Re: Exhausted and very frustrated
Thanks for giving us a more complete picture of what is going on. You definitely had a rough start! But a lot of what you've experienced is normal, given the situation you were in, Not seeing milk for 5-6 days postpartum after a c-section is pretty common, particularly when you have a baby who is unable to nurse (or is nursing, but not well), and even more so if you are unable to pump due to medications or after effects of surgery. The pre-e could also be to blame; I have read anecdotal reports of magnesium sulfate (which I assume you were given) being responsible for delayed milk production.
Will your baby nurse without the shield? If so, that's GOOD: baby + bare breast usually results in better milk transfer and better supply than baby + shield + breast. If she won't nurse at all, just keep doing lots of skin-to-skin contact and try to bottle-feed her in a breastfeeding-supportive way (cradled close to your bare chest, using a slow-flow nipple, pausing the feeding frequently, switching sides halfway through, etc.).
Aside from your difficulties with nursing the baby, it sounds like pumping hasn't given you a huge yield, and there could good reasons for that. Things to think about:
- your pump- anything less than a hospital-grade rental probably isn't enough, though a Medela PISA would be a good runner-up
- pump frequency- in order to bring in a good supply, most moms need to pump about as many times per day as an average newborn eats, which is usually about 10-12 times per day
- your shields- properly fitted shields will ensure maximum stimulation from the pump
- your contraception choices- I assume that you're not using anything, because your DH is deployed, but if you happen to be using hormonal contraception that could be putting a damper on supply
- your general health- certain conditions like thyroid problems and PCOS can cause issues with supply, so if you have a family or personal history with those conditions, see your doc
- herbs- fenugreek, blessed thistle, and ordinary oatmeal might give you a small increase in supply
- drugs- when all else fails, Reglan and Domperidone are Rx antinausea drugs which can increase serum Prolactin (the milk-making hormone) and thereby increase supply. They have additional side-effects and are not for all moms, so discuss them with your health-care provider before taking either one.
ETA: call your family in TX. If they are the type of people who CAN offer you the help you need, now is the time to call them in.
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