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  1. #1
    Senior Member threeforme's Avatar
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    Default Um, Hecate, Dressage Mom...

    OK I thought I had emotionally dealt with all this stuff, but that other thread about weaning brought it all back.

    This is a bit long, so bear with me (and I'm sorry in advance for the ramble)....

    I've always had a low milk supply and I can't figure out why. I've had my latch checked and it's fine, drink nursing tea, took domperidone, blessed thistle and the like. But with every child I've always started my period at two months and my supply has always dipped at four months and I've busted my butt to keep it up.

    Some history:
    When DS was born he had low blood sugar so the nurses told me I had to give him formula or else he'd risk having seizures and end up in NICU. Of course, I was a first time mom, didn't really feel confident in myself, and so supplemented him. My doula encouraged me to ask the nurses to use the tubes so that he still associated my breast with food, which I did. Once we got out of the hospital I was still a bit unsure and continued to supplement him. My mom never nursed us (she had to go back to work when we were three weeks old) and would sit next to me when I nursed DS and tell me she really wished I wouldn't breastfeed (oh yeah) until I asked her to leave the room so I could nurse in peace. When the health nurse came to the house and said he was thriving and didn't need to be supplemented at all, so I stopped. Everything hunky dory until four months when he started losing weight. I felt terrible, so I had to supplement him again, started fenugreek, blessed thistle, eventually domperidone, was nursing him like crazy and pumping with an electric pump in between. I did that for two months but my supply was just gone and he was getting angry at the breast. I was sooo upset, cried, went through an emotional roller coaster and when he was six months, I finally broke down and stopped nursing. My breasts were never engorged after that.

    With ODD I didn't supplement her at all in the hospital. DH gave her a bottle of formula once when I was going a bit loopy (OK, I went insane) because she was up all night and just as she'd fall asleep DS would wake up, so I was literally only sleeping 30 mins in 24 hours. DH came home from work one day, sent me upstairs for a nap and when I woke up with engorged breasts, he told him he had given her a bottle so I could sleep a bit longer. I was upset, but also grateful for the sleep. She didn't get a bottle after that, but still, got my period at two months, and I was able to keep my supply for six months, but then tanked and the whole thing that happened with DS started with her. So at six months, frustrated and upset, I reluctantly switched her to formula.

    YDD is EBF, but I STILL got my period at two months and everything is happening the way it did with the other two. My doctor says it's hormonal and nothing I'm doing wrong. Could this really be the reason? I get weepy thinking I won't be able to nurse her for at least a year. I'm drinking three litres of water a day, eating oatmeal, drinking nursing tea two to three times a day. My latch is fine, I've had it checked, we co-sleep so she nurses lots at night and I'm feeding her on demand. I guess I just thought I wouldn't have these issues with her and I still do.

    What else can I do? I feel so betrayed by my body. I thought I was over all of this but that other thread about getting away and weaning brought up all these emotions in me again.

    So sorry this is soooo long.

    If you've managed to read this far, thank you.





  2. #2
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    hmmmm, at six months had you started solids? are you using a soother? did you go on birth control? how are you introducing solids? do you single side feed or both? how do you know you are done a side? how do you recognize babe is done? ie-sleeping, just lets go ...
    Last edited by hinagal; 07-18-2010 at 10:14 AM.
    ~"Just because I have strong opinions, does not mean I judge. Do not mistake passion for judgment. For you might find you are the one doing the judging". ~ Unknown

  3. #3
    Senior Member threeforme's Avatar
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    Good questions hingal.
    I started solids with ODD after my supply dipped, she didn't have a soother for the first six weeks.

    YDD also got a soother after six weeks, but mostly when we're in the car. I do stop and nurse her though when we're on a long trip.

    I think she's done nursing when she comes off the breast on her own. I squeeze to see if there's still milk there and if there is I offer it to her again, she'll nurse for a few more minutes usually and then either come off the breast on her own again or fall asleep.

