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Thread: Mammary hypoplasia

  1. #1

    Unhappy Mammary hypoplasia

    Hi, I would like to share my experience with bf because right now I’m in struggle…
    I had a c-section and by the time I had my baby with me had passed about 10 hours.

    I did know very little about breastfeeding, but I did know that I want to do it.
    Actually I always thought maybe that maybe my breast would not be able to produce enough milk because they are too small (and I always find them kind of weird, I never like them), but I tried.
    My baby was bottle-feeding while she was away for me (she was with me from 9 AM to 10 PM) and nobody explain to me this super important rule about supply-demand (that now I now).

    I really try hard to boost my supply once we were at home. I tried with coconut oil, oats, mate with milk, etc. Once I knew about the importance of free demand I try it too. I even tried metoclopramide.

    My baby was born with 2.850 kg and by her first month she didn’t gain the weight that was supposed to. We tried to feed her more often at night (she could sleep 6 hours straight since her first month) and then on her second month she was better about her weight. Finally we tried to do exclusive breast feeding, but at night she was kind of fussy and we give her a bottle (3 or 4 oz) and then she was fine.

    When we went to the consult of the third month and she just gain about 400 gr… so they recommended to supplement with formula because she was borderline underweight that she could have.

    In the middle of all that I went to a lactaction group, I bought an electric breastpump (Pump In Style Advance by Medela) and start working again.
    When I tried to express milk with my breastpump I just had 1 oz per breast. I was told that because I was still feeding my baby on demand it was normal that I couldn’t extract more.

    Then I start pumping at work but all that I could have was 1.5 or 2 oz per session (both breasts). So to achieve what my baby would eat in one bottle (about 4 oz) I have to pump 2 or 3 time at work. To complete what she needed for one day I needed one week.

    I was SO frustrated… I still am.

    Now I figure out that I have mammary hypoplasia. So… no matter how hard I try and no matter how bad I wish to exclusively breastfeed my baby I can´t. And it feels just horrible. I feel ashamed, sad, frustrated, angry and worthless.
    I know this is a large post and my English maybe is just awful, but I have the need to share this…
    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Mammary hypoplasia

    Hi Nap.

    I think at this point, it is impossible to say what exactly is going on. It sounds like you have had many issues that might have led to not the best milk production outcome, no matter what the possibilities were for complete milk production in the beginning.

    Even now I am not sure you really have low milk production. Unfortunately, not being able to pump enough milk for baby to have over separations is a fairly common issue and occurs with moms whose milk production is entirely normal.

    If you saw a properly trained and educated LC, typically she would have examined your breasts to some degree, at least, looked at them, and also taken a history of your development, (when your breasts developed, when you started menstruating, did you have any fertility issues etc) because that information can sometimes provide insight into what might be going on with a mom's milk production.

    However, some moms with what might be called "classic" hypoplasia in appearance have normal milk production. This look is NOT always a barrier to producing enough milk. On the other hand, some moms with breasts that have an entirely normal appearance may not make enough milk. Low milk production is a difficult puzzle and often figuring out what is going on amounts to (hopefully educated) guesswork.

    Here is what we do know: Any amount of milk and any time nursing at the breast is VERY beneficial, to mother and baby, in many ways. Breastfeeding does not have to be exclusive nor does it have to last for 6 months or a year or any specific time in order to be beneficial.

    Moms who nurse and/or pump for one child, even if they do not make 'enough,' often have more milk production with subsequent children, even if they have hypoplasia.

    Getting breastfeeding off to a good start in the early weeks means mom and baby together with baby having unrestricted time at the breast. If there are any issues with breastfeeding, the earlier they are addressed, the better. Inadequate support from the health care profession and lack of reliable information about breastfeeding is the number one cause of low milk production, by far. So whether your production is low because you have hypoplasia or because your were not given the tools you needed in the early weeks, the fact is it is NOT YOUR FAULT. Women are great at feeling badly about events and circumstances they have no control over. Please, try to be kind to yourself. It is normal to feel sad and angry about this situation, of course. But try to take guilt out of it! Your baby would not like you getting down on yourself because you are your baby's number one hero, her whole world, and the most amazing person on earth, and that is because you are her mommy, and it has nothing to do with how or what she is fed.

    Please let us know if you would like more information- on the challenges you are facing. For example, Information on increasing pump output? Increasing milk production? some moms have better luck with herbal supplements or even medication, not sure that is an option you want to pursue or not...?) etc.

    An excellent book is Making More Milk. I am not sure if you can find it in your first language but you can try.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mammary hypoplasia

    Thanks for reading and for your reply.

    I'm striving to be ok and I repeat to myself that I am doing everything I can for my baby.
    I'm still trying, every day I pump twice at work, which is what my schedule will allow me, I don’t get much, but I thought it's better than nothing. While I'm with her in the evenings/nights I breastfeed on demand.

    I wrote to Dr. Jack Newman and he recommended me to try domperidone which I started today.
    I wonder if I could take some herbs too or whether I should try the medication and see the response. I would like some info on increasing pump output, I tried with power pumping and had no results.

    I wish to continue until she consumes solids and need less milk so I can cover her needs. I'll keep working on me and our breastfeeding (:

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