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Thread: I need serious help...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    35

    Default I need serious help...

    Hi,

    I am a 33yo sahm who is trying with all of her heart and soul to have a successful breastfeeding experience with her baby.

    This is my 8th baby. Just a brief history (if you can call a history of 8 babies brief) My oldest is 14 years old and breastfeeding help was not offered to me. I could never get him to latch on and was laughed at by my OB (literally) when I pumped for 6 weeks and ended up with mastitis. I quit and gave him formula. My 2nd baby also never latched on correctly and it was too painful so I quit after 2 weeks. Again, no help was offered. With my 3rd, I stuck it out and dealt with overactive letdown and lots of watery stools until she weaned at 10 months. My 4th nursed for 6 weeks and then had frequent green stools and traces of blood. I was told to quit so I did but I went on the elimination diet because I was told it was allergies and exclusively pumped for 9 months. She was fine when I did that. My 5th had the same problems ( I went on the elimintaion diet as soon as he was born) but the blood was very visible which scared me and I was told to quit, so I did. He was put on Nutramigen at 10 weeks because "he was allergic to my milk". My 6th had a very high palate and we had latch on trouble. To make things easier, I exclusively pumped for 9 months. I might add that I have an obnoxious milk supply and would pump 65 oz. a day. This gave me enough storage to continue feeding them for a year after I quit pumping. My 7th was a very sleepy eater and I was a very tired mama. I had no confidence at all that breastfeeding would work and I just couldn't muster up what it would take to pump again so I quit after 2 weeks. I have had mastitis 1-4 times with all of them, I have hired 3 LC to come to my house, I have visited a lactation clinic more times that I can count, and I contacted LLL. I have been through you know what and back only to fail. No one can blame me for not trying, that's for sure.

    Now, here we are with our 8th baby who is 11 weeks old. We made it to 3 weeks when she started having those icky poops that are so familiar to me. They are slightly green, no texture, frequent and then mucousy. With my 5th, I read about hindmilk/foreilk imbalance but no one that I mentioned it too (Dr's LC's) had heard of it so it was blown off. I am here to say that I would bet $1,000,000 that this is our problem. I went on the elimination diet as soon as she was born at 35 weeks (healthy with no problems) just to be armed with that for security. I started out feeding from one side only. When her poops turned green I started pumping a bit off before she would nurse and feeding her from one side for 2 feedings in a row. Wouldn't you know it, her poops turned back to that beautiful yellow cottage cheese like texture. This took a few weeks but it worked. She has gained weight beautifully (6.14 at birth and 11.6 last week).

    We have all the signs of hindmilk/foremilk imbalance. I have way too much milk and a very forceful letdown. I get 2 oz. within the first minute of pumping. She gained a lot of weight which I read can be from all the sugary foremilk. When I started pumping off a bit, her weight slowed down. She has the frequent green poops which are sometimes foamy.

    This whole long post is bringing me to today. For the last week I have noticed her really gulping down the milk and not nursing as long. I figured maybe she was just getting more efficient. Then I noticed her poops starting to change again. Then, suddenly this morning, I change a diaper that was completely green watery with mucus and blood. Now I am second guessing that what I am doing is wrong and that maybe everyone that told me to quit before was right. Am I hurting her by trying so hard to breastfeed her? Should I just quit and switch her some nasty predigested formula? I have a feeling the Dr will tell me to do so. They always have. But, everything I read says that breastmilk is best.

    I cannot tell you how heartbreaking this is to come so far and convince myself that I was finally doing it all right only to see blood in my precious baby's diaper. It looked just like my 5th's diaper when the Dr's told me it was my milk and to put him on Nutramigen. It is red and streaked in the mucus. (I wasn't feeding him one side. He would nurse maybe 3 minutes on one and then I'd switch him to wake him up. I am now convinced that the whole hindmilk/foremilk imbalance was the problem with him, too)

    What I need to know is, is it really the best thing to keep giving my milk when it obviously is not agreeing with her? I will do whatever it is I need to do to fix it if it can be fixed. Maybe I need to pump at each feeding vs. just in the morning when I was so full. Oh, she has also started sleeping longer at night so I am much fuller in the mornings. This also started about a week ago.

