Need encouragement bfing

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Jenni Beth's picture
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Need encouragement bfing

I don't know how many of you are following the breastfeeding support thread but I'm having a very difficult time. Because of my tear I've been unable to get in a good position to bf. I've been pumping but my supply has been drying up. I went from pumping 5 ounces a session to yesterday and today half an ounce a session. After discovering that I have flat nipples (I thought they were normal!?) I got some shields and they help me to nurse. Now that I can sit on my bottom mostly pain free I'm able to nurse and pump. Because my supply is so low I still have to supplement with formula because Carter gets fussy from not getting enough breastmilk. I'm trying so hard and it is breaking my heart that this isn't working. I'm drinking a lactation tea several times a day, eating those special cookies, and taking fenugreek. Still my supply is low. I called the lactation department at my hospital on Saturday and the LC that called me back was the one I didn't like and she was not helpful. She just said 'pump 8-10 times a day...if your supply is still down on Monday call your doctor or come rent a hospital pump from us.' She was not encouraging...She did not have me come in to observe a feeding...she did not act like she cared that I was successful. So tomorrow we're going to the office at the hospital and I'm going to get a different LC to help me and possibly get a hospital pump for a few weeks. I'm getting really discouraged and I feel like I'm letting my baby down. I don't know why my milk is drying up so fast. I need some input from you girls..advice..encouragement..giving up...help me Sad

Starryblue702's picture
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Oh Jenni I'm so sorry. I know just what you're going through, as I swear my milk always dries up super fast and I feel like such a failure... but remember you absolutely ARE NOT a failure. I'm glad that you're going to see a new LC and hopefully they can help you out and give you some good advice. Those hospital pumps are absolute Heaven, I swear I got so much more milk from that than any other one I ever used (too bad I don't have mine anymore!). I know this is a little bit controversial, but have you tried drinking a beer? It's supposed to work wonders for your BM...

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:bigarmhug:

You have done so well already Jenni! I know how hard it is to heal from a bad tear and try to BF successfully.

I have had both good and bad BF experiences. With my DD, I managed to nurse her for 7 months (then she self weaned and started preferring a bottle). With my DS, I only made it 3 weeks. I battled mastitis and thrush with him right away, and just COULD NOT handle it anymore. His latch wasn't great, my nipples felt like they were on fire, and I had an 18 month old demanding my attention too. I felt like a failure because I had successfully BF'd my DD - why couldn't I again?

I really really hope your meeting with the LC goes well and she can give you some good tips! Whatever the outcome, you will have done your best for your baby. I have one child who was BF'd and one who was formula fed - they are both happy, healthy, and strong today!

I hope and pray that you can continue to breastfeed as long as you wish! Just don't feel like a failure if it doesn't work out. You are a great Mommy either way!

Stay hydrated, pump as much as you can, and good luck at your appt!

Summer05's picture
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Hang in there Jenni, you're doing all the right things! I agree it's not too far gone or too late. That sucks that LC you spoke with wasn't helpful - good on you for recognizing that she wasn't helpful & going tomorrow to another LC. Didn't you feel your laying-in with Carter helped? It won't turn corners overnight, so as long as he's on your BBs frequently I'm sure it will help, plus that skin-to-skin contact in itself is good for both of you. You're not letting him down. I'm not so sure that 'just pumping' is the answer anyway... now I don't have a lot of experience in this department but I think IMHO babies are very different from pumps! I don't have experience with formula but I've never really understood how or if the two can work together. There's a lot about breastfeeding that you need confidence for - the LC you spoke to didn't help at all (I hope you're able to complain about her tomorrow). As a first timer I knew nothing but was fortunate that DD was just a good feeder, so I took most of my queues from her. The little bit of info that I did get from nurses, books pamphlets etc was just helpful for me to relax, be confident & not stress. With this baby he's nursing well but I did have some frustrating moments. And now with all the spitting up if I was a 1st timer or was not confident I'd probably be thinking my BB juice was poisonous, lol. My instinct tells me he just overfills himself & we can't always get a burp out. Anyway sorry that's a bit off topic but I was just hoping to make you giggle a little. Great big hugs & tomorrow you'll get some better info!!!
:bighug:

batbird's picture
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Lurking, you are doing great! The pain and the stress can dry up your milk. Drink plenty, lots, constantly, pretend you are a fish. I've heard fenugreek has dried up milk on some people. I'd ask on the lactation board. Brewers yeast (supplement section) can help your supply. Also, you may be enough into post partum that your milk is changing from that pre stuff to the reg milk. How far along were you when you delivered? Also, if you had pcos, that can cause issues with your milk. But honestly, don't stress. You are doing an awesome job, A+++ for effort, enthausium, and determination. Once you talk with a good lc and your dr, you should be able to get some more helpful answers.

Jenni Beth's picture
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Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I really needed to hear those things. I hope I can turn this around and get back on track before my milk leaves completely...

"batbird" wrote:

Lurking, you are doing great! The pain and the stress can dry up your milk. Drink plenty, lots, constantly, pretend you are a fish. I've heard fenugreek has dried up milk on some people. I'd ask on the lactation board. Brewers yeast (supplement section) can help your supply. Also, you may be enough into post partum that your milk is changing from that pre stuff to the reg milk. How far along were you when you delivered? Also, if you had pcos, that can cause issues with your milk. But honestly, don't stress. You are doing an awesome job, A+++ for effort, enthausium, and determination. Once you talk with a good lc and your dr, you should be able to get some more helpful answers.

I do not have pcos. I was 38w0d when I was induced due to pre e. Could this have anything to do with my weak supply? My baby's edd is actually this Tuesday the 8th...so technically I should still be pregnant.

