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Old Nov 3rd, 2015, 22:28 PM   1
apreslaube
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Is there still a chance for me?


OK so here is my story.

My baby was breech, so I had a scheduled C section. I did not go into labor. The colostrum came in and he had NO difficulty latching or feeding, but looking back, he was not eating enough at the hospital. On his 3rd day I believe, they weighed him and saw that he had lost 8.8% of his birth weight (7 pounds 4 ounces). They said basically, keep feeding, and we will check him again. Next day he was weighed again and was now down 10%. They said I needed to start pumping and supplementing with formula. I thought this was a big deal and was scared for my baby and didn't know any better, so I agreed to it.

At first, I was pumping about half an ounce. When I got home I started dealing with PPD, which I expected. My supply was not increasing, and I basically had stopped breastfeeding because he was freaking out at every feeding.

I saw lactation consultants. Most were total crap, but finally I went to a good one who was basically like you have low supply, we can work on this. I tried pumping and fenugreek but my supply went up and down. I was up to an ounce a pumping but my pump broke. I just got the new one in the mail. It's a medela pump in style. I went on PPD medication.

So baby is now 5 weeks. my supply has majorly plummeted. I mean, I am getting about 1 or 2 ml per pumping. Eddie actually breastfed without a nipple shield today for a few minutes which was great, but it was after he had had about 4 ounces of formula.

Since Friday (so 4 days now) I have gotten back on track and am REALLY trying to get my supply up so I can BF, but I haven't seen a change and I'm feeling like maybe it really isn't going to happen. I'm about ready to give up. I am eating lactation cookies, oatmeal once a day, more water, pumping 8-10 times a day with one "power pump" session a day, and went back on fenugreek 3 pills 3 times a day.

I am going to try going back to the lactation consultant or at least call them. I almost don't want to, because I feel like they are going to be like, well you tried but it's not going to happen.

FYI - I can't go on that prescription because of the potential side effects. I have a thyroid condition but I am not hypo or hyper at the moment.

Please let me know if you have known someone to be successful this far post partum, if it seems like there's not hope, if there's a time frame for all this, etc. I'm just... lost. Thanks



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Old Nov 4th, 2015, 11:09 AM   2
noon_child
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I have seen babies go back on the breast after 3 months. It can be done barring your medical conditions physically stopping you from making enough milk (but your thyroid sounds controlled so let's ignore it for a second).

1) did they definately remove all placenta during the section? Have you had particularly heavy bleeding or lots of clots - as these. An be a sign something is left behind and this really affects supply.

2)nipple shields can really affect supply for some women. Can I ask why you are using them and what help you have available to stop using them?

3)now that he is a healthy weight you have a bit more leeway with techniques you use to encourage him to feed (I mean it is less of a big deal if he doesn't feed every 2hrsso you don't need to resort to formula as soon as he refuses the breast). So something like spending the day in bed with him on your stripped down chest might work well for you. The skin to skin will help your hormones, calm him down and stimulate his breastfeeding reflexes. If he gets peckish your boobs are right there and a laid back bf position can help babies who fuss a lot and struggle to get a deep latch. Hopefully one feed will bleed in to the next quite naturally without you needing to count them or time them, and he'll be working little and often on your supply. However if he doesn't feed, keep on with pumping every 2hrs (and through the night if he isn't latching then either). Also obviously if he is distressed then feed him expressed milk.

4) I know it is agony to see them hungry, but all babies get a bit hungry during growth spurts and return to the breast frequently to increase your supply. You are now going to be having the equivalent of a mammoth growth spurt while you try to get LO to increase your supply, and it's actually a good thing if they get hungry frequently as that means they feed frequently and build your milk.

5) if you are at all concerned that the issue is that he cannot extract milk effectively, you will need to keep supplementing him (either bm or formula) until that issue is sorted, because no matter how much milk you have, if he can't get it out he will drop weight.

6) if he can extract milk, but you still want to supplement a little to settle him while your supply increases, try to limit it to around 1oz. If he won't latch because he is too frustrated by his hunger to work for his milk, cup or syringe feed him a few ml to calm him.

7) don't forget to talk to your baby through all this. We get so task focussed during these stressful times, we forget we already have relationship with these beings and they know the sound of our voice.



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Old Nov 5th, 2015, 09:14 AM   3
Qmama79
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What great advice from noon_child! I wish you were there fr me with my first who was exclusively bf til 6 months, but not without worry and problems! He was a late premature baby (36 w) with no sucking reflex at first & ALWAYS has had very small appetite. He's 3 now & still underweight, but healthy as a trooper. Never ill! Food still doesn't interest him.
The second one is on the way fr me & I'm considering combifeeding from the start now (fluid retention issues - Menieres Disease) as an alternative. I'm hoping it'll give me a better & more relaxed feeding experience. In the end, it is whatever works fr you and baby! I live in Canada & bf is the norm here. Many of my friends bf until LO is about 2 yrs old! Frankly, I don't care what others think about ff. I've had a really difficult time getting LO to feed enough to gain weight, and maybe supplementing with formula might have helped. Whatever your outcome, do what works fr you and your family! Don't feel guilty if bf doesn't work out in the end. You are really giving it a go. Ff is not poison & millions of people have been raised on it!!
Xx take care!