    There is not much more I can add other than I am sorry this is so long. But, if you cannot tell, I really want this to work. Breastfeeding has just been one brick wall after another and the fact that I have failed so many times has really done a number on my maternal ego. But, I am well aware that this is not al about me but, instead, all about my baby who I only want the best for. My instincts tell me that breastfeeding is what is best and maybe that is why I have tried so hard with my others. Even with my first, when I was only 19 years old and the nurse in the hospital just stood and stared at me when I asked her to show me how to nurse my baby. Her reply was a shrug of the shoulders and a "Just shove it in."

    I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort you put forth in order to help those of us who so desperately need it. Thank you!

    Mamabear

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    Hi Mamabear! Wow, you really have run the gaunlet w/ breastfeeding, haven't you? I have to tell you that I'm very impressed that you have at least tried to nurse your babies! Most women would not have even tried again after #2 or 3

    Let's see if we can help you though. First, I agree w/ you about an oversupply issue. Oversupply issues typically correct themselves by about the 3rd or 4th month of breastfeeding even if Mom takes no corrective action. Some women over-produce for their entire breastfeeding relationship though. I usually always suggest that mom block feed when she's got an oversupply problem. Perhaps your blocks just aren't long enough. You may want to try nursing from only one breast for 4 hours or even 6 to 8 hours. Also keep in mind that bloody stools can take a few weeks to clear up if the gut has been damaged by the oversupply. How much blood is in her stool? Is it a lot or a little bit? That makes a difference.

    You may also want to consider taking baby to a pediatric GI and an allergist.

    It's possible that you are dealing not only with oversupply but perhaps a food sensitivity or allergy in baby as well. Your post was long and I've got 2 little ones at home who are also demanding my attention so if I overlooked it, forgive me -- but are you also doing an elimination diet?

    Am I hurting her by trying so hard to breastfeed her? Should I just quit and switch her some nasty predigested formula?
    You have to remember that breastmilk is nature's most perfect food, even in it's imperfect state. Breastmilk provides more than just nutrition too -- it protects baby in so many ways that artificial milk cannot. Perhaps a better question might be "Would I be hurting her by feeding her artificial milk?" Consider what baby would be missing out on if she didn't get breastmilk

    I think that your issues can be worked through and I think that by the time baby is about 6 months old you'll see a dramatic difference. You can do this. Don't underestimate yourself or your breastmilk. You are doing the best thing for your baby by providing her breastmilk! Try to exhaust all of the available resources before making a final decision on this one.

    Hang in there !
    Last edited by LLLCarol; February 14th, 2006 at 10:35 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    Your persistence and dedication impresses the socks right off me. I think you are an awesome mama.

    I also think that you can successfully breastfeed this baby. I second Carol's suggestion to go to longer "blocks" of time for each breast. Nurse from just one breast for at least four hours, no matter how many times the baby feeds during those four hours. Then the next four hours, nurse only from the other breast. Give that a few days, and if you are still seeing the green poops, lengthen the "blocks" of time.

    I would also recommend that you stay the heck away from the pump! It seems that you have a natural capacity to produce PLENTY of milk. Every ounce you pump tells your body to produce that much MORE. That's going in the wrong direction. No more pumping. If you get too engorged, maybe express just a tad for comfort or to soften the areola if the baby needs help latching. But avoid expressing anything more than an ounce if you can.

    Your body should adjust over time to regulate its supply to just what the baby needs ... and if you nurse on cue, baby should be feeding frequently enough to get a good hindmilk/foremilk balance into her tummy.

    Try it and let us know how it's working. And in the meantime, I just wanted to add -- you didn't fail to breastfeed 7 times. You tried and learned a lot 7 times, even when the nurses and docs were giving you no help or misleading information. Every one of your babies got colostrum and at least a couple weeks of your precious milk -- and personally I can't imagine exlusively pumping for months and months as you did with so many older children to look after too.

