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Thread: Desperate Father

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Desperate Father

    I am seeking advice for my wife. We have an 8 week old boy and have had lots of problems breast feeding.
    I am very adamant about it. I want our baby to nurse.
    It all started with a C-Section and lack of colostrum, it also took about 5 days for even a little milk to come in and that was not enough.
    We had to suppplement with Formula since pretty much day one. At about 1 week the doctor prescribed some pills, Don Peridon. That seemed to work, and we were at about 75% Breast and 25% Formula, but that was the best it got. Recently I feel she as lost interest and the baby is not gettingon the boob enough to even promote the miniscule supply that she had, now it is more like 5% Breast and 95% Formula.
    I cannot knock here for not trying, she does try but is very frustrated as she feels she is not feeding her baby properly. He will get fussy with the breast then we will have to bottle-feed with formula.
    Latching is not the problem, he has a good latch...

    How do I approach this situation, mind you with caution as my wife is very stubborn, that is why I am writing this?
    How late is too late, when is enough enough and we should let the boobs dry up and switch to formula full-time?
    Any hints that will give increase to the milk supply, especially this late in the game.

    Thanks All

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    My best suggestion is to get that baby on the boob as much as possible! That will help stimulate the breast and tell her boobs that they need to make more milk!! It might take a day or two for it to kick in. Also if you have a pump she needs to pump as well to give extra stimulation as well, even if there is nothing coming out have her pump for a few minutes!

    She could take fenugreek, eat oatmeal, drink mother's milk tea, to also help boost the supply. But really just get that baby on the boob will help the most.

    I know it will be frustrating for her, but if this will have to happen for her supply to be built up in order for her to breastfeed! If she works at it, and can stay in bed with the baby for a day or two and just breastfeed constantly, then that should do that trick!

    What a wonderful man you are to come on here and look for suggestions, tell your wife to come on over if she wants for a ton of support! This place is awesome for it!

    I hope all is well and that she can get the baby back to the breast!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    The best thing to do is help her with everything around the house, so she does not have to worry about anything but nurse....

    I had my MIL come for a couple of days....she cooked, cleaned.....basically I just satyed in bed for some days breastfeeding, lot of skin-toskin contact, drinking lots of fluids and basically being pampered....MY SUPPLY DID GO UP...(my DS practically nursed around the clock, that was the trick)....and I did it in a more relaxed way knowing that my family was being taken care of..

    Hang in there...BF is a great thing. It can be done...
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    It is never too late! Women who have never had children and even men can lactate!

    Building milk supply is difficult, emotionally draining work.

    You need to make arrangements so she doesn't have to do ANYTHING for 2 months. Even if it costs you $1,000 in the long term it will save you money. I'm sure you've found out that formula is not cheap.

    Hire a housekeeper, dog walker, diaper service, nanny. Whatever will ehlp your family out most.

    Set up 2 - 3 places where she can nurse comfortably. Pillow, blanket, TV, magazine, healthy and yummy snacks and something to drink. Keep these areas free of clutter.

    Remind her how she is doing an AWESOME job and that you value what she is doing.

    Encourage her to nurse frequently. Even if it is every hour. Every time baby is hungry - even if it has only been 15 minutes since the last time baby ate.

    If she's an active person, buy a sling so she can nurse and walk, shop, or clean at the same time. If she likes to shop, go shopping for cute nursing clothes. If she's social, she can join an LLL or breastfeeding support group.

    She has to nurse the baby MINIMUM 10 - 12 times every 24 hours to boost milk supply.