 
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Old Nov 5th, 2015, 18:50 PM   4
apreslaube
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Medical conditions - well, I saw a lactation consultant yesterday. She said I have "wide spaced breasts" which could mean less tissue in them for making milk. Besides the areola darkening, I didn't have breast changes during pregnancy.

1) I think all the placenta was removed. I had very little bleeding. Basically after the first couple days I just had spotting.

2)I tried nipple shields because he was so frustrated at the breast he wouldn't even try latching on anymore. It felt like he connected the breast to not getting milk, so as soon as he touched the nipple, he freaked out. It was working for about 2 weeks, but he stopped opening for it. I am trying to get him on the breast now with no shield, and he's latched a few times. Maybe he has forgotten about it?

3)I will work on number 3. These are good tips. For some reason, I have been doing skin to skin a lot less than before. I've been holding him just as much, but I've been clothing him and myself. I will work on upping the skin to skin back to where it was.

4) He is definitely hungry frequently!

5) I think he is able to extract milk. I think he's just so used to a bottle now that he is "lazy."

6) when bottle feeding him, he will cry instantly if the bottle is taken away before he is done eating, even if I'm just moving him for a second. I will try this though.

7) this is a good reminder



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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 01:05 AM   5
noon_child
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[QUOTE=apreslaube;36456941]Medical conditions - well, I saw a lactation consultant yesterday. She said I have "wide spaced breasts" which could mean less tissue in them for making milk. Besides the areola darkening, I didn't have breast changes during pregnancy.
[QUOTE/]

Ok I work with LCs (from LA Leche League) and other 'baby' professionals as part of a volunteer role I do, and I e never heard this. Maybe there was a research paper about it, but I can't see how it is relevant as ALL breast are different in their milk making capabilities. If breasts make less milk then baby adapts to feed more frequently in order to get enough.

By the way I have wide spaced breasts and had very little breast changes during pregnancy and while I struggled in the beginning, my supply was low because LO struggled to feed efficiently from me. When she finally got better at it I continued to make enough milk to feed her to 27months.

Breastfeeding is a system built on a relationship between baby and mum where all the hormones involved work together to make it successful whatever the size of breast tissue and size of baby. But baby has to feed to start the whole thing off and this is what you need help to work on. Find an LC who is willing to talk to you about that rather than trying to find reasons why it might not work (not helpful).

Did you know even adoptive mums who never had the hormonal changes of pregnancy can stimulate milk production?



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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 19:44 PM   6
apreslaube
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My period started back today. Could that be connected?



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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 03:46 AM   7
noon_child
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If it is a proper period then it may well cause a dip in production. However the fact that it has returned is probably an indicator that your body hasn't been getting quite enough direct breast/nipple stimulation it needs to keep up our prolactin levels (milk making hormone). This can be reversed though, and the fact that you have been getting baby to feed more directly without the shield is really positive. I have read (but can't remember where)that it is also possible that this isn't a "real" period. Some women have a single random bleed in the months following birth but it isn't classed as a period unless followed up by more the following month.

Has anyone talked to you about a SNS (Supplemental Nursing System)? They can really help babies who don't associate the breast with milk and they allow for breast stimulation but with the combined reassurance of supplemental milk. It isn't quite as effective at stimulating milk production as standard breastfeeding so you will probably still have to pump, but I think if you feel strongly about breastfeeding it is worth a try.



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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 04:12 AM   8
BunnyN
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I think the Supplemental Nursing System is a good idea. I've read posts from other mums who had success feeding in the bath or just after a hot shower as it can really help with letdown.

Sometimes doctors make a bigger deal out of weight gain goals than it needs to be. DD dropped 10% and took 6 weeks to get back to her birth weight. I didnt have supply problems like you, it turned out to be allergy issues (she had other symptoms too). Other than the allergies and weight she was a very allert, healthy baby and strides ahead with her development. Eventually her weight caught up and she is big for her age now.



 
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 19:27 PM   9
apreslaube
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This is a weird period, TMI but it's very... clotty. I've never had that before. But it hurts the same as a normal period?

My pumping is a *little* better. I still sometimes pump 1ml, but I've been getting a good 5 or 6 ml per pumping mostly. Sad that that's an increase...

I ordered the lact-aid deluxe. I should receive it tomorrow, because I did it through Amazon prime. I can't wait to try it out. I'm hoping it works with my formula. I didn't end up buying the strainer.

Eddie is latching a few times a day. I do hear a bit of swallowing, but most of the time it feels like he is just biting for comfort. I'm giving him one bottle (2 1/2 ounces), burping burping burping, lol, and then putting him to breast. It's really awesome whenever he latches, even though he only stays on for like 8 minutes. He only likes the right breast, which possibly is because the right basically makes all the milk?



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Old Nov 8th, 2015, 02:27 AM   10
noon_child
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Massaging your breasts before getting him to latch (like you would to prep for hand expressing) can speed up letdown which may makie him latch easier.

When I was supplementing I was told to only do so after LO had been on my breasts not before, but I realise if you can't get a distressed baby to latch at all then they need alternative feeding. However I wonder if you gave him 1 - 2 oz instead he wouldn't be starving but he may feed longer on you, which will increase your supply. If still unsettled after that, you could give him the remaining 1oz in the bottle.

Also, always trying your breasts first means you don't "miss" Any of the times when he is prepared to accept your breast without a fuss.



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