I'm about 30 seconds away from throwing in the bf towel — The Bump
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I'm about 30 seconds away from throwing in the bf towel

He's eating 4 oz bottles when I'm working.  I'm barely pumping 4 oz during the day at work.  I have to assume he's going to eat 2-3 bottles during the day (with me nursing him at lunch).  Right now, for every day, we're 2 bottles in the red.  

I had all these plans last week to pump every 2 hours, etc but then I got sick so :shrug:.  It took everything I had to keep myself hydrated enough to nurse him all weekend, let alone pump anything.  

I try pumping when I feed him, but at work, it's near impossible.  Home is easier, but I literally get an oz if I'm lucky.  

I was drinking 4-7 16 oz glasses of water during the day before I got sick and it did NOTHING but make me feel ill.  I'm worried he's not getting enough out now either because he used to be very satisfied with just eating on one and now it takes both before he's full.   

Real LC consultations aren't covered by my insurance and I can't get a free minute at work to even call to see how much it would be oop.   Every spare minute I have at work I'm either pumping or walking 10 minutes to go nurse him.  

I've got a bottle of fenugreek here but the LC at the breastfeeding group basically said don't bother, drinking water is more helpful and less smelly.  

I just can't believe that I can go 2-3 hours and only pump barely 2 oz (combined from both). 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Little Man (4 years old---holy cow)
He's the single greatest thing I've done in my life and reminds me daily of how fun (and funny) life can be.  He's turned out pretty swell for having such a heartless and evil mother.  

Re: I'm about 30 seconds away from throwing in the bf towel

  • To top it off, on the way home, one of the bags that I managed to pump today (with a whopping oz) leaked and most of it spilled out all over the lunchbag and the seat.  
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Little Man (4 years old---holy cow)
    He's the single greatest thing I've done in my life and reminds me daily of how fun (and funny) life can be.  He's turned out pretty swell for having such a heartless and evil mother.  
  • I'm so sorry honey. :(  BFing is hard.  BFing with a sh!tty supply is even worse.

    How do you feel about giving formula during the day to make up for what you don't pump and then nurse during lunch and at home?  Then he's still getting BM and you aren't stressing about making enough.

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  • I'm sorry, Balls. It's interesting about the water and fenugreek. The NICU LC I saw yesterday said definitely try fenugreek because it works for almost everyone as long as they take enough, and that it's not worth it to overload on water. She said to drink enough so I'm not thirsty, but that there's no evidence that drinking a ton of water does anything to supply.

    I dumped milk out by accident today and promptly lost it. It sucks. 

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  • I would try the fenugreek.  It did work for me.  Also, you could try lactation cookies.  Even if they don't work, they taste really good.  I'm sorry you are having such a hard time.
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  • That is exactly what happened to me. While visiting family he was screaming so bad one of my husband's aunts said, Give him so damn formula already.. he's starving!! So out of desperation we did.. he sucked down 5oz DRY in less than 5 minutes. I waited 3hrs before pumping just to see how much I'd get, and I didnt even get 2oz combined both breasts. It was so frustrating. I pumped exclusively until he was 5 wks, then he did finally latch on and I nursed for 2 more weeks. We switched him exclusively to formula at 7wks and even though I cried for days thinking I had failed him, I was a horrible mom, why couldn't I provide for him.. we are both MUCH happier now. I am not saying to throw in the towel if you still want to BF, but I am saying if you do need to switch to formula it's not a sin and he'll do just fine. We beat ourselves up over far too many things. It sounds like you're really giving it your all, so be proud of that :)

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  • Have you tried eating oatmeal for breakfast?  Dark beer?  Blessed thistle?  Lactation cookies?

    I'm sorry.  It's disappointing when boobs stop working.

  • do you have a local LLL? they helped me a lot. plus its free
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  • image ChefSarah22:
    I would try the fenugreek.  It did work for me.  Also, you could try lactation cookies.  Even if they don't work, they taste really good.  I'm sorry you are having such a hard time.

