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Thread: Is it too late for me? Please help.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Is it too late for me? Please help.

    I'm really hoping for some guidance here. Here is our story:

    My daughter is one month old yesterday. In her first few days of life, breastfeeding was challenging, although I was told that my milk was coming in pretty darn well. I was getting a good amount of it. While still in the hospital on probably her second day of life I started pumping because of the difficulty we were having. She started to do really well by her third day of life. We had one feeding where she was latched on for 15 min on one side with very little prodding to get through the feeding and 20 min on the other side where I didn't have to prompt her to wake up at all. Then, within a matter of a couple of hours we were at the hospital because she had jaundice. We were in the hospital with her for a week because her bilirubin just wasn't coming down quickly enough. The whole time I was in the hospital I only had one opportunity to breast feed. The doctors didn't want her out of the incubator for more than 20 for a feeding which meant that we had to bottle feed. I continued pumping at the point, but we were supplementing with formula when I couldn't pump enough breast milk for her at each feeding. Almost immediately after we came home from the hospital I had to go back for a very very bad UTI and mastitis. I was wicked feverish and couldn't do much of anything. My husband took care of both my daughter and I....

    So here we are. I've had about 2 and a half weeks of normalcy and I haven't gone back to breastfeeding. I've tried a few times, but she is so used to the bottle at this point that she fusses. I have very flat nipples so I use a shield and I own shells too, but they leak all the time so I don't use them too much. I'm only pumping once a day now because I'm so tired all the time. If I could breastfeed, I wouldn't have to worry about pumping as much.

    I am so conflicted and want so badly to breastfeed. I found my shield that had been missing and I have a feeding at 10pm EST. I was thinking of trying it again. Is my milk gone? Is it too late? God, I'm praying someone can help me. I've been praying about this non stop for a couple days and I'm hoping someone here might have some answers for me.

    Thanks and God bless,
    Sandy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    66

    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    Just A Quess But I Think If Your Lo Is Only A Month Old You Would Still Be Able To Breastfeed But I Think It Will Be A Big Commitment And Not Easy From What It Sounds But I Encourage You To Try If That Is What You Decide I Think There Would Have To Be Tons Of Trying To Nurse And Pumping. Nursing Would Be The Best. I Hope Someone Chimes In With Better Advice For You I Wanted To Try And Give You Some Support. Hang In There And Good Luck.

  3. #3
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    First of all, congratulations on the birth of your child! I'm sorry you got off to a rough start but many of us do so you're not alone in that. Establishing a supply and a routine is tough at first but I doubt it's too late for you. I'm hardly an expert but I have some thoughts/advice...

    Even if your milk supply is low, just know that there are people who RE-lactate (there's actually a section for relactation on this site) as well as people who nurse their adopted children. So...basically...not being an expert, I would still say that you can make this work even if your supply is really low or just about gone.

    I would contact a lactation consultant first thing tomorrow morning. Call your local La Leche League leader(s) and get advice as how you find a good one in your area.

    I strongly advise you to start pumping a lot immediately. I had to pump exclusively for my baby's first 5 weeks and the lactation consultant we hired told me that I should be pumping about 8 times every 24 hours. That was tough. I couldn't get more than 7 pumps in but I worked hard at getting those 7 done - even if it meant waking up at 3am when the LO was asleep. Plus, I would add whatever I pumped to the formula we had to feed her so my LO was getting at least some breastmilk. As my supply increased, the amount of formula we had to use decreased.

    One thing to know is that your supply is determined by how much your baby eats - NOT by the pump. Pumping can get things going for you but the level of your supply is set by the baby. So just keep trying to get the baby to latch. Even if it's just for 3 minutes at a time, it's important to get that latch going. You breasts may even make too much milk for the baby at first and leak all over the place, but eventually, they figure out how much to make.

