Breastfeeding

Would you quit? (long)

I want to BF so badly. DS is now 10 weeks and it just isn't happening. Though he latches well (as our pedi and 3 LCs informed me) my supply is dismal. I feel like I've tried it all...fenugreek, brewers yeast, oatmeal, mothers milk tea, SNS, power pumping sessions, tons of water, nursing weekends, following nursing sessions with pumping, and I just finished my last dose of Reglan. After nursing, DS takes at least 4oz so I know he isn't getting much from me. I manage to pump 5 oz each day (pumping about 6x daily for 20 mins each), enough for one bottle.  

It's so hard for me to give up and admit I just can't BF. All I read is that my body will make enough to feed my child, yet nothing has made any real impact. At this point what would you do? Any ideas of something else to try? 

BFP#1 10/5/09 | Heartbeat 11/1/09 | D&C 11/24/09 (no hb)
BFP#2 02/18/11 * Beta@15dpo=215 * @18dpo=698 * @20dpo=2337 * @25dpo=10,931 * DS Arrived October 24, 2011
BFP#3 08/12 | D&C 9/12 (no hb)
BFP#4 Due May 1, 2014 Stick baby stick!

Re: Would you quit? (long)

  • What if you quit and kept bf'ing at the same time?  What if you keep taking a supplement Fenugreek or the yeast or whatever, keep eating a good amount of oatmeal, bf him at feeding times and then give him a bottle?  So what if you can't fully supply him in terms of quanitity.  Maybe quit striving for EBF,  just give him what you can and let him have formula to fill the gap.  It seems like it really means a lot to you to keep BFing.  That's what I would probably do. 

    I assume you've seen a LC.

    HTH  

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  • I have been struggling with the same thing since day 1 and we're at 6 mo now. Having a low supply is a mind trip at times. I feel badly about myself almost weekly and get frustrated that I can't just breastfeed. But it is so rewarding at the same time.  I love nursing ds and he loves it too (sometimes its the only thing that calms him) and I know how good for him it is. I'm still trying to be comfortable with supplementing (formula isn't what is difficult it's the mind game part of how much supplementation and how often as to help ds but not further reduce my supply). 

    I know my post might sound a little negative but I just want to let you know that I understand how hard it is and if you continue there will be hard days but also so many rewarding moments like when ds just wants mommy and when he gets so excited to nurse he makes cute little noises or when he is so relaxed he falls asleep nursing and looks so peaceful.

    It is a decision you have to make for yourself. But my experience is that I won't quit on a bad day. I also give myself shorter goals. Like I want to make it to a year but I was okay if I made it to 6 mo. Now that I'm at 6 mo I want to make it to a year but I'm okay if I just make it through the winter to help boost his immune system.

    I hope my experience helps.  

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  • Thank you both so much. It helps to hear I'm not alone. And maybe giving up on EBF as the end goal is the right answer. 
    BFP#1 10/5/09 | Heartbeat 11/1/09 | D&C 11/24/09 (no hb)
    BFP#2 02/18/11 * Beta@15dpo=215 * @18dpo=698 * @20dpo=2337 * @25dpo=10,931 * DS Arrived October 24, 2011
    BFP#3 08/12 | D&C 9/12 (no hb)
    BFP#4 Due May 1, 2014 Stick baby stick!
  • My son stopped gaining weight for 6 weeks and I got very worried. I was told constantly that it was fine, then suddenly wham, you need to supplement. He went through the 44oz of BM I had in the freezer in 2 days. I did domperidone (still taking it), fenugreek, blessed thistle, SNS, and rented a hospital grade pump. No matter how hard I try, I still need to give him about 5oz of formula at night (sometimes it's less or occasionally none but I can't consistently make enough). The odd time I leave him with family, he also gets formula (which I feel guilty about and almost never leave him which is my own crazy neurosis).

    Bottom line- it's okay to give him what you can. I have a head time not feeling like I 'failed' at BFing, like my body isn't good enough- but deep down I know that's not true.

     If you want to quit- that's okay too- but don't feel like it's all or nothing. We hsve been supplementing for 5 months now and LO is doing great- he's gained almost 10ls since we started supplementing.

