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Thread: Inducing lactation while pregnant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Inducing lactation while pregnant

    I had my son 6 weeks early due to preeclampsia. I was on mag for 48 hours and was not allowed out of bed for 24 hours after giving birth. My son was in the NICU so I had no access to him during that time. My milk never came in. I pumped, I tried to nurse after he came home (5 days post birth) but to no avail. What can woman like me do to enure that the next time around we will be able to breastfeed? I am presently 23 weeks pregnant with baby #2.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Inducing lactation while pregnant

    That sounds like a very difficult experience. (((hugs)))

    Mind if I ask a couple of questions? Did you experience any breast changes during pregnancy? Have you had any past breast surgery/injury? When you pumped, did you see colostrum? Did you have any kind of help in the hospital or afterwards?

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Inducing lactation while pregnant

    First off....congrats on your pregnancy and three cheers for you for trying to plan ahead to give breastfeeding another try!

    I don't have a ton of advice for you, but wanted to lend some support, having been through a few similar things with my son's birth. I was induced 2 weeks early because of preeclampsia, then had a very large blood loss after delivery due to a retained placenta. My BP was very high but I was released from the hospital 38 hours post delivery - but was back in again 20 hours later with postpartum ecclampsia! My milk had not yet come in, baby was on the small side (6 lbs) and our labor and delivery doula (who was a gem and met us back at the hospital when I was readmitted) and one or two of the L&D nurses helped work really hard with a pump so we could get even a little colostrum for baby before I was hooked up to 48 hours of MagSulfate. I was stuck in a hospital bed; baby went home with his dad and my mom-in-law - I alternated between crying and pumping all night... baby came to me days and we worked hard to get him nursing. It was a lot of effort! Once I was home, over the next several weeks, things improved - but it was tough going! There were days when I was very concerned that the milk just wouldn't happen for him - no matter what. I'm so glad I had the support of our doula (also a lactation educator) and my MIL who breastfed her 4 kids. I would have had a really hard time getting through all this and getting breastfeeding to a good place with out all that.

    So.....sorry for the babble, but my only input would be: take very very good care of yourself during this pregnancy! Stay as healthy as you can; keep your BP low and get very attentive prenatal care. Then...surround yourself with helpful folks who know what they are doing and who can support your efforts to breastfeed.

    I'll be thinking of you. Good luck and best to your family......
    -linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    4

    Default Re: Inducing lactation while pregnant

    My breasts did become larger but that was all that I noticed. I have never had any breast surgeries, although I did get induced and then wound up having a c-section. In the beginning I did get colostrum and was able to create a few bottles for my son while he was in the hospital. But they still had to give him formula. I pumped every couple of hours, in the hospital and after we returned home and whatever supply I had seemed to just go down. I continued to pump for 2 months post birth and gave up after not getting anything but a few squirts for quite some time. I just wondered if there was anything that I could do before this baby is born to ensure that my milk will come in.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Inducing lactation while pregnant

    Some things you can do to assure adequate milk production: take care of *you*, nurse early and often while making sure baby is latched on well or pump (preferably with a hospital grade pump) /hand express if nursing is not possible, and have a support network in place before baby is born. It would be helpful to attend LLL meetings or talk to your local Leader before baby arrives.

    Here's some information you might find helpful:
    www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/cesarean.html
    www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/breastprep.html

    These are NOT LLL resources, but you might find the information helpful.
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html (how milk production works)
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/pre...t.html#choices (articles re: how to avoid and overcome breastfeeding obstacles encountered due to medical interventions)
    Last edited by LLL_Jolie; January 31st, 2006 at 02:20 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,866

    Default Re: Inducing lactation while pregnant

    Wow. I'm sorry you experienced so many problems with establishing breastfeeding. It sounds like you had many obstacles to overcome.

    You should know that every baby is different. And every breastfeeding relationship is different. Chances are that things will be very different this time around. Looks like you're off to a good start, simply by asking for information and support!

    The best thing you can do is try to avoid/be prepared for any interventions during the birth. If you know you'll be having a repeat cesarean, it might be a good idea to prepare for that. Find out the hospital regulations, and let them know that you want to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after the birth. After that, breastfeed "early and often". And if possible, have someone there to assure that your baby is latched on properly. Also, taking care of yourself is VERY important. Don't forget that!

    AFAIK, there really isn't a way to induce lactation *before* birth. It's a hormonal thing, and your body is signaled to start producing more colostrum when the placenta is "uprooted" from the uterus.

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