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Thread: Determined.. Need suggestions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Determined.. Need suggestions

    My DD is now 4-1/2 weeks old and though we really want to be bfing exclusively, she hadn't gained enough weight so our pediatrician asked that we supplement as well. Since doing so, we've noticed that the amount of supplement is outweighing the amount of breastmilk and my milk supply is a big issue.

    I pump as often as I can, and I bf often, too - but DD gets upset and starts yanking on my breasts (esp. one in particular) b/c she's not getting enough milk so we give her supplement. It breaks my heart that I'm not producing enough, and I'm really trying but I don't want DD to suffer and not get the nourishment she needs. My left breast produces at most 1/2 oz and my right breast doesn't even cover the bottom of the bottle I'm pumping in. I know you can't gauge based on pumping, but based on other posts I've read, it seems like I'm really not producing much...

    She was 8lbs 2oz when she was born and she appears to be around 8lbs 5oz now. She'll be 5 weeks old on Thursday.

    I'm taking Reglan (though I OFTEN forget to take it before my meal and I know I need to fix that) - my ob wouldn't prescribe Dom b/c it's not FDA approved.

    What else can I do? Now that the inlaws are gone finally, I can sit in bed with the pump or the baby or both attached to me all day. I actually took someone elses suggestion and created a pump bra by cutting holes in the bra so I can 'wear' my pump vs. having to hold it. What a great little invention so far.

    I am an overachiever and not being able to do this is so frustrating for me. Any help/recommendations are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by ktroia; October 1st, 2006 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    Take the baby to bed for 24 hours. It sounds like the problem created by fomula is two ply. 1st everytime you supplement, that's AT LEAST one less signal that your sending to your body to make milk. Often two less signals becasue it's takes the baby longer to digest and thus they don't eat as often as they would if they were just absorbing your BM. EBF eat on average every two hours. FF babies eat on average every 4. If you were EBFing you would be sending your body 8-12 signals a day to make milk. How many do you think you're really are sending...more like 6?
    2nd introducing a bottle to a newborn lets them know there is an easier way to get food. It's much easier to get milk out of a bottle than out of a breast for a newborn. Bfing is WORK for a new baby. That's why there's all the stuff about not introducing Paci's and Bottles before 4-5weeks. So your baby doesn't think she has a choice. She clearly thinks she's does. So that would explan her frustration at the breast.
    Take the baby to bed for a 24hour period and stay skin to skin w/ her which often really helps and just try to nurse. The baby will always be a much better extracter of milk than a pump. Have your DH support you by doing the diaper changes and making sure you have enough to eat and drink. During the week when your alone try to set up an nursing island and same thing just stay in one place and nurse on demand all day. If your are making milk you CAN make enough to feed your baby and you can get your body up to speed in a fairly short amount if time becasue it is a supply and demand thing. You just need to make sure your body is getting the demand piece of it AND a clear idea of how much milk she actually needs. If she's only sucking a few times and then gives up in frusteration and is FF and then doesn't eat again for 4hrs...you can see how this would confuse your body. Be willing to have a little patience w/yourself and your child around this frusteration. It may mean allowing alittle crying. Hopefully the skin to skin contact will help w/ this.
    Stay focused! I'm glad to hear your determined. You CAN do this! Good luck!
    Last edited by DJ's Mom; October 1st, 2006 at 12:17 PM.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    I agree with the pp. My dd lost too much weight her first week home and I was told to supplement with formula. I too was very determined and was so upset and dissapointed that I had to give her a bottle. Or I THOUGHT I had to give her a bottle. I talked to an IBCLC and she helped me to cut out the formula feedings. She told me to nurse dd everytime I thought she was hungry. Sometimes it was just 15 min. or 1/2 hr. after we just finished. I also pumped in between and instead of giving her formula after nursing, if she was still hungry, I gave her the expressed milk. After just one week she wasn't getting any bottles at all. I felt like I was nursing her ALL the time, but it was worth it. In just a week (maybe 2?) my body had adjusted to how much she needed and she was then nursing every two hours. It just takes some time, and you can do it! It can be hard at first, but it does get better! And since you are so determined, I know you will get there!

    Good luck!!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    Have you tried using an SNS? That would help you still get the stimulation even though she's getting formula or expressed milk.

    Also, I would invest in some Dom... You can get it from New Zeland. It's pricey but works well and is very worth it (IMO). We're working on a group order for mid-Oct if you're interested so just PM me.

    Good luck... It will get better! Just keep up the awesome work!

  5. #5
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mama2Caleb2006 View Post
    Have you tried using an SNS? That would help you still get the stimulation even though she's getting formula or expressed milk.

    Also, I would invest in some Dom... You can get it from New Zeland. It's pricey but works well and is very worth it (IMO). We're working on a group order for mid-Oct if you're interested so just PM me.

