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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Without having to write a book I will make a short and sweet back story here:
I chose not to breastfeed my dd (1st born) as I was horribly un-informed and actually believed it when I was told formula was as good as mama milk. Stupid I know.

I had my heart set on nursing ds into toddlerhood. Yes, I even has an EN goal. Anyway I had ppd real bad and ended up giving up and ff even though I cried for a loong time.

I had tons of problems, I will list them to save time.

Bad latch, would not take more than nipple and a teensy bit of aerola. He had a good size mouth.

Bad tongue placement. My nipple came out looking like a lipstick.

Slow to arrive milk.

Dwindeling supply.

Overactive let down. When I pumped it would make this loud HISSS, HISSS, HISSS, and shoot the back of the pump and spalsh! DS would pop off and scream when it hapened to him. It was horrible because it took me no word of a lie or exaggeration 30 min to an hour to latch on and poorly at that.

Crappy technique. I saw the hospital LC, not an IBCLC either, but free and all we could afford, and she was useless anyway. But said that my hold was awful and that the baby was feeling feraful of being dropped.

Got an SNS and nipple shield at the advice of LLL and neither helped. He would not latch on at all by this point (3 weeks) and screamed like I was stuffing a sock into his mouth once I got my breast in there.

Super flat nipples. I mean F L A T.

Ok, now he is almost 3 months and I want to try again. Since I have a Medela SNS (long term one) and some breast shells to try to draw out the nipples I thought why not?

Current challenges:
3 yr old dd
Dh works 12 hrs a day 5 days a week and I have no one near me who can come over and help me with dd, food or anything. DH will not take time from working since we need every penny just to make ends meet.
All household responsibilities on me, cooking, cleaning, caring for two children, no support form family or friends. LLL was not helpful the first time, i have no reason to believe they will help me now.
Can't afford an LC. Not by a long shot, no savings to tap into either. None.

I am wearing the breast shells all day every day to draw out the nipples. My ds is literally afraid of my breasts, when he gets near them he screams like he is being tortured (not his pain cry tho)

I am thinking that all the work and stress at the first attempt was harder on him than I thought. He has a lazy suck too.

Anyway, I need to help him se my breats as a safe place of love and comfort first, before I can even expect him to want to suckle.

What can I do and then how do i go about re-lactation? What suppliments do I need to help. Fenugreek? Milk Thistle? Pre-natal vites? Any foods to avoid?
I am a vegan, and I do consume a decent amount of soy protein per day.

I read the breastfeeding book and the womanly art of breastfeeding, albeit an really old copy.


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977 Posts
I am so sorry you have had such a bad run of things

I wish I could do more than offer support to you, but I have very little advice.

One thing that caught my eye in your post was the fact that you are eating a lot of soy. I have a dd who is allergic to soy and looking back on her first year (we discovered the allergy when she was about 1yo) I realized that her worst cranky-refusing-the-breast days were days when I ate a lot of soy. My mother swears my sister wouldn't nurse if my mom had just eaten hot dogs. So basicaly I am saying that his refusal may be partially due to a taste/tolerance thing, kwim?

A mama I know on another board had great results increasing her supply, which was practically nothing in the first two weeks, by taking something called Reglan. It's a drug for something else (sorry can't remember what) and one of the side effects is increased milk production. But there are many herbal remedies, like oatmeal, hops and blessed thistle, which work, too.

I know you'll get lots of advice here. Good luck to you

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2,911 Posts
Sorry to hear all the problems you've had. That's enough to deal with without having ppd as well. You have a lot of questions and am in a bit of a hurry so I'll just try to answer a few now. I'll come back later.

"My ds is literally afraid of my breasts, when he gets near them he screams like he is being tortured (not his pain cry tho)
Anyway, I need to help him se my breats as a safe place of love and comfort first, before I can even expect him to want to suckle."

Do you co-sleep? Try just lying down with him topless and snuggling. Try the baby honeymoon idea. Just to get him comfy again. Try dripping milk on your nipples to encourage him to latch on. Just let him 'play' at nursing for a bit. Make it a game. My dd would lie there, latch on terribly, spit it out, laugh, roll over, roll back again and repeat this... She seemed to think it was fun! My poor nipple! Anyway just playing a bit might help. Take it slowly and don't have high expectations. If he's receptive, try nursing when he's sleepy, lying down in bed.

I got my dd nursing exclusively at 16 weeks and she used to act like your son. It's so discouraging and depressing. I'd 'give up' for a few days and just bottlefeed her and then try again, and it went on and on for ages.

sorry, gotta go...

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9,433 Posts
reglan is good domperidone is better
reglan has more side effects.

are you familiar with the kellymommsite? she has lots of info on relactation.

will come back later.

