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Thread: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

  1. #1
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    So my journey has been rough. My baby was a VERY good nurser in the beginning, but things started to go down hill once we were home and I decided to stop nursing due to the stress of it. So I did one day and then the next day decided I wasnt done and started again. I did this another time as well about a week later. Then I thought I was getting PPD so I stopped and got engorged really bad, and decided I better do it slowly this was at 4wks pp. I do not have PPD turns out it was seperation axiety. So here we are 7 wks pp and I am only nursing a few times a day and my baby is getting formula for all feedings even when he does nurse ( nights and early mornings) and my baby will only nurse for a few mintues just enough to get through the letdown. I have not been pumping at all during the last 2 wks so my supply is low but my baby still gets a huge letdown and even chokes on it. I just went back to work yesterday and decided I wasnt ready to give up our nursing relationship. So I began to pump 3x at work and I got alittle I am also taking fenugreek and mother milk tea now. I am praying that I can get back to nursing my baby but I fear it is too late because he has now started to fight the breast. I keep telling myself that since he will still latch and drink through a letdown that maybe once my milk is back in full that he will be able to get more satisfied and want to nurse more. I reall really want this and dont have much support since I have gone back and forth so much that my husband and family are ready for me to be done and just formula feed. They do not like seeing me get upset if breastfeeding doesnt work out right and they are tired of hearing me talk about it...So my questions are;
    Is it too late?
    Can I get my full milk supply back even though I have not been nursing but a few minutes a few times a day?
    Will my baby nurse from me again fulltime?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    I have a few answers, and then a question. I hope that helps!

    YES it is absolutely possible to encourage a baby to nurse again and build a 'full' milk production at this age. Does it happen every time? No. But it is definitely doable. Your body was made to produce milk ad your baby was made to nurse. Adoptive mothers who have never given birth have brought in milk and nursed months old babies who had never before nursed. Is it easy? NO. Possible? Absolutely.

    The key to milk production is to extract milk frequently. That means pumping at least 8 times a 24 hour day if baby is not nursing. I find it interesting and encouraging that you have a forceful letdown! You may not even need galactagogues. (Like fenugreek) But you do need to either nurse or pump AT LEAST 8 times a day.

    The key to helping a resisting baby back to the breast is to offer the breast when baby is calm. Offer to nurse at earliest cues or even before cues. offer the breast just as baby is waking or falling asleep, etc. Instant reward techniques-dribbling a little milk on the breast, or hand expressing a drop of milk prior to bringing baby to the breast are helpful as well.

    Breastfeeding is not all or nothing. Some breastfeeding mothers do not make enough and have to supplement baby. Some mothers pump what they can for a baby who cannot latch. Of course you would like to exclusively breastfeed and it is entirely possible you will be able to. But if not, please remember- ANY breastmilk and ANY time at the breast is good for your baby.

    I do not have PPD turns out it was seperation axiety.
    Do you mean you have anxiety about going back to work and being separated from your baby due to work? Sweetheart, that is just normal. You are a mommy now and nothing is as important to you as your baby. This is normal. So is wanting to nurse your baby and going back and forth and all that. Tell your family you really need their support for whatever you want to do.

    So what is the deal with work? Can you take some more time off, even a week or two, or go back part time at first, anything to make that transition easier on you?

    Increasing milk production http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/

    Baby back to breast http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    Weaning from formula supplements http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/

    Bottle feeding in a breastfeeding supportive way (also a healthier way to bottle feed)
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    Thanks so much. I am encouraged by what you have said, especially after talking to an LC who said she didn't really think i would be able to get my full supply back. I was so upset after talking to her and just feeling like I should give up. Its weird because today is the first day I have not been able to get a letdown quickly. It has been taking so long today and this evening that my baby is getting mad and uninterested by the time I get a letdown. I dont understand what is going on . Anyways I really want this to work so badly and I am scared that even if I do get a full supply in that it will be too late and he will no longer want to nurse. I guess I am expecting alot because I just want everything to be back to the way it was when we were nursing pretty good and I want it to happen like overnight.... It is so hard to want something so bad and to think that it might not be able to happen now . Another thing is that this whole trying to get the baby off of formula seems like a vicious cycle and almost seems impossible. I guess I am just scared of failing and I just really really want to breastfeed again.

