Basically, long story short, I delivered by emergency C-Section and then went home and found out that I was hemorrhaging, went back to the hospital and had a D&C for retained placenta on day 7 post-partum. Due to the retained placenta though, I've had major issues with milk supply. The way it was explained to me was that because there was quite a bit of placenta left behind, my body thought it was still pregnant and so my uterus never signalled to my breasts to make milk. Initially before I knew that there was retained placenta I was desperately trying to breastfeed but my LO was losing weight, getting jaundiced, and acting lethargic so I ended up cracking and giving him formula on the advice of home care nurse. Since introducing the formula he has perked up tonnes, is now alert and interactive and gaining weight (he is 18 days old today). I've been working really hard to increase my milk supply so that I can get him back to breastfeeding. I pump all the time and I am taking domperidone, but it doesn't seem to be working. My LO won't take the breast anymore because he's associated my nipples with no food. He just cries and cries when I put him there. So I'm not getting any stimulation from him. With the pump I only make 15mL of milk from each breast, which is so discouraging.
I don't know what else to do, I'm feeling really discouraged. Has anyone else been through this? Any tips? If I can get LO to suckle then I can probably get more stimulation to produce milk but he just won't. And I don't seem to be gaining much ground with the pump
Without going into details, I've had to get both of mine from bottles to breast in the first month for different reasons.
Sounds like the first thing you need to do is to build up a positive association between breast and food. Make sure you put him to the breast before every feed. Do this at the point he is first routing, or fist sucking, or even before he is hungry and you know a feed will be due. Don't wait until he is crying or distressed. Have him lie next to your breast, but don't put any pressure on him to feed, just hug him and be close to him. If he looks interested in trying at the breast then help him, other wise its just topless cuddles. Then feed him, first with any EBM, then with formula.
You should then express asap after topless cuddles, when you are nice and relaxed. This will help your let down and mean you are able to get more milk out. Look at baby, think about baby, smell baby or piece of babies clothing. Avoid looking at how much you are expressing or thinking about the pump. I find a warm drink also helps get milk flowing. If you can get expressing more effectively your supply will go up.
15mls per breast is pretty good. How often are you expressing? I would recommend a 72 hour pumpathon, expressing every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night. I timed how long the milk flowed for, then pumped a bit more, then increased the time the milk flowed for.
How much domperidone are you taking? I was on 10mg 3 times a day with DD, but 20mg 3 times a day with DS. The bigger dose makes a big difference. If you are already on a big dose you may have better results with fenugreek.
Just a tip... How much you pump is no indicator on how much milk you have. Some women just can't seem to pump much.. your baby is way more efficient at getting milk than a pump is
Losing up to 10% from their birthweight is normal.. and jauncide is pretty normal too.. most babies get some kind of jaundice within a week or so from birth.
As long as its not severe and your baby doesn't get lethargic , breastmilk helps get their levels back to normal.. so does sunlight.
And as long as your baby is up to their birth weight by 1 month, that's about right.
The thing what will help you best is to just toughen it out and nurse nurse nurse.
Stay in bed for a few days with your baby and nurse nurse nurse and drink tons of water, mothers milk tea.. and eat oatmeal.
You might consider getting a Medela supplemental nurser system. This way LO can have formula at the breast. It builds the association of boob means food, and lets your supply build as you get the right stimulation. They are a bit of a pain but can help break flow preference by ensuring baby gets fast flow right away.
I too have been suffering with low milk supply and it seemed to be for no apparent reason. I don't know if I have a retained placenta or not. But don't give up. I'm not going to. My baby would cry and cry after I nursed him the first week or two and I thought it was just colic. But he was losing more weight than he should and was showing signs of dehydration in his head area and the bone lines were showing through more than normal. The midwife said to start supplementing with goat's milk and so I did and he almost immediately started sleeping most of the day, only waking to eat--as a newborn should do. I felt like I had a brand new baby. So I have been supplementing with fresh goat's milk ever since--nursing first, then giving a bottle if he cries for more food. I agree with the previous person who replied to your post that the SNS or supplemental nursing system is a very good answer. That is what I am going to try. That has been known to help increase milk supply by the stimulation to the breast from the baby, while the baby gets food too. Maybe talk to a lactation consultant to see if they can help. I've pumped a lot. It helped a little, but it didn't seem to do much until I took 3 caps of Fenugreek herb 3x a day and wow, after only taking just 3 caps before bed the first night my very low milk supply doubled by morning and I was actually engorged. But then it didn't really increase from there to be enough for my baby after that. That's probably because I haven't been taking the fenugreek regularly so maybe I should be more diligent and see if that helps. I know right now I don't have an adequate supply yet because I did an experiment last week of just nursing only for two days with basically no supplement just to see if I could get off the supplement...bad idea. My baby cried all day both days and the second day showed some signs of either weight loss or dehydration, same pattern as before. So, I know I'd have to back off slower than that. But I'm tired of first nursing, then giving the bottle next...it takes so much time. The SNS would save time and give more stimulation to build my supply so we'll see how it goes. So yeah, try the SNS and the fenugreek.
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