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Thread: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    Ok,
    So here's my issues/questions. I have two daughters whom I tried to breastfeed previously. One is 8, the other is 6. I was unsuccessful with both girls. Previously, especially with my six year old I tried everything - Reglan, pumping every two hours with a hospital grade breast pump etc. Now I am 35 weeks pregnant, and I want to try yet again with my son who is due November 25th.
    Some things have changed since my last attempt, namely I dropped 140 lbs due to gastric bypass surgery. My concern is, my breast size hasn't changed whatsoever throughout this pregnancy. I started with a B cup, and I am still a B cup. Is this an ominous sign that I am going to be in the same predicament as before? I felt like such a failure with my other two girls that I am scared to try it at all, but I want to give my son the best he can have, which I know (from being a nursing student) is breastmilk.
    I have spoken to my Dr. about this as well as the dietician in my local WIC office who happens to be a lactation consultant. They both said the same thing, Try Fenugreek. So I have already bought my supply of Fenugreek to try. I wish I knew now though if it was going to work or not.

    So, Am I destined for failure again due to the lack of increased breast size?
    Is there anything I can do before my son is born to encourage an adequate milk supply?
    Am I foolish for wanting to try this all again?

    Any words of advice/wisdom/encouragement are greatly appreciated. I don't exactly have the strongest support on this topic in my household so I need all the help I can get. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    My understanding is that breast size has nothing to do with milk production. I think you are very wise to look for help and info now. With the other two was it lack of milk, latch problems or something else? I also think every pregnancy and every baby is different so maybe it will be a breeze this time. However having a Lactation Consultant around will be a huge help. Try to nurse as soon after giving birth as possible. For me it was imperative to have someone to help me when my milk came in. She wasnt an LC but did have experience and helped me get through engorgement, learning to pump and problems with a flat/inverted nipple. Congrats on making the best decision for your son and good luck with everything. Dont give up too early, it takes a while to get the hang of it but once you do, you wont want to ever stop!

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    Hi and welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    No, I certainly don't think you are foolish to want to try again! You've come to the right place for information and support. I has been my understanding that the breasts do not need to increase in size during pregnancy to produce milk after the baby is born.

    Was your problem low supply with both previous babies? Can you tell us a little bit more about your birth and early nursing experiences? That might help to know what might have hindered your progress. How and at what point was it determined that your supply was low?

    Fenugreek has been helpful to increase milk supply for many moms. However, the MOST important thing to establish a milk supply and get nursing off to a good start is to nurse EARLY and OFTEN. Early means ideally within the first 1/2 hour after birth. Often means AT LEAST 8-12 nursings in every 24 hours (aiming on the higher end of that range is better). Also, lots of skin to skin contact between mom and baby (baby in just diaper against mom's bare chest) helps to trigger the hormones in mom to produce more milk and also brings out a baby's natural inclination to nurse.

    I'd suggest trying to attend an LLL meeting if there is one in your area before the birth of your baby. This allows you to ask questions and to meet the leader(s) ahead of time. That way you know someone you can call if you run into problems after the baby comes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    154

    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    breast size is determined by fat content.....and less fat content in your breast has nothing to do with the milk glands we all have....even if you are a cup A or D, the milk glands are there...so dont worry about that...

    Also, it´s very important to nurse ate night to establish a good milk supply because it is at night when prolactin (hormone that stimulates milk production) is released from the pituitary gland.....for example: if you nurse at 2am....prolactin levels will go up very high....theese high levels maintain during the next day (that{s why during the morning there is always more milk in the breast...) .....so it´s very important to nurse at least 2 times during the night....

    Nursing at night might be very exhausting, but necesary....many moms with hekping husbands go into the habit of bottle feeding at night...and that is the first path to bf failure....your body interprets that your baby does not need milk (because he is not bf) and so milk production decreases...

    Herbs might help, but they are not the solution......the more a baby suckles at the breast the more milk will produce....so breastfeeding has to be done on demand....tiny babies often nurse every hour at first....their tummies are so small they can only fit a small amount of milk each time, so frequent nursing does not have to be interpreted as "the baby is not getting enough"...., aslo bf is digested very quickly!!

    Small babies usually cry when they are hungry....they rarely cry because their diaper is wet or things like that....so wasting time trying to calm a crying baby by changing their diaper a million times does not help at all.....you just have to put a crying baby to the breast....

    ...so I recomend nursing as soon as posible after birth, babies are quite awake for about an hour after birth and that is the prefect time to start nursing....get support and dont give up....bf is the most beautiful thing on earth...

    good luck!!
    Karina, Neonatal Nurse, mother to Martin, born at 33 weeks 02/11/2007...
    I love ...... .....my baby loves it

    I relactated....IT CAN BE DONE!!!

    I also love
    Tried to


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    Quote Originally Posted by RachelinTenn View Post
    So, Am I destined for failure again due to the lack of increased breast size?
    Is there anything I can do before my son is born to encourage an adequate milk supply?
    Am I foolish for wanting to try this all again?
    First off Congrats on the new baby and way to go for a boy ^_~.