    I was getting anxiety when I was thinking about quitting breastfeeding, so that is why I never fully stopped because needed that physical bond or I would get anxiety like a part of me was dying and when I would nurse I was fine.

    again thanks so much

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    I understand your anxiety but all I can say is, there are a few basic rules to building or rebuilding milk production.Try not to trip yourself up overthinking things.

    You have to pump at least 8 times a day if baby will not nurse or will not stay on the breast more than a few minutes. Stop worrying about letdown and when it happens. Do not think about how much milk you 'get' each time you pump at this point. That is tripping you up. Just pump, and whatever you get, you get.

    Pumping frequency is a lttle more important than pumping duration for bulding milk production. Don't pump for a super long time each time, but DO pump as frequently as you can. 15-20 minutes per side would be the approximate duration.

    USE THE BEST PUMP YOU CAN GET. rental aka "hospital' grade if at all possible. Make sure the flanges fit properly.

    Any time baby takes the breast is good. If baby is getting frustrated 'waiting' for a let down, try instant reward techniques. That is exactly what they are for.

    please carefully read the articles I linked. If you want more info, Seach on this site and the kellymom site the terms 'induced lactation' and 'relactation.' please don't just google it, search in places where the information you find is evidence based, rather than people's opinions. You could also read the books making more milk and the womanly art of breastfeeding.

    relactating and weaning off supplements is not easy, as I said. And there are no gurrantees. But it is certainly possible. That is why there is so much written and published about it.

    Did this LC see you? Examine you, take a medical history? Watch baby nurse or bottle feed? I am wondering on what she is basing her assesment.

    Is there a local LLL or Breastfeeding USA group anywhere near you? It would be nice to find local support. And/or, Would it be possible to see a different IBCLC? Or just go forward with the one you have? If she really is an IBCLC, (board certified) she should have a good grounding in how to relactate and wean off supplements.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; January 30th, 2013 at 11:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    i forgot to add-you could also consider trying an at the breast supplementer, aka lactation aid. Common brands are the Medela SNS and the LactAid.

    Some mothers fashion their own but I am not sure how.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    Ok so I will try to not think about how much I am pumping and just start pumping as frequently as possible and nursing when the baby will. So do you think I should try to build my supply without the supplements? Also I did look at an sns so I will see about getting one to use.
    no I just spoke with the LC on the phone. We don't have any local LLL or LC's so the nearest one is 2 hrs away.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    So do you think I should try to build my supply without the supplements?
    Just to be clear, by supplements, here, you mean, lactation promoting foods, herbs, or drugs, (aka, galactagogues) such as the herbs you are taking now? When I say "supplements" I usually mean, whatever baby is getting (expressed milk or formula) that is supplemental to what baby gets at the breast. Of course the term is correct in both cases, I just want to be clear.

    No I am not saying build a supply without galactagogues. Many mothers find these very helpful when building supply/relactating. I only meant, I wondered what would happen if you just started pumping regularly with a good pump, since you were producing milk when only pumping very infrequently.

    It is too bad you don't have any hands on assistance. But I do suggest contacting your closest LLL Leader for support and also finding out if there is an LC who will work with you 'long distance." This could be particularly important in finding the confidence to start weaning baby from supplemental feedings when that is appropriate.

    In any case, it is really important to inform yourself as best you can about the subject. So pleae make use of the articles, websites and books I suggested.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    ok yes I thought you meant galactagogues. So I should keep taking the fenugreek and mother milk tea ? Also I have been hearing about a herbal supplement called Moringa or Malunggay. Is this a good supplement to take while building my supply up and safe for breastfeeding? Also Do I need to ask my pediatrician if its okay to take these supplements while breastfeeding or would he even know about these things? I am doing pretty good with pumping except at night. I also have a 20 month old daughter and so I find that I keep having to miss 2 pump session my 8 and 10 session...
    Here is my pumping from yesterday beggingin at 3:30am , 9:00 am, 12;30 pm, 3:30 pm, 6:00 pm, 11:00pm, then this morning starting at 1:30 am, 6:00am, 9:00am so far. I forgot to get up between 1:30 am and 6:00 am so I need to work harder on that. My son did nurse a little better this morning. I think he would do alot better if there was a good supply and better flow going on because he let me latch him several times this morning and when he wasnt getting sastisfied he would pull off. I am going to make my own sns ( found a video) and start using that for every feeding at home. I am also going to check out those books.
    Also I am finding that I can get a good amount by hand expressing when the pump is getting nothing is this normal?

