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Thread: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    My apologies about the long post.

    It has been one heck of an emotional roller coaster ride. My wife is having daily crying sobs because she cannot produce enough milk for our son. We exclusively breastfeed up until week 2 and our Dr. instructed us to supplement because Matthew was losing too much weight. He told us we can go back to breastfeeding once baby gains enough weight and my wife's milk comes in fully.

    After speaking to our lactation consultant(s) we decided to bottle feed and pump. She pumped (Medela Pump-n-Style) 8 times a day and is producing 1- 1/2 oz (both breasts total) per pumping session. She is taking fenugreek, blessed thistle drops, mother's milk tea...chinese herbal medicine. You name it we tried it. Her supply has not increased

    6 weeks later baby has gained enough weight and we are trying to breastfeed again. Matthew has developed nipple aversion and after three VERY difficult days we finally got him to take my wife's breast. Since we were only seeing 5 wet diapers (baby was producing 10+ on the formula) we started supplementing again. Reintroducing the bottle reactivated his fussiness at my wife's breast and now he is refusing to nurse (again). We did try feeding him with a syringe but he chokes.

    We are approaching the 2 month mark and we are at the end of our rope. I'm not sure how much longer my wife can do this. Will her milk ever come in fully. Matthew is now 10lbs and 1-1/2 oz is clearly not enough for him. What is a reasonable time frame for her milk fully come in? At what point do we just bottle feed baby?

    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    Hi Matthewsdad
    I'm no expert but I would say that the baby needs to suckle or feed often. At that age they have a need to suckle, so she can maybe try to be his pacifier during his naptime or even co-sleep with him for a bit, or whenever he is calm and drowsy. He is still quite young and adaptable, so there is still a chance. The more he stimulates the breast the better. I don't know your whole situation but I think you got bad advice from the Dr. from the beginning. The baby would of eventually gotten better at extracting milk and would of increased her supply faster than the pump. Maybe at that point a lactating consultant would of been good to have.
    And for the seringe feeding, I had to do this at the hospital to incourage baby to suck. Are you using a small tube with the seringe. If you are you can try putting the tub to a clean finger or your wife's nipple and let him suck the liquid out rather than pushing it into his mouth. It can be a bit tricky though. We had a LC with us with us to help, you may want to get one to go over to help. Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    Hello MatthewsDAD! I totally agree with the post above, especially with the doctor's part. Wow, I think you're the fist Daddy I see posting in the website, I'm so happy and amazed, your wife is so lucky to have such a supportive hubby! I guess you guys assume that the amount that is getting pumped is the only thing your wife is producing, but this is going to make you feel a bit better; the pump is an ineffective way to tell how much milk she's producing, the baby is way better than the machine at getting milk out, my experience: once I tried to pump so I could go out with my hubby, my baby was about 4 1/2 mos, I pumped for like 2 or 3 days and I think I barely got 10 oz total!, my baby is a 100% BF and he'll be one next month. So my point is what you pump is not what you really have, you have much more; pumping most of the time causes false alarms. Anyway I'm not taking anymore time away from you. With your support your wife will thrive! You're more than welcome to come back and ask as many question as you like, no matter how stupid you think they're or if they make you feel embarrassed, seriously we like to help! It will be nice if you guys could go to LLL meeting, it will give you a lot of support, and this forum is support 24/7. Try cutting back on the formula, producing milk is an on-demand thing, the more the baby suck the more she produce! I send you a few links with good info for you to read and discuss with your wife, I think one of them is not your current problem, but it talk about something you're going to encounter soon, grow spurts; the last link (the adoption one) I send it for a little of motivation. Take care, you're an A+++ Daddy/Hubby!!









  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    Hi MatthewsDad,

    Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your son. What a supportive husband you are to be searching for help and information for your son and wife. (giving pats on the back!)

    Could you give us some information about ds's weights:

    Each check-up since then.

    Was ds losing weight after 2 weeks? Or did he just not gain birth weight back at 2 week check-up?

    Before supplementing how were diaper outputs? When doctor instructed supplementing, had you noticed a decrease in outputs?

    Is your breastpump new or used? This could make difference.

    How often does ds nurse in 24 hours?

    Does he take a pacifier?

    To answer your question: A woman's milk usually becomes more plentiful ("comes in" as some people call it) 3-4 days after birth. It typically takes 4-6 weeks to establish a full supply of milk, with baby nursing on cue, at least 8-12 times in 24 hours. This is best case scenario. Since pumps don't always work as effectively as babies, your wife may be experiencing a little trouble establishing this supply.

    Is it possible for her to stage a "nurse in"? She would stay in with the baby for the next 3 or 4 days and just nurse, nurse, nurse. Stay in bed, lots of skin-to-skin, bathe together, wear him in a sling, but just always be together. He sounds a little confused about where his main supply of food should be coming from at this point. But given a few good days of nursing and constant togetherness minus bottles and other impedences he will figure it out, and this will help with her supply!

    Remember, a pump is not always a good indicator of what a woman is actually producing. The best way to tell is output and growth.

    The last suggestion I will make is this: Would you be able to get in touch with a local LLL Leader? She can help you better than we can here on the boards--but we are here and happy to help-you just may enjoy speaking with someone in person!


    Take care and keep us posted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    Thanks for all your replies. I appreciate it.

    Reply to LLLKate,
    Birth- 8lbs 5oz
    Lowest- 7lbs 9oz (1week checkup)
    Started supplementing
    7lbs 12oz (1week+1day)
    8lbs 1oz (1 week+4days)
    8lbs 6oz (2 weeks)
    9lbs 8oz (4 weeks)
    9lbs 12oz (6 weeks)
    Dr. was concerned DS was not gaining but also because baby was jaundice and not getting better. Output 5-6 wet diapers +1-2 poopy diapers.
    Pump is brand new.
    Nurses about 10x a day.
    Yes he does take a pacifier.