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85 Posts
I have been EPing for my 16 wk dd for the past 8 wks due to some complications (another story). I have been trying to get her back to breast for past 8 wks on her terms. As posted before - make your boobs fun again. Laying down topless with Ady seems to have worked best for us. I will lay on my back and give her belly time over my boob - she'll latch and pull off and repeat when she's in the mood. If she's more serious I'll roll on my side and position her - it hasn't been till the past 4 weeks that she's seriously latched - 2-3 of latch and just sitting there to fall asleep - several times of pulling - and 2 times of any noticable milk transfer. What has kept her interest was my nursing necklace - you can find some at I only wore it during nursing sessions so it is a special toy she looks forward to.

All of this said, as soon as dd would show any sign of frustration, I would immediately stop and get her into a different position not associated with bf. You need to take it real slow and on their terms - and not get frustrated (easier said than done). I was at a point 7 weeks ago where I just wanted to protect my milk supply, then it was maybe I'll be able to comfort nurse her, now I'm pushing toward feeding her when I'm not at work. It's all a process - set yourself some reasonable goals so the task is not so overwhelming.

Hope this helps!

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11,048 Posts
Tracy, just to allay any fears, no one here is going to criticize you, judge you, or refuse to give you advice because you haven't been able to breastfeed so far.

Justice2 is also relactating for her son; you might want to PM her and get her input.

I third the above about getting ds comfy with your breasts as a source of comfort and fun. I would be topless holding him as much as possible day and night. Taking baths together is another good way to connect.

Fenugreek and blessed thistle are a great combination of milk-boosting herbs; alfalfa and nettles are also good. Oatmeal for breakfast every morning!

The biggest thing you need is nipple stimulation. That's what will get your milk in, and if your ds isn't nursing you need to be pumping every couple of hours. Do you have a breastpump? If not, let me know and I can send you an Avent Isis, which is a manual. An electric would be better but the Avent Isis is a good pump and better than nothing. I can send it to you for free, as I have an extra.

I know money is really tight for you, but have you called around to lactation consultants to see if any will work with you on a sliding scale? My lactation consultant charged $80 for the initial visit and then follow up phone calls were free. I live in a big metropolitan area and I assume her rates were about the most you'd expect anywhere. Can you borrow from a friend or relative, or ebay some stuff, to try to raise a little cash?

You can find a lactation consultant in your area at Please try calling; the worst that can happen is that you will not find someone who can help you out for a reduced rate, and then you're no worse off than when you started.

Here are some pages from Kellymom you should read:

Hang in there, mama. You are still a good mama even if you can't breastfeed your baby.

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12,264 Posts
Just saw this thread.

You say your nipples had a new lipstick appearance when you nursed in the early days? this is a sign of tongue-tie. All 3 of mine were tongue-tied, and my nipples looked like this each time, with a blood blister on top of the upper tip of the nipple too. This is caused by the nipple not being drawn far enough into the mouth, so that it is pressed up against the hard palate.

In all 3 cases, the babies accomodated for their tongues, or their frenulums stretched/grew just a little longer, and the soreness went away. In my ds' case, he would click when he nursed (sign of breaking suction when he swallowed). I would have to hold my breast in place for him for the frst 3 mos.

I never knew they were tongue-tied at the time! Now I know more about it and I also know of many moms who had the frenulum clipped and the babies nursed better from the very first feeding!

So, this might factor in to your lactation. Try a different LLL Leader. Most that I know are not so quick to rec nipple shields!

Good luck!

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2,911 Posts
A few other things I wanted to add:

At 3 months, your son might not have the problems latching on that he had as a newborn. He may have outgrown them. That's what happened with my dd.

Having said that, he most definitely will have bottle preference issues which is what my dd had. Definitely read all you can on

Keep working on getting him back to the breast as discussed above. Use the SNS to drip milk onto your breast to entice him.

To get your supply going again - you will need to pump probably every 2-3 hours, after nursing if he's nursing. It's a lot of work, you'll probably just get drops at first but it'll work in the end. That first 3 mo pp, you body is very adaptable. Take the Reglan or domperidone, whatever you can get. Take the herbs (I found them cheapest at The Vitamin Shoppe).

Once he CAN latch on, you can start working on the bottle preference issues.

It's gonna be a lot of work but know that it IS 'do-able'. And you'll be rewarded with the ease of nursing (cause it really does get very easy - although when I was where you were at, I couldn't believe it!) for the next 2 years or so.

Given your situation with lack of support, do try LLL again. My local group also wasn't much help but the leader did put me onto another local group who were more experienced and I found an LC this way who was absolutely wonderful, reduced her rates for me, often didn't even charge for follow ups. Usually just the first visit is the most expensive anyway. I mistakenly thought LCs charged about $80-100 for every visit (and some nurse practitioner LCs do) but often that's just the first visit which is usually lengthy cause they need to get your history. LCs who aren't nurse practitioners charge lower rates. I had visions of needing 10 visits or so at $80 and didn't get a private LC until about 6 weeks pp. I wish I'd done it earlier. That initial cost of the LC seems like nothing to me now that I'm still nursing and don't need to buy formula. I also hope to nurse for at least 2 years.
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