    again thank you so very much for your help

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    I cannot advise you whether you should or should not take or do anything. That would be medical advice. Even a lactation consultant cannot "prescribe' these things, only suggest them-and I am NOT a lactation consultant either. What I can offer is information and support. What you do with that information is up to you. I have no information about the specific supplements you mention, if they are a blend of herbs, then you can find a very good discussion of the different herbs used as galactagogues in the book Making More Milk and Kellymom.com has some articles as well. Those two resources will discuss the risks (if any) verses the benefits of these supplememts. I do suggest, purchase your herbs from well respected, around a while companies and you can be more sure you are getting the dosages and purity they promise.

    Herbal supplements of any kind do not have any of the type of testing for effectiveness and safety etc. that pharmaceutical drugs do. Obviously, as galatagogues, they are all "meant" to be used while breastfeeding but some are not reccomended for mothers who have certain preexisting conditions or to be taken when taking other medications. Because the PDR does not rate herbs (I do not think) I don't know how helpful talking to your doctor about them would be. But that is up to you. You could call the folks at http://www.infantrisk.com/ they are the people to talk to when a mother is taking pharmaceutical medications and breastfeeding, but I am not sure if they have herbal info or not. But you can try. They are very nice.

    That pumping sounds good. Between 3:30 am yesterday and 1:30 am today, you pumped 7 times So that was 7 times in 24 (22) hours! So you are almost there. If pumping every such and such hours works for you, fine. But you could also pump more frequently part of the day and take a longer break (probably no more than 5 hours just for now) when it works for you. Breastfed babies do not nurse on a strict hourly scedule so you do not need to pump that way either.

    Also I am finding that I can get a good amount by hand expressing when the pump is getting nothing is this normal?
    Hmm. Certainly, it's normal if 1) your pump is not working correctly or is just a really bad pump or 2) you happen to be a mother who responds better to hand expression-some of us do!
    You can hand express instead of pumping if it's more effective. or hand express before or after pumping. I know I said don't worry about hpw much you are pumping but now I am curious. How much milk are you generally extracting when pumping vs. hand expression?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Getting baby back to breast. Please help

    Thank you. ok so I have not tried just hand expressing only. I usually pump for 10-15 min and the hand express until little comes out so about another 3 minutes per side. It may be the pump I know it is older and I am waiting on my new one to come in the next week or two. I also have a manual pump as well. Before I stopped nursing so much my body responded really well to the pump but I do not feel like it is responding as well now. I know pumping I am getting about half oz per side and then I will hand express a little more but not enough to make a huge impact to what I already pumped. I guess I could try to hand express without pumping one time and see if there is a significant difference but I am not sure I am even hand expressing properly. I start at the top of the breast and kind of massage down and then kind of squeeze near the nipple. Is this correct? I am sure I could find a how to on it online so I will look. Does hand expressing have the same stimulation as pumping?
    Also I dont know if this is just a fluke or what but last night my baby wanted nothing to do with nursing, this morning he nursed okay and then on my lunch break (it was time for me to pump) I went to see him since he is with his grandpa today instead of the sitter and he actually nursed for seven minutes on one side and then seven on the other side. I couldnt believe it. Then he got fussy and I stopped. It made me so happy. he didnt cry for more or anything but I am sure if I had a bottle right there and gave it too him he would have taken it in afterwards, so I told his grandpa that he may still be hungry and if he was to make him a bottle. I am scared that he eats so much now that I will never be able to satisfy him as far as how much he gets from me.
    so before I found this forum I had called the breastfeeding help # and left a message well they called me back today and i did explain to her the situation and she said that when he is with me (like this weekend) to try to not give him any bottles that if he will eat just enough from me to get satisfied even if he wants to eat again in 30 min-1hr then that is okay but that, that will stimulate the production so much more than him nursing for like 30 min on only 1 side per feeding(which we knew and already talked about frequency of stimualtion). So it makes me nervous to not give him any supplements even if he wants to eat every 30 min. I am afraid he is going to starv or something. And then what if he is not satisfied by even 10-15 min of nursing and still wants more right then... I mean I know I cant stop formula all together but is it possible to satisfy him enough to where he may want to eat every 30 min to an hour and it not hurt him?

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