Babies: 0 - 3 Months

BF Issues / WWYD?

I posted this on the BF board too... hoping someone is in the same situation or has been and has advice!

Sorry this is long... this is literally the first time I've been able to post since LO was born! 

DD is 15 days old and I was planning on exclusively breastfeeding. Due to "output" issues, peditrician had us supplement her with formula in addition to my nursing every 2 hours starting on day three. While I have had some milk come in, when I pump it's only 25-30 ML. We are still having to supplement her because of this.

I'm super frusterated with the situation, as feeding is literally taking over an hour between nursing, burping, then formula feeding. I have seen multiple lactation consultants, who basically have said the "construction" of my breasts might be the problem (they have a wide space between them). I'm also wondering if the problem is because I have to use a nipple shield due to nipples that invert during nursing.

I'm trying to get through at least the first month, as I have debating giving up and only formula feeding a few times, then ending up hysterically upset due to guilt. The promise I made to myself was that the first month would be the best for LO to build antibodies, but I literally don't know if I can handle this anymore....

Any words of advice? Would you continue giving LO even a small amount of breast milk?

Re: BF Issues / WWYD?

  • I pump and bottle feed...we sometimes have to supplement with formula.  Have you tried fenugreek or eating oatmeal for breakfast every day?  I eat the oatmeal but haven't had a chance to start the fenugreek yet.  It is worth a shot.  Good luck!  Oh and yes I would try for the first 4 - 6 weeks unless I was going bat sh!t crazy.

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  • g8trkimg8trkim
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    It really does get better. The first two weeks are really tough and after a month you really become a pro. I can certainly understand the frustration though. Does your output seem to be increasing?
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  • I had some similar issues myself:

    --late milk

    --early supplementing

    --using nipple shield (for small nipples)

    We are now at the 10 week mark and a LOT of improvements have happened.  We no longer use the nipple shield, I can pump 2 oz. late at night to have as backup every day, and my milk supply has definitely increased. I definitely hear your frustration--there were a few times when I wanted to throw in the towel as well. 

    I have gotten this advice and am now giving it: keep going for 6 weeks and reassess.  By week 6, a LOT of my issues were cleared up or clearing up. 

    Good luck!

  • I wanted to breastfeed badly myself. I was in so much pain I just concentrate on doing it and I felt like I had no control. I switched to formula the day after we came home from the hospital. I cried for 2 days straight, and still get teary if anyone asks about it...simply because I feel guilty. She got the colostrum, which was the best thing I could have given her, and lots of babies are bottle fed and turn out great. That's what I keep telling myself. You have to do what works best for you. Don't beat yourself up...we are all emotionally fragile so it's going to be hard. But you are still taking perfectly good care of your baby and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you can give her a little breast milk then do it...but it's perfectly okay if you don't too. I hope everything works out!! Hang in there!!
  • Hi there. I'm sorry its been so hard for you. Even without the challenges you've had it is hard!  It sounds like you're doing everything possible.  I would say to do what feels right. I'm an BFing momma and the first time we gave formula I cried and I hate that I felt so guilty about it.  Really we're doing the best we can and formula is fine.

    Some ideas....pumping generally doesn't get as much as your baby would.  Would a different pump help? Would you consider renting a different pump for the next 2 wks to get you through the month?  Also there are medications (domperidone) that can help with milk production.  Is that something you would consider? (note: I know nothing about this option).

    Regardless I wish you the best and if its too much it is ok to go to formula feedings. 

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  • I can completely sympathize with your frustration.  My DD was in the NICU and 5 weeks early, due to some complications after birth, I wasn't able to see her for 24 hours (after the initial seeing her in the operating room and immediatly following in the NICU).  When I was finally able to get out of bed and down to the NICU she was having latch issues due to her gestational age.  I pumped and tried feeding with a nipple shield.  Due to her size and my milk not coming in right away we had to supplement with formula. She left the NICU 9 days later still supplementing and 5 weeks later we are still using formula the majority of the time.  

    I'm nursing at the beginning of each feeding, then formula feeding, then pumping.  I'm also eating oatmeal, taking fenugreek, blessed thistle, and drinking mothers milk.  I'm getting about 20-25 ml of milk (from both breast) max per pumping.  It's really frustrating but I'm sticking with it in the hope that even if she only gets a small amount from the breast she will realize some benefits from it.  

    I know it's frustrating though!

  • that's twice as much as i can pump and i'm 8 weeks in!  i was doing the round the clock schedule in the beginning (feed/supplement/pump) every 2 hours and sometimes into the next cycle before i was finished.  so, i dropped the pumping for my sanity (happy mom=happy baby) and said 'i'll go until i just can't go anymore'...here i am 8 weeks later...i still bf and i supplement.  i think ds is still getting more than half from me, which considering where it all started, i'm very happy with.  try not to give up if it's something you want to do.  keep your goals short term so you feel successful.  and know that whatever you choose, as long as you feed your baby, you're a great mom and your baby will thrive and be healthy!! good luck.
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  • Neen33Neen33 member
    Just a comment - pumping isn't a great indicator of how much you're producing. Have you had a LC do a weight measurement before and after you feed to confirm you really have a supply issue? And like others said there are herbal and medication options available to help if needed.
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  • In addition to what everyone else has said, you might want to consider renting a hospital grade pump for about a month.  I had to exclusively pump the first 3 weeks (because DS came 7 weeks early), so I had to use the hospital grade pump to get my supply going.  So, it might help for you to use one in addition to help you'll hopefully get from your LO nursing.

     

    Oh, and I was pumping about 60 ml (sometimes less) on each side when I pumped.  Things gradually got better.  I still worry, but I produce enough for DS to not need a formula supplement.  Do what's right for you and your LO and what will make y'all happiest......and don't feel guilty if that happens to be FFing. 

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