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Thread: Heartbroken

  1. #11

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    I almost cried reading your post! I'm going through a similar situation right now. It seems like one obstacle after another keeps popping up, and for the last month I've been struggling to get my 15 week old, baby boy to latch on for even a few minutes. Most of the time he screams and arches his back when I try to get him to nurse.

    I read that nursing strikes don't last long, so I thought we would get through it but after four weeks I finally called my lacation consultant. I talked with her last Sunday and we set an appointment for this past tuesday; she told me that in the mean time my main goal should be to pump every 3 hours for 15-20 minutes for a total of 6 or 7 times per day.

    I also have the Medela Pump in Stlye Advance. I'd already been pumping a little each day, but still...when I started pumping last Sunday I didn't even get 1oz each time...so discouraging.

    At our appointment my lac. consultant told me I definitely needed to rent the Symphony pump. She said that it's much more fine tuned to be like actual nursing and that it would make a huge difference. I'm really happy that I rented it because within a couple days I noticed a difference. Like I said, last Sunday I got less than 1oz each time I pumped, a total of five ounces that day, but today (1week later) I've been getting 2 or more. I know it doesn't sound like much but my supply has more than doubled; I got 10.75oz total today vs. 5 a week ago.

    Also my consultant brought a Medela starter Suplemental Nursing System for me to use.
    You should really check this out...it's been so much help! you attach the feeding container to your bra, and attach a thin tube at your nipple where the baby feeds. When the baby latches on he'll immediately get food from the tube, which makes him stay on and suckle until your flow is stimulated. Also, when he's recieving your milk it will stop coming from the tube.

    When I used it with the consultant the first time my son finally latched on and stayed on...he hadn't done that for so long! I could tell when he was getting fed from the Supplemental Nursing System bc my expressed milk (you can also use formula) would bubble inside the feeding tube; when it wasn't "bubbling" it felt good to know he was getting milk directly from me!

    The system really encourages the baby to stay latched on, because even when he's not getting milk from you he continues to get it from the tube. The fact that the baby stays on and suckles at your breast is great bc it helps to stimulate your body to produce more milk...and no breast pump could do a better job of that than your baby!

    I thinking our nursing problems are very similar, so I'll share what my consultant told me to do:

    1. Rent Medela Symphony Pump

    2. Pump 15-20 minutes every 3 hours, for a total of 6-7 times a day. You don't have to pump late at night/ wake every three hours to pump; she said when he goes down for his long stretch of sleep at night I should also sleep...plus, your supply is lower at night.
    She also said not to stress if there's a rough or busy day when you can only pump 4 or 5 times...just do your best to stay on track.

    3. Use Starter Supplemental Nursing System 2-3 times a day. When using the system, if your baby still fusses over nursing make sure you have a bottle within reach so you can sooth him, and once he's relaxed try and get him back on the breast.
    Also, if you do buy the kit...
    The directions will tell you to place the feeding tube on the top of your breast, so that it comes down over the top of the nipple. However, my consultant has found that with older babies (3+months) it's better that the tubes comes across the side of the breast, and over the nipple from the side...this definitely worked better for me and my son.
    You can buy the kit on amazon for $20...besides the Starter Supplemental System that I'm using, there's also one for more long-term use that's a little more expensive.

    4. She also said I could try and get him to nurse (without the supplemental system) when he wakes to eat during the night. She said most babies eat less at night, plus they're usually groggy, so even a low supply will sometimes satisfy them. I'm still having trouble with this, so I keep a bottle near by to make sure he doesn't get too upset if I'm not producing enough milk for him.

    5. I asked if I could do anything else to help get my supply up, and she said that the Mother Love More Milk Plus tablets are able to help some women but not everyone notices much of a difference.

    I'm from the Chicago area and my consultant's name is Carol Chamblin. She's mentioned that women from all over the country email her, and she's always more than happy to answer questions. She's really awesome and knows what she's talking about when it comes to breastfeeding...if you're interested here's the link to webpage.


    Also her email address:

    I'm sorry for writing so much! When I read your post I felt like I could have written it. I've also been feeling depressed over how difficult nursing has been. I also have ppl in my life who have been less than encouraging about trying to continue with nursing.

