Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

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Expand view Topic review: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by danielsmom » Mon Jan 30, 2012 09:47 am

Believe me, it was hard.

The first 3+ months, Daniel was still in the NICU, and at that time there was visiting hours and no overnight stays (they just built a new one with room in capability), so I either had a nice hospital pump room or home to pump at. After 8 weeks maternity leave, I returned to work with my breast pump and kept working until he came home. They were really accomodating and let me have a small lockable room close to my desk to pump. When Daniel came home I took 12 weeks FMLA leave (unpaid) just to make sure that I really wanted to be a stay at home mom. We all figured I would, but you know... flexibility is good. It's a good thing we left it open. After that 3 months, my boss made a deal with me to work from home for awhile.

So... I was very fortunate to have the comforts of home during most of this, but yes it is very hard. I pumped 5 to 6 times a day, or about every 2-3 hours. Pumping/not pumping at night did not affect my supply so I chose sleep. I had to plan grocery trips and other errands around "pump time". We took a trip one time and I even got a DC adapter so I could pump in the car! Hubby was great to help at times with washing pump peices etc. At times I was pumping, working on the computer, and tending to a baby all at the same time. Then phone would ring and I'd just ignore it... stupid machine is too loud! :D

When AF returned, my supply would cut in half, and then climb somewhat throughout the month, but never return to pre-AF levels. I started upping my frequency and other things, but nothing worked. After awhile I was working myself to death for almost nothing, so I decided to call it quits.

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by riehlism » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:40 am

Oh my goodness. You pumped for 10 months?! How often were you pumping? It gets hard with work, and duties at home.



danielsmom wrote:You have put in a valiant effort, and after sticking with this for 3 months now, through the stress of his GI issues and hospitalization and interrupted nursing with hospital bottle feeds, GIRL...I'd call it a success. You can only do what you can do. Most would have thrown in the towel already. It's great that he was able to get mommy milk at all, especially throughout his intestinal trouble. I'm also happy to hear that he's doing well now.

LOVE having that freezer stash huh? I pumped for 10 months and got almost 2 more on the freezer supply (thank goodness for 3 freezers). Nursing for us just didn't work either. He got used to the bottle from the NICU and would get frustrated. Then I'd worry he didn't get enough and I'd be cranky. Pumping isn't fun, but it became our new normal for awhile. I hope you're able to reach your goal of 3 more months. I bet you will. Enjoy that little man and don't stress and what you can't control. ;)

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by tree » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:27 am

Thanks for posting the update. I didn't have much luck with Reglan, and I am really glad to read that the other med is working for you. It gives me some hope for next time.
Congrats on making it as far as you have. You will make your six month goal!
I feel a little guilty about using my competitive streak to force myself to stick with nursing, but i will admit to it in case it helps you. Every time one of my friends confided that they had been able to nurse for X number of weeks, I decided to keep going for X+2. I never said anything about it, just used it for motivation. It was a little silly, but I was desperate. In case you are grasping at similar straws, I made it a little less than five months. I bet you can hold out longer than I did.

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by danielsmom » Thu Jan 26, 2012 09:48 am

You have put in a valiant effort, and after sticking with this for 3 months now, through the stress of his GI issues and hospitalization and interrupted nursing with hospital bottle feeds, GIRL...I'd call it a success. You can only do what you can do. Most would have thrown in the towel already. It's great that he was able to get mommy milk at all, especially throughout his intestinal trouble. I'm also happy to hear that he's doing well now.

LOVE having that freezer stash huh? I pumped for 10 months and got almost 2 more on the freezer supply (thank goodness for 3 freezers). Nursing for us just didn't work either. He got used to the bottle from the NICU and would get frustrated. Then I'd worry he didn't get enough and I'd be cranky. Pumping isn't fun, but it became our new normal for awhile. I hope you're able to reach your goal of 3 more months. I bet you will. Enjoy that little man and don't stress and what you can't control. ;)

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by riehlism » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:31 am

I'm on domperidone now and I am still able to pump and bottle feed him. I really hope I can make it to 6 months. But between work and not pumping as often I feel I am starting to dry up, even with the domperidone. At this point I feel I have done all I can to keep my milk supply up. If I don't make it to 6 months, I am ok with that (although I do have a stash of frozen milk that should last him for one month). Right now I am pumping at about 70% of normal, and he's being supplemented with formula.

My nipples are sore from all the pumping, and I've had a few clogs that I had to pick out (soooo not fun), but all is well so far. Thank you domperidone for giving me a second wind.

