Breastfeeding Issues

Updated on May 07, 2008
K.A. asks from Clarksville, TN
86 answers

My cousin had her first child about 1 1/2 weeks ago and is having some breastfeeding issues. I never had any difficulty, so I thought I would seek out others opinions. First of all, she has been told her little one has "sucking confusion" ????? Not nipple confusion, but sucking confusion. She sucks on everything, and HARD. Poor Jenna is bruised and bleeding. She had a lactation consultant come out and it does not seem to be a latching issue (which is what I suspected) It is just that she has a super sucker. Plus, her milk has STILL not come in. She is having to tube/syringe feed pumped milk (she is only getting 35ml total) followed by supplementing with formula. Jennna says that she pumps every other feed because she absolutely cannot tolerate the baby at the breast because of the pain. She is using Soothies and Lansinoh for her breasts and is basically walking around naked. She pumps for about 15 min every other feed and is drinking tea (I can't remember the name) to help stimulate milk production. She had not, as of yet, been put on Reglan.
Does anyone have any other ideas as to how to increase her milk production? She really wants to do this, but when is enough enough?
Thanks for any suggestions,
K.

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I.W.

answers from Greensboro on

Run, don't walk, to the neareast IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) or your local La Leche League. Are you in NC? Here's a link that should take you to the NC page to then choose a county: http://www.lllofnc.org/LocalGroups.html
Some of the worst breast feeding advice I got was from the free lactation consultant at my local hospital. The second worse advice I got was the breastfeeding class I took when pregnant. The BEST advice I got was from a IBCLC. The second best advice I got was from kellymom.com (especially the forum section).
Here's a link from kellymom on increasing (if even necessary) milk supply: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html
This is critical this early. This is the time her body determines how much milk to produce. If she's not careful about using any methods other than nursing baby to increase milk, she may later find herself with overproduction.
Kudos to you for trying to help her. I wish you both the best. Good luck!

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to mention nipple shields. You can find them at Babies-R-us or that type store. I had to use them in the beginning to help ease the pain and help baby latch on. They are not a permanent solution but may get her through the next few days or weeks. The more she gets baby to the breast, the better.

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R.E.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi K.,

I have a 3 yr. old so my info. about breastfeeding is a bit foggy, so forgive me. However, my experience was somewhat similar to your cousin's in that my milk took a long time to come in. In fact, I don't think that it ever truly came in. And, that's after I also did the tube/syringe feeding, taking supplements, pumping, and worrying myself sick! My daughter latched on fairly well and sucked fine for a few minutes, but then went to sleep every time she nursed. I guess I didn't get enough stimulation in the beginning to get the milk production going really well. As a first-time mom, I didn't know enough to ask for a pump in the hospital to supplement her sucking and I didn't have one at home right away (we ended up renting a hospital grade one after a couple of weeks), so I never produced much milk unless I was pumping it. Anyway, here's what I ended up going with: (after much crying, needless wringing of hands and worrying) I would breastfeed her one feeding, then pump afterwards, and then bottle feed with formula or breast milk the next time. This worked until I went back to work at three months, when I stopped pumping and put her on formula exclusively. She was fine and had no problems going from the bottle to the breast and back again, although I know some moms worry about that. Just my experience. Just remind your cousin that everyone is different and that nothing is wrong with her if her milk production doesn't increase that much. Mine never did even with all the pumping and I worried myself sick-for nothing! I have a perfectly healthy, happy, talkative, playful, 3 year old who is none the worse for wear! The important thing is that the baby have a happy and healthy mom. I know that pumping every time I fed my daughter made me so tired that I could barely see straight-I think it can help, but if I hasn't helped in a few weeks (maybe 3 or so?), it probably won't.
I also found it very helpful to have a girlfriend who breastfed her daughters come over and stay with me to help with latching on and finding different positions.

Hope all goes well!
R. E

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P.P.

answers from Charlotte on

I used "training wheels" for the first 6 months. Some people don't believe in them but I think they are a great idea!!! I work with Presby and they have been wonderful. They gave me nipple shields because my daughter was only latching properly to one breast, so I used them for both. Then one day when she was six months old she deliberately knocked off the shield and all was well on both breasts and I am still breastfeeding her at 17 months. Plus make sure you drink at least 2 quarts of water a day. GOOD LUCK!!

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S.K.

answers from Goldsboro on

Please tell your cousin that she is not alone. My youngest nursed so hard I thought she was going to eat my breast! And she BIT me very, very hard from day 1. I would put my finger in the corner of her mouth to break the suction and take the breast away whenever she clamped down on me. Eventually she stopped, but it was a hard relationship beginning. After a while, you can start to feel like the baby is trying to hurt you on purpose, even though your intellectual mind knows better. Your cousin needs support on this point, because it can make her resent the child subconsciously.

A good nipple shield may help her while she is healing. And I had an aunt who had trouble producing milk, and her doctor told her to drink 1 beer a day. She did, and had tons of milk then! If your cousin is trying to take care of the house, do the bills, etc., as she would have before, she may have trouble producing milk, too. She may need more rest. I know people who got up and started cleaning and taking full care of everything right away and their milk just dried up.

And when push comes to shove, she needs to know that if she cannot or does not want to nurse it does NOT make her a bad mother!! The love and care she gives her baby is far more important than where its nutrition comes from. Yes, nursing is best when possible, but it is not the only answer. It does not always work out, and that's okay. Every child is better off with a loving, relaxed mother with a bottle than with a stressed, suffering, heading to resentful mother offering the breast.

Tell her we are pulling for her, one way or the other.

Blessings.

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T.S.

answers from Lexington on

Hi K., I had issues with both my kids latching on and then taking a while for my supply to come in too. I did end up using a nipple shield.....I know someone else had posted they can cause problems...but the truth is, you gotta do what you gotta do to get the result you want. Tell your cousin to try one,(you can find them at target and babies r us if you can't get on from your hospital) it will definitely help relieve the pain. I used one for 8 weeks with my first, and yes she had to learn how to nurse with out it, but that only took a few days. By that time she knew where food came from and didn't have any problems. She continued to nurse until she was 14 mos old. As far as the low supply, tell her to drink water like crazy....it will seem like a ton, but if she is dehydrated she won't make milk....simple as that. I know there are some meds out there but I just made sure to drink plenty of water and that did it for me. Until my milk came in I use the tube feed supplement at the breast and while you feel like you need about 10 hands to do that, it is well worth it. Again, even though it is formula her baby is learning where food comes from. You can do the tube feel with the nipple shield too just slip it into babies mouth after she latches on, you'll know when it is in there right.
Most importantly, remind her that if breastfeeding doesn't work out her baby will still thrive and be happy. My second only got to nurse for 10 weeks until I had surgery and then we had problems after that. I felt like a failure putting him on the bottle. But now at 6 mos he is happy and healthy.
Good luck to here and I hope she is able to work things out.
T.

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D.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi K.,
Do you know if she has tried nipple shields? These may help her with the painful, sore nipples and make breastfeeding a little more bearable.
As for the low supply, maybe she should try pumping every time she feeds the baby. The amount of milk is determined by supply and demand. If she pumps more often, then she makes more milk. (Although pumping isn't as stimulating on milk supply as nursing). Also, try to get her to relax as much as possible when pumping or nursing. I know its painful, but stressing while nursing doesn't help in milk production at all.
It also took forever for my milk to come in, and I had to supplement at first. I pumped as much as I could during this time to kick start my milk. The downside to that was I didn't stop pumping when I started making enough milk, and I developed a pretty nasty over-supply problem, which is not good either. Just know that it is a delicate balance and takes several weeks to establish a milk supply....
I hope she is able to stick with it, but if not, tell her not to stress or feel guilty about it either. Nursing or not nursing is a personal choice, and each mother has to do what they think is right for her and the baby.