    I really think Carol has helped to get me back on the right track. I'm sure she'd have some great & loving advice to share.

    Hope you and the baby are doing well!

  2. #12

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katia11 View Post
    I also have fenugreek powder that I bought in the market in my apartment building. I'm not sure what to do with it? I tried making "tea" and. . .it wasn't very pleasant and just sank to the bottom. If there's any other easier way to ingest it, it would be appreciated! This was a large bag for a dollar compared to a weeks worth of pills for six.
    I would suggest mixing fenugreek with a tea that you like or that tastes better. That's what I do. It kind of masks the bad taste of fenugreek.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    @ex-pat- Great suggestion! I actually switched to part time this quarter (trimester system), so the work isnt so overwhelming if I spread it out. I definitely would ask for an extension if I REALLY need it

    @jordanna- Thanks SO much for all the tips! What a coincidence- I'm living in Chicago too! I go to the University of Chicago.

    I pump for 10 min since there's hardly ever any milk after that. And my LC said to pump once at night? Which hasn't been happening with him sleeping with me. He knows!

    I do have two starter SNSs. . .we tried three times so far and it hasn't really worked out yet. Since I don't have a ton of stuff to do, I think we will try it again tonite (perhaps in the tub in case there is a mess. . .). I'm not sure if I could realistically do all his feedings with an SNS simply because of the time consumingness, but if we get it to work, it would get him to the breast a little more.

    It's really great to see so many wonderful responses. With the way things have been, I don't feel like a very good mom at all.

    And the things I read mess with my head. I understand that bfing is wonderful, but Dr. Sears freaked me out last night with some of the things he said. Now I'm terrified of Connor getting super sick, having bad jaw development, or falling behind in school. It's REALLY hard to relax with all that pressure. I try to remind myself that I was ff and I have no food allergies, wasn't unreasonably sickly, and got into a top college. It can really drive you crazy! I hope I don't sound TOO paranoid lol.

    Some MORE questions lol. . .
    I'm not sure if I ever had a full milk supply (maybe when my milk first came in). I'm so small. Is it too late to build a full milk supply? It took like a week to go from 4oz a day to 6oz.

    This morning, he seemed happy so I thought I'd try and nurse. We were on our sides and he nursed for 5 whole minutes! (with a nipple shield) But then he started getting frustrated when he'd pull off and couldn't get himself back on, and didn't like when I tried to help by sitting up. Once he was upset I sat him up away from my breasts. It was wonderful, but I'm scared that will be considered a "bad" breast experience, as he's already a little classically conditioned that way. Should I worry?

    I really really appreciate all your help, I wish I could send you all chocolate chip cookies out of appreciation. Like seriously. . .I had never heard of a nursing strike until now, and I kind of assumed I didn't have much time left but I'm feeling ALOT more hopeful. I could just cry.

    Time to pump! lol Thank you thank you thank you so much
    Last edited by @llli*katia11; January 30th, 2011 at 11:00 AM.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katia11 View Post
    And the things I read mess with my head. I understand that bfing is wonderful, but Dr. Sears freaked me out last night with some of the things he said. Now I'm terrified of Connor getting super sick, having bad jaw development, or falling behind in school. It's REALLY hard to relax with all that pressure. I try to remind myself that I was ff and I have no food allergies, wasn't unreasonably sickly, and got into a top college. It can really drive you crazy! I hope I don't sound TOO paranoid lol.
    Don't read that stuff! And try to remember those are statistics, not a description of your baby's future.

    I remember leading one of my first LLL meetings about the benefits of breastfeeding, talking about how long-term breastfeeding promotes proper oral development and will therefore save you the cost of orthodontia later. I might have even been a little smug about it. I breastfed both my babies for well over a year each and guess what? That's right, they both have braces now.

    At this point it seems to me that there are two main things you might want to concentrate on:

    1) Feed the baby. Whatever it takes. Whether by nursing with or without a nipple shield, feeding expressed milk only, or a combination of breastmilk and formula, by bottle, cup, spoon, or SNS, whatever you need to do to get nutrients into him. That's the most important thing.