    And most importantly, DON'T get uptight or upset about it. It can take a while for babies to get used to latching and it can take a lot of energy for them. Bottles are so easy. So just EXPERIMENT with your baby - don't think it as anything other than that. If you're anxious, it might make your baby anxious and less likely to want to nurse.

    Best of luck to you and start pumping!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    228

    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    It's not too late.

    You should call your local LLL leader tonight. The sooner the better.

    You've had a really rough first start. So many moms in this situation lose interest in breastfeeding. I'm proud of you for still trying! Of course you already know this: It's best for your baby and for you.

    I'll be interested to hear how things go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    Just wanted to say . Hang in there, it can be done. You just need to keep at it. It will be better for your baby and for you. Be strong. You don't want to look back and feel regret. We all understand how tired you are, but eventually the exhaustion fades a little and everything gets easier. Stay strong mama. Good luck and let us know how it's going. We're here to answer your questions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    I totally agree with emama. You can do it!!! Milk production is entirely based on supply and demand. If you are not demanding enough (through pump or baby) you're supply will go down and the soreness will occur (as you now know ) Remember that newborns eat 8 - 12 times a day. Stimulate that milk supply that many times and try putting baby to breast as often as you can. Mastitis can lower your milk supply too.
    Eating oatmeal (I love oatmeal cookies!) and drinking Mother's Milk Tea are a couple of things might help boost your supply. Here's a link for tips on pumping: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html and a link for boosting supply: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html. You need to eat well, get plenty of rest, and drink water! Contact a LLL leader as soon as you can: http://www.llli.org/WebIndex.html

    Good Luck, I know you can do it!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    First I'd like to thank all of you for your kind words of support and encouragement. I haven't give up, although I'm easily frustrated. I think I need to set some small goals first. This just seems so daunting. She's really not breastfeeding right now cause she's so used to the bottle. This is my plan.

    I read some tips on increasing milk supply. Since I'm only currently pumping once a day, I'm going to start by trying to pump every 2-3 hours. I have a great pump. It's double/electric. So, I'm going to first focus on trying to increase my milk supply by pumping more often and having more skin to skin time with my daughter. I have to take the pressure off myself that she'll nurse. Then, once I see an increase in my milk supply, I'll have more confidence. I'll keep trying all the while, but I have to take this one small step at a time or I'll just get overwhelmed by it all.

    Does this sound like the right approach?

    Sandy

  8. #8
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    absolutely. And see what a lactation consultant suggests. Honestly, I was actually scared of BFing because my LO wouldn't latch and I felt so overwhelmed. I would just cry and cry b/c I wanted to do it so badly and couldn't get it right. Just thinking of it as experimenting instead of "okay, we have to get this down today" really helped.

    just remember, you may pump less than your baby eats but that is okay. Until you get latching accomplished, your body won't know exactly how much to make.

    also, I found that fenugreek pills and Mother's Milk tea helped with supply BUT I had to stop them b/c it gave my LO bad gas.

    good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    683

    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    i dont have much advise other than i agree with PP. I do want to give you a hug and let you know to relax and enjoy your baby any way it works out. you can do anything you set your mind too. keep us posted!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    634

    Default Re: Is it too late for me? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by emama View Post
    Just thinking of it as experimenting instead of "okay, we have to get this down today" really helped.
    ...
    also, I found that fenugreek pills and Mother's Milk tea helped with supply BUT I had to stop them b/c it gave my LO bad gas.
    One step at a time mama, dont stress yourself out too much that can lower your supply..

    My LO didnt BF the first month either due to bad latch in the early days, I started pumping as I was worried he was going to starve. After learning about nipple confusion, I got worried and started to BF him after more than 4 weeks of exclusive pumping. It took him a few days to get used to the breasts, but he did ok. I really cant remember how I did it, I 'think' I offered him the breast first, if he's too hungry and couldnt wait for the letdown, I'd give him the bottle. But if he was in a good mood, he would take the breast and be happy with it.

    Are you using slow flow bottle teats?

    Oatmeals had worked wonders for me in increasing my supply. Try that too.

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