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H.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hello I am a birth doula and I know that is sounds strange but is does work! Drink a DARK beer. The hops in it help bring the milk. I just has a mom of 9 children do this and she could feel the milk come in as she drank the beer. Also there is new information about how long your breast milk is Drunk after alcohol. Our breasts are like straws and the milk is continuously flowing (not like the storage tank as we first thought) So when you as the person do not feel drunk any more neither is your breast milk.

H.~ mother of three, military wife and doula

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K.V.

answers from Nashville on

Try a playtex nipple (for a bottle) over her own nipple to take off pressure . And keep nursing or milk will not come in! Drink pleanty of water . DONOT GIVE UP !!! Praying for you , K.

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M.W.

answers from Huntington on

Sounds to me like she needs to feed more often, not less. If she nurses the baby at least every two hours, hopefully the baby will not suck as hard. The longer she waits to nurse, the hungier the baby will be, & therefore, the harder it will suck. I usually don't recommend nipple shields, but this sounds like she may just be one of the few who could really benefit from using them.
Since this is her first baby, I would hope her health care provider (HCP) told her how to toughen up her nipples beforehand. Sounds like she either didn't get care from a pro-breastfeeding HCP, or she didn't take the advise seriously, to toughen them up beforehand, or she had the baby prematurely, and didn't have time to toughen them prenatally. Too late for her, but anyone else reading this, should learn by her mistake, and get those boobys in shape and ready to go to work, before the big day! Your HCP or LLL should be able to show you how to do this. In general, more midwives are pro breastfeeding than doctors; take this into considering your HCP.
The first two weeks are always the hardest, if she perserveres, it will be well worth her effort! Once they have been "broken in" it will get significantly easier, and each baby gets easier too! The AAP has published a great book called "New Mothers Guide To Breasfeeding" Buy a copy, or at least get it from your local library. It is full of great advise.
M., CPM

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A.R.

answers from Knoxville on

That seems like a long time for your milk to come in. I breast fed for 13 months and it was a great experience but looking back if I couldn't it really isn't that big of a deal in the long run. My child was sick all of the time so you can throw that theory out the window. I think it is more important to spend quality, anxiety free time with your newborn. There is nothing worse then being stressed out when you have a new baby!!! If I have another one I would try to breastfeed but knowing what I know now I could take it or leave it.

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A.B.

answers from Raleigh on

My pediatrician told me to drink beer and that would make the milk come in faster. I don't like beer and don't think I drank enough to help the milk come in, but on day 4 post birth the milk came in like a dam breaking. It usually occurs at night when the body gets more rest and you wake up feeling like Dolly Pardon. Also, I used gauze soaked in a concentrated lipton tea. Take one tea bag (it must be caffeinated tea) and place in one 8oz cup of boiling water, steep the tea for several minutes. Place the gauze into the tea and then place the gauze directly over the nipple and surrounding area. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Remove gauze and let breasts air dry. This worked wonders for me when I breastfed the first of our three children. Make sure your cousin is drinking plenty of water at least 50-60 ounces a day. Hope this helps!! A. Burnette, Hillsborough, NC

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J.E.

answers from Fayetteville on

I had a similar experience. I waited for more than 2 weeks and my milk never "came in". I used the nipple shields but they can only do so much when your kid is a vaccuum. The consultant also gave me the plastic tubing and it gave him so much gas we were all miserable. I truly thought I was going to have a breakdown! Breastfeeding might work for lots but lets be honest, it's not one size fits all as most have led you to believe. We can only do what our bodies will allow. Within just 2 days of dr. browns bottles I had a happy baby. Please give my apathy to your cousin. I'm hoping it works out better for her than it did for me.

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T.S.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi!

I used Fenugreek herb from GNC and my milk came in within a couple of hours. They can tell you how much to take but I think it is like 5 or 6 at a time 3 or 4 times a day. My lacation consultant from Northeast told me to try it. She will smell like Maple syrup but it has worked for everyone I know. I still nurse my 19 mo and sometimes I will take a couple to get even more milk if he is sick and wants to nurse more. (He eats and drinks everything eles too but I am his favorite!)

I hope this helps!

T.

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C.

answers from Charlotte on

Hey K.,

Take it from someone who had every breastfeeding problem that you can name, I commend her for keeping on trying. When I say I know what she's going through, I mean it. I know what feeding a baby bloody breastmilk is because of bleeding nipples. REGLAN IS AMAZING!! Have her call her OB/GYN for it. I would demand it. I tried Fenugreek, Alfalfa, Mothers milk tea, Goats Rue, More Milk Plus Special Blend...all the sure fire tricks...but they didn't work for me. The only thing that worked was the Reglan. It does make you a little tired, but that decreases the longer you take it. I had to be on this about 2 weeks out of every month. My milk supply would stay up for about 2 weeks, then fall back again. It was a vicious cycle. But this allowed me to breastfed for 10 months...which is 9 months longer than I would have!!

Also, it sounds like she might be having problems with her let down. That's why shes not getting much with the pump...its not that she doesn't have milk...its just staying trapped up in the breast. There is an herb called black cohosh I believe. Have her go to a natural foods/herb store and get some. This should help with this. Or another natural trick is get 2 pots of water, one cold and the other as warm as she can stand it. Dip the breast in the cold for a moment, then the warm...go back and forth...this is suppose to make the breast let down. Its an old wives trick, I guess its worth a try.

One last thing, here is a website that sells many breastfeeding herbal aids...I have used products from this site!
http://www.motherlove.com/product_more_milk_special.php

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R.K.

answers from Memphis on

I also had a super sucker - was bleeding at every feeding! At the advice of a lac. consultant i took 24 hours off from feeding to allow my body to heal a little. I pumped every 2 hours to keep up. I had to supplement with formula for 3 feedings. Then i bought a silicone nipple shield. This protects the skin. Also I got a prescription for something called triple ointment from my OB. This was a lifesaver. WAY WAY WAY better than any lanolin out there. I used it for the first 6 weeks. Tell her not to give up. It is much easier now (8 months and going) and I'm so glad that i don't have to fix bottles 8 times a day! My aunt told me to drink a beer. I was still on pain meds from delivery and i would take 1 about an hour before feeding.

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A.C.

answers from Charlotte on

Both of my girls had the strong sucking also. This seems to be pretty normal as my mother said all (9) of us kids did it too. I was really sore, cracked and bleeding for the 1st 3weeks or so and then it got a lot better and it's so worth it. Most people have to go through this stage but it will be extrememly beneficial for her baby in the end.
Some suggestions to help increase her milk supply. Drink tons of water and try any one or all of these suggestions. May take a few days or a week to set in. I would tell her to keep at it.
Add almond milk, brewers yeast, green drinks, and green foods, avocados, carrot juice, goats milk, soy milk and soy foods, and unsulphured molasses, to promote milk quality and richness. Fennel seed tea has long been used to promote breast milk in lactating women. Vitex (chaste berry) extract or Mother Love MORE MILK also improves poor milk quality and promotes an abundant supply. The mother drinking fennel seed, alfalfa, red raspberry, cumin, or fenugreek teas will help keep the baby colic free(if she's having problems with that)
I hope this helps her out. Tell her the pain will go away.

