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Hey mamas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'm just looking for some advice and/or encouraging stories.<br><br>
I gave birth to my first child in March of 2009. During the pregnancy, my breasts never changed, but I was assured by BFing veterans that it was normal for some moms, and that I should be OK.<br><br>
A couple days after DD was born, she lost about 12% of her body weight and we had to start supplementing. She was born via c-section (after 33 hours of labor) and my LC told me that the exhaustive labor and subsequent c/s could cause my milk to come in late. So, I continured to nurse and supplement.<br><br>
Weeks went by, and I never became engorged. I started taking more Milk Plus, and Goat's Rue. Eventually, I started taking Alfalfa and Domperidone. I was diagnosed with IGT at around 6 weeks post-partum.<br><br>
I was able to BF and supplement donated breastmilk for 8 months until DD decided that she no longer wanted anything to do with my breasts.<br><br>
Now, I am 18 weeks pregnant with baby #2. I'm doing everything possible to increase breast tissue - I have weekly p17(progesterone) shots. These are to treat incompetent cervix, but I have read that progesterone supplements can help women with IGT during pregnancy.<br><br>
I have PCOS, so I am on metformin this time around (I was not on it last time). I have also started synthroid, as I have recently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid.<br><br>
I have a bunch of herbs lined up to take: alfalfa, nettle, dandelion leaf, oat straw, red raspberry leaf, and goat's rue (last month only). These herbs are as per recommendations in <i>Mother Food</i> by Hilary Jacobson and <i>The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk</i> by Diana West and Lisa Marasco.<br><br>
As for the herbs, I have only been able to take alfalfa (tabs) and red raspberry leaf (tea) so far. I have had horrible morning sickness, and the more things I swallow, the more I vomit.<br><br>
Anyway, I'm 18 weeks now and still have not experienced much in the way of breasst changes. DH says that they're bigger, but they don't look much bigger to me. They are slightly more sensitive (wheras they were practically numb before) and I have experienced some occassional sharp pains, but that's about it.<br><br>
I'm trying not to get discouraged, but I can't help but feel anxious about this. I can't have any more children after this, so I feel like this is my last shot to BF.<br><br>
So, here's my question: Does anyone here have any advice? Has anyone here had IGT and gone on to have a full supply eventually? I would love to read any encouraging stories. I'm trying very hard to keep my chin up, but I'm scared to death of having the same problems again.
 