    Good luck... It will get better! Just keep up the awesome work!
    If I take the Dom do I then NOT take the Reglan or can I take both?

    Thanks for the offer and all the advice, will do everything recommended.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    DJ's mom is right on the mark. It’s a supply and demand thing, also have you tried using mothers milk tea? It has helps me when my son is going threw a growth spurt and seems to be feeding for 4 hours straight.

    Also remember to breath. I know that sounds silly, but often times we get so stressed out that we are not producing enough and are starving our kids. The combination of sleep deprivation, dehydration, stress can affect your milk supply. My son was born 5 weeks premature and I wasn’t producing enough. I hydrated as best I could, finally passed out (from exhaustion) and tried to relax. I then noticed my supply started to increased. You will get there and good for you for hanging in there!!!

  7. #7
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    I can relate to your concerns! Me and my dd share your same issues! I have found these forums so encouraging and I have been doing everything that has been reccomended to you and I think my dd is doing better! She gained 4 oz last week, which is the most she's gained in a week! (She'll be 6 wks old on Wednesday). I feel like I'm always feeding her or pumping, but it's worth it! You can do it, believe in yourself and reach out when you need support! Good luck to you!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    I can relate to your feelings and desire to make this work! I, too, had a low milk supply in the beginning and it was heartbreaking. Our doctor also made us supplement and it was a vicious cycle, but we made it through. I literally was attached to my son or the pump ALL DAY. By 2 months, we were exclusively breastfeeding and ds is now 5 mo gaining wonderfully. Here is what I did, which is probably a repeat of what others have already mentioned, but I want to give you my story and let you know what worked for me!

    Fed ds on cue, pumped right afterward for at least 15 minutes while dh gave supplement and took 3 pills of fenugreek 3 times a day for a week (you have the prescription, so this part probably doesn't apply). I would go to my lactation consultant weekly to have ds weighed after a feeding, and once my supply was up, I had to get rid of the bottled supplements cold turkey. The patience and determination paid off. If you really want to do this, which I can tell you do, YOU WILL SUCCEED. It is rare that a woman CANNOT produce enough milk. It just takes a lot more work for some. I wanted to give up so many times and felt like my supply would never get up, but support from dh and lc kept me going. I wish you the best and truly admire your desire to provide the best gift possible for your baby. you can do this! The hard work will pay off! I cherish my bf relationship even more now that I went through so much and you will too.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    She is just crying crying crying hysterically now. I gave her 4 oz of supplement htis morning b/c we had the handyman over and I couldn't bf her while I was working with him.

    Then I gave her another 2 b/c she clearly wasn't getting anything from my breasts. That appeased her for about 15 minutes, in which I pumped for 10 and absolutely nothing came out of either breast.

    Now she's hysterical again and I keep offering her my breasts but she's so upset that she tries to suck but doesn't suck for very long...

    This is heartbreaking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    19

    Default Re: Determined.. Need suggestions

    Hi,

    I have been through the same cycle of extreme heartbreak, depression, and frustration, and I think you and I have similar scenarios. It is not easy to get back on track and takes a lot of patience, rest, and faith in your body to do what it was engineered to do. (You also need to make sure someone else in the home can be there to greet the plumber/etc and take care of all the household duties for a while! )

    First, it sounds like your daughter has a case of "nipple confusion" - assuming you've been supplementing using a bottle and artificial nipple. If she is "yanking" on you, it sounds like she is trying to extract from you as she would from an artificial nipple. The skin to skin contact REALLY does help, but you have to set aside 24 hours or more to do this and lie down with your baby and do little more than focus on feeding. If you must supplement her, do so with a dropper OR an SNS. If she does have "nipple confusion", you would best ask your lactaction consultant (or maybe even your OB) for an SNS. This is a syringe with an extremely thin tube attachment that you insert into the corner of your baby's mouth while she is suckling, and it allows you to deliver small amounts of supplement to keep the baby interested, an "incentive" to keep sucking, while she also draws as much from you as possible and continues to stimulate you.

    ****ON PUMPING****
    Stay RELAXED, and try MASSAGE and WARM COMPRESSES. I use a washcloth soaked in as hot water as I can stand, and wrap it around the breast and gently compress the breast, for a minute or two on both sides. This usually gets the milk more than flowing and I run to the pump so as to not lose too many precious droplets to the floor. Then, while I am pumping, I am continually massaging all around the breast shield for maximum expression.

    But most of all, RELAX! I know those electric pumps ARE noisy and hard to get used to. You need to find your "zen" while you are pumping otherwise you will not ever be able to get milk out. Your body is an amazing thing in that when you are stressed and clenched up, your entire physical being reacts in kind. Set up your "pumping station" in a private room in your home, play soft relaxing music, dim the lights, make sure it is warm - all these things can help you get comfortable pumping.

    HTH and God bless,
    Alexandra

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