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D.M.

answers from Johnson City on

I would first tell her that although it doesn't seem like it right now, the pain will go away. I nursed three babies, and every time I experienced excruciating pain for about two to three weeks. After that, it did not hurt at all. I don't exactly know why this happens, but if she can continue for just a few more weeks, it will go away. But, nursing the baby instead of pumping may excellerate that process. As far as her milk supply goes, I would try drinking more liquids, and taking Reglan. I took Reglan, and it worked great for me. I didn't have to take it that long. And the baby is probably getting more milk that she realizes. Many women cannot pump nearly the amount of milk a baby can get. I would encourage her to try and stick with it for at least two to three more weeks before she gives up on it. Because, once she gets to that point, I think she will love breast feeding. This is the point at which some women give up on breast feeding, but if they just push through, it is amazing. And the reason that breast feeding is such a huge topic is because it is way better for the babies and mothers. Breastfeeding has been proven to decrease a woman's chance of breast cancer, it helps take off the post baby weight, it helps with bonding, and it is a healthier choice for babies. So, I encourage you to encourage her, and be her cheerleader for a few more weeks. I almost quit breast feeding for these same reasons, and I didn't have much support. I thought breast feeding women were weird and pushy, too. But, when I had a c-section asleep under anesthesia, I just knew that I needed to breast feed. It really helped me to bond to my son like nothing else could have.

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J.C.

answers from Raleigh on

Hey K.,
Please tell your cousin she is not alone. My son is 3 months old and I had the same experiance. While it was happening to me, I thought I was all alone and no one else could possibly know the pain I was having (except other moms). Did she have a c-section? I did and my milk did not come in right away. It was pain like I've never felt before. I do not recommend pumping or any "tools". They say that nothing works better than the baby sucking. Drinking milk or a little beer did help increase my milk supply. I also drank lots of water and ate yogurt. I will be honest it hurt for a good 5-7 weeks, but it does get better. Your breast/nipple eventually gets tougher. I also took a lot of hot showers, as hot as you can stand it and did hot compresses.

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P.D.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi K.!

For the sake of everyone, I do hope that her milk comes in soon! I wanted to breastfeed so BAD and with my baby born premature I knew that is was very important. However, I pumped for 4 weeks straight every 3 hours drinking as much water as soon could tolerate without getting sick and my milk never did come in. Finally they told me that if it hadn't come in within the first 2 weeks, it was not going to come in. I know her frustration and disappointment but she will still be a great mother even if she isn't able to breastfeed. There will be plenty of things the rest of her life to stress her out, don't let this one do it first! Congratulations and best of luck! I hope this helps!

P.

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A.F.

answers from Nashville on

Ok. I think that the answer she does not want to hear is. She needs to breast feed frequently and make sure each breast is emptied. pumping does not totally empty the breast. It is important to breast feed more than necessary because that is what stimulates milk production when it does come in.

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K.A.

answers from Hickory on

Here is something I took to up my milk supply. You can get it at GNC, call first and make sure. It worked for me, but didn't work for my sister. But it is something to try. My doctor did recommend this. Click on the link below; I also inserted the how much/when to take part that's was the first thing I wanted to know! (oh and tons of water...no stress, the more you worry - you are causing stress, take hot showers, causes milk let down) I hope this helps! Best of luck! Take care, K.

http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/fenugreek.shtml

How Much do I Need to Take?
Fenugreek Capsule Form (580-610 mg)

2-4 capsules, 3 times per day --- 6-12 capsules (total) per day
1200-2400 mg, 3 times per day (3.5-7.3 grams/day) (3)
German Commission E recommends a daily intake of 6 grams (4)

I recommend that you only purchase Fenugreek from a reputable Herbal store, the quality is generally superior to that found in chain discount stores.

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L.V.

answers from Charlotte on

Dearest K. A,
First off I am by no means a professional, but I am however the survivor of breastfeeding 2 super suckers!!
:o)
My last coming to me at the ripe ole age of 41!! (my menopause came out with arms & legs!!) One thing I did learn is that you have to drink COSTANTLY, along with making sure you get enough calories. The drinking is the most important. My Mama (God rest her soul) would make me like milk shakes to drink as I was breastfeeding. They would contain milk, bananas, & a little sugar. Sometimes I would drink Carnation instant breakfast. I KNOW the pain only too well, but when the nipples toughen up the pain will subside. I know this may sound crazy, but if she could soak her nipples in some warm salt water it would not only relieve the soreness, it will also toughen them up. Changing positions of the baby while breastfeeding is a must, because the friction can actually cause blisters just as if a shoe were rubbing your heel, & imagine that on a nipple!! youch!! Not all Mom's can make it as it is almost unbearable, but she is through the hardest part, & she can always go on that it helps in weight loss, plus she gets the milk free!!
I hope this helps...
God bless them both....
& you too!! God bless the military as well... Thank you...
Life may not be the party we planned for, but while we are here we may as well dance!!
As ever...
L.

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G.S.

answers from Charlotte on

Not sure if this is what is happening with your cousin, but on the day my daughter was born, I started nursing and somehow she ended up "bruising" my nipples. I was in tears and so much pain for the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding that I wanted to give up. My milk supply came in just fine and I didn't pump, but I basically cried through every feeding for the first 2 weeks. Once the bruising healed, everything was just fine and we are still breastfeeding. I think having the baby nurse every hour really helped stimulate my milk production.

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J.K.

answers from Nashville on

POOR MOMMY! Unfortunately for her nipples, the best way to get milk going is actually putting baby to breast, usually anyway. Is she on any medication at all that might interfere w/her, even if it doesn't most people? Also stress makes it hard for milk to come in? Doesn't that just suck? You have to somehow force yourself to relax about the exact thing that is stressing you out so badly. I even read several tips that included visualizing milk coming in, flowing out freely. Thats all I've got, cause it sounds like you guys have done your research too. So proud of her for sticking to bfding, and I am sending much hope and prayer her way.

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V.G.

answers from Knoxville on

One thing she can do is pump every two hours to help keep her breast empty and filling up and put the milk in the freezer if she has to. For her breast being sore, no soap on the nipples when bathing, use the lanolin breast cream and if she can get in the tub now, use very warm water and lean forward and submerge her breast in the water a couple minutes and when she sits up the milk will flow. Keep the nipples dry except for the cream and when she tries to nurse, place a warm wash towel over the nipple to clean and to bring the milk to the nipple and MAKE SURE THE WHOLE NIPPLE IS IN THE BABIES MOUTH. And if she can't get the baby to nurse and she can pump the milk out at least the baby is getting the best part. GOOD LUCK

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S.R.

answers from Raleigh on

Has she tried Fenugreek? You can buy capsules at GNC, Whole Foods, Earth Fare. The main side effect is that you smell like maple syrup (apparently, that's what they use to flavor artificial maple syrup). You may also have soft stools when you first start taking it, but it should resolve itself in a couple of days. Take three capsules three or four times a day until you sweat maple syrup scent - this was the advice I got from the lactation consultants at Rex. =)

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W.M.

answers from Louisville on

My oldest daughter took forever to figure out how to nurse, but my youngest came out sucking and loved to eat!
My niece did this with her first child. She was very uptight and nervous and wasn't producing enough milk for her son. Her daughter came 12 months to day later and she had no trouble nursing her. She wasn't as nervous and uptight and more at ease. At far as her breasts being sore, I completely understand. I would cringe when Sam wanted to eat because once she figured out how to do it right, she LOVED IT and drank me raw. i want to commend your friend for being so tenacious and not giving up. Sounds like she has a lot of fight left in her and to continue seeking wisdom. Don't feel bad if the nursing doesn't work out for her. My niece beat herself up over it. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. People take it for granted that its easy and its not for everyone everytime. Peace be with her and grace abound her.
I know she is sleep deprived, could someone google some stuff for her to see what is out there to help?
W.

