Last edited by @llli*ldfinder; December 26th, 2010 at 12:48 PM.
I don't have any personal experience w/ PCOS or IGT, but as far as I know you're right that IGT is one of those rare conditions that really can lead to a genuine inability to produce adequate milk. (Usually breastfeeding mismanagement or improper support is the problem, not a physiological inability to produce.)
I have read that some women use the herbs shataravi ad goat's rue for this condition, but I don't know how successful that is.
Have you been seen by a really knowledgeable IBCLC? I mean, I can diagnose myself with every condition under the sun using Dr. Google... But if I really want to know I feel best seeing a professional.
I stayed at the hospital the full four days so I could talk at as many lactaction consultants as possible (believe me, this was not fun! ). The one thing they all noticed when they checked my breasts was that they were very soft. Each one would ask me if my breasts changed at all during my pregancy, and it was this question that made we start looking into this. They mentioned that I might not be able to breastfeed without supplementing, but told me that I had a good latch and to keep at it as long as possible, and that every little bit I can provide is great. I was so glad they were honest with me, because in my last experience, I only spoke to the nurses, and they kept telling me that everyone's milk comes in. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated when it didn't happen.
I breastfed every 2-3 hours for the first month (before supplementing), and their was absolutely no change in the feel of my breasts (just like with my first son). I would actually love to see a doctor about this, but I don't know if it's possible to get a medical diagnosis. I've also heard about goat's rue, but I don't know anyone who has tried it. The herbs make me a little nervous, but I would be willing to try it next time if I thought it could help.
how old is your baby? I would try not to worry too much untill the next one comes along.
this might be helpful too you.
Yeah...unfortunately that's the same advice I got after baby #1. So, I figured I would just deal with it when the time came. The time came...and went. Now two babies, both came with same breastfeeding problems, and I don't think I want to repeat the same actions and expect different results for a third time. There is definitely a pattern forming. The question is, is there anything I can do about it, or should I just call it a day and plan on the fact that I will need to feed my next one formula?
I would suggest seeing an ob/gyn or midwife about it. You may be able to get a medical diagnosis, and if you did it would allow you to stop wondering about it and hopefully it would ease your mind.
I'm not sure if there's anything proven to help IGT. But what the LC's told you is right -- every little bit of your milk you can provide for your baby is great for him. If you wanted to have the close bonding experience of breastfeeding your next baby you could, along with feeding formula to provide the nutrition your baby needs. Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing.
From what I've read goat's rue may help, but I don't know how much. You might want to check out the book The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk. It addresses IGT.
Find an LLL Leader or Meeting | Get one-on-one help from a Leader online | Become a Member of LLLI
Feel like you need professional help? ¿Es usted necesita ayuda profesional? --> Find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) <--
Did they ask about specific changes aside from size? Like tenderness, for example?Each one would ask me if my breasts changed at all during my pregancy, and it was this question that made we start looking into this.
I am sure that was devastating! When everyone's telling you "Everyone can do it!" it just makes you feel like a flop when things are going badly wrong. While you were trying to get things figured out, did you ever do any of the following:They mentioned that I might not be able to breastfeed without supplementing, but told me that I had a good latch and to keep at it as long as possible, and that every little bit I can provide is great. I was so glad they were honest with me, because in my last experience, I only spoke to the nurses, and they kept telling me that everyone's milk comes in. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated when it didn't happen.
- Weigh-feed-weigh measurements using a professional scale?
- Count diapers?
- Pump? (If you did pump, what sort of pump did you use, how often did you use it, and what sort of output did you see?)
- Get your thyroid checked?
What happened during that month? Did the baby gain weight appropriately, and did he have adequate diaper output? Because if you managed for a month, then my guess is that you could go longer. Again, having soft breasts isn't necessarily a sign of an inadequate supply.I breastfed every 2-3 hours for the first month (before supplementing), and their was absolutely no change in the feel of my breasts (just like with my first son).
Also, did you ever nurse more frequently than every 2-3 hours? That's actually a fairly long interval for a newborn- many new babies feed every 90 minutes or so, or even more frequently.
I completely understand. It's like "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." But maybe there are still some things you haven't tried... Did you ever see an IBCLC?I don't think I want to repeat the same actions and expect different results for a third time.
I think there are definitely still things you can try- there's always something. But whether or not it's worth it is up to you. We can't answer that question for you.The question is, is there anything I can do about it, or should I just call it a day and plan on the fact that I will need to feed my next one formula?
I've worked with two mamas who turned out to have IGT. It's incredibly frustrating for both mama and baby, and it was tough for me too...all my suggestions didn't work, and they were really doing everything "right." I felt horrible for them, and it was frustrating for them too to see mamas who could be BFing their children and choosing not to while these mamas who really wanted to BF couldn't.
One mama quit after a month in frustration (she really was not producing milk at all -- I'd never seen that happen before), the other got to 6 months before quitting with the breast, but she did have to supplement to even get that far.
What the one mama did and is planning to do when she has her third baby:
*hospital grade pump from day one. Pump between feedings. She was either nursing or feeding every hour for the first few weeks and then went to a more normal routine of every 90 minutes to 2 hours after that of either feeding or pumping or both; she couldn't keep up with a toddler at home, her DH on travel, on top of all the pumping and feeding and everything. When she supplemented, she pumped, even if she didn't get anything.
*More Milk Plus along with various other herbs. I want to say Goat's Rue is one of them.
*Baby scale at home to start right away checking transfer of milk. Her last baby didn't transfer milk well on top of her low production, which went undetected for a while, and that made everything even more difficult.
*She noticed that one day, after visiting a chiropractor, who worked on an area related to the pituitary gland, she had an increase in milk and was actually able to pump a whole ounce! At 4 months postpartum! We were so excited! Maybe something like that would help you. She's looking for a chiropractor and acupuncturist now who understands postpartum women; the one moved.
*She nursed in the morning, when she seemed to have the most milk, after it was apparent that all her efforts would not increase her milk, pumped during the day after nursing a bit and then pump during the night. She supplemented during the afternoon as needed. Her supply tanked around 5-6 months, and she ended up going entirely to formula after 6 months except for what I donated to her.
*She did try an SNS for supplementing, but it drove her nuts.
*She used bottles designed for breastfeeding babies to minimize nipple confusion, but she didn't start using bottles until baby was at least a month IIRC. Before that, supplementation had been with a syringe.
She also never had any breast changes during pregnancy at all, they never got firm, she never could express milk by hand. She also never had that feeling of milk coming in (which is often accompanied by mood swings for that day), nothing. Her milk never really did come in. She was devastated the first time but dealt with it better the second time. She is ready for it the third time too, and knows she might be in that 5% who really can't feed her baby entirely at the breast. I pumped and donated milk to feed her child when she just couldn't keep up with her child's needs any longer.
The other mother I worked with had a very similar experience, but she really didn't produce any milk at all and had to supplement. The pumping every hour around the clock was too much for her, and she quit. I couldn't blame her. She was really overwrought by then, planning to go back to work, and there's no way she could have kept that up. But she did the best she could.
It can be medically diagnosed, apparently, but I'd start with a visit to an OB/GYN, a breast specialist (although most of them deal with cancer and might not know what you're talking about) or a MW versus a family doctor.
Last edited by @llli*aprilsmagic; December 26th, 2010 at 10:18 AM.
Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!
great post heather. I'm sure that was helpful to the op...