R.D. asks from Richmond, VA on January 25, 2010
3Rd Baby and Trouble with Breastfeeding, Please Help!!
Hey ladies! I'm going to make this as short and sweet as possible... I had NOOOO problem nursing my first 2 children when they were infants... this time, I feel like breastfeeding was dooming from the start. My son had to get his frenulum clipped because it was too far forward (which is pretty common, he has had no side effects and is able to nurse). He lost 10% of his body weight the first week home because my milk hadn't come in 10 days after delivery... I bawled my eyes out the first time I gave him a bottle, because i KNEW i wasn't giving him enough, he was starving, he sucked the bottle down in SECONDS... one month later, and I'm still not producing enough! I will feed him on both sides, then pump what's left... it's never much, maybe 2 oz from both breasts. My son refuses to take a bottle from ME and only me... I've been supplementing with formula... I just want to be able to breastfeed my baby!! I drink tons of water and maintain a healthy diet... I honestly think the stress of everyday life is hindering my ability to lactate... any suggestions?? Or has anyone been through this?? Looking for anything to help me feel a little better :( THANKS LADIES!!
So What Happened?™
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I would not believe the responses from everyone... I wish I had the time to write to everyone and personally thank them. Just the kind words and encouragement gave me the boost I needed (SERIOUSLY NEEDED) to maintain my confidence to continue to breastfeed. For a week I continued to pump after feeding the little guy, and supplemented with formula only when absolutely necessary. My persistance paid off... he will finally take a bottle from me when he has to! But best of all, my milk supply is up up up... We went to the pediatrician today and he's gained 3 1/2 pounds in 2 weeks, so something is working! AND he's finally starting sleeping at night!... he'll wake up once around 3am or so, then he's asleep until we're all up in the morning. Thank you all sooooo much for all the encouragement, stories, and suggestions, it all helped SO MUCH! THANKS :)
S.T. answers from Washington DC on January 26, 2010
poor stressed mom. i'm so sorry this is happening. but you ARE breastfeeding your baby! if you are nursing him at all you get to enjoy that time with him, and by supplementing you know that he is getting enough all round to meet his needs. PLEASE try to appreciate yourself for how terrific this is, and don't fritter away precious baby time by stressing over something that is not your fault and that is not negatively impacting his life in any way at all.
C.H. answers from Washington DC on January 27, 2010
K.W. answers from Washington DC on January 26, 2010
I'm so sorry to read of your trouble with breastfeeding! I am wondering if you have had a blood test to check your hormone levels?
You seem very informed about the benefits of breastfeeding and the lifestyle that goes along with it; it's the only thing I can think of for a healthy, consiencious, experienced Momma. I do hope you find the answer and would love to stay abreast (no pun:) of your progress!
M.L. answers from Columbus on January 25, 2010
Have you tried using the initial phase of the pump that stimulates the nipples more often, not when your baby feeds, to help your body think it needs to produce more milk. Call the La Leche league, or your local hospital lactation consultant. They should be able to answer any questions you have and help you produce more milk. They are the experts. Let them help you clear your mind to know you are doing the best you can for your baby. Good Luck!
J.S. answers from Washington DC on January 26, 2010
First thing...know that you are doing the best you can. One thing that you already said that you know is possibly hindering your milk flow is STRESS. Stress does seriously affect ones milk production. When my son was an infant, I also had trouble producing milk. He was exclusively breastfed & I'm a vegan so introducing formula was my VERY last resort. Thankfully, I received some information about herbal remedies. Increasing your water, as you've already mentioned, is definitely a very good thing to do. If you can, eat at least a bowl of oatmeal each day. You can also eat fennel seeds. I used to take whole seeds by mouth by the teaspoonful (about 2 a day). It wasn't that pleasant...but not too bad either - and my breath sure was fresh! Also, the main thing that seemed to help was the herb fenugreek. You can find it ground and in capsules. I ended purchasing it ground and filling my own veggie-caps. I was instructed to take anywhere from 6-12 capsules a day - until you begin to smell like maple syrup. Yes...you will actually smell sweet like syrup. It was kind of intoxicating for my husband! Anywho - I did all of these things along with getting more water & rest while maintaining a proper diet AND pumping every chance I could. After he fed at the breast...at night right after he went to sleep...in the middle of the day. Whenever I could. And while I was still home with him, I made sure to put him to the breast every 2 hrs. on the clock. After all of this, I wouldn't say that I got to a place where my milk was spilling all over the place, but these things certainly got my milk up to a much better production level. My son was able to be exclusively breastfed for the first 7 months of his life. I wish you the best with your baby - I'm sure everything will work out for you.
E.S. answers from Richmond on January 26, 2010
I was not producing enough and was having to supplement too. My lactation consultant and the nurses at the hospital both recommended Fenugreek (a herb you you buy in pill form - I bought at GNC). I took for 10 days and never had to supplement again.
L.V. answers from Washington DC on January 26, 2010
Fenugreek will make you smell like maple syrup but its worth it. Don't freak out when you start smelling your armpits and wonder how syrup got on you there, lol. It's just the Fenugreek =-)
There is a pill version and a tea version. I used both when my son was 3 months and I thought I wasn't producing enough for him. I broke down and lost it and was very upset at myself for causing the issue, so I thought, by supplementing too much. Everything was fine though, he was just ramping up for his growth spurt and his demand had increased. So of course there is some flux with the supply and demand but Fenugreek helped me get back on course with a lot less tears.
K.G. answers from Detroit on January 25, 2010
Wow you have really had a rough start! You are right that BFing is the best thing! Have you tried using a supplumentor that you tape to your breasts? Sorry I can't remember the name of it right now. That will help with your supply.