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Thread: Give up on BF?

  1. #1

    Default Give up on BF?

    Looking for opinions and advice from everyone out there...

    My little one is almost 10 weeks old. I wanted to BF her 100% of the time but due to jaundice and problems latching she lost too much weight and we ended up having to supplement with formula after a week. After working with lactation for 2 weeks I gave up on nursing from the breast and switched to exclusively pumping every time she ate--giving her what I produced and then supplementing with formula. I never got more than 30 ml after pumping for 15 minutes every 2 hours.

    I tried to increase my supply by eating oatmeal, taking fenugreek and more milk, co-sleeping, etc. but never got above 30 ml. Eventually I was pumping less and getting 15 ml.

    When she was almost 7 weeks old she was able to BF and since that time I BF her and then supplement with formula. From what I can tell by pumping she is still only getting 15 ml of milk and eating 2.5-3 oz of formula every 2 hours.

    While I've been home I've felt it was still worth it to BF (it's about 1/5 of what she currently eats) but I go back to work soon. My first question is there anything else I can try to increase my supply? And if not, when I go back to work should I just give up BF all together?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Give up on BF?

    What kind of pump are you using?
    Happy Mama of 4 beautiful boys ages 14, 10, 7 and the newest member of the family:
    Damian Gabriel 2/13/13 , , twice a day at work, and finally successfully. We never gave up and we are as happy as can be !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,819

    Default Re: Give up on BF?

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby and on making it to 10 weeks of nursing! It sounds like you had a rocky start, but you've made some awesome strides towards your original goal of having a 100% breastfed baby. Getting a baby to latch on and nurse after 7 weeks of bottles is a great achievement and must have taken a lot of patience and perseverance on your part. Pumping exclusively for 7 weeks is not easy!!!

    Even if you do nothing further about supply at this point, there's no reason to simply give up on nursing unless you decide you want to. 1/5 of your baby's diet is a LOT of breastmilk, and even a small amount of breastmilk has health benefits for baby and for you. And of course nursing is a lot more than nutrition- it's an opportunity to cuddle and bond with your baby, and as she grows it will be a tool you use to comfort her. Baby falls down and bonks her head? The breast will stop the screams and the tears! Baby can't fall asleep in the middle of the night because she's popping 4 teeth at once? Nursing will get her to sleep.

    So even if you do NOTHING about your supply, there are still plenty of good reasons to nurse. Even if you decide not to pump during the day, and simply nurse for comfort and cuddling in the evenings, that's still good. But if you decide you want to increase your supply, you definitely can. Here's how:
    1. Nurse the baby as much as possible. If she wants to nurse every 15 minutes, awesome. Aim for a minimum of 8 feedings per day, with 10-12 being preferable.
    2. Use small supplements, and slowly decrease the amount you are offering via bottle. This link explains how: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/
    3. Consider alternate methods of supplementing, like a Supplemental Nursing System or Lact-Aid, that allow baby to receive all her nutrition at the breast.
    4. Use the "finish at the breast" technique, concluding every bottle session with unrestricted sessions at the breast. This will teach baby to associate the feeling of comfort and satisfaction with the breast, rather than the bottle.
    5. Pump after feedings to increase supply, using a good double electric pump with properly sized shields. A hospital-grade rental pump would be ideal, a very good consumer pump like the Medela Pump in Style or Hygeia Enjoye would be a good second choice.
    6. Don't judge your supply based on pump output. Babies are often able to extract significantly more milk than the pump can.
    7. See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help.
    8. Try the herbs again; they can't hurt and may help.
    9. Consider taking supply-enhancing Rx drugs (Reglan or Domperidone). Speak to your healthcare provider 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
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Give up on BF?

    Hi mama, it's definitely worth continuing to breastfeed. It's good for baby, it's good for you; it provides the most natural, normal form of nutrition; it allows you to bond with baby in a way that nothing else can replicate; it's a way of mothering that goes way beyond a way of feeding. And going back to work is no reason to stop. There are lots of mamas on here who work, pump and breastfeed (myself amongst them). Yes, it takes effort, planning and organization - but being a mother takes effort, planning and organization! We are happy to provide support, advice and encouragement. Do you want to tell us what your workday looks like? Perhaps we can offer suggestions about how to incorporate pumping into your day, if you choose to go that route. And even if you don't, I wholeheartedly agree with mommal that some breastmilk is better than no breastmilk. Although I've seen mothers who had a rocky beginning go on to actually improve their supply once they went back to work - when you pump at work, you don't have a baby to take care of at the same time, so in some ways (depending on your job) it can be easier to pump at work then at home. I also agree with iritita that the pump you use is really important. At this point, since you are struggling with supply, you want to use a high-grade pump. Medela Pump in Style Advance, Hygeia Enjoye, or a hospital-grade rental pump like the Medela Symphony or equivalent.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Give up on BF?

    Thank you to the 3 of you for your ideas and support! I have the Medela in Style Advance pump but since starting to BF again a few weeks ago have really stopped pumping, although once I go back to work I will need to start again. Pumping at work shouldn't be a big problem, I'm sure I'll be able to get in 2, 15 min sessions during an 8 hour day and then BF during lunch. Will that be enough? Right now she's still eating every 2 hours since I've been trying to cut down on formula to encourage her to BF more often.

    I tried the "finish at the breast" technique a few times today but it mostly seemed to serve to make her mad, haha. One of the many reasons I want to BF is because of how fast it is! She gets upset when she has to wait for formula to warm up and so being able to get her food immediately makes it easier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,819

    Default Re: Give up on BF?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*breezy1024 View Post
    One of the many reasons I want to BF is because of how fast it is! She gets upset when she has to wait for formula to warm up and so being able to get her food immediately makes it easier.
    I love this! So often you hear people say "Oh, formula is so convenient!" and I am all , because how is it convenient to stand in your cold kitchen at 2 in the morning, listening to your baby scream while you're mixing and warming a bottle of formula? At night, I could just roll over and nurse, without even waking all the way up. Now THAT is what I call convenient!

    It sounds like you have just barely enough time to pump during the workday. A good pump session should last about 15-20 minutes, not including the set-up of pump parts. If there's a way for you to have your pump set up before you get to it, that would be ideal- the more time you spend pumping, and the less time you spend getting ready to pump, the more milk you'll end up with. Is there any chance of extending your break to 20 minutes? Some things that might help you pump are a cooler for stored milk- that way you can just pop the bottles into the cooler and get it to the fridge when you have a moment, and also a large ziploc bag. You don't need to wash your pump parts every time you pump- every other time is enough. So if you pop the parts into a big ziploc and then into the cooler, you can re-use everything in an instant.

    It's wonderful that you'll be able to pump during the workday! What a terrific advantage!
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Give up on BF?

    It's hard to know in advance what will be enough in terms of pumping. Mamas are so variable in terms of storage capacity, how quickly they letdown with the pump, etc. Pumping twice a day for 15 minutes, with a nursing session in the middle, may be plenty; or you may find that those 15 minute sessions are a little short, as mommal suggests. I think you won't know until you try, and if you can arrange to have some flexibility, for a longer pumping time if needed, that would be ideal. Minimizing pump set-up and clean-up time, so you can focus on active pumping time, is definitely a good idea!

    Agree that formula always sounded like a total pain to me!

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