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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some encouragement. We are finally at the end of our road for trying to boost my supply... we've seen a dysphagia clinic, four LCs, the head of lactation at a prominent national hospital, gone for cranio-sacral therapy, taken domperidone, fenugreek, blessed thistle, More Milk Plus, hospital-grade pumping, used the Lact-Aid, etc... and at 10 weeks out, I'm still producing only 50 - 75% of the milk that my son needs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Occasionally, in the middle of the night, I will make exactly the same amount when I pump that he just took from the Lact-Aid... but nursing took over an hour, so it doesn't completely count. Most of the time, I can only pump an ounce afterward, and he takes about 2 oz from the supplementer. It's frustrating that he can't seem to get all of the milk out of me, though.<br><br>
It looks like the intial problem was a poor suck pattern, and after it took 3+ weeks to diagnose and resolve that, we'd developed a host of other problems, including low supply. We have solved most of those other problems, except the supply, and I just can't seem to get mine to catch up. Now, I'm back at work five days each week and DH is home taking care of ds, so we have pretty much resigned ourselves to the reality that we'll be using the Lact-Aid long term. I can nurse him at lunchtime, since we're within walking distance, but it's obviously tough to do as much pumping as I'd like to (I was pumping every hour).<br><br>
Any tips for making this easier? I am feeling pretty glum about this. I'd always planned to nurse him until toddlerhood, I rearranged my job schedule so that i could work from home and limit his bottles, etc. And then all of this happened.<br><br>
I am trying to scrounge up the $$ for a few more trainer units, to make life easier... we've been hobbling along for 8 weeks with just two units, and last week we ran out of bags, so we've been using the straw thing in a little cup, sigh.<br><br>
They also put him on Nutramigen ($$$$ hypoallergenic formula) because he was having mucus and blood in his stools, and it just smells awful. I can't believe he's got to eat this stuff for at least another 2+ months (we're going to try to switch him back to regular formula at 4 months and see if he still reacts).<br><br>
Bummed, and needing some encouragement,<br>
Rebecca <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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50-75% is great! I got about 33% with ds and a little bit more with dd.<br><br>
You can still nurse into toddlerhood. My dd is 25 1/2 months old. We still use the LA at naptime, bedtime, and maybe 1-2 times during the night. The rest of the time, she "nurses mommy."<br><br>
I remember only having 2 LAs. It became easier when we went to 6. I am pregnant with number 3 and plan to order more before next Summer.<br><br>
Every drop that you give your child is priceless. Remember that you are doing the best you can for your child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks... it is good to know this can be done long-term still. What do you put in the Lact-Aid after 1 year? Cow's milk? Fruit smoothies? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
When should I expect DS's needs to drop off? One LC mentioned that some women can finally catch up when they start solids, but I thought milk would be his primary nutrition source until 1 year?<br><br>
He nurses very well without the LA... I usually nurse him on both sides for about 5 - 7 minutes each, until my letdown stops and he stops swallowing, and he gets about 1.5 - 2 oz total that way. Then I add the LA, and he squeezes out another ounce from me, and takes 1.5 - 2 oz from the LA. So he gets between 4 - 5 oz each session. If I pump afterward (one hour after we first started, because he's a slooooow eater), I get between 3/4 and 1.5 oz.<br><br>
(I tried nursing more frequently and giving smaller amounts, but the ratio of what he got from me and the LA stayed the same and he was always fussy and hungry. He seems to naturally prefer to eat every 3 - 4 hours and take a lot at once. He doesn't spit up any if it's all breastmilk, and if it's part formula, then he'll spit up about a half ounce every time.)<br><br>
PS I know how much he gets because we've been renting a baby scale and doing pre and post nursing weight checks, since he will eat and eat and eat... once he took 6 oz in one feed, when we put too much in the supplementer! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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Long-term LA-user here! We used the LA from 2 weeks till 7ish months. I sometimes wanted to throw the thing across the room, but I was so grateful to be able to nurse my dd at the breast that I forgave the LA for being a pain in the arse! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Not much time at the moment, but a few things come to mind. First: we filled up the LA unit (4.5oz I think?), then used it over and over until it was gone. If you're not heating the supplement (and really, there's no need) and you get it back into the fridge promptly, this works fine and saves a lot of trouble. We'd fill several of the little bags, clothespin them shut, and plop them into drinking glassed in the fridge. When one was gone, I would switch over the trainer unit into a fresh bag. We were able to have just 2 units this way. Preparing supplement and thoroughly cleaning the units in the evenings was DH's job, a system I highly recommend! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
