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Thread: Feeling like I can't win

  1. #1

    Default Feeling like I can't win

    I have been having problems since the day I started bf. At first my lo was latching on great and all that but my nipples were so sore and crack and bleeding that I just started pumping as soon as I got home from the hospital. And I did that for 2 weeks and discovered nipple shields and started using them. By that time he was used to the bottle and didn't like me anymore. So when I started pumping I would get maybe an oz per breast and I was pumping every 3 hours because that is what the doctor told me to do. And I was also instructed to give him formula because he was staying hungry all the time. I didn't know that was hurting my supply more than anything. So I have tried pumping every hour while at home and nursing him at night and in the morning and I get about 12-15 oz per day at work (8-5). But he is eating way more than that. he is now 4.5 months old. Is my supply low or or about right. I hate giving him the formula and I feel like a failure when I have too. I have tried all the herbs and even the reglan but nothing helps. I have increased my pumping to every hour but I can't do that at work so it is every 4 hours. Just need some advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Feeling like I can't win

    I'm so sorry you're having problems! At least you're still making a fair amount of milk - that is encouraging!
    Here is a link that might help you with some new ideas.
    Some swear by eating oatmeal. Rest and hydration are important too.


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Feeling like I can't win

    Wow mama. I was told I had a good supply and you are making way more than me!

    I know from experience that pumping so much (every hour)will just wear you out! And that is one of the quickest ways to make your supply go down too. You need your rest, relaxation, and sanity too!

    We too have had to give one formula bottle a day (sometimes not..yay!) because our little guy eats a ton too! It is really hard for me to do and I feel so bad about having to give it to him, but what more can I do? I pump every 3 hours, 24 hours a day.

    Hopefully soon he will level off a bit and he won't need the extra, but for now I am trying not to beat myself up about having to give him a little formula.

    And I have heard that oatmeal thing too. And looking at pictures of him or hearing his voice always helps me with supply. I have a folder of pics on my computer at work and I have my husband call and leave "baby messages" on my work v/m so I can listen to them when I pump.

    Don't beat yourself up. Look at what you have accomplished so far! You are doing a great job!

    And BTW, don't give up on trying to get your lo to the breast. Just be patient and give it time and it will happen, even if he is used to bottles.
    Last edited by @llli*nolies.mama; August 6th, 2008 at 05:15 PM.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    Our precious early angel

  4. #4

    Default Re: Feeling like I can't win


    Second, you are doing a great job of pumping at work! 12-15 oz. sounds great. How much does he take while you are at work? Is it more than what you pump during that time? What kind of pump are you using? LLL recommends a hospital grade rental pump when you are trying to build your supply so if you do not have a rental pump, that is one thing to consider getting.

    You said you breastfeed your baby in the morning and at night. Does he seem satisfied then or does he seem to need a bottle following the nursing? What I don't have a good sense of is whether he nurses well at the breast or not. Are you continuing to use a nipple shield?

    You asked whether your supply is too low. Well, if your baby nurses at the breast, takes everything you pump in 24 plus some formula in bottles, then your supply is not up to his intake. Pumping every hour when you are at home sounds too frequent to me, not to mention how exhausting it must be for you to spend so much time.

    You said you've tried some herbal galactagogues as well as Reglan. Just in case there is something you haven't considered yet, I suggest you look at the lowmilksupply website: http://www.lowmilksupply.org/increas...tagogues.shtml and http://www.lowmilksupply.org/finishatthebreast.shtml

    You have good reason to be exasperated given that you received unhelpful help when you needed it early on. You are doing a wonderful thing for your baby. He is a lucky little guy.

    Keep talking to the mothers here. This community offers a wealth of information and encouragement.
    LLL Leader

  5. #5

    Default Re: Feeling like I can't win

    Oh, another thought came to me...have you considered seeing a lactation consultant (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, IBCLC) or a local LLL Leader? Some hands-on help might be good.
    LLL Leader

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