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A.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

I had problems with my milk supply when my son was born last October. I was meeting with a lactation consultant. She put me on two different herbs along with tea. They were fenugreek and blessed milk thistle. The fenugreek I was taking 610 mg tablets, three, 3x a day. The Milk thistle I was taking 390 mg tablets, two, 3x a day. The tea was called mother's milk and had fennel seed in it along with some other herbs. Another suggestion given to me was to make sure I was using a hospital grade pump. They told me that an at home pump would only maintain my supply not increase it. I rented the Medela Symphony. A few other random things. I used warm compresses before I pumped, (I used "Booby Tubes", there just round bags filled with flax seed you warm up). Also make sure you get the early morning pump in around 2-3 in the morning. This is when your milk supply is at its greatest. All these meausures definitely did help my milk supply, but unfortunately for me it was never enough to continue breastfeed without supplementing. It was my first child, so I don't have any other experience. I never tried Reglan, because my prolactin levels were normal. I know it can be a very frustrating time. Hope this helps a little.

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T.M.

answers from Charlotte on

The issue of the milk coming in, has your cousin tried capsules of Fenugreek, available at the GNC. My lactation consultant recommended 3-6 capsules 3 times daily with 8 oz of water, in 3 days my milk came in. After 3 days take for about 2-4 more weeks, until milk is established.
About the pain, has your cousin tried a breast shield.
My lactation consultant gave me one and it helped my newborn get used to the nipple and stay latached on longer.
They are available at Target and are made of silicone and may help with the pain.

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A.W.

answers from Raleigh on

There is an herb called fenugreek (sometimes spelled phenugreek) that is great at increasing milk production. You could probably get it at any vitamin store or whole foods, maybe. Personally, I didn't breast feed because my babies are adopted. Although one can induce lactation to breastfeed adopted babies, it takes a lot of time and preparation. I successfully induced lactation for the first baby we were supposed to adopt, but we lost her. I didn't have time to induce for my now oldest nor for my new one. While attempting to induce, I was told to take fenugreek, which I did. I also, eventually had to take hormones prescribed by my doctor. I have known many women successful with using fenugreek for increasing milk production.

Another suggestion I have is for her to pump more often and for as long as she can stand it. I don't know if she has a manual or electric pump, but if electric, she might want to gradually increase the intensity on the electric until her breasts get used to a higher suction. I'm sure her milk will come in very soon, and hopefully that helps.

Good luck to her. I feel for her. I hope her baby can decrease her suction and your cousin can breastfeed. I am a breastfeeding advocate for those who can do it, but I also know that babies turn out just fine if they are unable to breastfeed and are strictly formula fed. My babies have been fine. So if your sister is unable to breastfeed, I hope she will feel confident that she is doing the best for her baby even if she has to formula feed.

A.

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T.L.

answers from Raleigh on

I think all the suggestions have been good so far. However the thing that struck me the most was the fact that it has been 1.5 weeks and the milk has not come in...at all? My first thought was that she might still have something retained in her uterus from the birth. If there has been any placenta left behind, it is common that the milk will not come in and if it does, very little comes. How is her bleeding? Does she have any cramping? Just a thought that might be worth looking into.

T. Mother of Eight

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D.H.

answers from Charlotte on

Hey there -
My lactation consultant put me on an herbal supplement - Fenugreek. After my c-section my milk didn't come in for over a week! You can buy fenugreek at GNC. I have been taking 3 pills at each meal, 3 times per day. It has helped with my milk production. Warning - it does make your urine and your perspiration smell like maple syrup, one of the herbal side effects!
Good luck!

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K.W.

answers from Charlotte on

Tell her to try Fenugreek it is a herbal supplement available at health food stores, also is the tea Mothers Milk tea?? That helps with milk supply and as crazy as it sounds drink a Guiness a day!

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K.M.

answers from Nashville on

I can't stress how important it is to drink LOTS of water to help with production. Out of all the things I tried to increase milk production, herbs, tea, reglen, this was the one thing that made a huge difference.

Good luck!

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L.C.

answers from Raleigh on

I have breastfeed all of my kids and my last one was like your cousins baby.They told me to use a nipple shield which can be bought at babysrus.Drink alot of fluid and nurse every 2 three hours.Don't stretch it longer than that because the baby will suck on your nipple so hard like he/she has never eaten before.Its going to be tuff but it will eventually go away,keep air drying them also.Good luck,it will get better

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K.C.

answers from Charlotte on

I would suggest she call her local La Leche League Leader. They can talk to her directly and see if there is anything else she can do.

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G.W.

answers from Clarksville on

First let her know that it does hurt in the beginning. She may need to drink a beer (with a little snack) to relax her and help with the milk production (something to do with the yeast). A steamy shower will relax her and help with letdown. Does the baby take a pacifier or suck its thumb? That might help the child relax. Don't use soap on the nipples, let the milk dry on it afterwards, and relax. She is doing her best. Try nursing watching a favorite funny show or movie. Relax. I remember asking my mom (she nursed all ten of us) "is it normal for the baby to nurse constantly in the beginning" and as soon as she said "yes!" I relaxed and just went with my baby's cues. Oh, make sure that she is hydrated. ( : Good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Greensboro on

My babies were large (9+ pounds) and sucked hard. I had a hard time at first because I wasn't giving them enough nipple so they would bite it. Hard suckers need more areola. The nurse showed me how to squeeze the breast "like a cheeseburger" and make sure to get a large amount in there so they couldn't pinch it. I felt like I was going to suffocate them but it stopped the pain. The could only squeeze deeper into the breast and not pinch it. Hope this makes sense, it's hard to describe with words.

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R.S.

answers from Raleigh on

She could try taking Fenugreek, it's an herbal supplement you get from GNC. Take about 4-6 pills a day, the only side effect is your pee and sweat smell like maple syrup. It really does improve milk supply in a short time.
I feel her pain, my daughter was a super sucker too. I think it would've been less painful to hook up to a vacuum.

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D.L.

answers from Fayetteville on

There are so many things that can cause a delay in milk coming in. One of them is stress. I would recommend that she either call the La Leche League and have someone come and work with her and the baby for a week or two. Or have the Lactation Consultant continue to visit. There are some non-traditional positions that may help too. One is positioning the baby as though she is sitting next to mom facing the couch. Mom would support her head in a partialy extended position. Then for comfort you can place rolled blankets or firm pillows behind the baby so mom is not working to support the baby. Another thing that sometimes works is to try to support the chin. You do this by gently pulling the chin forward with moms bent first finger. Sometimes this will change the way the baby sucks. I reccomend that mom initiates the feedings before the baby gets to the point of crying or frusrtation. Maybe even 30 min. before the next feeding is due. Sometimes this helps. As far as milk production if mom is putting baby to the breast every other feeding and then pumping 15 min. each breast every other feeding as well as drining the fenugreek tea. She may consider puming for 20 min. And if baby only eats off one breast at a feeding she should pump the other breast at that feeding. At this age it should be every 3 hours with one 4-5 hour break in between one feeding. It can be very exaughsting but hopefully baby will learn to suck more gently and pumping won't be neccessary. I think it is very important that she gets in contact with someone who can come and give her support and help her find a w ay to make it work support is so important and she is so lucky to have your help. A few last tips. If the baby uses a pacifier take it away at least til the baby is 6-8 weeks old. This will hinder any progress. Also if the baby does suck properly sometimes, breaking the latch and restarting each time she gets to rough will teach her that she must suck the right way. There are so many suppoprt systems out there and if this is what she wants to do she needs to be surrounded with people who are going to help her. The benefits of breastfeeding are sooooooo important. So all the support will decrease her stress and regular stimulation with feeds and puming should help. I hope all goes well. I gave up because I did not have support. Please surround her with it.
D.

