Friend having a breastfeeding kind of problem (OT)

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634
Friend having a breastfeeding kind of problem (OT)

I'm hoping maybe you girls can help out with this issue.

My BFF's little sister has a 3 month old little girl. She has been bf'ing since birth. Unfortunately the timing of the baby wasn't the best as her and her DH finalized buying a business when the baby was just a month old. It's a very small business and they are working non-stop. It's a meat locker and this time of year is extremely busy with deer season. I wanted to tell you that little bit to give you some back story. She's doing her best to pump at work, but she basically doesn't have enough time to get in more than 1 pumping session while she's there. There's lots of men in and out and she can't do it in the shop for sanitary reasons anyway so she goes out to her car to pump.

Her sister (my BFF) watches the baby during the day and the stash of frozen boob juice is gone now so they are trying to get her as much ebm as possible, but are having to supplement with formula for the rest. They're really not pushing that much formula, maybe 2 4oz bottles a day. Well, she won't take it! At all! She will go for 8 hours without eating if all you have to offer is formula. She's started rearranging her eating pattern to be able to do it. She's now eating all night long and not eating at all during the day, so she's switched her day and night eating to compensate. Well, needless to say, her mommy is not getting much sleep with her attached to her boob all night and the the amount of calories and water she needs to keep up her supply cannot be feasibly met at night when she's eating the most now.

I've already hounded her about making more time to pump during the day, even if it means they have to work longer by half an hour a day. She just can't do it though. They are already going to be working 12 hour days now until deer season is over. It will be a little easier once deer season is over, but that's not for another month or so.

I have been trying to pump to get some saved up to offer her, but once my supply establishes I can't manage to pump any out.

Any ideas or suggestions?

They have tried different brands of formula. Today BFF is trying the ready made formula instead of the powder to see if that will make a difference. They've tried different waters to see if maybe that would make a difference. She's just got one he!! of a stubborn streak Smile

batgirlandrobin's picture
Joined: 11/07/05
Posts: 163

Has she considered buying EBM? Aren't there places where women donate and other woman can buy for their baby?

loveemom's picture
Joined: 06/13/10
Posts: 110

Can baby be brought to her for nursings? Pretty hard to not find time, if baby's right there. And depending on what exactly she does there, she could work and discreetly nurse at the same time.
Does she co-sleep? That seems like it would be a good way for mom to nurse through the night and still get some sleep.
Idk, just throwing out some ideas.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

I've heard of other babies pulling the all nighter method, in face, Ellie did it for a while.

one idea is to put BIG waterbottle by the bed and co-sleep, then baby can eat and mommy can sleep. Wake up, chug water, roll over, relatch, nap.

if i worked a 12 hr day and only pumped once, with a baby nursing all nigth, i would have sprung a leak and i mean, SOAKED a shirt, if i went that long without doing anything. my boobs always told me exactly what i needed to do, the full one felt different than the empty one so i never had to do those bracelets or pins or crap.

and i did often eat my lunch and pump at the same time at work.... you do what you have to do.

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

This is pretty common actually. I have heard that some babies will go all day at daycare without eating. Have you tried sending her over to http://www.kellymom.com/ they have tons of great advice. One pumping session a day isn't going to cut it. She needs the stimulation. She could try some herbal supplements to help increase her supply, but that will only work for awhile. My suggestions

1. pump one side while she is feeding baby on the other side. 1st thing in the morning is good because you have more milk then. That should give her extra ebm for during the day. Possibly do this first thing when getting home too. She will be extra full then so won't need both sides.

2. Co-sleep all the way. I would never have gotten any sleep with my ds if I hadn't co-slept.

3. Fenugreek and/or Blessed Thistle to help build up her supply. I have found that doing both together works best.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

She might also try mixing the forumla with a bit of EBM to add some sweetness & familiarity. I'd also put the word out to anyone else locally that I know is BFing, and see if anyone might be willing to donate some EBM. And I know how draining it is to have a baby on the breast all night long, but IMHO if that's what is working for baby and mom isn't willing to make the time to pump more, then that's just what their life is going to be like for a while. Mom doesn't need to worry about eating & drinking during the night, unless she wants to, because as long as she's getting enough total during every 24-hour period her body will use what it needs when it needs it, kwim? Good luck to them both, and what a good friend you are for trying to help!