  • image darmca:

    My son stopped gaining weight for 6 weeks and I got very worried. I was told constantly that it was fine, then suddenly wham, you need to supplement. He went through the 44oz of BM I had in the freezer in 2 days. I did domperidone (still taking it), fenugreek, blessed thistle, SNS, and rented a hospital grade pump. No matter how hard I try, I still need to give him about 5oz of formula at night (sometimes it's less or occasionally none but I can't consistently make enough). The odd time I leave him with family, he also gets formula (which I feel guilty about and almost never leave him which is my own crazy neurosis).

    Bottom line- it's okay to give him what you can. I have a head time not feeling like I 'failed' at BFing, like my body isn't good enough- but deep down I know that's not true.

     If you want to quit- that's okay too- but don't feel like it's all or nothing. We hsve been supplementing for 5 months now and LO is doing great- he's gained almost 10ls since we started supplementing.

    Thank you for sharing you story. I can relate, and do struggle with beating myself up. Where did you get Domperidone? Has it helped? 

    My son is a Xander as well!  

    BFP#1 10/5/09 | Heartbeat 11/1/09 | D&C 11/24/09 (no hb)
    BFP#2 02/18/11 * Beta@15dpo=215 * @18dpo=698 * @20dpo=2337 * @25dpo=10,931 * DS Arrived October 24, 2011
    BFP#3 08/12 | D&C 9/12 (no hb)
    BFP#4 Due May 1, 2014 Stick baby stick!
  • image iggy.d:
    image darmca:

    My son stopped gaining weight for 6 weeks and I got very worried. I was told constantly that it was fine, then suddenly wham, you need to supplement. He went through the 44oz of BM I had in the freezer in 2 days. I did domperidone (still taking it), fenugreek, blessed thistle, SNS, and rented a hospital grade pump. No matter how hard I try, I still need to give him about 5oz of formula at night (sometimes it's less or occasionally none but I can't consistently make enough). The odd time I leave him with family, he also gets formula (which I feel guilty about and almost never leave him which is my own crazy neurosis).

    Bottom line- it's okay to give him what you can. I have a head time not feeling like I 'failed' at BFing, like my body isn't good enough- but deep down I know that's not true.

     If you want to quit- that's okay too- but don't feel like it's all or nothing. We hsve been supplementing for 5 months now and LO is doing great- he's gained almost 10ls since we started supplementing.

    Thank you for sharing you story. I can relate, and do struggle with beating myself up. Where did you get Domperidone? Has it helped? 

    My son is a Xander as well!  

    I am in Canada, where domperidone is as easy to get as birth control pills or antibiotics- I got it at the pharmacy and it's covered by my insurance. But I hear a lot of women on here say they get it here .I went from supplementing 22oz a day to 5oz or less, so I feel like it made a huge difference.

  • I'm jumping in here from lurking because I struggled with this decision, too, when I went back to work when my son was 3 and a half months old (he's 6 months now).

    What I had to come to grips with is the fact that it is not EBF or nothing.  I make a decent amount of milk.  It would be considered an adequate supply for most babies, but my kid is a monster eater. I'm not kidding. He eats at least 40 oz. of milk or formula a day. He gobbled through my freezer stash within 2 weeks of me going back to work. I tried everything to be able to give him breastmilk only... fenugreek, more milk plus supplements, mother's milk tea, lactation cookes, etc.  My supply did go up a little bit, but no matter how much I produced and pumped at work, the kid would gobble it down well before I came home for the day.  So we started filling in the gaps with formula.  My little guy is tall and skinny, in the bottom 10% of the weight chart, so I just couldn't justify making him hold off until I get home from work every day, not to mention that it was stressing me out to have to pump and pump and pump knowing it would never be enough for my bottomless pit of a baby.  

    We even started him on solids a bit early (4 and a half months) and that helped some, but he still gets a bottle or two of formula per day, from either our childcare provider or my husband in the evenings.  I'd say he gets about 75% breastmilk and 25% formula. Plus solids. 

    Anyway, we've been doing this for about 3 months now and my milk supply has not gone down... I still nurse my son every morning and twice in the evenings, plus pump twice at work.

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