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Thread: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

  1. #1

    Red face Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Hi all! New to this message board, but I am excited just reading all of your stories and questions!

    Background: My son is 5 months old and bottle-fed (about half BM half formula). He is my first, and after some trouble with latching early on, our LC suggested a nipple shield, which eventually worked. Unfortunately, I could never really get him off of it (hot tempered baby who goes from 0-60 in 2 seconds!) Combined with a stent of using an estrogen patch for PPD, my milk has been absolutely TERRIBLE. At 2 1/2 months I went to exclusively pumping and bottle-feeding (he was exclusively at the breast before that time). I really miss the closeness and bonding, but he just was NOT getting enough (thanks to the shield). He is much more content after eating now.

    My problem is, I just don't make much milk, still! I have tried all the herbs (Fenugreek, Lactation Blend, tea, and even some Chinese Herbs) and even acupuncture!

    I read some of the suggestions on this board, which I will be trying: power pumping, for one. But, I have a few questions: what is nap nursing? Why is co-sleeping so beneficial for nursing? What other suggestions can you provide? I am not sure that I want to go back to nursing (I work full time and do so enjoy the schedule he has adopted) but I am open to it (and part of me really wants that closeness back). Most importantly, I just want to make enough milk that I can stop supplementing with formula and make sure he is 100% BM (by bottle or boob).

    If I do decide to get him back to the breast, am I going to be home-bound for the next few months feeding him around the clock??

    Suggestions, success stories, and any kind of help welcomed here!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,894

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Welcome! Congratulations on your persistence- so many moms would have given up but you're hanging in there!

    With the estrogen patch and the non-latching baby, I think you probably needed more help than the herbs could provide. Are you still using the estrogen patch? If so, perhaps it's time to look into a new method of treating the PPD- there are medications which are compatible with breastfeeding and which do not cause milk supply issues.

    I don't mean to offend, because it's clear that breastfeeding straight from the tap has been a real struggle for you, but the easiest way to boost your supply is to get your baby to nurse without the shield. So I really encourage you to keep trying- one of these days he may just "get it".

    What sort of pump do you have? Power pumping is great, but sometimes the quality of your pump matters a lot more.

    Why is co-sleeping so beneficial for nursing?
    The reasons why co-sleeping is so beneficial are a) many babies who fight the breast during the day will nurse without a struggle at night when they are relaxed and sleepy, b) nursing at night can train them to accept the breast more easily during the day and c) many moms notice that they have the most milk at night, so the baby may get a significant amount of nutrition during the night.

    What other suggestions can you provide?
    - Go back to the LC, or see a different LC. They all have slightly different tricks.
    - Pump as much as possible, using the best quality pump you can find. I personally suggest using a hospital-grade pump if you don't have one already. When I had supply issues, I pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night, and I saw good results pretty quickly.
    - Drugs. PPD is no joke, and I would therefore be reluctant to try Reglan, which is an anti-nausea drugs that can boost your milk-supply as a side-effect. Reglan has the unfortunate additional side-effect of causing depression in some women. It is the only prescription milk-increasing drugs legally available in the US. If you are in Canada or the EU, however, you should be able to use Domperidone, which is a lot like Reglan except that it does not cross the blood-brain barrier and is not associated with an increased risk of depression.

    If I do decide to get him back to the breast, am I going to be home-bound for the next few months feeding him around the clock??
    No, not necessarily! Many moms combine breast- and bottle-feeding. If you can successfully get your baby to go back and forth between breast and bottle, you can pump while you're at work. Now, getting your baby back on the breast full-time may be the easiest way to achieve a 100% milk supply, but you can probably achieve your goal through pumping as well.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    5,883

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Getting baby back to the breast works best to reestablish supply in part because the release of oxytocin is what causes your milk to let down. Oxytocin is the love hormone. It's harder to achieve the loving feeling from the pump.

    If your LO is using a pacifier, I suggest taking the pacifier away to encourage comfort sucking at the breast. I read an article where a mama induced lactation when she adopted a 3 month old - and got the baby to nurse. She figured, if a baby would suck on a pacifier for comfort knowing there was no milk, why not the breast. She was right in that case.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Thanks to both of your for your suggestions! To answer a few questions:
    *I have the Medela Pump in Style (double pump) which I use with a pumping bra. Will a hospital-grade pump be better??
    *I tried Reglan, but, I became SO exhausted that driving home at 2pm one day, I could hardly open my eyes. Also, it came with some pretty intense Anxiety (probably thanks to the PPD). So, I could not complete the full stent.
    *I was only on the Estrogen patch for about 3 weeks and have been on Lexapro since then.


    I will have to try the co-sleeping.
    I will also try getting rid of the binky--he loves that thing, so maybe he will like just comfort nursing instead.
    Also, is baby-wearing helpful?? I have always utilized a sling when doing house chores or when out and about, but should I wear him more often? I should be receiving my new Moby wrap today, which I hear is great for nursing.

    This has got to be one of the hardest things I have ever done! But, everytime I am ready to give up, I just try to motivate myself by looking for more ideas! Here's to trying again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    5,883

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Yep. Babywearing skin to skin is awesome. It will get him used to the breast and smelling the milk.

    I guess you aren't where domperidone is an option?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    No, I am in the US, so domperidone is not an option.

    Do you think there will be a big difference between my Medela and a hospital-grade pump??

    So, about the oxytocin, I have noticed that my let-down is pretty shotty these days. It takes quite a while with the pump and sometimes I don't feel anything. THis should improve if I can get him back to the breast??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    5,883

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Many women get used to the pump and it gets harder and harder to get a let down and produce the same amount as in the early weeks. That's why EP is so much harder long term. Babies get more efficient and pumps are always going to take a long time.

    Do you pump through one let down or two? When I pumped in place of nursing I pumped until no more milk, switched to rapid suction to get another let down. It took 15+ minutes.

    Have you played with breast shield size? I had to bump up two sizes to get decent output - very common.

    How many times a day are you pumping? You mentioned power pumping, which is a great way to increase output, as it mimics cluster feeding.

    PISA is a good pump. Although if it were me, I would rent a pump for a month to see if that helps boost supply.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Yes, typically let down is easier when nursing vs pumping.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    I just wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you ladies VERY much! I was at my wit's end when I joined this board, but I am finally doing well with pumping again and have reached 100% of DS's daily need! I saw an LC and while we could never get him back to the breast, she helped me relactate by pumping (pretty much non-stop). That, plus all of your suggestions helped a TON! I was very proud to put 20 oz in my freezer last week!

    Thanks again. You gave me a lot of hope when I was ready to give up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5,883

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Thank you so much for updating! What a fantastic success story!!! You are a

    It's a wonderful accomplishment and gift and you have worked so hard to get here. Congratulations and .

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