    2) Try to relax (I know, easier said than done!) and enjoy physical contact with your baby without nursing. When nursing isn't working sometimes just picking up your baby can make you feel stressed. It might help to spend lots of time cuddling, taking naps together, holding him skin-to-skin on your chest (taking baths is a great idea!), without trying to nurse. Set a goal just to feel your baby's skin, take in his scent, enjoy being close to him. If skin-to-skin time is a wonderful, comforting experience and not just for nursing, it might make it easier when you do try to nurse. Or else, if nursing still doesn't work, it's not a failure because it's the closeness that's the point.

    And he latched on and nursed today for a few minutes. That's awesome! Every time he does it it's progress, even if there are days in between when it doesn't work. It sounds like you're doing a good job trying to make it a good experience and not pushing it when he's upset.

    A few other thoughts...

    - It's not too late to build a full milk supply, but it would be hard to do without a hospital grade pump. It might be worth renting one for a while until Connor is doing better with nursing.

    - Not having a full milk supply doesn't mean you can't breastfeed. Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. Whether or not you use formula, your milk is still great for him and whatever effort you put into providing it for him is never wasted.

    - Pumping for several minutes after you see the last drop of milk can help increase your supply by sending a signal to your body that the demand is greater than the supply and it needs to bump up production.

    You are a good mother. All of us can see how much you love Connor and how much you want what's best for him. You're in an incredibly challenging situation. A lot of people would have given up a long time ago. I hope you can let go of the guilt, because you're doing a great job!

  5. #15

    Default Re: Heartbroken


    I just read your last post.
    During the firt few weeks that I was breastfeeding I was also convinced that my body wasn't able to produce a full supply of milk. I really worried that my son, Zachary, wasn't getting enough milk from me. Like you, I'm on the petite side and thought that might have something to do with it.

    Some of my friends could get 8oz every time they pumped, but if there was every a time that I pumped instead of nursing, like if I were away from my son & pumped when I got home, I would only get around 3oz-4oz...it was rare for me to get more than that.

    When I told my LC my concerns she assured me that it's extremely rare for a woman not to be unable to produce enough milk for her baby-sometimes I still feel like I'm one of those exceptions!
    But my LC pointed out that even though I don't have an over abundance of milk, like my friends who pump 8oz, I am able to produce exactly what my son needs. She was right about that too...when he only ate 2oz that's what I coul pump and until recently (when the nursing strike started) I've always been able to just keep up with meeting his needs.

    I think we're similar in that we weren't ever able to produce much more than what our babies needed, so when they stopped nursing our supply shot down to nothing quickly...mainly bc we didn't produce very much to begin with. If I'd been able to produce 8oz when Zachary's strike started I probably would'nt have much trouble producing enough milk for him now...I just wouldn't have an over abundance of milk anymore...you know?

    I really think that the Symphony pump could help you. I've really noticed a difference since I started using it. I know it's hard to find time to pump...and that it's sort of a hassle, but I think that if you pump for 15 minutes at a time it would also help.

    When I first started pumping again my right breast would stop producing milk at least 5 minutes before my left...which was around the 10 minute mark when you stop producing as much milk. However, since my left side was still producing milk, I would keep the pump on another 5-10 mins. My R side still stops producing milk sooner than my L side, but now only by a couple mins.
    I think pumping a few minutes after you stop producing milk sends a signal to your body that it needs to make more...so now my r side does a better job at keeping up.

    When it seems like you've stopped producing milk, have you ever tried moving the breast shield/rearranging it a little? I usually move the shield around at least four or five times while pumping, and it really helps me to get more milk...I think it helps to stimulate different milk ducts.

    I also usually push the shields firmly against my breast when production slows down...that also seems to help a bit.

    I think that if you keep pumping you'll be able to get your supply up...especially if you can get your son to nurse a little. I know you said you've never had a "full" supply, but your son used to nurse, right? So at some point you were producing enough milk to satisfy his needs and keep him at the breast. I think that even if you weren't producing a lot of extra milk, you producing enough for him...otherwise he would have nursed.

