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Thread: How do you define milk supply as being 'established'?

  1. #31

    Default Re: How do you define milk supply as being 'established'?

    That's AMAZING! I wish you a long and happy breastfeeding relationship with your little one!
    Marley & Emily 9-24-10
    (Done as of 5-23-12)

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Lot, France

    Default Re: How do you define milk supply as being 'established'?

    Thanks so much to everyone who has posted on this thread. I am in a similar boat as minigingerbread... And I am now almost 24 hours into pump-free BFing with my 12 week old son after almost two moths of EPing.

    The trouble all started with severe breast / nipple pain and sores for the first few minutes when he started BFing in the hospital, it made me very reluctant, but I was told the pain would subside in 6 weeks. So I persevered. At home - things were rough for us because he seemed to have colic, which meant lots of crying (both of us) and rather expensive homeopathic attempts to settle him and extreme, heartbreaking gas pain episodes. At about 5 weeks I went in to see the LC, and it turned out that he had a sucking problem, and was therefore not getting enough milk from BFing and also had not yet regained his birth weight (which was a hospital record 10.5 pounds). For the colic she recommended that I stop eating cow dairy. For the sucking he had to go and see a special chiropractor. She recommended that I EP to get my supply back up (I was down to about 35% of what it should have been) and not BF directly to manage the pain I was still experiencing.

    Of course, the chiro was on holidays for the next 3 weeks... but we finally went to see him and after two sessions the sucking difficulties were greatly improved and I was told to go see the LC to get him back on the breast. Then, she was on holidays for 2 weeks. However, with the sucking resolved, I started trying to BF during the day and pump at night. My baby was extremely fussy at the breast, pulling off, screaming, etc, and it was making things difficult and painful for me. Also, in doing this, I noticed my supply was starting to drop again, and I had to provide my baby with a bottle of formula every two days or so. Better formula than hungry screaming baby although that stuff is pretty nasty and smells so horrible.

    When I finally saw the LC she told me that I had forceful let-down and that's why he was pulling back and fighting against the breast. She assured me I did not have supply issues and recommended that I pump a bit before giving the baby the breast. After this, I kept pumping every 3 hours night and day and would give my baby the breast at least once a day, sometimes up to 4-5 times, when I wasn't super-full. However, getting him 'full' with only the breast seems to take hours, and is more often than not a bit of a struggle. Then, family and friends came to visit one after the other and I started EPing (but still offering the breast once a day). I started easting dairy again and haven't noticed any real change in gas issues, and I think it's a foremilk / hindmilk imbalance.

    I'd noticed in the last week that when pumping I didn't seem to have the forceful let-down flow, and after reading this thread have decided to break up with the pump and try to BF exclusively. Since he's 12 weeks, I feel like it's now or never. I'm 'block feeding' - 3 hours each breast on demand. We made it through our first night w/o pumping last night which was a major hurdle. I'm writing this for encouragement, and I have the following questions:
    1. How can I get him to open up his little mouth, especially at night, so he isn't taking just a bit more than the nipple?
    2. How should I deal with morning engorgement? I just grinned and beared it this morning and fed him until I felt less inflated.
    3. Am I doing everything I can to get him on the breast / am I doing this right??

    Any help, wisdom, advice, or encouragement would be greatly appreciated!!! This is my first baby and I had no idea the breastfeeding learning curve was so endless. I'm extremely motivated and even willing to EP but absolutely hate being tethered to the pump on a 3-hour time clock. It truly does get in the way of living life at times.

    Thanks so much again!
    Etienne's mom

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    The Armpit of the Universe

    Default Re: How do you define milk supply as being 'established'?

    Why are you block feeding? Are you sure you have oversupply? forceful letdown is often accompanied by oversupply but isn't always, and since it seems like you thought your supply was low at some point, it would behoove you to not push it too far back if you don't have significant problems with oversupply. I would be hesitant to cut straight to block feeding if you're just starting to nurse at the breast. A better bet for controlling forceful letdown would be nursing "uphill" by doing laid back positioning or other positioning changes so your baby isn't choking when you letdown. These coping techniques will not reduce your supply.

    try not to stress about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. gassiness and fussiness about it is really normal for babies who don't quite know how to deal with their own digestive systems. burping, bicycling legs, warm baths, being held in a squatting position, tummy massage can help baby pass the gas/ poop.

    to answer your specific questions:
    1. sometimes babies will mimic you if you demonstrate a big wide mouth. i found striking baby's upper lip with my nipple helped sometimes, the nipple sandwich technique helped,
    2. How bad is your engorgement? Causing you plugged ducts? or just hard for latching? or what? if it's making latching difficult you could try reverse pressure softening, there's a link to how to do this under the "resources for common concerns" section of this forum. for me, feeding the baby was always the quickest way to relieve engorgement. I had/have ffld and very frequent feedings were key in helping keep the letdown manageable.
    3. you've made it 24 hours without supplementing? that's a good sign. you may have up and down days, which will be hard but you have good chances of luring baby back to the breast if you keep sticking with it. many babies who refuse the breast will nurse while asleep/drowsy, so take advantage of those times when you can. have you checked out the kellymom page on getting your baby back to the breast for more tips? here: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    moderators, could we split this off into a new thread for more visibility/responses?
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Lot, France

    Default Re: How do you define milk supply as being 'established'?

    Hi Rakoonz and thank you!!

    I'll start a new thread for this...

  5. #35

    Default Re: How do you define milk supply as being 'established'?

    I was just coming to move this, but I see you already took care of it, kjmf.

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