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Thread: Need some encouragement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    20

    Unhappy Need some encouragement

    So we've been at this for nearly 5 weeks now. DS was a week old when we quit breastfeeding and 4 weeks when we started again. I sure was hoping that by the 6 week mark (2x the length of time we had quit for) I would have enough milk to exclusively breastfeed him. Right now he is getting about 1-2 oz per feed in the SNS (sometimes formula, sometimes EBM from when I pump after a feed). I'm getting so frustrated from having to make up formula and I just can't help feeling that I'll never be able to satisfy him.... How much longer can this possibly take? I feel so silly because I know I've ONLY been at it 4 weeks and some women work much harder and longer... Is there anything else I can do to speed this up?

    - Taking 4 capsules fenugreek & blessed thistle, 3x/day
    - Eating oatmeal
    - Drinking lots of water
    - Taking 30 mg domperidone 3x/day
    - Feeding on each side until I hear him stop swallowing (using compressions), then follow up with formula in the SNS then follow that with 10 minutes of pumping (with double electric pump... I was using a PIS advanced but I just got my hospital grade pump today!)
    - Powerpumping from 3-4 AM


    GRRR I'm so mad at myself for quitting in the first place!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    I know how you feel! I wish I hadn't stopped in the first place either. You're doing an excellent job, I think. I've been relactating for...I don't even know how long anymore. Months. It could have gone a lot faster for me if I were not using a Pump In Style also! The hospital grade pump will help IMMENSELY. I didn't see any progress at all forever because of not having one. Then all of a sudden I jumped from 3 to 8 ounces in a matter of a month or two!
    Everything else on your list seems in order, like you are doing all you can.
    Have you tried a lot of skin to skin? I notice when I cuddle topless with my LO a lot that I see a bit more milk. Hand expression/compressions coupled with the hospital grade pump will do wonders for your supply. There is so much hope for you. You'll see.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    Hi ,

    It sounds like you are well on your way. Forgive me, but I forget how much time you spent not breastfeeding before starting to relactate? Try to be patient with yourself. Every ounce your baby is getting from you is an ounce of formula he is not getting. Plus, he is already getting the "intangible" benefits of breastfeeding. It really is about so much more than food.

    You said you do compressions when you nurse without the SNS. That is a very good strategy. Do you also "switch nurse"? That is, do you do compressions on one side until baby stops actively nursing, then switch to the other side, then switch back again, etc? Your breasts are constantly making milk, so you can do this for a long time (as long as baby isn't too frustrated) to really maximize the amount of milk he gets directly from you each feeding. Combining compressions with switch nursing is a great way to increase your milk production.

    Quote Originally Posted by a_hex
    Have you tried a lot of skin to skin? I notice when I cuddle topless with my LO a lot that I see a bit more milk. Hand expression/compressions coupled with the hospital grade pump will do wonders for your supply.
    Also great ideas.

    How is baby's diaper output at this point? If baby is having plenty of diaper output, you can gradually wean from the supplements, knowing that baby is getting enough to eat. If you want to talk more about this, let me know.

    You really are doing an amazing job, mama! Keep up the good work!

    Tiana

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    Thanks you two!!! I was having a very "down" day yesterday....

    A_hex, I haven't tried too much skin to skin.... I was going to try bathing but he's still such a slippery little guy at this stage I'm a little nervous.. I think I will make more of an effort to integrate some of this into our day though & hopefully it will help! Thanks for the suggestion! 8 oz, that's fantastic! Good luck on your journey! I hope that you're where you want to be SOON!!!

    Tiana, thanks for the tips! I tried switch nursing tonight and it seems like he took less formula than usual! And when I pumped afterwards I had much less than I normally do.... Hopefully that's a good sign. He took less than an oz of formula from the SNS after we nursed for about 30 minutes and did each breast about 3 times.

    I would love to try to wean him from the supplement, I just have no idea how to go about doing it. His diaper output is good. He is a little sluggish on the #2s and I don't usually see one until every 3rd day sometimes. It seems as he's getting more breastmilk he's having fewer poops... I'm dying to see one though to see if it's more yellow/seedy as they have been greeny/yellow of late (and used to be a dark brown when he was getting only formula). How should I try to wean him from the SNS??

    Oh here's a bit of a bummer... I got my hospital grade pump yesterday. It was the only one I could find in our whole city and now I know why!! It's only a single electric pump!! AHH... So they have another one, I'm going to rent that one as well, so I"ll have to rent 2... At $2.50 a day each (so $5/day total) there's definitely going to be some motivation to pump more frequently and get where I want to be so I can give them back!!!!!! :-)

    Thanks again you two! You have made me feel much better...!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    You are actually making fantastic progress! It sounds like switch nursing is making a big difference. The breasts are never really empty, and baby nurses better than the pump. The reason for the pump, is that it will keep nursing after baby stops!!!

    Can't you return the single electric pump? That is crazy that they called it a hospital grade!!! That seems like false advirtising. The double pumping stimulation really increases prolactin levels.

    I noticed the same trend in poops. They turned green on me. I know that when it was only breast milk is was yellow seedy, but when it was both it was green. I don't know why.

