2 weeks at relactating - need info and hopefully some support!
I am a mother of two. My first son, William was born Feb 2008 and I breastfed him exclusively for 14 months with no major problems. My new son, Jackson was born at the end of November and was born with a receding chin and a high palate - so breastfeeding did not go well. Despite many many days spent with Lactation consultants and LLL leaders I was forced to supplement with a syringe of formula while I breastfed because of his weight loss. After his one month check up he was diagnosed with failure to thrive and I was advised to give him formula from bottles and face the facts that breastfeeding would not work for me. I was also having supply problems despite pumping (I had an ameda purely yours) and taking herbs - the doctor decided this must be due to all the stress I was under trying to breastfeed and listening to my hungry baby cry all day (and I was crying almost everyday myself)and I had terrible PPD and an infection in my incision that was not healing well. I was also having awful migraines everyday and the doc wanted me on medication. So I took the doctors advice and stopped breastfeeding. Less than a month later I was miserable and guilty about quitting and decided to try again. For the last 2 weeks I have been pumping with a medela symphony I rented every two hours and twice during the night, taking 3 610mg fenugreeks 3 times a day, drinking mother's milk tea, taking prenatal vitamins, eating tons of oatmeal and drinking tons of water. I have also been babywearing without a shirt on, rocking the baby and bottle feeding without a shirt on (basically living like a topless waitress : ))I have been comfort nursing as much as possible but the baby balks horribly at my breast and often screams if I even start to put him in a breastfeeding position. I have tried lots of baby massage and baths as well, to try to relax him before breastfeeding. Anyway, I still only make at most 2 tablespoons of milk at a time. Now, this is an improvement but, I got my period today and I can't help but worry that things are not going in the right direction. With Will I did not get my period - well, never because I got pregnant right after I weaned. LOL I also have still small breasts and never feel the strong letdown sensation I remember. I am worried its not working well, maybe I should be doing more? I am going to the health food store today, should I try some other herbs?? I am determined to make this work - but I am surrounded by naysayers and am kind of on my own. I am visiting with a new consultant next Friday. She was recommended by many women I know, so I hope she can help me get his latch working. I have noticed that over the past few days his latch has been perfect everytime he nurses! I am not sure if this is because he is growing or because of my hard work to perfect his latch. Still, I don't make enough milk to keep him on the breast more than a minute unless its night and he falls asleep and keeps comfort nursing in his sleep. I am working on a schedule that includes all the things I need to do every day to up my supply and get Jack interested in breastfeeding. Are there any suggestions out there of things I should be doing? I am working on co-sleeping but Jackson doesn't like it and wont sleep long with me. Its most likely because I still co-sleep with William and so for his first 2 months I was afraid to sleep with him because I didn't want Will to roll over on him or anything. Now, I think it will be fine as long as I sleep between them (really, Will hardly moves in his sleep anyway) but I am having trouble getting Jackson used to sleeping with me - any advice on how to do that? The only thing I have been trying is rocking him while comfort nursing in the rocking chair until he is almost asleep then moving to the bed - but if he wakes up he cries. Its like he is more comfortable on his own. I would love to hear that this is possible and that all my work is not for nothing, everyone except my husband seems to think I am beating a dead horse and I don't want to believe them - I really will do anything I can to get him breastfeeding!
Re: 2 weeks at relactating - need info and hopefully some support!
Welcome! It sounds like you are doing just about everything you should be doing in order to relactate, which is awesome! I can think of only 2 things you may have missed:
1. Using a supplemental nursing system or lact-aid so that the baby is supplemented at the breast, allowing you to ditch the bottles.
2. Taking prescription drugs: Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (available in Canada and the UK) are anti-nausea drugs which can increase milk supply as a side-effect. Both have additional side-effects- Reglan in particular is noted for an increased risk of depression, so if you've suffered from PPD I'm not sure I would use it- and are not for every mom, so discuss these drugs with your doctor or midwife before taking either one.
Don't let the naysayers get you down. I don't think for 1 minute that you're "beating a dead horse"- with the work you're putting into this and the fact that your baby is still willing to latch on, even for a minute, I think you're already on your way to getting where you want to go.