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Thread: Help extremely frustated and stressed

  1. #1

    Default Help extremely frustated and stressed

    I would like to start out by saying this is my very first post.

    I have a nine week old daughter and I have managed to breastfeed her up until this point. I was recently sick with a severe case of food poison and even though I did nurse her (over the weekend while I was home) I have noticed that my supply seems to be decreasing (or thats what I think).

    I work in a job that makes it difficult to pump while at work (I work in retail sales my check is based on the amount of time I am helping customers on the sales floor). I always pump when I go home for my lunch which up to this point has yielded about 4 ozs total during this pumping session. I also try to pump at 6 am and never get anything from this session. I also try and pump sometime between 7 and 9 in the evening sometimes I will get something and sometimes I wont. I always try and nurse once I get home with my daughter and overnight (co-sleeping) and in the mornings before leaving for work.

    For the first couple of weeks I managed to pump enough breastmilk during those sessions to get her through most of the day at daycare with her only needing one bottle of formula. When she went for her 8 week checkup her doctor told me her weight was still low (she had a problem at birth with losing a significant amount of weight due to jauandice). She wanted me to feed during the day what she called fortified breastmilk, following the directions I was given I found that her tummy could not tolerate it and she would vomit all the fortified breastmilk back up. I have started giving her only formula at daycare now simply because I was sick and was unable to pump anything for three days.

    I would like to find a way to help her gain weight or a suggestion for a better option for creating a fortified breastmilk (pediatrican was no help said I would have to stop breastfeeding and go to formula only if her weight didnt increase) that she could tolerate.

    I also need some suggestions with ways to increase my supply so that I can pump enough for her for the next day with the restrictions of not being able to pump at work (I typically work from 930-6). I must add that my husband works out of town during the week and I also have a three year old at home.

    I am currently using a Medela Freestyle Pump. I have tried feungreek, mother's milk tea, and reglan. I also have the worst time with drinking water I try to stay hydrated with gatorade.

    Can anyone please help as I feel like I am going to be forced to give up on breastfeeding if something doesnt change. I am willing to try just about anything at this point as I would LOVE to get my daughter back off of the formula completly.

    Thanks a million

    Cherokeemama

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Help extremely frustated and stressed

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum. I think your biggest problem is not being able to pump at work. For an 8.5 hour separation (not sure if that includes your commute time or not), you'd typically want to be pumping at least three times. I can't tell you how to balance your paycheck vs pumping; that's for you to decide. But for sure your supply will decrease if you are only able to pump once during the workday. That said, if that's all you can do, it is a good idea to try to pump at other times - in the morning and evening, as you've been trying. Even if you haven't had good output with those pumping sessions so far, if you keep at it you should see an improvement. If you have a car commute, you might want to consider pumping in the car too.

    In my experience, the Medela Freestyle is not the greatest pump. I've had more success with the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. Or you may even want to consider a rental hospital-grade pump, like the Medela Symphony, at least in the short term.

    Also, keep in mind that it IS still possible to combine formula - for example when baby is at daycare - with breastfeeding on demand at home. But in order to get your daughter off the formula completely, I think that's going to be really tough to do without pumping more during work hours. It's all supply and demand.

    As far as "fortified breastmilk" - not completely sure what you mean by that, could you clarify? There is something called "double cream" milk, where you pump some milk, let it rest for long enough for the cream to separate out, then take the cream part of it and add to a regular bottle of pumped milk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,361

    Default Re: Help extremely frustated and stressed

    Excellent advice from the PP. Would you post a complete weight history for your LO? That might help us figure out whether her weight gain is normal and the pediatrician is freaking out over nothing, or not.
    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

    Default Re: Help extremely frustated and stressed

    Thank you for the quick replys. The pediatrician stated that fortified breastmilk was simply a scoop and a 1/4 of formula mixed with room temp breastmilk.

    Her birthweight was 6.8
    She dropped to 5.14
    Gained to 6.1 (when we finally got to the leave the hospital)
    After daily weigh ins for 2 weeks she got back to her birthweight of 6.8
    At her four week checkup she weighed 7.12
    At her eight week checkup she weighed 9.5

    The pediatrician says that at the 9.5 weight she is only in the 8th percentile and thus why we need to add more calories to her diet.

    @bfwmomof3 What did you not like about the freestyle? I have some complaints about it as well and I am unsure if it is a design flaw or something wrong with my pump, but it seems to lose suction strength all the time and Ive only had it for 3 weeks before I used the playtex embrace and it seems to have worked better than this one. The only draw back was that I was glued to the wall and couldnt move around like I can with the freestyle which is helpful with having an older child at home.