    With my other two I did break the latch thinking OK this is long enough, isn't it? (They would nurse for like 45 mins) but with YDD I just let her nurse as long as she wants and let her decide when she's done. I try to offer the same breast again after 30 mins or so to make sure she gets hindmilk, so I guess you could say I single feed.

    Have not gone on birth control with any of my babes.

    ETA: YDD has not started solids.
    Last edited by threeforme; 07-18-2010 at 10:22 AM.





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    Yeah, I had the same questions as hinagal. Which you answered.

    The supplementing is such a tricky issue -- you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. It's good you've come this far with your last babe, and I think if we can pinpoint where the supply issues start, maybe we can keep you going.

    My *other* thought was that this very well might be an emotional issue. Stress-related. You are scared and lack confidence, and *worry* that you won't have enough because of what happened with your first two. Which, wasn't your fault, and I do believe the supplementing did cause problems in those cases. Not your fault, as I said.

    But stress and lack of confidence can do a lot -- in other words, your mental state of “I don't have enough“ is actually causing it to happen. I know that sounds hokey, but it's true. Because it's self-fulfilling in some instances.

    How old is your LO now? 4 months? My suggestion in your case here is to get a sling, and carry that baby with you always. No bouncy seat, no swings, just carry that babe around with you and nurse as much as possible. For now, anyway... It does wonders to nurse on demand (I know you say you are... but I mean, if that baby squeaks, you nurse!) and you need to build some confidence here and I think that will help you. No soothers. No bottles, nothing. You're doing great with the water and the tea and all of that, keep it up. And co-sleeping, thumbs up there, too.

    You might also take the opportunity if you can, if your dh is around, to take a “break“ with your LO and camp out in bed for a day or two and just nurse like crazy. If you can, that is. I know that's a tall order in some cases. BUT it helps.

    Pumping -- yes, it's good, but NOTHING is better than baby to breast if you can do it. It's hard, I know, but I can honestly tell you that if your latch is good (HAS it been checked? Thoroughly?) that baby is the best monitor for keeping that milk supply going as best as it can.
    Last edited by dressage mom; 07-18-2010 at 10:34 AM.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

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    if you are having supply issues i would absolutely say NO SOOTHER. period. at least eliminate that variable. i am NOT kidding that it does more harm than good in a situation where supply or flow is an issue.
    45 minutes means they are not eating the whole time. has anyone shown you how to tell the difference between a suck and a swallow at the breast? it sounds like you need to be really vigilant about swallows and get that flow to keep going, likely compressions LONG BEFORE babe comes off. i think that the supply is dwindling at the breast and babe isn't optimizing your potential for supply.
    ~"Just because I have strong opinions, does not mean I judge. Do not mistake passion for judgment. For you might find you are the one doing the judging". ~ Unknown

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    I know this question was asked to others but I wanted to add something. I had supply issues from about 4 months right through to 12 months. Took Domp, herbs, oatmeal, etc. At 12 months I stopped taking all meds and herbs and relaxed because he didn't “need“ (and I use that word loosely) breastmilk anymore so this was just bonus time. Low and behold I have supply and adequate amounts of it. More than I had on any med or herb. The only time it dips (and it dips big) is once a month when I should have a period (which I don't)

    I think I've made the conclusion that for me stress played a big part in my supply and I think sometimes it is overlooked how big of a role that can play.

    Hang in there. I hope you get the help you need.

  7. #7
    Ana
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    Everyone covered all the most likely stuff. So, I start will less obvious - do you have seasonal allergies? Do you take antihistamines for them?

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    Ana
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    Do you have any symptoms of PCOS?

    * Multiple ovarian cysts
    * Irregular or absent menses
    * Infertility
    * Acne
    * Obesity or inability to lose weight
    * Excessive body or facial hair (hirsutism)
    * Insulin resistance and possibly diabetes
    * Thinning of scalp hair
    * Velvety, hyperpigmented skin folds (acanthosis nigricans)
    * High blood pressure
    * Polycystic ovaries that are 2-5 times larger than healthy ovaries.
    * Multiple hormone imbalances, commonly including:
    o Androgens (testosterone)
    o Cortisol
    o Estrogens
    o FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
    o Insulin.
    o LH (luteinizing hormone)
    o progesterone
    o Prolactin.
    o Thyroid hormones.
    * Impaired lung function.
    * Sleep apnea.
    * Fatty liver degeneration (NAFLD).

