C.K. asks from Clinton, IL on August 23, 2008
Breast Feeding - Clinton,IL
My son was born on July 15th of this year so hes 4 weeks old. I started nursing him right away and he was doing great. But then his jaundice levels got really high and was placed on a light vest and my milk had not fully come in so we were told to give him so much formula a day. So within a few days his levels came down and he went back to nursing but it wasnt as successful and he was constantly crying. So we noticed he had a white tounge and was diagnosed with thrush. So then once again we went back to pumping and giving a bottle. At that time i was only pumping about an ounce at a time so he was constantly still hungry. Now the that thrush is gone he refuses to nurse and will only use a bottle, which is ok with me because he still gets the breatmilk. We started taking fenugreek to increase milk and alfalfa. Now i get 2 ounces, 2 1/2 each time if i am lucky but he is always still hungry after that so we give him formula as well. As a total he gets 16-18 ounces of breast milk aday and then drinks maybe 10 ounces or more of formula along with that. I use a pump in style medela double pump but i was wondering if anyone out there had advice as to how i can get more milk for him. I really dont want him on anymore formula then we have to give him but i cant let him cry in hunger either. Any advice would be much appreciated. I called the lactation consultant at the hospital where he was born and she just said to keep trying and keep trying to offer the breast and that my milk would come in more. But its been 4 weeks and he completely refuses the breast now. I am just so frustrated and feel like i cant provide for him.
J.K. answers from Chicago on August 25, 2008
I also recommend getting a house call from a lactation consultant. I believe Barbara Hardin does them ###-###-####).
J.F. answers from Chicago on August 24, 2008
I was unsuccessfull at breastfeeding my son (tried for 3 months,then formula) but I was able to breastfeed my daughter until she was one. I found that my milk readily "flowed" when I pumped while she was hungry and crying or eating a bottle from dad while I looked on. Otherwise the act of pumping was very difficult and produced such small amounts of milk that it wasn't worth the time spent doing it.
P.D. answers from Chicago on August 23, 2008
it might help to see a lactation consultant to get him back to the breast.
additionally switching to a hospital grade pump may help
P., RLC, IBCLC
Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions
S.M. answers from Chicago on August 24, 2008
You are doing so great. You can take a supplement of Brewer's Yeast to help your milk supply come in. You can also pump right before a feeding so that the letdown comes faster - this may be what is frustrating him. Your lactation consultant is right - you just have to keep offering him the breast. Make sure that you don't have any latch problems, you can tell this by watching his cheeks, they shouldn't look like they are sucked in or dimpling. You may want to try a nipple shield until he can get back in the rhythm.
You are an awesome mommy!
S.X. answers from Chicago on August 23, 2008
I heard oatmeal, water water water water. maybe try pumping more frequently??
K. answers from Chicago on August 23, 2008
Congrats on your baby! Sounds like you've had a rough start with nursing, but your baby is still very young and you have lots of time to figure it out. THE BEST thing you can do is get him nursing again - at the breast. Your LC was right - offer him your breast EVERY time he eats. You can manually stimulate your nipples to get your let-down and then offer it to him - he may be more likely to latch on if he tastes the milk right away, which is what he's used to with the bottle. I would especially make sure I offer him the breast when he's sleepy - he may latch right on without even thinking about it. Consider even dedicating the better part of a day to this (some women call this a "nursing holiday") - take your shirt off, spend a lot of skin-to-skin time laying around with your baby for the day. A day or two of doing this can work wonders for a nursing relationship. (I know it's near impossible to find the time to do it with a toddler around, though!)
Pumping so much is very stressful for you I'm sure, and it means less time that you're holding your baby. Plus no pump can do as good a job at stimulating your milk supply as a nursing baby. So if you can get him nursing again it will pay off - more supply, more time with your baby, fewer bottles to clean etc. Totally worth it. In the mean time I suggest joining the Yahoo group "Pumpmoms" - the ladies there range from at-work pumpers to exclusive pumpers and can offer you some great advice and support.
C.F. answers from Chicago on August 24, 2008
I advise going to a lactation consultant...one in a private practice. At least it was a MUCH better experience for me. Here is who I used along with several friends and families memebers - We love her and she will help you and your little man get back on track. She is a miracle worker!!!
Breast N Baby Lactation: Carol Chamblin ____@____.com
Best of luck!!! Don't give up!!!!
