... and you'll have so much to be proud of!
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Aww thanks! She's my little angel!

I really appreciate the encouragement. I'll need all I can get! I didn't even consider asking WIC about a breast pump... good idea! I think I'll try calling the hospital's LC and see what they have to say and trying LLL for ideas on the supplemental system.

I know I'm going to be drinking LOTS of water today and looking for some tea or Fenugreek.

It's going to be challenging but I really feel the urge to do this... maternal instincts!
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WIC GAVE me a Medela Double Electric in '02' when I went back to work after dd's birth. They also lend out the hospital grade ones too, which you would be better off borrowing right now. SNS is the best way to go. I have heard that some WIC offices have these too. Good luck.
It sounds like supply is not an issue but that your dd may be used to the bottle and not having to work as hard. When she latches on the milk isn't right there when she wants it, she has to work for it and doesn't want to.

With a SNS she'll be getting what she wants and stimulating the breasts to produce more milk.

If you used a pump you could pump for a couple of minutes until let down is there and then see if she'll start nursing.

Hand expressing may work just as well plus you won't have to move the pump & accessories out of the way spraying milk all over the

Since she does latch on I don't think it'll be that hard to relactate. When she does start taking the breast nurse her every 2hours to help build up your supply.
I also suggst an SNS

and I also think your dd is beautiful
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yeah an SNS would probably cure her screaming at the breast until your milk came back.

Also you asked about the Isis. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Isis. I had a Lactina and never got what I could with the Isis. They work differently and I really prefer the Isis. It would be worth the investment in my opinion.
I have no experiance with this, or advice, but I just wanted tos ay - Good fro you for trying!!!

You can do it
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I also wanted to say that it's normal to get nothing when you first start off pumping but it does not mean you do not have milk, you just need to keep pumping and bf'ing to increase your supply. The more the demand, the larger the supply.
If she has allergies then you will need to eliminate the foods she's allergic or sensitive to from your diet as well. Dairy is a huge culprit.

Check out for lots of links on relactating/getting baby back to the breast, boosting supply, an elimination diet for food sensitivities, etc.

Good luck! You can do it!
How's it going? I hope well
I wish I lived close enough to help you out. I didn't have milk until my DD was a month old, because I'm nursing after breast surgery- and I was told by everyone I could't physically BF. I just nursed my 3 yr old and my 1 yr old to bed and sent them off with nice full tummies
I think you're at a point where you very much can still nurse.

When I used the SNS (had to since I didn't have any milk) it had a "cut off" so I could decide when to start the flow of milk- I just let her nurse as long as I thought she would before letting the milk go. Slowly giving her more time at the breast without it flowing so she got used to it taking a minute.

My hospitals LC had all kinds of "grants" and ways around charging for the services. you just had to qualify financially. So calling would be a great idea.

Let us know how it is going, and if you were able to get any help. Were you able to get your hands on a pump or SNS?
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WIC gave me a Medela Lactina pedal pump, which so far has given me nothing but trouble and frustration! I can't get anything but the milk to surface but nothing actually flows into the bottle.
: I have been trying to latch Amaya on to no avail. Well, she'll latch and then pull herself off, flail her arms, and cry. Then I cry!

They discontinued her Nutramigen without Lipil and took it off the shelf so we weaned her onto Carnation Good Start without DHA/ARA because she gets extremely uncomfortable and gassy on the DHA/ARA. Well now she is screaming and gassy on the CGS. The only thing she tolerated was that Nutramigen and they just HAD to discontinue it. It motivates me to BF but I feel so bad that she is so miserable in the meantime. Lipil smells horrible.

I've continued the fenugreek. Honestly last night I was so frustrated, I told my husband, in tears, "I give up." I woke up feeling differently though. As always.

I made an appointment with the LC at her ped office tomorrow at 1:35 so hopefully they can help with the latching and stuff too and give me suggestions. I also got the name/number of the local LLL leader and will call her. I paged the hospital LC but she hasn't called me back.

Well, if you have any advice, pass it along... especially about pumping. I bet I'd have success with a hospital grade pump.
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Relactation is more than possible! Congradulations on wanting to give it a try again. Now for the advice...
Since you mentioned your little one has allergies, I suggest you cut all dairy out of your diet and don't sub soy, sub rice milk or other (it takes 2 wks for it to fully be gone, but don't wait to start bf she'll probably be fine). I've been dairy free for 2 years b/c of Douglas's stomache problems.

You may need to purchase a SNS (supplemental nurser system). Your little one will get the immediate satisfaction which is what she is now use to from the bottle and you get the nipple simulation that you need to bring your milk back up to a full supply. With my first I tried to alternate between bf and bottle feeding during the same feeding, it didn't work, I wish I'd had an SNS. I did not successfully bf my first b/c of bad information and lack of support.

The best piece of information I ever got (from an IBCLC when I was pregnant with #2)) was that a woman has multiple "let-downs" that can be 5 - 7 minutes apart. I waited almost 20 minutes with my little Douglas for a let down, he was wimpering and crying and I just latched him back on again and again. I stroked his little head and said, "suck baby it will come". I didn't alternate breast the way I should have b/c I thought it would be better to stimulate each breast a little instead of a lot. I wish I had followed the nurse on the side you last nursed on, first with the next feeding; I have been doing this with Amelia and she is so filled out!

The above method of just continuing to latch the baby on (w/o a SNS is the cheapest, but the most frustrating).

Finding a good lactation consultant is sometimes very difficult. If your local hospital has bf services, they may do free consults (ours does). If you have about $150 and insurance which you can fight for the reimbursement, find a IBCLC in private practice.

