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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

    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.

  3. #3

    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!

  4. #4

    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??

  5. #5

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Help! Getting SO burnt out!

    Yay! Congratulations on your success and thanks for the update. It's so nice to know how your story turned out- I don't want to say "ended" because it sounds like it has really only just begun.

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