    Let's hope that #8 is the charm for you, and that you will go on to many more months of a happy and healthy nursing relationship!

    Editing to add -- check out the "Too Much Milk" forum here -- perhaps the moms there will have some useful information and BTDT encouragement for you!

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/vbullet...splay.php?f=32

    --Rebecca
    Last edited by quakerm0mma; February 14th, 2006 at 11:14 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    35

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    Thank you both very much! I have been doing a 6 hour block feeding but the last couple of days I have been having a heck of a time remembering which side was last so I probably screwed up there.

    Do you think I should still not pump off some of the foremilk while she is having these bloody stools? I just don't want to mess her insides up more while waiting for my body to adjust. Know what I mean?

    When they suggested I pump off some with my 3rd I thought they were crazy because of exactly what you said, Rebecca, it will only make me produce more.

    Now, out of desperation to make it work this time, I tried it and have gotten into a vicious cycle that am afraid to stop because I don't want her to have deal with all of the extra milk I am producing because of it.

    I am going to try a longer block stretch, I guess.

    Ugh! I really envy women who do this so easily and naturally.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    It's alright to pump a tiny bit off but you don't want to pump for too long because then as Rebecca mentioned, you defeat the purpose of block feeding by doing that. You are looking to stimulate your breasts less so that they'll stop producing so much. So try not to pump but if you are finding yourself engorged or too uncomfortable, get rid of a bit of milk. Your milk supply should respond within a few days. You can also try putting some cold cabbage leaves in your bra to help ease any engorgement.

    Also, to put it simply, an empty breast has more hindmilk available than a full breast (because the fat globules haven't had time to adhere to the milk ducts). After a few days your breasts should stop producing so much milk and they'll probably really respond after a few weeks.

    If you need to, write down what breast you are using. Or use a bracelet and just switch it when it's time to start using the other breast.

    And FWIW, lots of women have this oversupply issue. You are struggling a bit but you'll get it! Hang in there!
    Last edited by LLLCarol; February 14th, 2006 at 12:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    35

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    LOL! Thanks, Carol. I had this brilliant idea to keep an elastic hair tie on my wrist when she was born because I remembered having trouble remembering which side to use with my other babies. I was quite impressed with myself for having come with this idea on my own. Now, my problem is that I forget to switch it to the other wrist so I often sit and ponder which wrist it is *really* supposed to be on. I then end up feeling myself up trying to figure out which side is up next. LOL! You'd think that after 8 babies I'd have some what of a clue but, I tell ya, I am certainly no natural. LOL!

    I will ease off of the pump. Like right now, my right side is extrememly full. I have been using my left for about 8 hours. And you think it is fine for her tummy to just let her deal with all of that extra milk in the right side until my boobs adjust?

    Thanks again?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    Mamabear - I edited my post above to add the part about the cabbage leaves.

    I think that for a few days baby is going to get quite a bit of foremilk from the 2nd breast (the unused one while you are block feeding from the other one) for that first feeding. So just be aware of it and know that until your milk supply responds to the decreased demand that baby may still have some blood in her stools. And again, know that it can take several weeks for the blood in the stools to clear up completely.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    222

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    I don't have any real advice for you--under supply was my problem as we got started nursing--but just wanted to say God bless you for all your effort and for just having the fortitude to raise 8 children! I would have lost my marbles after #2! I hope you can find all the help you need here to make it work with this baby! Best of luck, keep us posted

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: I need serious help...

    Mamabear,
    Carol is helping you along this path very well. I have nothing to add, other than...WOW! After reading your post I am humbled! You have done so incredibly well by ALL of your children. The fact that you have provided all of them with breastmilk is a success in and of itself! You are doing so well. Hang in there and know that we are all cheering you on!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
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    Default Re: I need serious help...

    I just wanted to say WOW. You are a great mom to try so hard and bf all of your little blessings. Go and check out the allergy post, they may or may not be helpful, if baby is not fussy, has acne, very gassy, etc then I would say that that it may not be an allergy but it may be worth looking into, Do you have any family history of food allergies, how about the other kids any eczema? you are doing a great job!

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