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Thread: Is it time to throw in the towel?

  1. #1

    Default Is it time to throw in the towel?

    I have had a very difficult time with BF. At this point it seems that the only reasonable thing to do is stop. Let me know what you all think:

    Background:
    My son was 2 months premature. He stayed in the NICU for 5 weeks, at that time I was pumping, but because of everything going on and postpartum depression, I didn't make pumping a priority as I should have. When he was 2.5 months old, I was making about 10-12 oz/day. Unfortuantly, he went back into the hospital for a little while (which was again stressful) and I slacked off on pumping during those weeks... and my milk went down to about 4 oz/day. Afterwords, I spent 2 months pumping religiously (and some bf) at least 8-12x a day and my milk went up to 9-10 oz/day.

    For me, 9-10 oz/day was not worth the effort of pumping so much (and it is very hard to fit in 8-12 pumpings while taking care of a little one). At that point, my baby was very good at latching on and nursing so since then (about 2 months ago) I have just nursed him whenever.. and tried to enjoy bf instead of stressing over it... I occassionally pump on days he doesn't nurse at all or very little. Yesterday, however, I pumped all day and found that I was only making 4 ounces- which made me want to reevaluate my bf situation again.

    I did try the Lact-Aid system, but (maybe it was bad timing) at that point, he was terrible at latching on and getting him to latch on with that little tube in the right place in his mouth was extremely frustrating and caused many tears on both sides. I haven't tried it since then, but it may work better at this point.

    He's 7.5 months old now, and it has been an uphill battle the whole time, even so, I find it hard to give up bf all together. When I read of adoptive mothers bf I have to think it is possible...I just dont know if I would be willing to spend another 2 months pumping... especially when it hasnt worked in the past...

    Thank you in advance for any advice.


    Also- I have a double Medella pump, I have tried power pumping, Lact-Aid, co-sleeping (breifly in the mornings) and Mother's Milk Tea. One more note, I have always made more from one side (some times as much as 2x as much) even when I was using a double pump... so now there is a size difference between the two which kind of freeks me out an is another reason I am cosidering quiting.
    Last edited by @llli*sephy; February 12th, 2010 at 02:44 PM. Reason: More info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,178

    Default Re: Is it time to throw in the towel?

    I'm sorry you've had such a hard time with BFing! It sounds like you had a really, really rough start, and it's AWESOME that you've hung in there for 7.5 months.

    Whether or not it's reasonable to stop BF now is something which only you can judge. What will you feel if you stop now? Will you always kick yourself for not continuing, or will you be at peace with the decision? I almost gave up when my kid was only a few weeks old, and realizing that I would have felt guilty forever kept me going. (Not that I'm implying that you should feel guilty- that's just how I felt about it.)

    I think it's possible to get a full supply going- your baby will actually nurse (!!!), it sounds like you may have the right pump (I'm guessing a Medela PISA, right?), you still have milk... But only you can know if it's worth the effort. I would see a lactation consultant and see if she can give you a personalized program to get your supply going, and see if that's a program you can live with.

    If you don't want to go forward with relactation, how about ditching the pump, nursing your baby as much as you can, and supplementing as much as you need to? BFing doesn't have to be all or nothing: Partial Weaning and Combination Feeding.

    Regarding the lopsidedness, well, that's actually quite normal for many moms. It should disappear once you wean. If you want to deal with it now, the best thing to do is to pump the underproducing breast much more frequently than the one that's producing more. The additional stimulation will increase supply on that side, and increase size 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

    Default Re: Is it time to throw in the towel?

    i ended up exclusively pumping. renting a symphony pump made alll the difference in the world in terms of supply. I would spend 45 minutes with a pump instyle when I could get the same amount in half the time with the symphony.

    In retrospect, do whatever you can to keep breastfeeding. Skin to skin. Babywearing. Maybe rebirthing since you have a NICU baby. seeing a lactation consultant. anything!! Its easier!

    Hang in there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Is it time to throw in the towel?

    Have you tried Fenugreek? I used Fenugreek and boy did it do the trick for me! I was producing tons more milk! BF can sometimes wear you out and I know it can be a burden sometimes when you take into account the time it takes to pump, nurse etc..but in my own opinion it's so worth it I love it to death..7.5 months is great you've made it so long and that's a great accomplishment! You just have to do what is right for you and we will support you either way! But do give it one last consideration!

    FTM to Kevin Michael born two weeks early on 9/17/09
    weighing in at 6lbs 3oz, 19 1/2in. long
    Exclusively
    loving
    all while still going to school and

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Is it time to throw in the towel?

    Firstly, well done to you for persistence.

    I found this on a site about relactation. You may want to try Fenugreek or speak to your doctor about medications that you could take by prescription if you want to continue.

    I would also recommend taking either Reglan (10 mg, 3 times a day) or Domperidone (10 mg 3 times a day, increasing to 20 mg 4 times a day after you have been taking it for a few weeks). Both of these medications increase prolactin production and have minimal side effects, but Domperidone is the safer of the two drugs, and unfortunately, is available in Canada but not the United States. Both medications must be prescribed by a doctor. In most studies of Reglan, major increases of prolactin and significant increases in milk production were observed, but when it was discontinued abruptly, the supply also decreased abruptly. Tapering the dose is recommended, usually by decreasing it by 10 mg per week. Use of Reglan for more than 4 weeks has been associated with depression, but some mothers have taken it for many months with no noticeable side effects. The average amount of time to take the Reglan is 7-14 days, and by that time, hopefully your supply will have built up and your baby will be providing lots of stimulation so that you don't need it anymore. If you prefer, you can relactate without the use of medications, but in most cases, I have found that it speeds up the process and the side effects are minimal.

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