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i dont have experience with IGT, but i think its awesome that you are so dedicated! i would suggest one thing though...if you find you need to supp., try out a SNS or Lact-aid instead of bottles to maybe avoid your LO weaning early.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>blessedwithboys</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15377524"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i dont have experience with IGT, but i think its awesome that you are so dedicated! i would suggest one thing though...if you find you need to supp., try out a SNS or Lact-aid instead of bottles to maybe avoid your LO weaning early.</div>
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Oh yes! Thank you for mentioning that! I forgot to put that in my original post: I used an SNS with DD, but that was short-lived because she kept pulling at the tubes and spilling donor milk all over the place.<br><br>
This time, I plan on trying the Lact-Aid. I have heard that a lot of mamas do much better with that. This way, I'll have both on hand and can use whatever works best for us.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Mama!<br><br>
I also have IGT so I know how hard it can be! I am currently pg with #4 (due in July). I BF all the other 3 as much as I could. With #1 and #2 I nursed them and then supplemented with formula from a bottle (#1 got donor breastmilk for 3 months from friends of mine who were willing to help out). With #3 I BF her and supplemented with formula with a Lact-Aid (more on that later in the post). With every baby I seemed to have more milk than with the last. I have read up everything I can get to about IGT and from all of that and personal experience here is the advice I have:<br><br><br>
1. Start working right now on overcoming your fears. A scared, worried, frantic, stressed mom is not what baby needs-and can choke your milk supply up even more. The congregation I attend has about 10 families and except for the newlyweds everyone has 4 kids or more-one family is expecting #12!! I am close friends with all the ladies and at any given time someone is nursing a baby. Being around all these EBF babies and hearing their mamas talk about the pain of engorgement or the stress of let down spraying baby in the face or making baby choke can get very difficult if I let myself think about it too much. What you need to remember is that you ARE a GOOD mama-just because you have physical problems that have prevented you from EBF one munchkin and possibly the next does not change that fact. Any guilt or fear or anxiety you have try to address as much as possible BEFORE the next little pumpkin comes. You will feel much better if you do.<br><br><br>
2. All the herbs you are taking/ planning on taking sound great. I recommend taking Goat's Rue from 34 weeks on. Start at a low dose and work up to the full dose about 3 weeks after you start taking it. I also recommend taking Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek from the day you have your little one. These herbs work great for increasing milk supply for some women. For me, Goat's Rue is really the one herb that seems to make a BIG difference for me. Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek don't seem to have nearly the same effect but I take them anyway. I have also heard a lot about Metamucil increasing supply but have not tried it yet. I may this time. Also 2-3 servings of oatmeal a day can really help some ladies out. I am going to try that this time and see. (The 1-minute oats apparently don't work as well as the 5-minute)<br><br><br>
3. I strongly recommend getting the Lact-Aid. I used it for my 3 baby and I LOVED it! It took SEVERAL weeks to get the hang of-I won't deceive you-and the first couple of weeks I cried plenty of times because I just couldn't seem to get that little tube in her mouth right! But once we got the hang of it it was great! I felt like a real, honest to goodness, EBFing mama! No more bottles! Get the special cooler for it. We had 5 nursing trainer units and every night we would fill them up and put them in the cooler and I'd keep the cooler on the bed with me. When baby woke for a feeding I'd pull the Lact-Aid out, get her latched on, and actually be able to GO BACK TO SLEEP WHILE SHE NURSED!!! That in itself was worth it. No sitting up through the night with a bottle, missing out on sleep and crying because this would all be so. much. EASIER! if I were "just like everyone else". Again, the first few weeks were trickier but if you keep at it you WILL get the hang of it! Personally I did not heat up the formula in the Lact-Aid and my baby was just fine with it.<br><br><br>
4. Try to get in touch with other mamas that have IGT-they can be a BIG help. There are plenty of gals in this forum with it. Share fears and frustrations and joys and get encouraged! I am always willing to talk if you ever need it-just drop me a PM and I'll be here for you.<br><br><br><br>
Wow, that post got long! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> This is really a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Hang in there, mama, and let me know if you need anything!
 
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I forgot to add a couple of things:<br><br>
I have found that it really helps if you do not pay much or any attention to how much formula/donor breastmilk you are giving baby. With my first 2 I kept track of every ounce and I was so upset to see that baby #1 was drinking just as much formula as an exclusively bottle-fed baby should, and baby #2 almost as much. With #3 I just gave her what she wanted and did my best not to pay any attention to the amount. I think we both were happier with that arrangement. I got to focus more on enjoying her and less on trying to get a full supply.<br><br>
And as for all the tinctures: Personally I can't afford to pay $80+ a month JUST fot the Goat's Rue, and all the other tinctures besides, so with my last kiddo I researched like crazy and took the plunge and made my own tinctures! They worked every bit as well as the store bought but were MUCH easier on the wallet. Of course, it would be best fou you to make them as soon as possible. They really need at least 3 months to sit before you use them. If you (or anyone else for that matter) are interested in how I make them just drop me a PM and I will let you know. I'm always happy to help out a fellow mama!
 