  9. #9
    Ana
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    I would assume you would know this would affect supply, but just in case, you havent had breast reduction surgery?

  10. #10
    Senior Member threeforme's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the responses everyone.

    I think stress or “worrying“ about my supply may be the issue. I had problems with my other two and so I feel like I'll have problems with YDD. She's 4.5 months, never had a bottle, nursed within 20 mins of being born and only gets the soother occasionally (which I'm now getting rid of!!!!) I wear her a lot already in my mei tai or girasol since I have two others and having free hands is a big thing around here.

    She doesn't nurse for 45 mins, my other two did. I don't really keep track of time, but I think YDD nurses for about 15 mins. on one side. If I feel like she hasn't had enough, I nurse her on the same side 30 mins later for about another 10 mins (not 100% sure on the timing since I'm not a clock watcher).

    I don't have seasonal allergies (not that I know of anyway). No breast reduction surgery either. As for PCOS symptoms, I've had a few ovarian cysts when I was younger, but not anymore (that I know of). I'm mediterrean (sp?) background so, um, I tend to have a lot of hair on my face, etc... lol... None of the other symptoms though.

    I do breast compressions as well, pretty much once she's been on for about five mins.

    I've had my latch checked (my doula, doc, etc. who have got there hands in there to check as opposed to a general peek) and they all say it's fine, BUT I'm open to having it checked again by one of you ladies

    Unfortunately, DH works three out of four weekends and 60 hours + a week, so having him watch the kids while I lay in bed with YDD isn't going to happen any time soon (though I'd absolutely LOVE to). When he is home, I try to take her away and just hang out with her in bed and watch a movie or something while she nurses, or take a short nap. But I think that's only happened twice since she's been born.

    Thank you so much for all the words of encouragement. I'm going to focus on relaxing about my supply, know that she is fine, get rid of the soother altogether and let you know how it goes!!





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    sounds like a good plan. it looks like you have eliminated the most obvious stuff. odds are you are going to be just fine
    sending milky thoughts your way!
    xoxo
    ~"Just because I have strong opinions, does not mean I judge. Do not mistake passion for judgment. For you might find you are the one doing the judging". ~ Unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinagal View Post
    sounds like a good plan. it looks like you have eliminated the most obvious stuff. odds are you are going to be just fine
    sending milky thoughts your way!
    xoxo
    Yep, just catching up here and seeing the same thing. I think you will be fine, you are doing the right things, and barring any medical issues you may have (thyroid, etc) or medications you are on (and this doesn't seem to be the case), I think you just have to keep doing what you're doing. I'd say keep an eye on his weight, but really ... relax. Sometimes doctors get us all freaked out about the weight thing -- when in fact, breastfed babies generally taper out in terms of their size as they grow older. Your doctor might also be judging by the “formula fed“ scale, which is just ... well, out of date. And it doesn't apply to breastfed babies, in general.

    Relax, enjoy this time, and nurse to your heart's content.
    Last edited by dressage mom; 07-18-2010 at 04:20 PM.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

  13. #13
    Senior Member threeforme's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies!

    Our ped is actually very happy with her weight. At her four-month check up she said I should just relax and that she had no concerns whatsoever about YDD.

    I can see from writing this all out and thinking about it that I'm just worrying for no reason and doing this to myself!

    Thanks for the milky thoughts ladies!!





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    i love love love your avatar. glad to see it up! you could seriously submit that to a contest
    ~"Just because I have strong opinions, does not mean I judge. Do not mistake passion for judgment. For you might find you are the one doing the judging". ~ Unknown

  15. #15
    Senior Member threeforme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hinagal View Post
    i love love love your avatar. glad to see it up! you could seriously submit that to a contest
    Thanks! My sister (who's a photographer) took it, so I don't really think it'd be allowed





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