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Thread: Starting Over...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laurel, DE
    Posts
    11

    Default Starting Over...

    ...I feel silly doing this, to be honest, but it's important to me to get as much help/suggestions/information as I can. My daughter is 5 months now, and I'd only managed to breastfeed the first month and a half of her life before giving up.

    I was under a lot of stress [some, if not most, self inflicted]. Even physically I don't think I was adequately prepared. I'd been really sick early on in my pregnancy and had to be hospitalized because of it. To say the least, I spent more of my time exhausted and in pain than I like to recall. I also lost a lot of my independence. This made a nasty cocktail of irrationality by the time my little girl came into the world. I was determined to breastfeed. It was one of the few things I felt I'd have control over after almost a year of not having any.

    I obviously couldn't have been more wrong about the process.

    Looking back I realize, in part, that I didn't reach for outside sources because I felt like I would have failed at being independent. When you have to be bathed by someone else and have to get assistance merely to wipe and get off a toilet, you lose a bit of dignity. I wasn't as self-confident about how well I'd do as a mother...so I imposed the quest of become 'Super Mom' upon myself, not evening taking into account my mental and physical health.

    I'm ashamed to say that breastfeeding my daughter at that time was more about me, and less about her and her needs. I think I realized this when I finally gave up, because with the sorrow of feeling like a failure came immense guilt and loads of shame.

    Once I'd thrown in the towel and we started giving her formula, we quickly learned that the milk-based ones just weren't going to work. She would projectile-vomit so bad at times she wasn't putting on enough weight. Obviously we quickly switched to soy-based formula. During this time I was still pumping, managing to get out 4 oz per day. But that began to dwindle, as I've only got a manual pump. [We didn't have the money for anything else, and this was given by the hospital I delivered her at.]

    Finally, when, manually pumping and self-expressing stopped being as effective, and it took me three days to produce only HALF of what I'd been doing before [which wasn't at all impressive in my opinion back then.] I gave up on breast milk completely.

    My little bean started becoming constipated with the soy formula a few weeks in, and so, as a natural remedy, I started giving her prune juice. After a while, however the juice stopped being as affective and she'd go days not being able to pooh. I can't stand seeing her uncomfortable and in pain, and her feedings become bouts of torture for us both. Her screaming and spitting out milk between vigorous sucking, and me practically in tears while I think, "If only I was breastfeeding!"

    I've been thinking of trying to relactate for quite some time, now...Only, until I started doing research, I didn't even know there was a term for it. I only thought: 'God made our bodies to do this. What did people do back in times when there WASN'T formula OR a nursemaid around?' I don't know, I've a weird brain. So I started maiming Google with mad questing to find the answer to my question: "Is it possible to start breastfeeding after stopping?"

    And I WOULD like to breastfeed again, but I don't know how well she'll take to it after all this time on the bottle. I do want to try to at least pump enough to cut back at least half of what she gets from the soy.

    I'm really determined this time, and seeking out any suggestions and help I can get. I know I have to go into this with a clear understanding that my success may be minimal, but I want to focus on the positive -the successful outcome of achieving my goals. I really feel I can do this, only I don't have the tools to do so. Any information on how to do this with a limited income and resources would be helpful.

    Please keep in mind that I've suffered from strokes, so my mental reasoning and understand of large amounts of information is limited at best, so I don't always get something the first time. [And I don't always make sense...I have to really work at typing. It's actually quite exhausting, to be honest. Hahahah! ^___^] So I hope you can be patient if I don't fully understand something or happen to even MISUNDERSTAND your meaning. >___< I'm truly sorry in advance, and appreciate your willingness to take time to help.



    [Also, I'm sorry I carry on so much. I'm a bit excitable and rather talkative...]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    greetings diaperdaysmommy,
    Yes. You have found the place of acceptance. So many of us started off with less than optimal situations..and still we can be the mothers our own hearts yearn for.
    There is information specifically about relactation and infant suck training.
    You can even start today by holding your daughter skin to skin while she is being fed.
    There are mothers who have induced lactation and relactated and re-trained their babies to suckle. You are right to visualize you own success. You are right to define success on your own terms.
    Best of luck. I am cheering for you!
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,269

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    Wow, mama, sounds like you had a heck of a year! So sorry. I can't imagine what it would be like to be incapacitated like that during pregnancy, which (ideally) is the happiest, healthiest time of your life... The fact that you got through that means you must be a tough mama, and that nodes well for your success in the relactation process!