    ZOMG---I've eaten three batches of those damn cookies.  They are delicious, but I'm pooping flax seeds out of my ears.  H likes them too.  

    I've cut caffeine out of 99% of my diet, I put him there as often as he'll go (a lot of the time, he won't latch on if he's not hungry), I drink water, I pump as much as I can----I know it's totally stupid but BF'ing is like the one thing I have left.  First it was the IF, then I ended up with a c/s, I'm back at work so soon, (insert random mom guilt here)....it's like "well, at least I'm still bf'ing like a regular healthy person!"  Everyone keeps asking "When are you going to be done bf'ing?" and I just keep saying "Minimum 6 months".  If I don't even get to three, it's going to be like "Well, there's another way that I've compromised".  Yes, I realize it's all stupid and as long as he's healthy, it doesn't matter, but right now--to me--it does.

    I've thought about asking to be put on Reglan, but I've heard about the whole depression s/e and I think "well, do I risk being depressed, but he's getting BM or is it better for him to be FF and I'm not bummed all the time?"

    I do want to add, this whole vent isn't a slam on FF---like I said, it's more of a "I've lost control and compromised on so much, I want to do what I want to do, damn it!"

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Little Man (4 years old---holy cow)
    He's the single greatest thing I've done in my life and reminds me daily of how fun (and funny) life can be.  He's turned out pretty swell for having such a heartless and evil mother.  
  • image giaM28:
    do you have a local LLL? they helped me a lot. plus its free

    We do, but from what I was looking at, if you go to more than one or two meetings, you have to pay membership fees for.  

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Little Man (4 years old---holy cow)
    He's the single greatest thing I've done in my life and reminds me daily of how fun (and funny) life can be.  He's turned out pretty swell for having such a heartless and evil mother.  
  • I'm sorry. I have nothing to offer but a hug. 

    (HUG)

    I hope things turn around, and know that you are an awesome mom no matter what you feed your child. As long as it's not doritos and a crack pipe.  

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  • image hippotree:

    Have you tried eating oatmeal for breakfast?  Dark beer? 

    These worked for me when my supply dropped when Liam got sick. I'd give the fenugrek (sp?) a shot, as well as Mother's Milk Tea. Those were my next steps if the oatmeal and beer didn't work. GL!

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  • image BallSox:
    I do want to add, this whole vent isn't a slam on FF---like I said, it's more of a "I've lost control and compromised on so much, I want to do what I want to do, damn it!"

     

    I didn't read that at all, and I FF my kids!

    I second Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek. It really will help.

    I wanted to exhaust all options before I "gave up" BFing DS. I know what you mean about the guilt. :::hugs::: 

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  • image sourapplemartini:
    image BallSox:
    I do want to add, this whole vent isn't a slam on FF---like I said, it's more of a "I've lost control and compromised on so much, I want to do what I want to do, damn it!"

     

    I didn't read that at all, and I FF my kids!

    I second Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek. It really will help.

    I wanted to exhaust all options before I "gave up" BFing DS. I know what you mean about the guilt. :::hugs::: 

    I just wanted to make sure, I know for some people it's a sore issue if they feel like someone doesn't want to FF, ykwim?

    I've got the fenugreek, I'll see if I can find some blessed thistle 

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Little Man (4 years old---holy cow)
    He's the single greatest thing I've done in my life and reminds me daily of how fun (and funny) life can be.  He's turned out pretty swell for having such a heartless and evil mother.  
  • image Excitedtostart:

    I'm sorry. I have nothing to offer but a hug. 

    (HUG)

    I hope things turn around, and know that you are an awesome mom no matter what you feed your child. As long as it's not doritos and a crack pipe.  

    this. 