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M.A.

answers from Charlotte on

This will sound bad, but drink a beer. It will kick the milk into production. I was not producing much milk, my mother in law had me drink one (I hate beer). I was AMAZED at how much milk I started producing. I pumped and dumped the first batch to be safe.
As for the sore nipples. None of the over the counter stuff ever worked for me. I actually lost little bits of flesh off the top of my nipples. I had to stop nursing because my was spitting up blood.
The only thing that worked for me was "Dr Jack Newman's Nipple Cream." Have your doctor write a perscription for it, take it to an Apothocary, they will make it for you. A regular pharmacy doesn't have the stuff to MAKE it. It will either be put in a tube, or jar. It is AMAZING stuff. It healed my nipples, and stopped the pain (there is a pain killer in it). I pumped the whole time too. I was able to start nursing after I healed up.

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K.W.

answers from Asheville on

The only advice I can think of is relaxation and deep breathing exercises in order to achieve letdown. If she is stressed (which she probably is) her body is tensing up and preventing milk flow. Soft music, deep breathing and privacy while she's trying to breastfeed should help. Also, when she's not breastfeeding, a hot shower while massaging her breasts to soften the tissue is very helpful. Even if it hurts to massage them, she needs to work that soreness out.
If she's stressed, her body is stressed and the baby senses this.
Good luck to her, I know how hard it can be.

Sincerely,
K.

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P.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

i had lots of problems too. i had a lot of luck with cinnamon oatmeal. For the first 2 weeks i cried while i breast fed because it hurt so much. My son has jaws of steel!! After about 2 weeks though it just got better on its own. I don't know if 2 weeks was the magic number or what because lots of moms told me the same thing. Tell her to stick it out...it is SO worth it.

J.L.

answers from Clarksville on

I'm sorry your cousin is dealing with this but I commend her for not giving up and striving to work this out. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere yet but breastfeeding is a supply and demand. The baby's stimulation at the breast is much stronger than pumping and will produce more milk than any pump. Tell her to stop any artificial nipples and get the baby to the breast to suckle. Fenugreek & Mother's Milk Tea also work to help with supply. If she likes oatmeal that helps boost supply as well.

If this were my baby, I would contact the local La Leche League leader and try to be certain the latch is 100% correct especially if she's cracked and bleeding. I realize you posted this as a sucking issue but I know with my first, his suck was very strong and for 2 weeks I nursed him in pain, with bleeding, cracked nipples thinking it was supposed to be painful. It wasn't until my 2 week post-partum visit with my midwife that she addressed the breastfeeding issue for me and called on the lactation consultant at the center. I used a supplemental finger feeder for various feedings to give my nipples a break but I refused to use bottles. Our breastfeeding relationship survived and he nursed for 20 months before weaning himself.

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D.S.

answers from Huntington on

Make sure she is getting plenty to eat and plenty of rest. I'm not sure she should be drinking the tea. I've heard that sometimes it is harmful to the baby. Getting plenty of sleep and plenty to eat is important. She should be eating & drinking extra. SHe is still feeding for 2. A lot of times stress makes it hard to produce milk. I have successfully breast fed 3 babies. I can feel her pain. THe first two weeks were always the hardest. She might want to make sure she hasn't gotten thrush on her breasts. WHich can make them crack and bleed. Otherwise, just hang in there. THe first two weeks are usually the worst. My babies would suck so hard they would create blisters. But after 2-3 weeks it got easier.

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A.L.

answers from Lexington on

Fenugreek. It worked wonders for me.

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R.S.

answers from Huntington on

After my first child was born prematurely, I had to pump milk to tube feed him for a couple of weeks. I tried both an electric pump and a hand pump and never could get more than a very tiny amount--three or four times pumping would make one premmie bottle. But when he started nursing, he seemed to be getting plenty to eat. He was satisfied and growing. It was several months before I could pump a whole bottle, and it would take half an hour. With the second kid, I could pump a bottle in five minutes easy and it squirted like milking a cow. So she might have more milk than she thinks she has but can't let down for the pump--that's a fairly common problem. Some women don't ever seem to be able to pump very well.

As for the hard sucking and soreness, I'd imagine that if she can stick it out, her nipples will get tougher, but it'll probably take three or four weeks. Also, she should be sure that the baby doesn't have thrush, as that can cause really sore nipples. She might also try singing or talking to the baby while she nurses, because maybe if she distracts her she might not have her mind completely on nursing and might not suck so hard! If she wants to try a bottle and not have nipple confusion, a Playtex with the old style nipple is similar to nursing and harder to suck than a regular bottle. I used that when my son refused to nurse because it was easier to suck from the bottle, and he switched back.

Also, tell her to pray. That's what saved my nursing relationship with my last child. When mom and baby are both a wreck, nursing is not very successful.

One last thing. Try giving the baby a couple of ounces of formula first, then let her nurse so that she's not so hungry when she is nursing.

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J.W.

answers from Raleigh on

The herb Fenugreek. Just that worked for me... I have also talked with women who said alfalfa. There is also a blend that the lactation consultant at Rex reccomends all the time and people buy tons!(I work at Whole Foods)it is by a company called Motherlove "More Milk Plus." They make a nice nipple cream also... very similar to the ones she is using. Tell her not to give up!!

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K.B.

answers from Greensboro on

I, too, suffered for several weeks between bleeding nipples and tears streaming down my face every time I fed my daughter. I considered giving up many times, but several of my friends kept saying it will get better, just give it another week. At any rate, after 4 weeks, nursing got a lot easier. So, I hope your cousin will keep her chin up and know that it does get easier (and most importantly, less painful!)
As far as milk production goes, she may want to put her baby to breast for every feeding even if it is painful as the saliva from the baby's mouth is supposed to stimulate more milk. I also worried over my production b/c so many women told me they they were pumping like 20 ozs. at each pumping session, and I had been getting excited over 2-4 ozs. (this was not during the 1st 2 weeks, though). When I called and spoke to a lactation consultant, she indicated that I needn't stress as my body was producing exactly what my baby needed and I should be thankful that I wasn't an overproducer b/c that meant my chances of getting an infection were less likely. I hope this information is helpful to your cousin. My daughter is now 14 weeks old and thriving, but I definitely think breastfeeding is about the hardest thing I have ever done!! Good luck!!

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M.A.

answers from Raleigh on

I am a mother of a 10 month old girl and I did really good breastfeeding. The first week I drink all kinds of juices (fresh fruit juices) and my sister did a oat meal juice for me, that one really works (fallow the instructions to do the oat meal and then blend it with milk or soy milk and drink it very cold.

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R.W.

answers from Raleigh on

you could try Fennugrek. Its an herb that promotes increased lactation I used it and it really worked (although I was only trying to increase my present supply, not begin to make a supply). Its safe and can be purchased and WHole Foods or food co-op in capsule form. There is also "Mothers Milk" tea. It has fennugrek in it.

