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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 36weeks with #2.<br><br>
With #1 i had low supply due to a thyroid issue and a lot of stress, and ended up having to supplement from 5months and wean onto formula at 7months (combination of low supply and DD went on breast strike because she knew a bottle was easier - she had bottles when she was with her father who i left when she was a few months old).<br><br>
Obviously i am keen to avoid this happening this time! I hope to feed into the 2nd year and beyond.<br><br>
To this end i'm being monitored carefully both now and after the birth for my thyroid function (i wasn't medicated until she was 10months old due to useless careproviders), i am in a happy, stable relationship which isn't on the verge of breakdown, i have a loving partner who is as dedicated to BFing as i am, i have friends on hand to provide donor milk should i need it, i plan not to offer bottles this time at all, i have 2 pumps, one manual, one electric (i couldn't get let-down for the manual one once the stress kicked in last time which made saving my supply so difficult).<br><br>
I recently began looking at at-breast-supplementers. I'm not going to buy one yet, i am going into this positively, BUT i have seen several kinds and wondered what the differences are. At the moment i'm drawn to the sns, purely because i found it on Amazon, it's fairly cheap, and it's a brand (medela) i'm familiar with.<br><br>
BUt i see a lot of people on MDC recommend the lact-aid over the sns, and i was wondering why that was...and if anyone can offer advice on which i should go for and so on. I would use it mainly as intended, at the breast, but it's also possible if i was out that DH might use it to finger-feed the baby on occasion when baby is older and my supply is established.<br><br>
Thanks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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The Lact-aid, although more expensive, is quite simply much easier to use not so fiddly, especially when going for long term use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. They look the same to me, except the lact-aid means you throw away the milk pouch where the sns you refill... What makes the sns more fiddly? And do you know where the lact-aid can be gotten in the UK? I'm in Scotland, UK amazon has the sns but i can't find the lact-aid. I would order from the US if i had to, just keen to support UK BFing industry if possible. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Hi - think you'd have to order from the USA - whereabouts in Scotland? I'm from just east of Edinburgh, there are LLL groups in *******, Aberdeen(ish) and Edinburgh which may help you as well. You don't have to throw away the pouch from the Lact-aid all the time, I know many mothers who just rinse and re-use so that's certainly an option, have a think about it, as far as I can understand about the SNS it's the tubes which are difficult to regulate the flow etc and certainly from what I can understand but I'm sure some of the sns/lactaid users would be able to give you more specific information. Good luck on your birth - where are you going to be? Hope it's all wonderful for you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We're in Rutherglen, just south of *******, but i'm from all over the country! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
All things being equal we'll be home, but with an IM this time (NHS last time). I cannot tell you how much i'm looking forward to it, i really enjoyed having DD, it was wonderful. I actually think, given how different my pregnancy has been, that everything will be fine with breastfeeding this time. BUT i am not willing to live with the regret i suffered last time again if it's just due to a lack of preparation.<br><br>
My problem, if i have one, will kick in around 4months PP, not at the newborn stage (my thyroid bloods have been excellent all pregnancy) so maybe that will make a difference with flow? I don't need something which will trickle slowly particularly - most likely the opposite, something which will gush a bit to keep the baby interested if my let-down lets us down <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Thanks so much for your help, whereabouts are you from? DH is mainly from here (East Kilbride and *******) but i've lived in Macclesfield (Cheshire), Kirkwall on Orkney, Perth and all over ******* over the years.
 

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So far as I know, you have to buy the LA directly from the producer.<br><br>
When we were using 100% BM (donor milk), I reused my bags. I'd usually get about a day out of them before they'd tear. Now that we're on formula though, I am less comfortable with that because formula does breed bacteria at a faster rate than BM. I do still reuse them once, but we're also no longer exclusively at the breast, so they spend a lot of time in the fridge.<br><br>
As for which is easier to use, I've never used an SNS, but I will say that with the LA, it was really nice in the early days to be able to make up 3 or 4 bags, pop them in the fridge and not have to worry about it for a while. I had 6 sets, so I could get most of the day's meals made and stashed in the fridge and not have to stress. At the end of the day when he was asleep for the night I could wash the tubes and deal with it all then.<br><br>
Once I got the hang of it and started reusing bags though, I only make 1 bag at a time anymore.<br><br>
Since you're going to have to pay for the shipping anyway - I'd recommend getting at the very least the starter pack + an extra set of 4, and at least 8 rolls of bags. My guy is 7 mo, has gotten virtually no milk from me since about 2 weeks old, and we're on bag roll #6, IIRC. (Although they say that a roll of bags will only last you a week.) That was with nearly exclusive LA use from about 4 weeks until almost 5 mos, and tapering off until we're nursing only 2-3x/day now.
 

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Lact-Aid ALL THE WAY. There will still be a learning curve, but it is SO much more user-friendly than the SNS. I've got my hands full at the moment but I'll come back and to to explain a little bit about why.
 

