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Thread: I wasn't ready to stop Breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default I wasn't ready to stop Breastfeeding

    Hello everyone, I'm looking for help with re lactation.

    I've had some stumbles since my second baby has been born. During my third stage of labor my placenta wouldn't come out
    and the had to manually extract it. It was a nightmare for me, but once I was finally able to hold my son in my arms,
    it was worth it. I decided to exclusively breastfeed, and we didn't have any major issues. However, when my son was about
    three weeks old I was pumping (I was trying to build an abundant supply, for the preparation of going to work) and I had a
    late postpartum hemorrhage. However, when I went to the hospital, they ruled out any retained products via ultrasound.
    I continued to breastfeed, but I was still bleeding heavily... They then put me on
    Metheragine, which had a major impact on my supply. The medication worked while I was on it, but then I started to bleed again,
    and was having bad pains, they did a second ultrasound, which showed possible retained products of conception. I ended up being
    put on two antibiotics that I could not use while breastfeeding, and after the D and C, more Metheragine. I didn't pump while on the
    antibiotics because I was so discouraged, and upset. We ended up giving my son formula. Now, three weeks later I'm questioning whether
    it is possible to re lactate? My son is now 2 months old and has been off of the breast for about 3.5-4.5 weeks. I am still able to get
    drops of milk when I hand express, not much pumping. I really cannot afford to rent a hospital pump at the moment. My son is still willing
    to suckle at the breast but does seem to get frustrated when the few drops of milk stop flowing. In the morning I have been breastfeeding him
    and he has been falling asleep at the breast. I also just started fenugreek supplements and increasing my water intake in hopes of increasing
    my supply. If there is any advice anyone could give me that would be wonderful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: I wasn't ready to stop Breastfeeding

    Welcome to the forum!

    I am so sorry about your awful postpartum experience. That really sounds nightmarish! I really hope you've seen the last of it. And I can totally understand why you got so discouraged. The good news is that you can absolutely relactate and start nursing again, and you're actually a good part of the way to total success because your baby will latch and suckle, and because you still do have some milk. The are moms who start with less and yet still achieve their goal.

    Milk is produced on a supply = demand basis. The more frequently and completely you empty whatever milk is in the breast (via nursing or pumping), the more you will make. Supplements are nice, but they won't get you even half as far as frequent milk removal will.

    Here's what you want to do:
    - Make sure you have a good pump with correctly sized shields. A good double electric (e.g. Medela Pump in Style or Hygeia Enjoye) at a minimum, hospital-grade rental pump would be ideal, and I encourage you to think about the cost some more because a couple of months of pump rental is likely to be much cheaper than a year's supply of formula. The pump I used rented for $3 per day, and I kept it for 2 months. $180 down the drain, but compare that to the $1500-2000 I would have sent formula-feeding my kid!
    - Nurse the baby as much as possible, whenever possible. The stimulation given by a nursing baby is usually better than what the pump can give.
    - Pump as much as possible. You're aiming for 8-10 sessions per day, more if possible. Daunting, I know!
    - Supplements: fenugreek, blessed thistle, plain old oatmeal. They don't hurt and may help- just don't expect them to do much by themselves.
    - Drugs: Reglan and Domperidone are sometimes used off-label to increase milk supply. Talk to your doctor or midwife before taking either one.
    - Try the "finish at the breast" technique: after offering a bottle, put the baby back on the breast for unlimited sucking. In theory this not only improves supply but also teaches the baby to expect feedings to conclude at the breast, and to associate feelings of comfort, satiation, and relaxation with the breast.
    - Swith nursing: when baby is nursing and is falling asleep, take him off the breast, burp him or change his diaper, and switch him to the other side. Repeat the process as necessary until baby will no longer wake.
    - Check out this link on weaning from formula supplements: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: I wasn't ready to stop Breastfeeding

    that does sound like a nightmarish post-partum experience! i am glad it sounds like you are stable now and in a place recovered enough to thnik aboaut nursing again. mommal's right, you're in a good position to try, but it WILL be a lot of work. worht it, i think, though!

    i'd also try "instant reward" techniques when baby is suckling at the breast, to give him the idea that the breast is where milk comes from. you can do this with a dropper or a SNS until you get more milk coming. '
    good luck!!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: I wasn't ready to stop Breastfeeding

    Have you looked into assistance/insurance etc. for renting a pump? Whay about for seeing an IBCLC to help you navigate this process? Contact any local breastfeeding support groups for info on bf resources in your area.

    If you cannot get a better pump, You may get away with not using a better pump if you can get baby suckling regularly-maybe a lactation aid (homemade, sns or lactaid) would be appropriate? let us know if you want more info.

    Also, it frankly sounds to me as if the hospital/doctors messed up and missed a retained placenta post-c-section, thereby setting off a chain of events that caused you severe side effects including tanking your milk production. Personally I would be talking to an attorney.

    You can do this. You may or may not be able to make enough to exclusively breastfeed, that is of course unknowable right now one way or the other. But any breastmilk/nursing at the breast is important. And I would bet my bottom dollar you can get baby nursing regularly and increase your milk production quite a bit from where it is now. Mothers who have never given birth have induced lactation. Mothers have brought much older babies back to the breast. So do not let naysayers bring you down. It IS possible and it IS worth it.

    You have a lot going for you
    1) you have a pretty clear idea what tanked your production in the first place and those issues are resolved.
    2) your baby is still willing to nurse at least sometimes. This is huge!
    3) your baby is still quite young and will very likely 'take' to nursing again pretty readily.

    I strongly suggest the book Making More Milk.

    If a mom is put on any meds while nursing it may be smart to talk to these folks www.infantrisk.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: I wasn't ready to stop Breastfeeding

    ps drink to thirst. Good, normal hydration is very important, and a breastfeeding mother often IS more thirsty. but no reason to over hydrate to make milk.

    until you can get the book, I thgink kellymom has the best articles in increasing milk production.

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