    You are really making wonderful progress. It just takes so much longer than we think it will, but IT IS HAPPENING!!! YOU ARE DOING IT!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    Eek - that's awful about the pump! Do you know what brand/make/model it is? I agree that it sounds like it's not actually hospital grade at all!
    The ones to look for are the Medela Symphony or Medela Lactina. I think there is one more but I can't remember the name right now.

    Here's a good link that tells how to wean from supplements:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

    It sounds like you are doing really great so far. The diaper output you mention seems pretty normal. A lot of breastfed babies poo less than formula fed babies because their bodies process it more efficiently, meaning less waste. Some poo lots no matter what. lol It's a very individual thing.

    And thank you for your kind words! I have a thread that I keep updating in this section of the boards if you'd like to see what I've done. It's a rough ride but each little supply increase and positive change keep me going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    Thank you both for the encouragement!!!!!

    I could have definitely returned the pump but then I would have no hospital grade pump as this was the ONLY pump I could find in the entire city!! But dumb me... I took a better look at the pump when I had a few minutes last night... Luckily before we picked up the 2nd pump.... All they gave me was the instructions & accessories for single pumping but at the end of one of the tubes there was a little "splitter". I'm used to my PIS that has two holes for the tubing, not one hole with a splitter... So I got out my PIS tubing and used the splitter to hook up both of the tubes & collection kits and now it's a double pump!!! It's an Ameda pump.. BOO I know... I wanted a symphony but there were NONE in the city to rent! We even tried to buy one online but here in Canada they are $2400 when I found one in the states it was "only" $1200 but she can't ship outside of the US... But I can see how this hospital grade pump rental will quickly add up to that if I need it for very long.... If I add together all the money I've spent on pumps!! AHHH.. I don't want to think about it.. My husband is mad that I didn't just buy a symphony to begin with but of course I wasn't expecting to have "problems"!!!!!

    The switch nursing went well again this morning.. He didn't take any formula after the feed and has been sleeping for the past hour!! So that's progress too I think!!

    Thanks again everyone! Every bit of advice & encouragement just helps to keep me going!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    So I've been using the hospital grade Ameda pump for 2 days now. I was getting so frustrated because I can't seem to pump anything with it!! This morning I pumped for 7 minutes with it and got about 10 drops from each side.. Then switched to my good ol' PIS advanced and pumped off nearly 2 oz between both sides!!!!! This is much more than I can usually pump in the morning (usually 1 oz total?). Would the hospital grade pump be responsible for this even if it's not draining my breasts at all???? Should I keep going with the Ameda or switch back to my PIS? I get worried that if I'm not emptying (with the Ameda) I'm going to regress?

    So my morning supply is getting there. He didn't get any supplement this morning after his feed (before the 2 oz) and he's been sleeping for nearly an hour... But in the afternoon it's like I have nothing.. I don't hear any swallows at all during the feed and he takes the most supplement at that time of day.... Any ideas???

    Thanks so much everyone!! I so appreciate all of this expert advice & encouragement!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    How long have you been taking the domperidone? Did you notice any increase in your milk after taking it? I am waiting for mine to come in the mail. Did you say you stopped bfing for 3 weeks? I did, too, but after 3.5 weeks of bfing. I completely understand your regrets for stopping in the first place! But there is nothing we can do to change the past. At least we are doing what we can and that should provide at least some comfort!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Need some encouragement

    No, if the Ameda is not getting the milk out then you will regress. Return the pump and demand your money back. I think the increase in milk is from the switch nursing that you are doing. It sounds like your baby is a pretty good pump in and of himself. You may be able to do this with the PIS.

    Remember that A-HEX and I were relactating without a willing nurser. I had to get my supply up pretty high before he came back to the breast, and even then, he wasn't an effective nurser. I had to do cranio-sacral threapy, get his tongue clipped, and do suck therapy. FINALLY, he was able to nurse, but he stopped nursing when the milk stopped flowing (due to "bottle training" -- he thought it must be all gone). So even then I needed the hospital grade pump to "pump the milk in."

    In your situation, you may not even need to be pumping. It would be less exhausting to just feed on demand and watch diapers and weight. This is the way tiffanyjewel and vanne did it without pumping at all. If your baby is a good nurser, he will nurse in milk better than a pump.

    Your supply is usually much better in the morning - but don't think he isn't getting anything in the afternoon. I remember that stage. I would freak out and think that he couldn't nurse still, or that I didn't have any milk, but when I would go pump, I would have significantly less on the side that I let him nurse (I would "test" one side only ). It is very normal to need to supplement later in the day. Especially the early evening. That will probably be your last supplement to go.

    In fact, I have a friend with chronic low-milk-supply since birth. She has gone through the whole rigumrole and finally has settled into a routine of nursing all day long and Daddy gives one bottle in the evening. This keeps him growing strong and nursing well. She will get rid of the bottle as he gets to eating solids here in a few months.

    Go back and read tiffanyjewel and vanne posts. They may be very helpful to you.
    Last edited by relactatingmomforthelord; March 16th, 2008 at 06:18 PM.

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