    You only have to produce enough milk for your baby boy, and since you were able to before I'm sure you still have the ability...it'll just take time...and, as I'm sure you know, lots of patience!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    @LLLKaren- I really did cry when I first read that. It feels so good to get some positive feedback.

    @ex-patmom- yes it's a great school! Though you can probably see why I am stressed as I am at a school where the unofficial motto is "Where fun goes to die"

    There's so much info on here! lol.

    I did try the SNS two nights ago in the tub (so if there was a mess it wouldn't be a bug deal), and he did great! He had an ounce of formula (did want to use breastmilk and have it not work). It took an hour for just that, so the SNS won't replace his real feedings just yet. I used the nipple shield with that as it is SO much easier to just stick it through one of the holes than deal with tape that keeps coming off.

    However last night we tried again and it was not successful and I was frustrated and exhausted so I thought we should stop and try again tonite. I am most frustrated because lots of times in the tub he doesn't fuss or anything sometimes. . .and it seems so shallow.

    When I bottlefeed, he is always sitting up and the bottle is perpendicular so he "works" for it. I use Dr. Browns so there is less air, but I worry he's not opening his mouth enough.

    The fenugreek I discovered is less disgusting if I mix it with peanut butter. Masks the strong flavor. So I have a teaspoon of that a day.

    I got a new PISA in the mail today because my first one was making a clicking noise and losing suction. I'm also looking into a hospital grade pump, but I wont have that for a few days.

    I've been so hopeful for the past week and then last night I got so upset again. You know youre upset when you are talking about bf to your best friend who is a guy . . .lol

    Soso happy that everyone has helped so much! Just need to stay on top of things. I'll feel better when my supply increases. . .

    I typed all this with one hand!

    There's a blizzard coming here, but that might be a good thing if classes are cancelled! Spend some time snuggling with the lovie


    ** Sorry to add MORE stuff, but I just called my Ob-Gyn for a prescription for a hospital grade pump so that my insurance will cover it. However, the nurse had me explain the situation and was like "maybe you're just going to have to give up breastfeeding". I was SHOCKED. I was going to ask about a prescription for Reglan (I don't even care about the effects at this point) but I didn't because I felt AWFUL. So many women on here pulled through- why wouldn't they want that? It was the LAST thing I needed to hear. I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but it makes me wonder about whether I should trust my OB's decisions.
    Last edited by @llli*katia11; February 2nd, 2011 at 10:31 AM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    From "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding"'s suggestions for nursing strikes. . .:

    And here's a wild one that worked for one mother: sit in an office chair holding the baby in your lap near but not at your breast, have someone spin the chair until you're a little dizzy, and then offer your breast. Sometimes being a little disoriented lets our instincts rise to the surface
    Wow. Btw it didn't work

    Is there ANYTHING else I can do?

    He doesn't fuss in the tub and that is great. But even with the SNS he sucks 1-5 times and pulls off. His latch has gotten poor- kind of smushing the nipple shield (or the bare nipple). And he has no idea what to do with his arm- he grabs at my face and its hard to position him
    AlSO! He will suck on a bottle nipple even if I have it tipped so he isn't getting anything. WHY is a nipple shield SO MUCH different??? He will suck on an empty bottle nipple over a nipple shield full of squeezed out milk. I'm so worried. I tried to make him not be hooked on the bottle

    I'm not breaking down crying so that is good, but I am feeling pretty exhausted and frustrated. Basically I'm bumping just in case. As much as I hate bothering people, I know soooo much more than I did two months ago. Maybe I'm also really impatient.

    I just wanted this one thing. I'm jealous. It's embarrassing.

    I really miss my little boy nursing. I didn't realize it so much until I thought about it. I liked being needed. And wanted. His father didn't want me. I tried really hard to do whatever he wanted but it wasn't good enough. I miss being in bed at home and not here and having him on and it wasn't a big deal. It went so well sometimes I could casually text my best friend or work on homework. It wasn't a big deal then. Of course I took time to bond with him too, look into his eyes, etc. But it wasn't a HUGE DEAL.