A La Leche League meeting or call to a local leader is a good place to go for support, but as far as good advice on relactation, I was steared the wrong way.

Read, Read, Read... The best thing you can do is educate yourself on how your breast work. Be sure that your sources are pro-bf ; LLL has good publications The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, everytime I read it I get something new from it and Dr. Sears Breastfeeding Book. The library can be a great resource for free reading.

Reglan is a prescription drug that is prescribed for lactation when a woman has stopped, but it is most successful if used before 12wks (from The Nursing Mother's Companion 3rd revised Ed. pg 81 - 83 relactation) Good book to read except the pages on "crying it out" pg189

Best of luck to you, I personally know how frustrating it is. I still cry that I didn't get it right for my first born.
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It sounds like the pedal pump was lacking the necessary valves in the breast cup to bottle area. If you got a manual take a look, the pedal pump is just like the lactina (electic motion, same unit base) which is a hospital grade pump. LC (good or bad) can fix that problem.

I have two Ameda hand pumps (I bought them on sale at wal-mart $15 each, regularly $35). I have better success with this style hand pump than the medela hand pump (which is the same pump base as the pedal and lactina electric). I haven't tried the Avent hand pump, but hear great things about it.

I bought a Whisper Wear pump, you wear this one in your bra. I can pump on one side while I'm feeding on the other (the only reason why I bought this one over something else.) The biggest draw back is you must use their collection bags, so if you were pumping long term, it could get expensive (not as expensive as formula though) and you can't buy them at a store, you have to buy them on-line or catalog.

I wish you the best.
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Can you afford an SNS? The one I used was the one that was 14.95 here: Your LC might also have one to give you. Post after your appt- I'm anxious to know how it goes.

The sns sounds like a need for you- if Amaya will latch on- and get milk- she'll likely stay. Which will stimulate milk production.
I have a 'starter" SNS that was in a box of babyproofing stuff my husband picked up at a yard sale. Unopened in the sealed package - I could dig itout and mail it to you if you think it would help...
Another semi-bad experience with an LC. She said "I think it's probably too late for you." Then she said, well, since you spent the money renting the pump, go ahead and pump every 2-3 hours for 20-25 minutes each time and if you don't see at least 2 ounces each time by Monday, just quit because there probably isn't any way to do it.
I told her I was taking Fenugreek and she said "I don't think that's going to be the magic bullet but you can go ahead and take it." I told her what the doctor said yesterday at the other clinic about her thrush and she basically slammed the doctor and said that I should leave her on the formula she is on now and that we should use the Nystatin four times a day instead of the 3 she told me.

She just kept saying, "honestly, I think it's probably too late. Maybe with your next baby."

From a LC? I was shocked!

Then the doctor yesterday told me not to latch Amaya today beacuse of the thrush... she didn't want it to spread to my breasts and put me in pain and then turn around and give it back to Amaya. I told the LC that but she said she thought we should try anyway. Amaya just screamed.

Ugh... I'm pumping but I'm getting discouraged.
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Amy- let me tell you a bit about my story.

I had breast surgery before I had my kids. Didn't really think about breastfeeding or any of that. When I was pregnant with Malia I KNEW I wanted to breastfeed and didn't even think it would be a problem. She screamed. Latched and screamed. I went to the Dr and hospital LC and Malia was loosing weight and her biliruben was rising. I had no milk. I balled, I cried, but I kept trying. The Dr gave up first, handed me formula packets and said to go buy some bottles. I left so depressed. The LC consultant gave up next. She said "You're just not physically capable of breastfeeding" I had the SNS at home so I kept using it. I guess I just wasn't ready to hand her a bottle. She was getting formula though since I had nothing. not even a drop. Pumping every 2 hours, nursing with teh system... all of it.

I went to a new pediatrician because I was so mad at my first one. He said "just relax and let your body do what it knows how to do. This is what your breasts exist for. Go home, relax. Drink a lot of water- have a beer if it will help you relax. Throw away your nursing system and don't look back" Now some may say his advice was dangerous. but i left feeling invigorated. I didn't throw the SNS away, I kept using it. But I sort of started weaning her off of it. I would see how long she would suck before she started getting antsy for milk and then I'd let the milk flow. I drank a couple guiness (dark beer with hops) and literally within 3 days she was nursing (and receiving) without the SNS. She is 3 and still nursing alongside her 15 mo old sister.

Everyone gave up on my body when they shouldn't have. I'm so glad I stuck to it- through the tears and frustration I stuck to it. And now I have two healthy happy breastfed babies.

Drs and even LC (especially pediatrician office LC's) will give up on you long before they should. Take TammyLC up on sending you the SNS- it WILL make all the difference. you can't produce milk without stimulating your breasts. Amaya will be able to get formula at the breast and get used to finding comfort and nurishment at your breast. then it will not be such a struggle and frustration. And your body WILL start producing enough milk to nourish her. Believe in the power of your body to feed her.

I'm thinking about ya- please keep us posted!
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Y'know, the LC didn't even mention an SNS. She just said "she won't latch if there is no supply. Pump and if you can get your supply up, get in touch with me and let me know and we can work on latch at that point." When she tried to get her to latch, she said "we can work with that. That's not the problem." It is for me! I then told her I had hold problems and she worked with me to show me one hold and wasn't very good about it.

I think I need to can the ped office and LC and go with a LLL leader. I think someone else had offered to send me an SNS but if I do not receive it, I will be happy to take Tammy's off of her hands.
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