    As for as your breast size not changing pre-preggo and preggo do not sweat it. I am still three kids later the same size 5yrs ago. I am nursing my 3rd child (did not work out with first child and did not even try with my 2nd) and the only time I am bigger is when I am engorged which is not often.

    As for things to do before your son is born. Pray reread books if you have not already and come out with a plan. It worked for me. I came up with a plan A,B, & C.

    If you asked me if you are foolish for wanting to try again 3yrs ago I would say yes. However, I am better educated and well understand how wonderful bf is (when you are not tired, hormonal, sore... ^_~) and I say "No you are not foolish." If you are then so am I and I am just plan nuts

    My best tip that helped me this time was I really wanted this to work. I needed this work for many reasons mostly money reasons. 2ndly this is my last baby. Bring your pump with you to the hospital and pump the day after your ds is born. You may not get anything I so did not but I had more at the end of my first week than I did 3wk pp with my first two kids.

    I have heard oatmeal is great for supply and I have no issue with supply ^_~.

    Take it one day at a time and then a week and then a month. I am finally up to monthly goals ^_~ I am 9wks of hard work and still fighting, but love it.

    You are lucky your two girls are older so they will be in school which will give you more time to be one on one with ds. To me the one on one time I got with dd2 really helped (thought it was only in the hospital and for about the first week I was home).

    Make sure you and dh or dp are all on the same page. It is super important to have great support. I am lucky dh and I came up with the plans together and well he and my dd1 have been my personal cheerleaders.

    I wish I had more to say, but I am by fear the least experienced here. I have had my share of bumps and bruises and still getting knees banged up. Mostly from my dh family, but I would not change a thing.

    I pray you have a great L&D and I HTH.

    P.S. I had a c/s with this baby and things worked out better than expected. ^_~
    Becky ~ 33 Dh ~ 37 (my little geek of geeks)
    Dd1 ~ Brittney 5yrs aka Bunny
    Ds ~ Xander 3yrs aka Xaxu
    Dd2 ~ Bailie 1yr aka Dede

    Still going 14months later.

    1yr goal and save $2200 average.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Swartz Creek, MI
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    Ditto what the ladies have said.... Just stay encouraged. we have all had our share of issues... so you WILL get support here!!!
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    My issue with my two daughters was definately supply. I did experience the sore/cracked s and all that, but I worked with a lactation consultant who said I was doing everything correctly as far as latching on was concerned. Both the LC and my MD at the time believed it was an issue of supply. However, as I said, I have had a major weight loss and with my second daughter I had to take fertility meds just to get pregnant. With this weight loss I had no problems getting pregnant, and it was actually not planned because I didn't think I could get pregnant in the first place. So I am really hoping that the change in my hormone levels from the weight loss will mean that I will be successful this time with BF. I do plan on BF right after delivery, providing everything goes smoothly. In general both of my daughters I had no problem, 6 & 4 hour labors, minimal pushing, both naturally. So I don't know what the issue was with the whole milk supply thing other than simply, being incredibally obese. We'll see. Thanks for the info and advice.

    Rachel

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    Well, as said, nurse often. My experience has been the more let down the more milk produced. Some people dont produce a let down with a pump very well. I wish you much success. Write with all your questions, there's tons of help on here.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    Breast size doesn't matter. You are wonderful for wanting to try again...

    I'm going to tell you my story to give you hope and support...

    I had a very hard time with breastfeeding for the first 2 months. The first week was terrible. My son wouldn't latch on. He was jaundiced, losing weight and sleeping all the time. Although they strongly advise against this, I ended up giving him a bottle of pumped milk after 1 1/2 weeks because he had to eat and all other methods (cup, dropper, etc...) weren't working for us. I really didn't have any other choice. He drank the milk quickly and sucked down every other bottle after that. I was lucky in that I didn't have a supply problem so I was able to pump and give my milk in a bottle.

    While giving ExBM in bottles, we worked before and during the feedings on our latch. It was a lot of work. I had to spend @ 70% of my time on feeding and latching. It was especially hard at night. But I was extremely determined. I did not want to give any formula so I stuck with it.

    By 8 weeks, he was latching on pretty well. I had an OS/OALD problem at this point, but we worked through that as well.

    By 3 months he was BFing like a pro, my OS and OALD were under control for the most part and I felt great!

    We are at 8 months now with BFing - exactly 8 months today to be exact!

    You really can do it. Really, really, really. LLL gives great support and advice. I had no one here in the UAE to help me - no consultants, groups, midwives...nobody. (My friends tried to help but none of them had latching problems like me.) The women here are a large part of the reason I continued BFing despite my problems.

    If you want it, it will happen. (Kind of like, 'If you build it, they will come." )
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

  10. #10
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Looking for Advice re:milk supply - 2 previous failed attempts at BF

    Is the Lactation Consultant you've referred to an IBCLC certified LC? It REALLY can make a difference. IBCLC's are board certified. They're ultra-qualified, and handle lots of complex issues. Your local LLL leader should be able to direct you to an IBCLC.

    I strongly suggest getting in touch with a LLL leader, and get that support in place now. Then, line up an IBCLC, just in case. At least you will have met some people prior to the birth of your baby, and will feel more comfortable calling them if you need help.

    Good luck!

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