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L.Z.

answers from Raleigh on

Drink lots of water & try lipton regular teas bags on her nipples (to help with the pain). Put the tea bags in hot water first. Just be careful because the tea bags can stain. She may want to pump right after she feeds since her milk has already let down and this would let her body know that she needs to produce more milk. I found that it took my body at least three days to increase my milk supply. I know it is hard but try to be patient. Breast feeding is not as easy as the make it sound!

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S.G.

answers from Fayetteville on

K.,
Does she have a La Leche League in her area? If so, the leaders are trained and they come to your house free of charge to help with issues. Also, going to the meetings is a BIG help to mothers. You find out you are not the only one with problems and get lots of tips/help from other moms and leaders. Lots of support as well, Look up LLL on line and there should be a place to type in her city.
You said her milk had not come in yet. I am a birth doula. You did not say when the day of birth was vs. how many days since. So, I don't know if it is too long or not. 2-3 days is normal. Sometimes longer. Also, if any of the placenta has been retained in the uterus the body thinks it is still pregnant and will not produce the milk. Did she have any problems with her placenta? A physician and a lactation consultant should handle any issues with milk not coming in. If a LC saw her and did not think it was too long, then I am assuming she is just waiting for the milk on a normal time basis. Sometimes the baby will get extremely hungry right before the milk arrives. As we speak, it may already be here!
I wish her the best. Many times, breastfeeding is very difficult at first. It is well worth sticking with it unless there is a medical reason to stop, of course.
Let me know if I can be of any further help as a birth doula. We help with early breastfeeding and I have breastfed two boys myself.
S. Grant/[email protected]____.com

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C.D.

answers from Chattanooga on

I had a lot of breastfeeding issues as well. My milk didn't come in for at least a week. I had to pump a lot to get it to finally build the supply, which took several weeks. One of my nipples also hurt so badly that I would literally scream every time she nursed on that side. It turned out I had an infection, and antibiotics cleared that right up. Anyway, a nipple shield was my saving grace. Lactation consultants don't usually recommend them b/c they think they cause nipple confusion, but if it hadn't been for the nipple shield, I wouldn't have been able to breastfeed. We didn't use it forever, but it was great for getting started. I hope she figure it all out! It really is a special experience if you can just get past the first month or so.

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V.C.

answers from Wheeling on

What a plethora of advice you have evoked! LOL I read a few and would just say that the pain, anxiety, and tension she's experiencing is probably exhausting her and is a real inhibitor to the 'let-down' of her milk. She needs to quit stressing so much and recline, relax, and rest!

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K.B.

answers from Raleigh on

I can completely identify. Due to toxemia I was very late getting my milk. My son had extreme reflux and did not tolerate formula. I was so sore I bled and cried the first month of his life each time I nursed, and I nursed every two hours. I found oatmeal, water, milk, and cheesecake worked wonders for me. I did not pump, but kept gritting my teeth to get us through it. Do not worry for one second about weight and eating all those calories. I dropped 8 sizes while nursing. The baby gets all those calories! One day the pain just stopped. Also spending a day with lots of skin to skin contact lazy in bed with the baby helps. My dula offered that suggestion. Most of all, don't let anyone tell you what is right or wrong for you and your baby. This is a very personal choice.

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W.C.

answers from Lexington on

I don't know about the rest but anytime I felt like my milk production levels were insufficient I'd take fenugreek - you can get it at GMC for like $6/bottle and only need to take it for a day or two.

I wouldn't do nipple shields, btw, as it carries the same issues physically for the baby as the bottle including not developing the appropriate maxillary muscles and sucking technique.

Have her contact LLL....and maybe have the lactation consultant back out...

Good luck!

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S.O.

answers from Nashville on

Breastfeeding has become so much of hot issue these days and it just doesn't need to be. Sure, breastfeeding has some real upsides, but so does formula-feeding. Many women have trouble breastfeeding, and I think that the emphasis should be on helping the new mom to feel that whatever choice she makes is a good one (since it actually IS!). And, in this case, it sounds like your cousin isn't producing nearly enough milk anyway, so her choice is limited anyway. The last thing a new mom needs is to be is worried over feeding her baby, so if she thinks that formula-feeding is the better way for her to go, please support her. A loved, nurtured formula-fed baby will be just as healthy and smart (and as the last week's Harvard study showed, just as likely to be slim as an adult) as a breastfed baby. In your cousin's case, she may be at the "enough is enough" point. Please wish her "good luck" from me!

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J.C.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hi there,
I also had a problem with breastfeeding (he is now 2). It was so painful, but no bleeding. At his wk appt i was ready to throw in the towel, and start formula which was very upsetting. I told the doctor, and was given a referral to a ped dentist. Upon the appt..that day, the dentist told me he was "tongue tied". The frenulum underneath his tongue was attached out way too far. So far that he couldnt get his tongue out over his gumlime for a good latch. We held him down, and his simply snippid it!! Two seconds later, after a little bleeding, he latched on appropriately without any problems. I breastfed for about 9 or 10 months. The doctor was amazed I had lasted that long, apparently it was the worse he had seen in a long time....Good Luck to your cousin!

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S.W.

answers from Johnson City on

You might refer her to www.bfar.org
BFAR (Breast Feeding After Reduction) is a good resource for info on low milk production, galactogogues, etc. You can go view the forums as a visitor. I know a lot of the moms there swear by fenugreek and fennel and a few other things.
Good Luck.

S.

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A.A.

answers from Lexington on

Drinking as much water as possible, eating oats, and having one dark beer a day help milk supply too. She should definitely call the local La Leche League leader to come out and help her! They are free and always give excellent advice. www.llli.org has a list of all leaders with phone numbers!

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A.C.

answers from Asheville on

God bless her for continuing. Your cousin's milk production should be in, it is just that when you pump for some of us, we see very little milk. My son was a sucking machine, my nipples we bleeding too. She can not wash them, they need to air dry, Lansinoh on them by the buckets, IF she wants to put that baby back on. Every baby is different. & every mom too. The pain might be so much that the stress of it is holding back the milk production. IF, she does it again, recommend these thing, a warm/hot shower for her before, a non alcoholic beer, some lavender oil for smelling for both, and to catch him when before he gets really hungry. I wish her luck.

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S.B.

answers from Greensboro on

My problems were different from your cousin's in nature, but I also experienced terrible pain on my second round with breastfeeding. My first child was breastfed with no trouble for 13 months. Then, I had TWINS!

One twin did not open her mouth widely, so I quickly developed sores like you describe. Also, because two babies needed to nurse every two hours each, I might as well have had one "super-sucker" like your cousin does.

My experience:
1. Day 2 after birth - pain and tenderness began; bleeding happened later
2. Day 5 - began exclusive pumping and no direct breastfeeding; healing begins; used the weakest setting on the pump for 8-10 minutes; 1-2 oz. formula needed per twin per day, for 2-3 days
3. Day 10 - lactation consultant arrived; began increasing strength of breastpump; increased pumping time to 12 minutes
4. Day 14 - began directly breastfeeding a little, with the protection of a nipple shield for only 2-3 days. Important: this is not a breast shield, but a flexible, delicate nipple shield (I got mine at the hospital lactation store).
5. Not sure of the schedule now: By about Day 20, both twins were exclusively breastfeeding (no pumping, no formula)
6. Days 24-28: Twins experienced growth spurt; needed 2-3 oz. formula per twin per day.
7. Day 28: Diagnosis of thrush, which unfortunately never went away because it coincided with mastitis (and antibiotic therapy). The best doctor around was even perplexed through 4 months of treatment.
8. I had 55-60 oz. of milk per day, despite these problems, especially the early problems. Keep trying!