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Yup. Lact-Aid all the way.<br>
And I'll share my best LA tip - making cleaning and filling your them DH's job <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GoBecGo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15379387"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We're in Rutherglen, just south of *******, but i'm from all over the country! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
All things being equal we'll be home, but with an IM this time (NHS last time). I cannot tell you how much i'm looking forward to it, i really enjoyed having DD, it was wonderful. I actually think, given how different my pregnancy has been, that everything will be fine with breastfeeding this time. BUT i am not willing to live with the regret i suffered last time again if it's just due to a lack of preparation.<br><br>
My problem, if i have one, will kick in around 4months PP, not at the newborn stage (my thyroid bloods have been excellent all pregnancy) so maybe that will make a difference with flow? I don't need something which will trickle slowly particularly - most likely the opposite, something which will gush a bit to keep the baby interested if my let-down lets us down <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Thanks so much for your help, whereabouts are you from? DH is mainly from here (East Kilbride and *******) but i've lived in Macclesfield (Cheshire), Kirkwall on Orkney, Perth and all over ******* over the years.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
If its not too much to ask, can you describe your nursing situation with your first child - there's a couple of alarm bells going off in my head about something you mentioned but I don't want to jump to conclusions, you could PM me if you don't want to publish it - or I guess I could call you and we could chat about it - let me know whether or not you would like to share this and maybe I could help further with something. The birth sounds great - the UK are really pushing for all non-risk pregnancies to be homebirths - how refreshing!! Look into LLLGB for groups in your area; I'm from Gullane on the east coast - although I've lived in Istanbul, Venice, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Treviso and now Paris; still miss the sea and the hills though .... sigh!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was pregnant, after being overweight for years despite being active and eating well (about 30-40lbs overweight) and 2 unexplained early miscarriages.<br><br>
I had high BP throughout my pregnancy, some of which was definitely white-coat (could get it down by 8-10 points diastolic by calming myself down) but part probably due to un-dx hypothyroidism. By 24 weeks i had a goitre, but when i pointed it out to a MW i was told "it's just your glands". I never mentioned it again.<br><br>
DD was born at home, i used entonox for the last hour. My birth was good but the midwives weren't amazing - i had a long pre-labour and a fast active phase and they were about to do a VE to "see if i was in labour yet" when i lay down and her head was crowning. I was using the entonox so i wouldn't push (i really wanted to), and my 2nd stage was written up as 5mins - that was the contraction where they saw her head, a gap and then the one contraction where i pushed, once, and she sailed out.<br><br>
She had a BF 40mins after birth and was great at latching. I have v. large breasts and in those days had flat nipples, and some of the advice i got was not good ("don't hold your breast, you'll get mastitis") but i just did when felt right for us and my milk came in on day 4. I never had cracks or sore nipples or anything, she always seemed satisfied and did great at feeding. She was 7lbs14.5oz at birth, and was 8lbs6oz on day 8pp, anecdotally i have heard that HB babies lose weight less than hospital born ones, but i don't know how true it is. She had mild jaundice but it resolved after a few days. I just BFed her next to the window.<br><br>
At 8 weeks PP XP and i split up. I moved physically out of the place we'd shared 8 weeks later and those 8 weeks in between were HORRIBLE. He would wait until i was BFing and then come and scream at me, knowing i wouldn't argue over DD's head. He was utterly awful, i don't like to think of it, i was suicidal. I exercised to keep endorphins up, had some wonderful friends, and concentrated on finding somewhere to go. Getting out provided a massive relief.<br><br>
By 4months PP the goitre, which had been about satsuma size, was growing. It became like a navel orange by about 4 or 5 months PP (i had so much going on, a lot of the time line is hazy). Simultaneously my supply began to really dip. When i left XP we arranged he would have DD overnight once a week. When i left him he had enough EBM in the freezer for 4 full days and nights. Slowly, over 2 feeds on 2 afternoons a week, and 6 during her overnight stay (plus numerous he threw away because he defrosted then "forgot about") that began to dwindle. I had an avent manual pump but i couldn't get let-down with the pump alone after the split (i'm sure the associated stress of him being awful whenever i fed her contributed, i was fine if she was there too, but on my own with the pump i could literally pump for 45mins and have 10mls in the bottle, and knots of milk all over my swollen breast - hand expression didn't get me anything either) so my supply began to dwindle even more from her time away from me.<br><br>
At 5.5months PP the goitre was grapefruit sized. I went to my GP and was told i needed a radioactive iodine uptake test and i'd have to wean before i could have it. i didn't want to wean, and nothing i'd read made me think it was cancerous (it was smooth and painless and both grew and shrank) so i resisted. My TSH was very high, and my T4 was very low, but he refused to medicate me until i'd had the RAI test. I had lost 40lbs in the 3months after DD's birth, probably because the hashi's attack made me spill a lot of thyroxine (initially the autoimmune attack makes that happen, then once the damage is done you become hypothryoid). My BMI was actually healthy, around 22, but i wasn't "well" and felt i couldn't keep my weight at all, it just fell off and off.<br><br>
By 5months we were already out of EBM (actually i found out later XP had about 8 feeds still frozen but couldn't be bothered to defrost and knew weaning hurt me...i didn't leave him because he was a nice man though!) and i was no longer getting let-down for DD either - or i was but it was taking up to 5 minutes of constant sucking for her to get it. I never felt full anymore, i couldn't get anything with a pump, my hair fell out in clumps, all my joints burned and ached all the time, my resting pulse was 38bpm. DD got very fussy at the breast, by then she'd been having bottles with XP for months (and she'd had one every few days from 6 weeks anyway, by design, because i thought it'd be useful if i needed to get away and because XP was unreliable with work and terrible with money so it was likely i'd need to work, at least part time, fairly soon after the birth). She wouldn't suck for let-down. Around this time (4-6months) i made a major major mistake - i had a new partner and i went on the mini-pill. Actually i only took it for about 40 days, but i'm sure it didn't do anything to help my let-down, though that was already very sluggish before i went on it.<br><br>
So at around 5.5months we began giving FF sometimes. XP used it all the time, for every feed, because he didn't want to "deal" with EBM and said FF was "easier". I couldn't force him. I regret a lot of what happened now, none of it served DD as she deserved, but i can't really express how ill i was. i had no "fight", you know? It was all i could do to get up, care for DD and live.<br><br>
Because XP was giving DD 18hours worth of FF every week i gave her at least one bottle a day (i was concerned she'd have terrible colic with him from having a totally different milk at his house for a solid chunk of time). My supply dwindled even more. She started solids the week before she was 6months, despite not really being "ready" in retrospect, and her interest in the breast dropped even more.<br><br>
By 6.5months she was only having one feed from the breast, at 5am. It was the only time i had a decent amount of milk and she was sleepy and happy to suck for the time it took to get let-down (i am pretty sure i was off the minipill by then but nothing improved). The rest of the time i offered the breast and she'd go rigid and scream until she was purple. I FF her.<br><br>
At 7months i weaned her. I just decided to "give up" and get the RAI test. Within 2 weeks of her last BF my goitre had shrunk, and because the GP could SEE it had he changed his mind and said i didn't need the stupid test afterall. To be fair, my bloods improved dramatically after i weaned her, even before i began treatment. He took my pulse in the surgery and debated, out loud, whether he should call an ambulance. He accused me of having an eating disorder (apparently anorexia can cause a low resting pulse?). He sent me away with a script for a tiny dose of levothyroxine, the type they give to old people, (25mcgm) because he was so scared i'd have a heart attack. I dropped him soon after as i felt his care was sub standard, but i wonder if at that point he finally realised what a mess he'd been making of my care.<br><br>
Within a few weeks i began to feel better. After a new GP and some more extensive blood tests i was dx with Hashi's (which my mother and sister both had so i don't know why it was so not-relevant to the first GP!), i ended up on 75mcgm/day and am now on 100mcgm/day through pregnancy.<br><br>
As things stand this time i am not hyper or hypo, i have no goitre, my weight gain has been normal, my BP is excellent and i'm not having joint pains. My current GP is incredibly supportive, open to hearing my own thoughts and research and includes me fully in my own care (for example is happy to raise my drugs if i feel during exercise i'm not gaining fitness as normal, even if my bloods seem "normal"). What a marathon - you did ask! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FWIW i do think that if i'd not been in the social situation i was my thyroid/supply issue could have been resolved with a few nursing holidays and a decent GP (and i wouldn't have been too ill to go about seeking a better GP when the one i saw was useless). And i ALSO think that without the thyroid issue the social situation would have had a far more limited impact on my supply, and my moving out would have made enough of a difference that we stayed on track. Also without the thyroid issue perhaps i'd have had more energy to fight my XP off and tell him how it was going to be (i.e. you feed her EBM or you don't get her for feeds at all!).<br><br>
I kind of look back on that whole period of our loves as a car crash we just about survived, i definitely came out of it someone other than who i was when i went in!
 