C.R. answers from Chicago on August 25, 2008
Congratulations on your new little miracle. I would suggest contacting Le Leche League. They are very helpful with breastfeeding tips or have a lactation consultant come into your home. I know Be By Baby in Chicago has a lactation consultant who comes into the store to give advise to Moms. I'm unsure of the days, times or cost.
You won't be able to pump as much as he is able to suck out if he were nursing. When you try nursing him don't wait until he's crying for food or really hungry. Also try to get your milk flow going by pumping or squeezing milk out with your hand. This way your milk is already flowing and less frustrated for him. I would try using Playtex nurser bottles. I know a lot of moms use advent myself included but the milk flows out very quickly unlike the flow from our breast and I think that is what also is frustrating for babies once they get used to the bottle.
I hope this is helpful. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing but it doesn't always come naturally. It takes patience, perseverance and determination so don't give up! There have been many times when I thought of giving up or stop breastfeeding my daughter. It does get easier.
M.K. answers from Chicago on August 24, 2008
My son is almost five months old, and we've been down a fairly similar path. He didn't have jaundice, but he did have some other circumstances around his birth that necessitated similar choices.
First of all, please be easier on yourself. Breastmilk is important, but there are lots of important things you are doing to take care of him and your family. It was actually my OB who said, "Life is short. Do what you can, and stop beating yourself up."
Breastfeeeding is like a dance, and you both have to be good at it for the relationship to work. You are experiencing issues on both sides. You are doing everything you can to help your side, but it may be too difficult for him to get through this. Unfortunately, the only way to get him going is probably to take away the bottles. The theory is that will force him to get his food from your breast, but that will deprive him of food for (hopefully only a short) time until he figures out how to do it. My guy was really small, and I did not have the nerve to do it. When he was around six weeks, I talked to our ped and LC and decided what was important was getting as much breastmilk as possible into him. For us, that meant spending the time pumping rather than nursing and freed me up to enjoy more time with him and nuture him in other ways. That was us - you need to decide what works best for your entire family.
BTW - your milk is at higher levels than mine was at this point in time. It sounds like you've got a big guy or a big eater.
A couple of things that helped me:
--Adding Blessed Thistle - The theory behind More Milk Plus is the interaction between Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle helps, but it's really expensive, and I found the generics of the two herbs actually worked better for me. Make sure you are taking enough - you have to be able to smell the fenugreek on your skin (usually in your sweat) to know you have enough in your body.
--I did find the hospital grade pump (Symphony) worked better than Pump in Style. It's also more comfortable.
--Frequency - the best way to increase your milk is to pump every two hours.
--Make sure you treat yourself for thrush. You can put some of his medicine on your nipples or take diflucan. Make sure you sterilize your pump parts and bottles and wash your clothing and bras every day. Acidophilus powder also worked better for us than Nystatin. Wet your clean finger, dip it in the powder, and let him suck it off. For you, just mix it in some other liquid - it's really pretty tasteless.
--Some helpful websites - Drjacknewman.com and www.mother-2-mother.com/ExclusivePumping.htm. The later will have ideas about getting your milk up through pumping. A lot of people recommend Kelly Mom - their bottle feeding guidelines didn't work for me, but there is a lot of helpful information there.
Wow - my answer turned out longer than I thought. It's because I've been in your situation and felt exactly the same emotions. I can't imagine going through it with a two year old who needs and deserves a lot of attention as well. I'll say it again- please be easier on yourself. Remember nursing is only one of the things you do to love and care for him. Any breastmilk you can give him is good, and the formula won't hurt him.
Good luck with your choices - anything you decide will be right for Caleb.
C.H. answers from Chicago on August 24, 2008
Hi there, There are experts out there who can help you through this -- it does not sound like your lacation consultant is really providing a level of support that is constructive. I HIGHLY reccomend a consultant I have worked with. She is professional, proactive and has many many years of experience. Her name is Janet Talmidge and her web site is http://lactinv.com/about_us.php. She is located in the west suburbs, but she does do houscalls.
K.H. answers from Peoria on August 24, 2008
I understand what your saying. We too had a hard start with our little guy. There are several different things we did and with each thing we saw better results. I ate oatmeal daily and sometimes twice a day, took fenugreek and mothers tea( you can find it at any health food store or organic grocery) and pumped every one to two hours. I also drank water like it was going out of style! it sounds like you are very determined and so was I, keep on plugging and your little man will do great! But don't allow him to have a bottle anymore and he will get hungry enough and will nurse.
A little about me: SAHM of a wonderful 7 month old little man and daycare provider to 5 wonder children