What you might have her do:
1. Stop nursing until the thought of putting the baby to the breast is not terrifying! Terror will absolutely interfere with milk production--mother must be able to avoid anxiety.
2. Make sure that your cousin is using a breastshield with the pump where her nipple never touches the shield/funnel itself; Medela pumps can be fitted with a larger opening/channel for the nipple (maybe other brands can, too).
3. Pump on the lowest setting, increasing minutes and strength only if it doesn't hurt. Even 5 minutes at low strength every 2-3 hours will promote supply.
4. Use a nipple shield for no more than a few days, when the breasts are better and the baby is first reintroduced. Don't keep it on longer, or the breast will not get the stimulation it needs to produce more milk.
5. Make sure that she is not allergic to lambswool; Lansinoh has a natural allergen that is also in lambswool.
6. Put her Soothies in the refrigerator between uses. Yes, you can rinse them briefly under tap water. Don't use them if they are tearing off newly formed scabs on the nipples.
7. To avoid walking around totally naked, she can try to tie very old-fashioned cotton cloth diapers around her. If not, a man's undershirt, the older the better, may be secured with safety pins so that the shirt doesn't rub.
8. If your cousin gets an infection, try a very few minutes of applying very large cabbage leaves on the breasts. Cabbage will take away your milk if you leave it on (believe me, I force-weaned at 5-6 months). But for a few minutes, it will treat an infection.
9. Make sure that only water touches her breasts during bathing (i.e., no soaps or cleansers)

I learned that the cells that make the milk are grown to meet the demand of the baby in the first two weeks of life. Your cousin needs to reduce her pumping time, increase her pumping frequency (12 per day), and take the baby off the breast, so that she can heal quickly and begin building her milk supply.

Also, even though the first two weeks are critical, I had enough milk for TWO babies, even though I spent 10 of the first 14 days on a pump at minimal strength/power. Your cousin just needs to heal first, and the milk will come.

You know, I refused to give my first baby formula. Twins showed me that I just had to accept the help that formula offered me. A hospital nurse with older twins told me, "No baby will refuse breastmilk for formula--breastmilk tastes better!" That gave me incredible comfort in my worst times. If your cousin heals, she can build her supply and her baby will happily return to the breast.

Please don't give up yet. Breastfeeding can be not only wonderful, but more convenient. When she doesn't need the pump for every feeding, she'll be thrilled, and the cleaning hassle will go away. Think about all the bottles that she won't have to plan for when she goes out on errands later on!

I have written to a friend who is taking a breastmilk-promoting herbal supplement; she is now breastfeeding her fifth child and has found her supply to be greater than ever before. This youngest baby was 16 pounds at 6 weeks of age. If she writes back with the name of this preparation, I'll write again. I do remember that another friend mentioned fenugreek tea to promote milk.

Keep up your hope and put the baby back on the breast when mommy doesn't fear the pain! Happy healing! You can do it!

Best,
S.

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B.B.

answers from Greenville on

If her milk in not in after 8 days, she needs an ultrasound to check for any retained placenta. Even a small piece left will inhibit milk production.

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F.M.

answers from Raleigh on

That sounds really hard. All I can think of is to eat oatmeal -- that seems to increase my production somewhat.

I had no major problems with breastfeeding myself except some soreness and pain for about 3 weeks. It used to make my toes curl when the baby latched on. But it did go away. I really hope things get easier for your friend.

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S.D.

answers from Nashville on

The tea may be the problem if it has caffeine in it. Getting plenty of rest and drinking fruit juice helped me produce more milk. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has great lactaction consultants. It might be worth calling them to get their opinion.

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A.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi, I had similar issues and got a great book, Herbal For The Childbearing Year. I highly recommend getting that book for her. Fenugreek pills work, just don't overdo it or you'll smell like maple syrup. What was best for me was a little unfiltered beer. I know that it's not recommended , but it works wonders and you do not need to drink a lot, maybe half a beer and then wait an hour or 2. preferably a local brewer or some Sierra Nevada. It is actually the hops in the beer. The tea your cousin is drinking could be the culprit, in some women those herbal teas have the opposite effect. Good Luck and hope this helps

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B.B.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi K.,

An old remedy given to me by my wise older sister who received this remedy from her doctor:
Find a good comfortable rocking chair and a good malt liquor beer. Drink this beer because it well make your milk taste good for the baby and it will also relax you to help your milk let down. I also found that playing my favorite music helps. Malt is good food, so are hops. The baby is sucking so hard because he/she is trying to get your milk down. Just relax and drink a nice malt beer and enjoy your baby time. It goes fast so make the most of it!!

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S.M.

answers from Goldsboro on

I suggest a book called The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins. It was a lifesaver when breastfeeding my children. Also, try the BabyCenter website they have good info on different breastfeeding problems including low milk supply. When I had my third baby my breasts were so swollen that the milk wouldn't let down. Could this be a problem or do you think it is sore nipples? S.

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C.P.

answers from Nashville on

K.,

There has to be something wrong as to why your cousin has not had her milk come in. I am a mother of 3 and you have to let the baby nurse so that they get all the clostrum and then the milk will come in but that should have all ready happened with in about 3 days of delivery. When she pumps is what she is pumping does it look like milk or is it clear like water? She may be one of these mothers who is not fortunate enough to get to breastfeed her baby but tell not to feel bad alot of mothers can't or just don't have enough milk to feed their child. I was one of those mothers. My milk only lasted about 10 weeks and then we had to go to formula. That was heart breaking for me. I hope my advice helps.

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A.C.

answers from Louisville on

A breastfeeding mom just needs to relax. When I was breastfeeding it took an adjustment period. My Pediatrician at the time recommended drinking some wine to relax. After an infection, applying tea bags to those VERY painful nipples and taking an antibiotic I had to be stubborn to keep nursing. OUCH! I nursed both my youngest for 2 years. I want to tell you the pumping was NOT for me at all, you need to keep the milk going by having the baby on your nipple not a machine! I tried it at first both times. The best thing to do if possible is to keep that baby with you at night and feed them about every 2 hours. Support from siblings, hubby and others is important at this time, and if people are selfish and unhelpful they need a boot. You not only bond more deeply with the child you nurse, but you don't have to get up in the night to do anything at all if they are in the middle of the bed with you, between you and your mate (no danger of rolling out!) And my sex life was just as good or better at this time. I laid on my side usually with the baby cradled under my arm and while some people were advising me not to do this with fears of one kind and another, I got used to it. A mother's instincts are strong, even while she sleeps, and these are the happiest memories of my life. One baby started nipping me so I had to stop nursing at about 2, and the other was ready for a cup when I stopped. They are lean healthy children, 13 & 15. I think nursing them was the best thing I ever did, my older children I was not able to nurse because I had a selfish uncaring husband, and with maturity I was able to think more for myself and overcome the lack of support from him. My older kids are 23 & 25 and we are not close like I am with my younger children. I love them all but that early closeness gave the younger ones a deep feeling of security that is amazing, while the older 2 seem to lack. While they were babies they could turn over and mom was right there!!