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Awesome posts, Cory. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Thanks Megan.<br><br>
Forgot something else: lol<br><br>
IMO the Lact-Aid is a BILLION times better than the SNS. I tried the SNS and it works more on gravity-thus major leakage. The Lact-Aid works on the vacuum principle (something like that) so that the contents come out when baby is sucking-and if it does leak it is more like drops dripping than a FLOW all over. Ebay is a great place to look for Latc-Aid-I got my 5 Nursing Trainer units plus all of the other supplies and TONS of bags for 60-something dollars. MUCH cheaper than doing through the website.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Cory - THank you SO MUCH for all of that information! It feels good to hear from someone who has been there, done that. I have one friend who has IGT, and we've really bonded over that, and a few people online, but out of all of us, I am the one with the most knowledge. LOL I researched it like crazy and felt confident with my pregnancy plan, until I found out that I was pregnant much sooner than expected. I've calmed down about it, but I have my moments when I really put a lot of pressure on myself. I'm definitely going to work on that!<br><br>
At least this time, I won't be surprised by low supply. Last time, it was like getting hit by a truck out of nowhere. I think this time will be much easier on the nerves.<br><br>
Thanks for the tip on starting the goat's rue earlier! I have read that it is only safe in the last month of pregnancy, but there hasn't actually been any research finding that it's unsafe for pregnancy at all. I don't think an extra 2 weeks will hurt. That one helped me a LOT, and I can't wait to start it.<br><br>
Ooohhh to nurse and sleep at the same time - that would be a dream! For the first 3 weeks with DD, I finger-fed her with a syringe. My LC wanted me to put off bottles for as long as possible. I would love to be able to skip bottles altogether with this one and use only the Lact-Aid to supplement. I think if I had been more diligent about the SNS with DD, we would have done better. I was just so overwhelmed, and she was 6 weeks old by the time I even got my hands on one.<br><br>
I would love to hear how you make your tinctures! I still have some brand new bottls of Goat's Rue and MMP, but I figure that I will eventually need more.<br><br>
BTW - how did you take your tinctures? I always mixed mine with 2oz of juice to help it go down. MMP was fine in OJ, but goat's rue is naaasty stuff and OJ made it worse. I found that I didn't taste as much if I mixed it with 2oz of unsweetened cranberry juice. THe bitterness of the cranberry juice helped to mask the bitterness of the goat's rue.<br><br>
Thanks for the suggestion to check Ebay! I'll have to look that up! I spent a ridiculous amount of money on herbs, drugs, SNS, special bottles and expedited shipping when DD was young. Thank goodness we had saved up a bunch of money. Obviously, I will be better prepared this time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It sounds like you have a great plan! I suspect I have IGT as well (haven't been able to find anyone who is competent enough to diagnose it). My milk supply has gotten better and better with each baby, so there is hope. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Here's my plan for pregnancy:<br><br>
RRL, alfalfa, nettle, and red clover tea (4 cups a day, steeped overnight for about 12 hours)<br>
Metamucil (3 cups per day)<br>
Shatavari (1-2 pills per day)<br>
Hand-expressing colostrum starting around 38 weeks<br><br>
Immediately after birth, I'll drop the RRL from the tea, stop taking shatavari, and add in domperidone. I'll at least continue hand expressing, and possibly rent a pump for the first two weeks postpartum. The first two weeks are crucial in getting as much stimulation as possible.. after that, pumping (for me) isn't as big a deal. I've never responded well to a pump and get more by hand, especially with colostrum.<br><br>
I have Lact-Aids ready and will use them exclusively to supplement, majorly holding off on bottles. With my third, I knew we'd have to supplement and was really worried about waiting too long to introduce the bottle.. it's not like I can hide in the house when I've got older children, you know? Nursing in public with the Lact-Aid is very difficult for me. But she went on a nursing strike really early and our breastfeeding relationship was over by 6 months (which is twice as long as I lasted with my first two, but still).<br><br>
For me, Goat's Rue and fenugreek never did a thing. I've never tried domperidone before, so I'm really hopeful that starting it immediately after birth will help significantly. With my last, the things I noticed that helped the most were alfalfa, shatavari, and Metamucil. I find it really interesting that a bunch of women can have the same problem (IGT) and all have different things that work best for them.<br><br>
ETA: Oops, forgot one last thing. My midwife suggested encapsulating my placenta, that taking those pills might help with my supply. I looked it up online and asked in the MOBI group and there seems to be some evidence for it. So I guess I'll be doing that postpartum, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rachel - That sounds like a great plan! I took domperidone with DD and it definitely did help.<br><br>
sanguine_speed - That is a very important point that you made. When DD was very little, increasing my milk supply became an obsession. I labored day and night in the hopes that I would eventually establish a full supply. When she was about 4 months old, I had a complete mental breakdown and almost quit nursing completely (luckily, my mom talked me off of that ledge). At that point, I stopped trying to make more milk, and made peace with the milk that I DID make. BFing was SO much more enjoyable after that.<br><br>
At very least, I want to BF some, but it would be so much easier to have a full supply. Acquiring donated breastmilk is a lot of work, travel and expense. It was one thing when I had only one baby to deal with, but it will be much harder with a toddler and a newborn.<br><br>
We'll see how it goes. At least this time, I will know that I did everything in my power to help. I won't ever have to say "If only I had taken metformin", and "If only I had known about this sooner." I had a lot of regrets last time. This time, I will have none. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I could have written your posts word-for-word BekTens. Seriously--we have everything in common. I am still having a difficult time dealing with the thought that I probably won't exclusively breastfeed my newest child in September/October. A huge difference with this one is I'm starting a new job in August and will pump as much as I can for this new LO when he/she gets here, but I'm nervous about how that will affect my supply. I'm hoping to not be as obsessed this time, I will do my best, but know it's a strong possibility for issues again. I'm going to rent a pump this time from the beginning. I may buy a hospital-grade pump, actually. It worked quite a bit better for me.<br><br>
I've loved some of the suggestions you've been given and would love to know how to make my own Goat's Rue & other tinctures. I can't even think about how much money I spent on galactogauges last time, including domperidone (which did not work for me and actually made my supply issues worse by inducing a sort of break thru bleed or something. . . my OB didn't really have any answers, but the pamphlet that came with the pills said it was a possibility).
 