    We had two lactation consultants observe baby nursing. Both said he had a good latch and sucking vigorously.

    We rented a scale today to measure baby's intake. To our dismay he is only getting 1.5oz, about as much as we were pumping. At 10 feedings thats 15oz total. I'm not sure this is enough for a 10lb baby. He should be getting at least 20-25 oz. We decided to supplement 5oz. We are worried about baby being dehydrated.

    We will try the "nurse in". My wife is already wearing him most of the day.

    Thanks again eveyone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom


    Do you know what type of jaundice your son had? Here is a link if you are not sure:

    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/07jaundice.html (not an LLL source)

    Was your son weighed in the hospital before you left, but after you first got the birthweight of 8 lb. 5 oz.?

    Does he nurse both sides at a feeding or just one? What cues does your wife use to know when he is done? Does he come off on his own or fall asleep after a feed? These details may seem minor but they help us to see the bigger picture.

    Has your wife tried breast compressions? These are very helpful for sleepy babies or babies who need a little extra help at the breast.

    (from Dr. Jack Newman, not an LLL source, but he is on the LLL medical advisory board)

    I would suggest you read this article below. The woman's situation is very similar to your wife's. There are a few other things you could rule out for low supply-such as having a retained fragment of the placenta or having a history of hormonal problems, or something called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. These are just a few things that can affect supply that are not always on the radar. I assume that the LC's that you saw (hopefully they were IBCLC's) went over all of this with your wife. DId your wife notice her breasts change during pregnancy? Did she notice fullness in her breasts as her mature milk came in, 2-5 days postpartum?


    Have you considered using an SNS (Supplemental Feeding System)? You mentioned trying the syringe, I didn't know if that meant you had already tried an SNS. You probably discussed this with the LC.

    One thing that stood out to me is that your son is using a pacifier. That may confuse him in his suck, but more importantly, anytime he is sucking on the pacifier he is not at the breast. A baby in your son's situation should spend all of his time at the breast. Think of it as his job to create more milk! The only way he can do that is to nurse, nurse, nurse! It may seem to your wife that is all she is doing, but if it brings her supply up, it is working!

    You may wish to talk to your wife's doctor about trying a prescription to increase supply. But keep in mind, no supplement or drug is going to help if the breast aren't being stimulated enough. They have to be taken along with frequent feedings.

    You and your wife may need to examine your BF goals. How long does she wish to BF? Would you be ok with doing combination feeding? Would you consider donor milk? These are all options you may wish to consider.

    I hope this is helping somewhat. Hang in there!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    I haven't been here for about 8 months and I see the forums look very different now!

    MatthewsDAD, in addition to the very good advice concerning nurse-ins and evaluating any other medical obstacles for mama, I would strongly recommend a lactation consultant. They can be extremely helpful regardless of your son's age. Also, if you have gotten no useful help from your regular doctors on how to address, I would ask your lactation consultant for a qualified practitioner of acupunture.

    After my son was born, my milk didn't come in until the 5th day. I had to supplement with a feeder tube while nursing, which doesn't build confidence. After that, I had no trouble with quantity after the first week, but nursing was extremely painful for me, and my abraided nipples were constantly swollen and blocked or thrush-ridden (which causes more pain). I couldn't understand why, as I am healthy and my immune system was in good shape. Also, from about 3 months on, my son was increasingly fussy at many nursing sessions, as if he was having difficulty, and I was contemplating whether the pain was going to force me to stop nursing.

    The midwive-nurses alternatives were to either quit nursing (at 4 months) or see a lactation consultant. The lactation consultant determined that my son had a partially tied tongue but had still been able to nurse because of a strong but "inefficient" suck. I took him to a recommended oral surgeon and in a few seconds with topical anethesia and a laser ball-tipped instrument, the problem was corrected. Immediately the large majority of the nursing pain went away. I only wish I'd seen a lactation consultant sooner!

    However, the lingering thrush and infections did not resolve and the prescription medicines began to have no effect whatsoever. In desperation, I contacted the lactation consultant again. She said that many women for whom standard medicine doesn't work have gotten relief from acupuncture. I was skeptical but willing to try anything. Almost immediately, I saw results. Apparently, my lingering problems were the result of poor circulation, which encourages thrush, particularly on my one side following childbirth (I had a cesarean). Acupuncture stimulated my circulation but can also address numerous other problems.

    I went to the acupunturist several times over the next several months, and saw continuing improvement. I also saw the lingering abdominal numbness and bladder urgency as a result of surgery began to recede. After all these issues were addressed by non-allopathic health practitioners, nursing was a joy. My baby fed almost exclusively on milk till about 10 months, when he developed a better appetite for solids. I did find I had to pump more frequently to maintain supply once he was on solids, but I continued to pump some milk for him until just last month. I still nurse him at nights, in the morning, and on weekends (he's 21 months old).

    This story had a happy ending only through my own perseverance and willingness to explore the options. Please keep trying and look into the health practioners I've mentioned if you haven't found relief with your standard medical team. Good luck and hang in there

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    I just want to send my thoughts and encouragment to your wife as I have SO been in her shoes. Let her know that there are many others out there who have been through that frustration. Thank you so much for being such a supportive husband and seeking information to help her.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    How's everything going MatthewsDAD?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: 6Weeks later and a teary Mom

    It may also really help to find LLL meetings in your area to help support your wife, even just with some "been there" shoulders to cry on.

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