    Also I do not have a commute to work I work and live within 5 miles of one another. I feel like I could take potty breaks if nothing else to pump at work but it seems like it takes forever (15-20) minutes do you ladies have any suggestions on getting the let-down ability to start sooner? Also what would you recommend to build my supply back up?

    Thank you for all your responses it is greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,361

    Default Re: Help extremely frustated and stressed

    Gosh, I'm not a pediatrician but that information about fortifying doesn't sound right to me. First of all, you're adding enough formula to your milk to make a whole bottle of formula. But you're mixing it with milk, not with water as the directions on the formula can will specifically tell you is necessary in order to maintain a proper electrolyte balance in your baby. This link gives instructions for fortifying breastmilk, with guidance as to the amount per bottle: http://www.childrensmn.org/Manuals/PFS/Nutr/018728.pdf It looks like a 3 oz bottle should be fortified with about 1 teaspoon of formula, not a whole 1 1/4 scoop, which I am guessing has to be at least 5-6 TABLEspoons!

    Furthermore, based on the weights you've posted, I am not convinced that there's any sort of problem with your baby's weight. She regained her birthweight by 2 weeks, which is exactly what you want to see, and while she is certainly a smaller baby there is nothing wrong with being small. Statistically speaking, there are just as many healthy babies in the 1st percentile as there are in the 99th. Babies don't "fail" the growth charts because they are below the 50th percentile. And it's not like your baby is sinking off the charts- she's simply maintaining her growth at around the same percentile she was born at.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,912

    Default Re: Help extremely frustated and stressed

    If I understand the weight correctly, and if my math is correct-Your baby gained 25 ounces in the four weeks between 1 month and two month checkups, or a little over 6 ounces per week, which is a normal amount for baby to gain. Is there some other indicator of poor growth that concerned your pediatrician-head circ, length?

    I also agree with mommal about the preparation of powder formula. As far as I know, powder formula is supposed to be mixed with water as per the instructions from the formula manufacturer-no exceptions. There is special breastmilk fortifier meant for some very premature, extremely low birth weight babies who have to gain very fast as a survival measure, and that may be handled differently, I do not know.

    if you are not happy with your pediatrician,I suggest you ask around local breastfeeding circles (LLL, Breastfeeding USA, WIC, breastfeeding meetup forums, local lactation consultants, midwives, doulas, etc.) and see if anyone can direct you to a breastfeeding knowledgeable pediatrician. IN other words, get a second opinion.

    Did you have any time off before returning to work? And what are your hours/days now? Do you know anything about the pumping in the workplace laws in your state?
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; March 28th, 2013 at 11:54 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Help extremely frustated and stressed

    Hi mama, when I used the freestyle, I had to pump at least twice as long as I do with the the PISA. And I still didn't get as much milk as I do with the PISA. I don't know if that's because it's battery-powered or what. I can see why the mobility aspect of it is nice when you're pumping at home while taking care of your older child. I don't want to suggest spending a lot of money on more pumps... but one thing to consider would be having the PISA (or a rental hospital-grade, like the Symphony) at work, where it's really important to pump in a timely manner, and use the freestyle at home, where you want the mobility.

    In terms of getting the let-down sooner - a big inhibitor of let-down is stress, anxiety, being pumped up on adrenaline etc. So if you're pumped up at work, if you can find ways to switch gears and go into "pumping mode," that can help. Mothers have different strategies for doing this. For example, listening to soothing music; reading a book or magazine; watching a TV show or movie on an iPod or laptop. Some mothers find it helpful to look at pictures of their baby; others find that makes them miss the baby and does not help. I think you just have to experiment with what "gets you in the mood," so to speak. On the other hand, some people feel stressed about not getting work done when they're pumping, and find they actually do best if they are taking care of emails or paperwork when pumping. So again - I think you just have to try different things to see what works. However, 15 - 20 minutes is a pretty average pumping time. But if you can find a strategy that helps you let down faster, and all you have is 15-20 minutes, you may be able to get more milk out during that time. The one thing you DON'T want to do is sit there looking at the milk feeling stressed about whether it is coming out or not! That for sure will inhibit letdown.

    Strategies for increasing supply: it's all supply and demand. Nurse more, pump more, and you will increase supply. Nursing at night, overnight - I'm a big believer in nighttime nursing being a working mother's best friend! (And I have very often reminded myself of this when waking up multiple times at night to nurse!) Nursing in the morning. Doing the extra pumping sessions. You can do it!

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