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You can also take - whilst pregnant 'natural progesterone' this is the hormone that makes the breast tissue - i.e. the milk making cells grow - I would highly recommend that you try to get a hold or discuss with your dr or LC the possibility of using this to help your breastfeeding when baby arrives.
 

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Echoing the Goat's Rue recommendation! I am only having one child, partially because I don't want to struggle with breastfeeding again, but this thread is so full of information.<br><br>
I'm also interested in learning how to make tinctures myself! BUT, I did find an economical 8 oz bottle of Motherlove Goat's Rue at this website- it lasted me FOR-EV-ER:<br><br><a href="http://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-2710-motherlove-goats-rue-8-oz" target="_blank">http://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-2710-m...goats-rue-8-oz</a>
 

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I feel this thread! I might have IGT as well, so I am looking for answers.<br><br>
I actually visited this part of the forums because I'm trying to plan some things for my next baby (No rush, we're hoping to concieve in another year or 2). My DD, my first, is 10 months today and has been weaned from BF for a month now.<br><br>
We went through hell and back. The pregnancy was great- but the stress caused by other people was toxic, I think. Ex wife drama, medical drama, financial drama...<br><br>
Then when DD got here, she was jaundiced and the hospitol flipped out and created a whole new set of drama- the very day my milk came in! I could cry just thinking about it. Then the PPD!<br><br>
I have started down the road of, "What do I do next time?" because DD started trying to nurse again... didn't even remember what my breasts were till I started going to work, and suddenly she is sucking on any part of me she can get a hold on. It breaks my heart! The good news is, through trying to comfort her, she has learned the value of cuddling, something she had previously been unable to do- wanting to play more.<br><br>
I don't want to hijack- I just wanted to say I feel your pain, and your anticipation. And I am hoping right along with you that you get to EBF this time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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Anaka, I'm sorry to hear of your BFing struggles. It truly is heartbreaking when a mom who strongly desires to EBF simply can't.<br><br>
I have some encouraging news to share, though. I don't have a lot of details, but a friend of mine (and fellow IGT mama) just got to start BFing her son (he was born 10 weeks early). I asked her how her milk supply is this time around, and she said that AFTER nursing him, her breasts were still leaking so she pumped and got 10 ounces!!!!!<br><br>
I've chatted with a lot of pregnant IGT moms and I don't remember which particular herbs this mom was/is taking. I'm waiting to hear back on that.<br><br>
I know that I'm not guaranteed a full supply this time, but I sure am hoping. For medical reasons, this has to be our last child, and I really want the EBF experience at least once in my life.
 

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Another IGT mama here, subbing so I can keep track of this one. I'm looking forward to nursing our second child because I will have an idea of what to expect, instead of just being upset that my supply is lacking.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lyterae</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15413146"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Another IGT mama here, subbing so I can keep track of this one. I'm looking forward to nursing our second child because I will have an idea of what to expect, instead of just being upset that my supply is lacking.</div>
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That's how I feel. I feel much better prepared this time for low supply.<br><br>
With DD, it felt like I had been hit by a truck. No matter what I did, how often I nursed, how many herbs I took, she was still starving and losing weight.<br><br>
This time, I will be prepared for the possibility of low milk supply. If it happens, I'm hoping that the whole situation involves a lot less depression than the last time.
 