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hugs. it's really hard. i had SUCH a hard time with bf'ing at first and basically i was in incredible pain for the first 14 weeks. and then it was easy as pie! you just have to keep up with it, if you want.

the only thing i can suggest is that if you want to keep up with the bf'ing you just have to keep doing it. and that means sacrificing ALOT of sleeping and dealing with a fussy baby. that's what i did. to be completely honest, i'm not sure i would do that again if i have difficulty. it drove me insane. yet at the same time, i'm so glad i did. in my experience, you just have to keep putting carter to the boob. nonstop. every time he's up. boob boob boob. no formula. i would have thomas on the boob for literally hours at a time. you will make milk if you keep him at the breast. every bottle or pump you do is another reason for your breasts to not make milk.

i could not pump. never could get anything out. babies are pros at getting milk out. the pumps are not. really the only solution besides drinking a ton of water, eating oatmeal, etc is to keep him at the breast nonstop. it's exhausting though. i'm already mentally preparing myself for the fact that i won't be able to do that with a toddler running around too.

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^^^^Yes I totally agree with this ^^^^^

Boob boob boo! You can do this

And I think a beer now and then is a great idea. The yeast in it is helpful for BM production and it will help you to relax.

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:bigarmhug: Jenni no matter what you do you are not a failure! You are a wonderful loving mother doing the best she can. That is what you need to keep in mind at all times! You will feed Carter a good healthy diet be it breast milk or formula.

That being said if it's important to you and you want to do it then find a good LC, get good advice, relax, drink tons of water, nurse as much as you can handle, pump between. But don't drive yourself crazy - I've read too many moms say they struggled to bond and enjoy those first few precious weeks b/c they were fighting so hard to nurse. Nothing is more important than enjoying your time together right now and if you can make nursing work fantastic if you can't don't kill yourself, he's going to be healthy and happy regardless!

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*lurker*

Do you have a local chapter of La Leche League near you? Take a look and see when they meet or if there is anyone you can contact. They are probably a good resource and will provide some support that the LC at the hospital cannot. Best of luck! Hugs!

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I just want to second what a lot of others are saying. give up the formula and pumping. Or at least don't use the ebf as a feeding, save the pumped stuff for later. drink lots of water.
Oh and also, I say ditch the shields. They can be counterproductive unless you were properly fitted (and even then still can be bad for supply) baby needs to be directly on the breast to maximize things. Before bfing, my nipples were inverted and still go back in when I am not feeding. Everytime I start bfing again(this is my 3rd kid), I have to sort of work them back out. While in the hospital I asked a mw for tips on getting it back out, she said it just takes time.
gl!

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Yes, the pcos can have a huge affect. If you have a re, they would be the one to talk to, or ask in the pcos board. I sent you a message.

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oh i forgot to add about the flat nipples. i had 'em too. who would have thought?? lol! i agree with ditching the nipple shields but what i DID find helpful in bringing out the nipple and helping with sore nipples are breast SHELLS. try these: http://www.amazon.com/Medela-TheraShells-Breast-Shells-89930/dp/B0020OWVDS

you can get them at babies r us. they really helped me. sure, i looked like madonna but i wore baggy t-shirts so you couldn't tell.

just keep baby at the boob and skip giving him a bottle. but that's only if you really want to. if it's too much then it's just not worth it! a happy mom equals a happy baby!

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I would try blessed thistle and the fenugreek at the same time. It can be a lot of pills at first, but as your supply increases, you can decrease on the pills. I had that with both of my kids. I also have flat nipples, which does make it challenging... also, the more he nurses, the more your supply will increase... stay positive! Smile

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*lurker*

I’ve nursed my three babies exclusively, and I have to say the last one was the toughest. You’d think it would get easier.

There are a bunch of online videos on BFing that I have found indispensible, and I would recommend the entire website. It’s called “Jack Newman’s guide to breastfeeding” here: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=3&Itemid=11

There are bunch of videos and info sheets that are GREAT. I have called lactation consultants and gone to “the best” one in our city, but found that they were WAY less helpful than this internet resource (My midwife sent it to me).

Also, I second what others are saying about supplemental feedings. The problem with supplementing (even though doctors say to occasionally), is that baby then gets used to the “bottle” latch, and knows that they will get fed on the bottle, and will not try as hard to nurse at the breast. The more the breast is stimulated, the more milk you will produce.

Blessed Thistle, Fenugreek, mother’s Milk Tea are all good things to take to increase milk supply, though they can take up to a week to start having an effect.

Water, water, and more water is essential (I need to drink about a gallon a day to simply keep up when breastfeeding).

Another thing to consider is what’s called “Laid-Back Breastfeeding”. This is staring to get more common as a recommendation but some people really have never heard of it – even lactation consultants (try here: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html). It is what FINALLY worked with my 3rd baby. The idea is that all the “positions” and “latches” just aren’t very helpful – particularly with people who have larger breasts. Try lying down on your back, give up doing anything else, and just relax with your baby on his/her belly on top of you (maybe at an angle across your body, maybe lying their head on your arm next to you for support). It takes a little bit of practise, but I found it WAY better for everyone involved. One to two days of that (get someone else to do stuff, after all, your baby eating is top priority before a clean house!) and your milk supply should increase greatly. A friend of mine who works full time periodically takes a day off of work for a “breastfeeding lie-in” to up her milk production.

Lastly, the amount of milk that you pump is not necessarily related to the amount your baby can nurse. Nursing is WAY more efficient than pumping, and a decrease in pumping may simply be showing that baby has become more efficient at nursing. The only true way to find out how much baby is nursing is to do a before/after weigh on a precise scale. Next time you go to the doctor/lactation consultant, ask if you can try a before/after weight, but make sure it’s a “good” feeding.

And lastly, how is baby gaining weight? If he is back to birth weight at 2 weeks, then he’s doing fine!