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Goodness - thank you so much for writing this, it does help enormously although I understand why you were so hesitant - you have been through it and back again and quite honestly without a support structure I'm really amazed you made to 7 months - you are truly amazing, my alarm bells have gone away and i'm glad I didn't post what I thought until I knew what I know now! I really appreciate you taking the time to write and explain all this. Do see if you can go to LLL meetings and get to know other mothers who are breastfeeding - if there is anything I can help you with - please do not hesitate to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's another factor actually, when i had DD i was 25 and i had NO friends who had babies or were pregnant. This time i have a friend who had her baby last summer who is still nursing, a friend who gave birth in April who is nursing, a friend in labour right NOW who intends to nurse, and 2 more friends due in July who intend to nurse. So a big support network of nursers both new and experienced.<br><br>
You can't NOT post your alarm bells now! I'm dying of curiosity (like the cat!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Hi, Sorry it's taken a while to get back I did a car boot yesterday and have been getting organised for it - so now I'm clutter free and 'free' ha ha, I just wondered if there was a milk transferral issue, where for the first couple of months everything goes really well and then after that there are big issues and the longer we leave it the more difficult it gets - but you're fine, and it sounds like you have everything in place - I really hope that it all goes well for you all - do try and contact LLL - they give fantastic support and you'll find a new network of mothers who will join you in your breastfeeding journey! <a href="http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/lll*******/Meetings%20%26%20Events.html" target="_blank">http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/lllglasgo...%20Events.html</a>
 
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