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Hey gals!<br><br>
I am sorry that I am so late getting back to this thread-I have been so tired lately! There are some really great replies here!<br><br><br>
Here is the info on the tinctures I have made:<br><br>
GOAT"S RUE TINCTURE:<br><br>
In a glass gallon container with a tight fitting lid place 10 oz of dried Goat's Rue Herb (I love Mountain Rose Herbs). Fill container with 60% alcohol and 40% water. I use 60% 190 proof Everclear and 40% distilled water, but if you get 120 proof vodka it will have the correct alcohol/water ratio and you do not have to do any mixing-just pour it in (next time I plan to get vodka as it is cheaper). Shake several times a day for 3-4 weeks. Leave alone for at least 3 months.<br><br><br>
BLESSED THISTLE TINCTURE:<br><br>
In a gallon jar place 8 ounces of dried herb, and fill jar with 50% alcohol and 50% water. Shake several times a day for the first 2-3 weeks. Store for at least three months.<br><br><br>
FENUGREEK:<br><br>
I can't find my recipe, but I am pretty sure that it was 4 ounces of Fenugreek seed in a quart jar and 50% water/50% alcohol. Shake several times a day for the first 2-3 weeks. Store for at least three months.<br><br><br>
Some general rules to remember when making your own tinctures:<br><br>
1. Keep the tinctures out of contact with metals. I use large mason or other jars with screw on lids and I place a ziplock bag over the mouth of the jar to keep the lid from having contact with the tincture.<br><br>
2. In the first 2 weeks check the tincture to make sure that all the herbs are covered with alcohol-the dried herb can soak up the liquids-you want to make sure that the herbs are completely covered. Add more liquid as you need to, making sure to keep to the correct ratio.<br><br>
3. Except for when you are checking the liquid level, keep the tinctures in the dark. You can get dark glass jars but I find that using a clear glass jar and simply placing it inside of 2 brown paper bags works great.<br><br>
4. When you strain the tincture remember to squeeze out all of the extra liquid you can from the herbs.<br><br>
5. You can use the tincture after 3 weeks or so but for best results dive it at least 3 months after making it before using.<br><br>
6. If you do not like the taste of alcohol. You can put your dose of tincture in a couple of ounces of hot tap water and let it stand on the counter for 5-10 minutes. This causes some of the alcohol to evaporate, so the tincture is easier to take.<br><br>
7. I forget to shake my tinctures all the time and they still are fine. It is better to shake them, but if you forget don't freak out-they are not ruined. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
8. When you are ready to use the tincture, just drain and pour into smaller stopper bottles to make it easier to get to. I saved my stopper bottles from the tinctures I used to but online. Just don't forget to label the bottles!<br><br>
9. Remember to label the tincture jar with the name of the tincture and the date that you made it.<br><br><br><br>
So, that's my homemade tincture info. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br><br><br>
Here is a link to the cheapest place I can find on the internet to but Goat's Rue if you decide not to make your own or if you need it sooner than 3 months:<br><br><a href="http://www.gaiagarden.com/products/single_herb_tinctures/10166" target="_blank">http://www.gaiagarden.com/products/s...inctures/10166</a><br><br>
When I was pregnant with #2 (before I learned how to make my own tinctures) I bought the 33 oz size.
 

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<p>Hi, i have Hypoplasia too. I currently have an 8 week old.  I didn't realize until he was 4 weeks old that my bf'ing problems were due to the condition rather than the surgeries i had for them. In my case, I had one much larger breast, very noticeable.  At the time (~ 1980), no one had heard of it, so i didn't know until this year that it has a name and that it wasn't just me.  Interesting that I had to take progesterone to get pregnant.  Wish I had known some of this before.  I bought the goat's rue but I did give up about a week ago. heart-breaking but I don't have any help and could not pump (no time). (I'm typing this with him in my arms, one handed). i tried all kinds of milk herbs with no noticeable effect.  i had just started the goat's rue when i realized I'd never get my supply up even if I got more milk since i can never pump and he won't take the breast (he gets mad, very hungry baby).  anyway, i'll keep researching for next pregnancy.  so glad I found this!</p>
 
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