    I relactated. It was super-not-fun but totally worth it I had no support from my husband. That was the most difficult part. Like the previous poster said, she will be nursing literally around the clock. She might only have 15 minutes between feedings. So anything and everything you can do to help her be able to do this is invaluable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    I heard someone say Breastfeeding is a confidence game and that is totally true! If baby is fussy at her breast and then satisfied with formula, she may be feeling inadequate. That formula had to be introduced so early and so much that it affected her supply has hurt her confidence in supplying nutrition for her baby. It will take round the clock nursing and possibly additional pumping? for a time to bring back her supply. It is wonderful she has your support. Tell her to have confidence and try the fenugreek and getting as much rest as possible. Good nutrition and rest and fluids and decrease stress and little rewards might help. It was a lot of work at the beginning so I felt justified in treats like new nursing tops, magazines, etc. and count each day as a success. Soon she could be providing the 75% again (or 100%). Her body CAN do it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Sunny Arizona

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    BFing is hard work. I agree with PP that her confidence is probably shaken and she is sick of the battle. Talk to her about how important you feel it is for her to continue to try. I second the motion to take all other responsibilities off of her shoulders. Make it so her only job is to nurse the baby. Do you own a pump? That makes a big difference in getting supply in. I also have good luck with oatmeal. I can tell a difference with just one bowl.

    Let her know that she is doing an awsome job. It wasn't her fault that her milk took so long to come in. That is actually very common with C-sections since the hormones that start milk production are triggered better by a vaginal delivery. She just needs to nurse all the time. Try to stop doing bottles. Baby is probably fussy at the breast because it is easier to bottle feed. Let her know that he's not necessarily rejecting her, which she might feel like he is doing. Let her know that you are 100% behind her and will do whatever she needs to help her reach your mutual goals.

    I would just tell myself just get through this feeding, just one more feeding. I also kept formula out of the house. You don't have this option yet but maybe talk to her and set up a goal to be formula free by a certain day.

    It's also important to not pressure her. That will only make things worse. You two need to have a heart to heart and make sure you're on the same page. Maybe you could have her come on this forum so she knows she's not alone. There isn't an issue she is dealing with that someone else hasn't faced too. Have her read all the responses your getting, maybe contact your local LLL leader to chat or go to LLL meeting. Sometimes it helps to know she isn't the only one going through this and she has outside support.

    Good luck!

    Amy married to my bestfriend since 10/30/04

    Proud SAHM to DS born 2/17/07 and DD born 9/11/08 Both weaned together 11/2011
    Currently milk, peach, peanut and tree nut free. DD has outgrown her wheat, cheese, egg, garlic, and citrus allergies

  7. #7
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    I was in the same boat as your wife and I totally get how daunting it is and how your confidence can wither away. BUT IT ALL WORKED OUT IN THE END and it can work out for her. My story in brief:

    I had a caesarian and a very underweight baby who was in the NICU for ten days. Her suck was too weak for breastfeeding and even the La Leche League lactation consultant we hired said "just use bottles of expressed breast milk for now" after testing her suck. So I pumped and pumped and rarely got more than 1/2 ounce per session. I would take that milk and combine it with formula but the baby was mostly getting formula.

    If the baby is not on the breast, the breast will not know how much to make. It's that simple. I thought I just had a low supply and that breastfeeding would just not work for us - my baby was almost 6 weeks old and had not latched on and I was pumping very little so, oh well, I guess the window is closing right? Wrong.

    One day, while I was pumping out my meager 1/2 ounce, the baby started crying and my husband was in the shower and couldn't fix her a bottle. So I ran to her and just to get her to be quiet, put her on my breast. It was exceedingly painful but she nursed for a full three minutes. After that, the breast I had used started leaking all over the place. I pumped out an additional 1 1/2 ounces from that one breast, far more than I had ever pump with both breasts combined.

    That's when I put two and two together - my body responds to the baby. Not the pump - just the baby. My supply goes up with the baby's nursing and not through use of the pump. Yes, you can get your supply up with pumping, oatmeal and Mother's Milk Tea or fenugreek pills (but watch your baby for signs of gas or colicky behavior - I had to stop because of it) but really, you ESTABLISH and maintain your supply only through actual breastfeeding.

    I don't know why your wife is being told that she simply has a low supply. That cannot be determined until she breastfeeds with some consistency.