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  • i usually lurk here, but i have the same problem and i just wanted to say it's not all or nothing - you can just supplement w/ formula. we use baby's only organic formula and dd likes it. Also I rented a hospital grade pump and it seems to work better than my PISA. I saw an LC and honestly she didn't tell me anything i didnt already know.

    sorry for the bad grammar, holding my baby :)

  • I'm sorry Balls. I didn't read this as anti-FF, you're understandably frustrated right now. I have no advice, but I hope maybe one of the solutions the other ladies have offered works for you.

    ::Hugs::

  • I've had great results with oats & protein. It can take a while for your body to respond to the pump, too. Also, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. BFing is really hard & you're doing the best you can. :)
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  • I was going to suggest a bf'ing support group, but I re-read your op and see you already tried that.  A couple other things to try would be to look at a picture of LO while pumping and doing breast compressions/massage to help the milk to come down.  Have you checked out www.kellymom.com?  There are some tips on there re: pumping/increasing supply.  http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/pumping_decrease.html

    I'm sorry you're having a rough time.  ((Hugs))

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  • Pumping did not work for me so at 3 months he started getting formula during the day. I kept up bf'ing at night and in the morning until 7 months. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
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  • Absolutely nothing fixed my low supply, and like the PP I finally realized my kid was soooo hungry.  He sucked down 14 oz of formula the first time I tried.  No lie.  I had huge guilt about switching to formula and also about him not getting enough for about a month, but despite what you may hear sometimes it just doesn't work.  

    The website fearlessformulafeeder.blogspot.com has really helped me work through a lot of my anger and frustration about it.  They aren't anti-breastfeeding by any stretch, just anti-torture and guilt of mothers who have difficulty BFing.

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  • Sorry you are having issues with your supply.  I was never able to pump much.  Sometimes your boobs just do not respond to it like the do a baby.  It could also be a fit issue with your falanges.  I brought my pump with me to a LLL meeting for the leader take a look at what I was doing and she mentioned that I should get a bigger size because I had excess breast tissue around the standard size PISA one.  It did work better.

     Good luck!!

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  • image BallSox:

    image ChefSarah22:
    I would try the fenugreek.  It did work for me.  Also, you could try lactation cookies.  Even if they don't work, they taste really good.  I'm sorry you are having such a hard time.

    ZOMG---I've eaten three batches of those damn cookies.  They are delicious, but I'm pooping flax seeds out of my ears.  H likes them too.  

    I've cut caffeine out of 99% of my diet, I put him there as often as he'll go (a lot of the time, he won't latch on if he's not hungry), I drink water, I pump as much as I can----I know it's totally stupid but BF'ing is like the one thing I have left.  First it was the IF, then I ended up with a c/s, I'm back at work so soon, (insert random mom guilt here)....it's like "well, at least I'm still bf'ing like a regular healthy person!"  Everyone keeps asking "When are you going to be done bf'ing?" and I just keep saying "Minimum 6 months".  If I don't even get to three, it's going to be like "Well, there's another way that I've compromised".  Yes, I realize it's all stupid and as long as he's healthy, it doesn't matter, but right now--to me--it does.

    I've thought about asking to be put on Reglan, but I've heard about the whole depression s/e and I think "well, do I risk being depressed, but he's getting BM or is it better for him to be FF and I'm not bummed all the time?"

    I do want to add, this whole vent isn't a slam on FF---like I said, it's more of a "I've lost control and compromised on so much, I want to do what I want to do, damn it!"

    I just wanted to say that I totally understand how you feel on the losing control over everything and BFing being the one thing you have left.  I could have written that myself.

    Keep on trying - supplement some formula if you think that will help and not hurt your supply & put him/a pump on your boob as often as you can.  I'm so sorry you're going through this.  Text me whenever you need to & I'll try to encourage you or help any way I can. ::hugs::

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  • I had a really hard time pumping once I went back to work. I found bringing pics of Ry to look at while I pumped and making a huge effort to relax really helped to up the output but it still wasn't close to what he got.

    Can you go in and have baby weighed before and after a feeding? My hospital and LC's did this and I was amazed at how much  more Ry was getting than when I pumped. I ended up supplementing but continued to nurse to a year old. Just because you supplement does not mean you have to stop or that you have lost out. The bonding is there either way just having baby at the breast.