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

I will let her know the suggestions.

They do already co-sleep so she's very accessible, but it's still exhausting her to have her latched on all night. She said she's getting really hungry and thirsty through the night now that this has started.

I've been on her to just take the extra time to pump during the day. She's got a great supply, it hasn't waned yet due to this shift. I swear, she doesn't know how lucky she is. Her boobs just keep on making milk, it doesn't seem to matter what she does, they just keep doing their job. Mine would've done quit by now Smile

It's not a matter of her supply dwindling (for now anyway). She just doesn't have (or won't take) the time during the day to pump so she doesn't have enough EBM to give the baby, which is why she wants her to take some formula. She's not as committed to exclusively breastfeeding as I am, she's okay with her taking the formula.

They've tried bringing the baby to her during the day and she eats just fine doing that. But it's quite the chore for my BFF who watches her because it's half hour drive one way and she has a 4 year old and a 6 month old of her own.

Maybe if she could just pump in the morning while the baby is nursing and then at lunch and then again when the baby eats for the first time that evening she could get enough for the daytime feedings. I'm gonna keep on her about pumping more. I just hope she doesn't switch her to just formula because of this. I would hate to see that, but she's not as gung-ho about bf'ing as most of us are. It's nice and all, but if it hadn't worked out she wouldn't have been devastated or anything. She had some latch issues that caused her quite a bit of pain in the beginning and her nipple got such a bad split in it that it had to be so painful. I talked her through it and kind of pushed her to keep at it and even pushed her into talking to the LC and everything was back on track and going well until this. I just wish we weren't rolling into the busiest season for a meat locker right now.

Anyway, I knew you girls would come through with some suggestions, thank you!!!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

What kind of work does she do? She could try one of those hands-free bras & be able to keep working while she pumps. If she has some desk time once or twice a day, she could set the pump under the desk, that would be pretty discreet. I had a friend once who pumped hands-free while driving to work every morning! She had an adapter so it ran off the car lighter socket instead of batteries.

I'd probably mention to my friend that, if the baby won't take formula now, switching 100% to formula would be a disaster & probably a lot more interrupting to her life than finding time to pump. And if I didn't get a positive response, then I would flat out tell her to step up to the #1 responsibility of parenthood, and to start doing what her baby needs. It's not convenient to her, it's not what she wants to do, well... grow up!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

"momW" wrote:

They've tried bringing the baby to her during the day and she eats just fine doing that. But it's quite the chore for my BFF who watches her because it's half hour drive one way and she has a 4 year old and a 6 month old of her own.

Is your BFF nursing her own baby? Why doesn't she offer to BF her sister's baby during the day? Even just one session in the middle of the day would probably relieve the all-night-nursing and allow the sister to get some better rest. And then the poor little baby wouldn't be hungry all day.

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

"momW" wrote:

I will let her know the suggestions.

They do already co-sleep so she's very accessible, but it's still exhausting her to have her latched on all night. She said she's getting really hungry and thirsty through the night now that this has started.

I've been on her to just take the extra time to pump during the day. She's got a great supply, it hasn't waned yet due to this shift. I swear, she doesn't know how lucky she is. Her boobs just keep on making milk, it doesn't seem to matter what she does, they just keep doing their job. Mine would've done quit by now Smile

It's not a matter of her supply dwindling (for now anyway). She just doesn't have (or won't take) the time during the day to pump so she doesn't have enough EBM to give the baby, which is why she wants her to take some formula. She's not as committed to exclusively breastfeeding as I am, she's okay with her taking the formula.

They've tried bringing the baby to her during the day and she eats just fine doing that. But it's quite the chore for my BFF who watches her because it's half hour drive one way and she has a 4 year old and a 6 month old of her own.