    Don't let her confidence erode. I'm stubborn too and have a tendancy to think that I know how things work but I didn't. It was through experimentation that I established my supply. Get that baby on the breast, even if it's just to experiment. Don't make 100% breastfeeding your goal. Maybe just 3 feedings a day or something. As you increase the bf feedings, the supply will increase.

    My husband read that it's rare for a woman not to have enough milk for her baby once the baby is actually on the breast. Tell your wife that. She won't believe it but it's true.

    Best of luck to you all...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    I didn't read all the replies, but I just thought I'd add... lots of skin to skin contact can help both mama and baby! My son had latching problems and one thing that helped get us off formula supplements was bathing together. Time for just the two of us skin to skin where he could latchon and nurse if and when he wanted to. Lots of sleep and lots of fluids for mom when possible! Oatmeal, even oatmeal cookies are great for boosting supply as well! s to you and your wife!

    Wife to Ray (09/07/07)and Mama to:
    Xander (01/19/07) nursed for 30 months
    Liam (12/12/09) still nursing through the night and in the mornings!
    Sebastian (7/29/12) my newest little nursling who graciously shares his milk with big brother!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    Another tip not mentioned is to get a supplemental nutrition system to feed the formula for now - it is like a little bottle that holds the formula with two little tubes that come down taped to the breast. The opening of the tiny tubes is just at mom's nipple. So when baby nurses on mom, a little bit of formula is being delivered as well. So when baby nurses, baby gets the reward of milk - it is sometimes difficult to get baby to nurse when there is very little there, so this helps with that problem. It also eliminates the bottle so you don't have to deal with nipple confusion on top of everything else. Also, for every feed, baby is stimulating mom's breasts to make more milk. In my opinion, this really helps in the beginning. I had problems with low supply with both my children - with my first I gave up after 2 months, despite pumping, domperidone etc etc. I was exhausted, I felt like a failure, and I didn't have enough support. With my second, I was DETERMINED to make breastfeeding work - I found this site, bought myself a pump while I was still pregnant and told everyone that I needed their support as this time I was going to succeed. My son was not allowed a bottle - all supplements were given through a kind of supplemental nutrition system ( I made it myself using sterile tubing and a syringe as that was one thing I hadn't thought to buy while pregnant - or rather I didn't know about them then) taped to my breast. I used domperidone for well over a year. I used fenugreek for almost that long as well. I ate oatmeal, I paid attention to how much fluids I was drinking. weighed my son at least weekly for reassurance that he WAS gaining. I think the supplemental nutrtion system is available through this website - hopefully one of the leaders will jump in here too and let you know where you can get one. It can be an awful lot of work for some people in the beginning - it was for me - but my son is 21 months now and still avidly breastfeeding. , I would not for the world trade this relationship that we have or the wonderful benefits he is still receiving off of the breastmilk - he has never been to the doctor for an illness yet! His poor 4 year old sister is sick at least once a month - she has been sick for the past 5 weeks actually, and been to the doctor 3 times - is currently on antibiotics for tonsillitis - but my son has not caught it. A couple of days he started with a fever, nursed nonstop for 24 hrs, and then woke up fine, no fever, no sickness. It really is an amazing thing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    San Francisco

    Default Re: Desperate Father

    I don't have much to add that the pp's already didn't say.

    Make sure you give your wife lots of hugs, kisses and support during this difficult time! I too had a rocky start with nursing that lasted just days, I can't imagine making it weeks! Kudos to you for wanting the very best for your lo!

    I know when I was having my issues I took all the formula that the nurses were shoving in my diaper bag on the way our of the hospital and threw it in the garbage. It was way too tempting for those stressful times. Maybe you can do the same once her supply is back up.

    Maybe you can find a local support group in your area? I think dad's are even allowed to attend.

    Anyways, to you and your wife! Stick with the boob juice! It's going to be worth it I promise!
    Proud Mama to Noah Michael and Baby Charlie

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