    Here's what you want to do:
    1. Find a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help with getting baby to latch and with supplies.
    2. Start putting the baby to the breast today, even though there's probably little or no milk there. This link has useful tips on how to get a baby back to the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
    3. Get a great pump- hospital-grade rental is best- and correctly sized breast shields.
    4. Pump as frequently as possible. Every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night would be perfect, and if you squeeze in a few more sessions that is even better.
    5. Talk to your doctor about using herbs like fenugreek and blessed thistle as supply increasers. Ordinarily these herbs are totally safe, but it sounds like you have some special health concerns and it makes sense to be double sure.
    6. Talk to your doc about the Rx drugs (Reglan and Domperidone) which can be used to increase supply. These drugs are technically gastric emptying drugs, and among their side-effects is increased serum prolactin (the milk-making hormone). They are not appropriate for all women, so make sure you talk to your doc before using either one.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    What PP said. Pump with a hospital grade pump as often as possible, in the middle of the night too. Frequent stimulation is key. You might not see anything for days or weeks, but don't give up hope. There is a mom who pops in once in a while who went from basically nothing to providing all of her son's needs via exclusively pumping (he would not nurse). I will warn you that xclusively pumping is exhausting, but if it's too exhausting to do 100% with your health, you might be able to do 50%, which might help her.

    Pump for a total of 120 minutes with a double electric, broken into 8-12 sessions, so this is 10-20 minutes per session. Make sure at least one is between midnight and 5AM.

    Don't wash all your stuff between sessions. Put it in the fridge. Wash once a day. I just keep pumping into the same bottles. If you need to, you can let it sit out for a few hours. I did that when I knew I would be pumping again in just an hour or two for several sessions before putting it all away.

    Get sized for the right sized horns so you aren't sore and can maximize production,

    Good luck!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,738

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    Just wanted to say
    Mama to my Rubies
    C '07
    A '09
    And my Christmas Eve baby
    L '12
    I will carry you all my life
    And I will praise the one who's chosen me to carry you
    W Apr '11
    R Nov '11
    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart. *Helen Kellar*

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    The Armpit of the Universe
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Starting Over...


    Just thought I'd add that if your doctor is unsure about the safety of your situation with the herbs, you could give Infantrisk a call, I hear they are very good:
    We are now open to answer calls Monday-Friday 8am-5pm central time. Please contact us at (806)-352-2519.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laurel, DE
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    Thank so much everyone! I didn't expect so many responses so soon. I am currently looking for an IBCLC in my area, don't know how well that will go. I've also been doing a lot of skin-to-skin, which my little bean seems to be enjoying. She's getting a surplus of mommy time and it's got her in a really good mood! [This makes me feel hopeful, though I know there will be grumpy days just 'round the corner for us both.]

    I don't think I'm quite ready to put her to breast, though. I don't want to push that knowing she won't be rewarded with anything. I guess I'll wait until I've at least got something coming in to entice her.

    As far as getting a pump, with VERY limited income I've few options. I may have to convince my husband to break out the emergency credit card. [Just the thought has me on a guilt-trip fandango .] He's already really incredulous about my wanting to start again...I don't want to push things and lose his support. >___< But I don't see how I can make this happen without a pump. I did consider maybe getting a Supplemental Nursing System to encourage her to latch and see if she'd be satisfied with that to help my milk come back in, only I don't know if simply doing that would reap much results. Any thoughts?

    I've a doctor's appointment today, actually, so I'll be able to find out from her what herbs or meds I should be careful about. Going to have to write all this down, or I'll never remember it. ~___~

    Thanks so much for the support and information. Definitely helpful. Feels like I might actually be able to get somewhere with this!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    Are you on WIC? Do you qualify for WIC? WIC can give you a pump.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    also, if baby will latch, that will be WAY more effective (and pleasant) than using the pump to bring in milk. GOOD LUCK! you are awesome for just wanting to do this!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Starting Over...

    If baby will latch, an SNS might help. If you can get baby to latch on and suckle well.

    A hospital grade pump is $40-80/month plus the set up kit which is $40-65, depending on which pump you have

    It cost me a fortune to EP, but a lot of that was extra bags and trying all types of horns to get rid of incredible pain related to pumping.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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