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by veronica44 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 08:26 am

I had a ton of breastfeeding issues, and saw 3 expert LCs with no help. I tried pumping, herbs, more nursing, everything... and still it did not work to increase supply. Early on, this led to a lot of guilt for me, which was not helped by all the pressure we face to nurse from the "natural birth/attachment parenting camp". Here is what I was told and have come to realize:

All the LCs and my internist said that there is a link of preeclampsia with nursing issues. I have been looking for literature to support this, and will let you know if I find anything. According to my doctor, with PE the woman's body is concentrating all its efforts on organ recovery instead of milk production. For example, the kidneys are trying to recover so we see unusually high urine production to get rid of all the excess water we accumulated in our bodies during PE. This water is now not going towards milk production and so supply is lowered. I think the biology is complicated, but that as PE patients we need to give ourselves a bit of a break if nursing doesn't work. Sure, we need to give it our best effort, do what we can. But if it doesn't work, it helped me a lot psychologically to realize it could just be a physical mechanism preventing nursing from working right. My doctor told me to not grieve about it, to reduce the pressure on myself. I did everything I could to nurse, and it did not work. So the baby was mostly formula fed. Despite this, she was always just fine. Actually, she is one of the healthiest babies I know, despite lots of exposure to other children the only sickness she ever had in 2.5 years was colds. All development was right on schedule. I refuse to feel guilty about not succeeding with nursing when I know that the PE/high blood pressure/medication was most likely responsible. People that judge mothers for not nursing DO NOT have all the information, and are CRUEL. All too often, they assume that mom was just to lazy to try and so defaulted to bottle feeding. Meanwhile, many of us try everything and it still does not succeed. Now with this second baby I will not feel guilty if nursing again fails. I will try my best once again, but that is all I can do.

Hugs to you, and be easy on yourself.

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by kellyo19 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:14 am

I didn't have a premie but I struggled with nursing my son for the first few wks. I used motherlove.com's more milk plus supplement which was a huge help several times and saved my supply. I also power pumped - set up the pump and every hour or so during the day, pump for 5-10 mins for a day or so on the weekend. I also learned that if I pumped for 20-25 mins instead of 15, I'd have a second let down. I pumped one last time right before bed for 20-25 mins and that seemed to help. Also, in the middle of the night, I'd nurse one side and pump the other - the noise from the pump seemed to keep baby awake a little longer too. He filled up with just one side then, and the bottle was used at daycare the next day. Hope this helps! Sounds like you've got some great ideas here.

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by miamibunnie » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:56 am

Hi Jasmine, try to take warm baths before pumping, also you have to massage your breast. Warm soaks are good as well anothe trick, is to drink 2 to 3 cups of water before you pump, I use to have a water bottle next to me and that will do it. Just drink plenty of water a few minutes before pumping..you will remember me it really works. I stopped brest feeding at 3 months because the supply was gone but at least I tried for first 3 months...something is better than nothing. :)

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by caryn » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:01 am

PubMed says new worries about cardiac arrest - apparently it lengthens the QT interval. That freaks me out a bit, but then I had a friend lose her husband to Long QT syndrome, so then it would, rather.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20925438 : Current use was associated with a significant increased risk of SCD (OR(adj) 4.17 [95% CI 1.33, 13.1])...Current use of domperidone, especially high doses, is associated with an increased risk of SCD.

I suppose the concern would be how much of it crossed into breastmilk and then into the newborn, relative to newborn mass.

Re: Unable to breastfeed and milk supply

Post by aajatwins » Wed Nov 23, 2011 09:58 am

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. I really hope the SNS helps you both and that he will give in soon!

With my twin boys, I wanted so badly to nurse for a year or close to it. But after a bad round of thrush, one twin with a bad latch & reflux, and very little sleep for the first 6 weeks, I was also very defeated. I would have a good talk with a LC or my friend who is a LLL leader and then it would all go downhill again in a matter of days. We made it through that first growth spurt, but then I cracked at the second one. I can see on this side of it what I needed to do, but it was so hard in the midst of it. I think when frustration gets to a certain level, then anxiety builds with each nursing session. And of course, the anxiety carries over to baby and everyone is too tense to make anything work properly. If you can't make it work, don't make yourself crazy over it. I hated formula when we switched and I was guilt-ridden for months over it. But my twin who had always been smaller became the bigger twin when we switched to bottles/formula - and he's been bigger every since. It was better for him!

And this time, I am much more comfortable with nursing in general, having done it before. I'm much more relaxed and able to work through the issues that come up. I hope that gives you a little hope.

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