    Alot of this I just realized isn't really asking for help or even support. . .It just hurts a little less when I can write it out and share. I can't really talk to anyone.

    Bump? Thanks. Sorry!!!
    Last edited by @llli*katia11; February 3rd, 2011 at 11:08 PM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Oreogn City, OR

    Default Re: Heartbroken


    I have an 8 week old. At first she didn't wanna latch on, so we used a breast shield and at first she didn't even like that. I was getting frustrated with pumping and bottle feeding because I really really wanted this breastfeeding relationship to work out. When we were at our lowest, I got a Medela SNS (supplemental nursing system) and it "tricked" her into taking the breast again. Since then, there's been some tough times...but she's not showing nipple preference anymore and only getting 2 sometimes 3 bottles per day (usually in the evening when I'm not making enough milk to make her happy).

    I dunno if that would work for you guys or not, my insurance paid for it for me. Online they cost like $50. Maybe WIC could help you out? I've found lots of support from them. I dunno where you live, but here in Oregon it's a pretty good program.

    Also, I know its very easy to feel discouraged and bad-talk yourself for bottlefeeding. But please try not to. Even if you have to pump and bottle feed, your baby is still getting your wonderful milk! That's what's really important. Try to relax too. Our little ones can sense when we're stressed out or tense and react to it in their own ways.

    Good luck! I really hope things turn around for you soon! *hugs*

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    Thanks for the reply

    I've been feeling REALLY depressed about this. I want to enjoy my son more. I feel constantly guilty.

    I do have the SNS that was given to me by an LC. However, it hasn't been working very well :/ I offer every night.

    WIC has not been very helpful. They did not have any pumps and said I could not obtain one without a medical card. I have private health insurance under my parents. I was hoping I'd get more assistance as they want women to breastfeed. . .but the people I spoke to did not have very detailed knowledge.

    Wondering if I should consider another feeding method? It's not like he is a newborn and can get a half ounce from a dropper. . . I contacted Dr. Jack Newman and he said there is no such thing as "breastfeeding supportive bottlefeeding" I just meant he is sitting up and I control the flow.

    Thanks for the suggestions though And the support more than anything.

    *editing because I'm too shy to bump up my post again. . .contacted LC. Made it very clear that finances are rough. I was hoping she made an exception. Nope. So sad. I really need someone to help. *
    Last edited by @llli*katia11; February 7th, 2011 at 01:17 AM.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Heartbroken

    I'm sorry things aren't going well...just the fact that you're still trying says a lot. When it gets this hard I know it's easy to give up-I think you're a very strong person for continuing to get your baby to nurse.

    Also, even though his latch isn't strong, it's good that he still takes some interest in nursing. My son latches on and then goes off like your son ...even though he doesn't usually stay on...it always gives me a little hope!

    I don't know if she would adjust her price or not, but my LC is a really understanding and kind person. She's in the Chicago area so she might be able to help you out.

    Her name is Carol Chamblin, here's her contact info:
    carolibclc@sbcglobal.net, phone at 630-513-1101.

    Even if she can't adjust her price I'm sure she would give free advice. She said that she gets a lot of emails from woman all over the country, and she always answers their questions. I know having someone there in-person is a lot different, but maybe she'd have some helpful suggestions too.

    Is there any info on the Medela website about getting a pump for cheaper? That really upsets me that WIC isn't helping you more. It seems like there should be some assistance program that can help get you a pump.

    Really though...Carol has been an angel! It might really help to give her a call or email her. I think she might be understanding of the situation. My insurance covered most of her fees...do you think yours might? Either way, I'm sure she'd try and give you some help.

    As a side note...I completely understand how you feel when you say you miss being able to nurse.
    I don't even admit to ppl, like my in-laws, that nursing isn't going well. When we're at her house and he gets hungry, I take him into a room as if I'm going to nurse him and bottle feed him. I know that sounds pathetic, but if I took out a bottle in front of them I know they'd all (his parents and sister) want to feed him too. I feel like I should be the only one to feed him...just like you I want to feel needed. Nursing is suppose to be a special bonding time, so I want to be the one to feed him...even if it's with a bottle right now.

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