We were able to give up the LA eventually because my milk supply increased somewhat and dd began taking small amounts of solids. Because I believe strongly that bm or formula should be primary till at least one year, I would have kept using the LA as long as necessary; i.e., I wouldn't have pushed solids in order to get rid of it, though some do. It's a balancing act.<br><br>
Re: the "overeating": our routine was similar to yours (nurse bare, then add LA), but my dd would often take large amounts of supp. and then spit up quite a bit or sleep a long stretch without nursing. What helped was for me to pull the LA tube as soon as her sucking slowed to non-nutritive ("comfort") sucking. If the type of sucking she was doing wouldn't have transferred milk from a boob, I pulled the LA, which would often still flow with this kind of suck. This really reduced the amount of supp. she needed daily.<br><br>
You are doing great! Keep it up!<br><br><br>
ETA: There is no reason in the world you can't nurse as long as you like, LA or no! One of the great joys of toddler nursing, for me, is that I am finally rid of LA, domperidone, endless supplements, constant supply worries... and can just nurse my baby in the carefree way I wished I could when she was a newborn. It's so liberating and healing! Using the LA kept our nursing relationship really strong despite low supply and other issues, and my dd is a very enthusiastic nurser still at 17 months, with definitely no end in sight! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can completely sympathize with you. This is exactly what I went through. I was so excited to nurse my twins. I have two others that I nursed for three years. I had tons of milk but for some unknown reason at the time, my babies were not gaining weight. The doctor wanted me to supplement. I didn't want nipple confusion so I went to the SNS. The Madela directions said to use the tube through the whole feed and as baby got what they needed, they would take less. Well, that never happened. I then went to a specialist who knows a lot about the SNS. She said that the baby had a suckling problem and high pallet. To use the SNS (like the Lact-Aid) until the suckling got better and to let the babies self wean from it. After a few months, the specialist said that the babies suckling improved and to still wait for the baby to self wean. I waited and waited and it just never happened. What happened was that the babies ended up getting hooked on the SNS and would not get off. I then went to the Lact-Aid hearing that the suckling was supposed to be better with that. It seemed that the babies stools were about the same. Sometimes really great breast fed stools, sometimes hard as rocks. I cried buckets and buckets of tears over this. I too want to nurse my babies for at least 2 years minimum. Also, with the Lact-Aid, the babies took more formula than the SNS. Over a course of months and reading and researching all across the internet, I found women who encountered the same thing with these aids. Many were able to get their babies off by using the SNS and working down to the smallest tube. You can't do that with the Lact-Aid. Also, Dr. Newman suggests nursing the baby first without the aid (not like Madela directions) and then slipping in the tube with supplement if needed. I wish I had known all of these things. The older the babies get, the harder it is to work with all of this. Your babies are still young, so I hope this info will help you to prevent what I went through. I just recently went to a IBCLC who is a world wide famous lactation consultant. She does not like these aids since they are very often misused. You also confirmed the high pallet and suckling issue. She thinks that the SNS and Lact-Aid just further caused problems with suckling. I am too finger train the babies as much as possible to get used to the nipple going past the high pallet and to the soft part of of the roof of the mouth past it. Use your index finger and let baby suckle. The suckling should be a back and forth motion and not up and down. Beware, the Lact-Aid can make this worse. Try and get baby's mouth to take a big portion of your aerola. Also, the lact-aid destroyed my supply, I am to pump as much as possible to get my supply back up. Yours sounds a lot better than mine. Try and nurse baby first and then use the supplement if needed afterwards. Pump to get your supply up. It most likely has gone down from poor suckling and using the lactation aid. The consultant that I saw said that many women can never get off of it since it dampens the supply. She prefers the peridontal syringe for supplement compared to the lact-aids but not very many LC's are well trained how to use it. The fact that your baby is getting 50-70% of your supply is great. Any amount of breastmilk is good. So use that for encouragement. At kellymom.com, there is an article under immunity that says just 1 tsp. of breastmilk has 3 million germ fighting cells. That is what has kept me going. If you need to pm for more info or encouragement, I would be happy to correspond with you. You need encouragement to get through this and not give up. I know it is heartbreaking. I really think with your little one being young and with proper suck training along with pumping, there is a good chance you can get your baby back to the breast. Time is the essence though. I would recommend going to the SNS and using the medium tube. Pump after each feed and then work your way to the smallest tube. Do this after nursing the baby first. I wish you well. We are here to support you.
 
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