Maybe if she could just pump in the morning while the baby is nursing and then at lunch and then again when the baby eats for the first time that evening she could get enough for the daytime feedings. I'm gonna keep on her about pumping more. I just hope she doesn't switch her to just formula because of this. I would hate to see that, but she's not as gung-ho about bf'ing as most of us are. It's nice and all, but if it hadn't worked out she wouldn't have been devastated or anything. She had some latch issues that caused her quite a bit of pain in the beginning and her nipple got such a bad split in it that it had to be so painful. I talked her through it and kind of pushed her to keep at it and even pushed her into talking to the LC and everything was back on track and going well until this. I just wish we weren't rolling into the busiest season for a meat locker right now.

Anyway, I knew you girls would come through with some suggestions, thank you!!!

Then seriously pump before and right after work. Even if she has to do it with baby on the other boob. That will help a lot.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

If she is interested in using milk from another mom, www.eatsonfeets.org is a new network for mother-to-mother milk sharing, so she wouldn't have to get it from a bank, which I've heard is expensive and the banks are really strict--they won't take from you if you've even taken herbs when you pumped the milk

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

Yeah I can't donate because I am on a synthetic thyroid hormone. Sad

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

"Spacers" wrote:

What kind of work does she do? She could try one of those hands-free bras & be able to keep working while she pumps. If she has some desk time once or twice a day, she could set the pump under the desk, that would be pretty discreet. I had a friend once who pumped hands-free while driving to work every morning! She had an adapter so it ran off the car lighter socket instead of batteries.

I'd probably mention to my friend that, if the baby won't take formula now, switching 100% to formula would be a disaster & probably a lot more interrupting to her life than finding time to pump. And if I didn't get a positive response, then I would flat out tell her to step up to the #1 responsibility of parenthood, and to start doing what her baby needs. It's not convenient to her, it's not what she wants to do, well... grow up!

They own a meat locker and it's a little mom and pop joint so she's a meat wrapper, meat cutter and equipment cleaner, basically anything that needs to be done. I've never thought about the driving and pumping though. She has one of my pumps and I do have a car adapter for it.

"Spacers" wrote:

Is your BFF nursing her own baby? Why doesn't she offer to BF her sister's baby during the day? Even just one session in the middle of the day would probably relieve the all-night-nursing and allow the sister to get some better rest. And then the poor little baby wouldn't be hungry all day.

BFF is not nursing anymore or I know that would've already been done. If I lived closer to BFF I'd definitely nurse the baby for her during the day, but it's too far for me to drive with my two kids everyday.

I swear this baby has the biggest stubborn streak, which makes total sense knowing her parents Smile I know my friend is doing the best she can. I think she is trying to take the easy way out with the supplementing, but that's just my opinion. I also know that this new business has really trapped them, but I can't imagine myself just being okay with formula, but she's not me and she doesn't have quite the same passion that I do for bf'ing.

pico83's picture
Joined: 09/06/06
Posts: 3015

Has she tried something like ensure at night? I find it helps a lot when BFing an hungry in the middle of the night. It's fast and easy.
I was going to ask about the sister nursing the baby, too, but I see that already got answered.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

All of my three kids have done the same thing her baby is doing -- they prefer it straight from the tap rather than in a bottle. My current baby was sleeping through the night just before 3 months. Then I went back to work and he's up all night eating. It's called "reverse cycling". It sucks for the mom, that's for sure.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

"CamelNoodle" wrote:

All of my three kids have done the same thing her baby is doing -- they prefer it straight from the tap rather than in a bottle. My current baby was sleeping through the night just before 3 months. Then I went back to work and he's up all night eating. It's called "reverse cycling". It sucks for the mom, that's for sure.

I'm happy to hear that it's not as uncommon as I had thought. I've never heard of a LO doing it before, but it really does make sense.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

they actually talked about reverse cycling on The Office last week--Pam and Jim's baby was doing it Smile

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

"MrsMangoBabe" wrote:

they actually talked about reverse cycling on The Office last week--Pam and Jim's baby was doing it Smile

LOL! I've never watched The Office, but that's funny that it was just on a t.v. show Smile