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R.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

This will sound crazy, but it actually helped me produce more milk, from 2oz in each breast to 10oz out of one. Papaya shake: Half fresh papaya (clean out seeds, take skin off, and cut to bendable pieces) Half can of evaporated milk, Sugar for taste and ice; Blend all in a blender to make a shake. You have to do this once a day and your cup will runth over.

Good Luck and God Bless

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D.T.

answers from Raleigh on

I would suggest talking to the lactation consultant again before doing anything. I took Reglan, but not until my daughter was about 6 months old.

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J.H.

answers from Greensboro on

I've breastfed 2 children (one of which I still am). You've gotten some outdated info. Tell her to go to www.kellymom.com or www.babycenter.com and look at the breastfeeding boards.

I would recommend nursing as often and long as possible. Babies trigger milk production best. She should be drinking lots of WATER and getting lots of calories and as much rest as possible. I know, it's hard when they are up all night. But, if she could pump for one feeding and have someone else give baby the bottle, she could sleep for a few consecutive hours which would help her make more milk. Also, oatmeal works well to increase supply.

For sore breasts I used pure lanonlin. You do not need to 'toughen' your nipples up. Also, they make these things called soothies that I lived by. Just make sure to change them often if leaking so she doesn't get an infection.

Hope this helps. I sympathize. It does get better after about 6 weeks. Then, it's a piece of cake.

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J.M.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi K.--
It's great your cousin is trying to make it work--it is well-worth the effort:) I, too, had some issues and did not enjoy breastfeeding until my baby was about 8 weeks old. The intense sucking may be her baby's way of trying to increase her mom's milk supply. I know you mentioned Jenna is drinking a tea--is she taking fenugreek? I was told to take this herb (in a capsule form) by my midwife and the pediatrician also recommended it--it is very safe (and it makes your milk smell like maple syrup!). After taking it a day or two, my milk came in. I also continued to pump in between feedings (exhausting) to try to increase the supply, but it is not as effective as the baby's sucking. I too had to supplement for the first week--those first few weeks are not easy, especially when your breasts are so sore. I felt very happy to have continual support and encouragement from my husband, who knew how important it was to me. After I got over that initial hump, I was able to nurse until my daughter was 14 months and I loved every minute...
Good luck to her!!

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S.B.

answers from Jackson on

My son is 2 1/2. when he was born I wanted to breastfeed, and he did great. But at my 2 week checkup, my dr. who was apparently an idiot, spoke to me about my plans for birthcontrol. I told her i would likely get back on the depo if i could do so and still breastfeed. She gave it to me that day. over the next several days, my milk started drying up. I tried everything, and my aunt told me about an herbal supplement that you can get in many health stores. It is suppose to bring the milk in/back or increase the supply. for me it didn't work, but I later found out that it was because I should not have been given the depo until at least 6 weeks after so my milk would have been fully in. I can't remember the name of it (sorry) but I think it starts with an f or the f sound (ph). You could probably google it and come up with it. It was a little expensive, but if she really wants to breastfeed, it may be worth it to her.

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C.L.

answers from Charlotte on

fenugreek is a supplement at GNC - talk to the OB about it.

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R.D.

answers from Fayetteville on

I had to use formula for the first week of my daughters life (child #3) because my milk had not come in yet. I didn't even try to bf because of the pain on the nipples. She was extremely hungry and I did not want to associate pain with bf. Encourage her to relax about it and maybe even take some time off. It will come when it comes. Did she have induced labor? That is a huge cause of this problem. Good luck helping her.

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C.M.

answers from Hickory on

I am not an expert or anything with this kind of thing, but I did breast feed my three daughters. I can say that I was blessed with plenty of milk but I had my share of problems too. But to the problem your cousin is having, I think that she should try bein near the baby when it cries. The reason I say that is because of the baby-let-down, there are also a few other things that can cause this. Here is a great link that has some very useful info: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/pregna... I you have anymore questions tho, I would be glad to help. Just IM me [email protected]____.com.

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D.C.

answers from Greensboro on

Rest, rest, rest. An exausted new mother won't produce much milk. Plenty of liquids...lots. The breast will go numb after a few minutes of nursing if she can get through that. Has she tried a nipple shield? The baby is much more efficient than pumping which will help her milk to come in quicker. Hope this helps.

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A.H.

answers from Raleigh on

Dear K.,

Your poor cousin! I had a very similar experience with breastfeeding my first child. He was a super sucker. I found that nipple shields were very effective. They protected my breast and he had no difficulty sucking through them. I wound up having breast abscesses that had to be drained surgerically. I hope that does not happen to your cousin. I found that getting as much sleep as possible, drinking water and only water, really increased my milk production. I would encourage her to try and get some extra sleep. Can you look after the baby while she sleeps? I hope it helps! The only other advice I could give your cousin is that happy parents have happy babies. It was a very big deal when I had to give up and bottle feed my son. I agonized about it. It was such a waste of worry. I went on to successfully breastfed my two daughters with no issues at all. Tell your cousin to listen to her instincts and be happy! :) A.

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T.R.

answers from Lexington on

Hi K.,
I also had this problem a couple of years ago with my daughter. She was early and C-section baby and my milk had not come in either. I had the cracked bleeding nipples and thought my daughter would become a vampire because of all the blood she was taking in.
My advice is to not give up, listen to the counsel and talk to your doctor. It will get easier.
I know this probally doens't help I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Sorry

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W.S.

answers from Louisville on

Hi K., My lactation consultant also suggested that I take the herbs Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle each 3 times a day and it really helped to increase my milk production. I also think that if Jenna makes sure that she drinks alot of water it may help. Also, if Jenna is a bit bustier, my sister-in-law who is now producing an overabundance of milk also discovered that by purchasing larger suction cups for the breast pump, rather than keeping the standard size, really helped.

Hope this helps.
W.

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C.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi,

I breastfed both my babies. The first one was a little harder because I guess that's when you learn most. By the fourth month my milk supply started diminishing. My lactation consultant advised me to take the herbal supplement "Fenugreek." You can find it at stores like GNC stores that sell herbal supplements. You won't find it at regular grocery stores. Tell her to ask her lactation consultant about it. I was advised to take 4 pills 4 times a day until my milk supply increased and then slowly drop it down to 1 pill 3 times a day. That being said, I'm the mom who even though I consider myself to be a caffeine junky quit drinking coffee altogether throughout my pregnancies, wouldn't take ANYTHING no matter how severe my allergies or colds, etc. got. My lactation consultant assured me that since this is an herb it is absolutely not harmful whatsoever.

Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from Hickory on

I'm so sorry to hear of Jenna's problem. I took the herbs fenugreek and milk thistle when needing to increase my milk supply, and they worked.

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R.V.

answers from Raleigh on

i have a couple of suggestions. when my 4 month old was born, the nicu gave him formula and stretched his little belly. he was accustomed to that instant gratification. we ended up having to tape the tube which ran from the syringe to my breast. this allowed us give him donor breast milk until my milk came in. they may already be doing this but my hope would be that the baby would not suck as hard as long as he/she is getting the milk from the syringe when he/she sucks.

i have also just started taking fenugreek seed supplements to boost my milk supply. it has helped greatly. my son's pediatrician suggested taking 2-3 610mg capsules 3 times a day. he said the capsules have a higher concentrate than the tea. he said the tea doesn't have enough of the seed in it to make a difference, unless you drink A LOT. i purchased the capsules at the vitamin shoppe across the street from southpoint mall. my coworker had cracked nipples and her healed when she sat by the window and let the sun shine on her breasts. luckily she lives in the country.

good luck to your cousin!

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