    Hugs to you. You're doing an awesome job as a Momma. :)

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  • Ditto the others that it's weird you were told not to bother with the fenugreek - definitely do!! Also, make sure you get a good quality bottle from a natural food store or whole foods or the like. I have heard that the better quality, the better it works.

    Here is another website I don't think I saw listed above:

    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21:herbal-remedies-for-milk-supply&catid=5:information&Itemid=17

    Good luck and big hugs. You're doing a great job.

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  • Dring a TON of water and also a lot of oatmeal.  I found the old fashioned worked best.  I usually flavor it with almond milk and brown sugar or maple syrup.

    I had supply issues from the start.

    Also I found looking at picks of Amanda on my phone helped. 

    try not to stress out.

    You CAN do it!

    I've bene worried all along and tomorrow will make 10 months.

    I still have issues but work at it.

    Do you pump first thing when you get up?  Maybe add another pump sesion if you can.  It's a PIA but I pump for about 30mins in the morning and try to pump at least twice at work.

    Amanda also reverse cycled which helped for a while.

    GL! 

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  • oh another thing that helped me was getting larger flanges.  Between that and the oatmeal while I pumped in the morning I started pumping about 2oz more.

    Also, have you tired compression and massage?  They also helps to empty the breast.

    Easy expression bra is also fantastic!

    Do you have  PISA?  They just got recalled, I just send mine back for being deffective.

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  • The stress of going back to work along with the stress of having to bottle feed and the fear of not producing enough is an awful cocktail.  I would ditto the fenugreek and oatmeal.  A beer, even if not dark, can help you relax a bit while pumping, which will help.  I used to BF in the morning, then pump once at home, 3 times at work and the BF again in the evening.  Have you tried powerpumping?  Are you eating less protein now that you are back at work?

     

    ((HUGS))  BFing is one of the most challenging things I have ever done.  

  • image Lyssapee:

    oh another thing that helped me was getting larger flanges. 

     Also, have you tired compression and massage?  They also helps to empty the breast.

    Both of these helped me. Especially the larger flanges. Target carries some sizes or you can order them from Amazon.

    I also wanted to add that we supplemented pretty consistently once I went back to work. J never had any problem switching back and forth but if you want to go this route you can always mix formula and BM so he won't develop a preference for one or the other.

    You're doing a great job!

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  • I don't have much to add that the other ladies haven't already said, but I wanted to let you know that Reglan is only a 10 day prescription (they won't give you more than that) and it will kick start your supply.

    And that if and when you do decide to either supplement or go to FF, you will at once feel both relieved and guilty at the same time. 

    A NICU nurse once told me that every drop of breastmilk was gold, and anything counted, even if it was only a few drops one day of their life. So that you've gone two months plus is amazing and a huge achievement.

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  • One more thing that might help - if I distract myself while I am pumping, i get more. I'll look at pics of Baby Bun on my phone, or play texas Hold Em on my phone. That is SO much more helpful than staring at the bottle to see what is in it. 

    Also, I pump one side at a time and massage the breast. Sometimes simple maneuvering causes your breast to release more.

  • image BallSox:

    I've thought about asking to be put on Reglan, but I've heard about the whole depression s/e and I think "well, do I risk being depressed, but he's getting BM or is it better for him to be FF and I'm not bummed all the time?"

    I do want to add, this whole vent isn't a slam on FF---like I said, it's more of a "I've lost control and compromised on so much, I want to do what I want to do, damn it!"

    Ballz - I FF and did not think it was a slam on FF.   This also means I don't have any advice on increasing supply but I wanted to say??..I am so with you on "I've lost control and compromised on so much, I want to do what I want to do, damn it!". (you are so not alone there!) I can't tell you how many times I have felt this way.  

    Either way BF or FF know you are doing the best you can for your LO and that your making choices  based on what you think is best.  

     

     

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