What would you do? Breastfeeding — The Bump
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What would you do? Breastfeeding

I had a breast reduction when I was younger and was warned I might not be able to breastfeed. I was bull headed and just sort of assumed I'd make it work. Well DD lost almost a pound in the hospital and I was told to supplement with formula until my milk came in. I started pumping so I could track how much she was getting. Out of both breasts it was like .5 ounces total. Two weeks later I make about 1.5 ounces total, but still not enough to feed her completely. I make abou 50 percent of her daily needs. My milk is extremely thin looking. DD is very gassy as well. She cries a lot and it is o hard for me to feed her and then try to pump myself for a half hour. I keep hoping that m milk will improve, bu part of me feels like I'm fighting an up hill battle. When she gets formula she is more content and can go longer between feedings. I feel so ready to throw in the towel, but I do not want to quit too soon. I don't think my milk ever fully came in. My boobs did not grow and they never hurt. I never feel like I havebto pump or I'll be uncomfortable. What would you do? Keep trying or move to formula?

Re: What would you do? Breastfeeding

  • Honestly it depends on how important bf is to you. You could go see an LC, work on upping your supply, etc etc. For me, it is important to BF, so that's what I would do. However, my son was FF and he is healthy and happy. Either one is ok, just choose what works best for you and your family.
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  • are you only giving her pumped milk?

    putting baby to the breast usually increases your supply because babies are better at getting everything out and that signals to your body that it needs to make more.

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  • kewltifkewltif member
    I am afraid to feed her directly, because I wont know how much she is getting. With pumping I can measure it.
  • I'm only pumping about 1/5 of what DS needs and then supplementing with formula. Although with those proportions is technically supplementing with breast milk. I'm still trying though. Experimenting with different supplements, etc. Figure I should give it a solid 8 weeks at least.

    I'm only back at work half time so I don't need to worry about pumping there. Once I have to factor that in, maybe it will become too much trouble.

    He's certainly content with the formula.  

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  • U can measure how much she is getting by doing a weighed feed. Our hospital hosts a lactation support group every week where u can do this or you can rent a baby scale. Also u can count dirty and wet diapers. It doesn't matter how much she gets if she has dirty and wet and gains. Honestly it depends how important bf is to u. With ds1 I walked thru fire to bf him but I knew I wouldn't be able to let go of it if I quit. There isn't anything wrong with ff but if you feel Strongly then contact league and work with an ibclc ( make sure it is an ibclc not just an lc). That is what I would do. Sorry for my typing but I am bfing and typing on iPad.
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  • You can't really measure how much she's getting at the breast by pumping. A pump isn't as good at expressing milk as a baby is, so it's almost a garauntee that she's getting more milk at the breast than what your pumping. And pumping won't help increase your supply that way because your body will only replace what leaves the breast. So if you're pumping 1.5 oz, your body will always only refill 1.5 oz, where as if she's at the breast and is expressing 2 oz, your body will produce 2 oz. My DD lost a pound by the time we left the hospital and I nursed like crazy and supplemented a little. Eventually everything caught up and she gained 10 oz in one week, just on momma milk. If it's super important to you, do what PP said. Take her to a nursing class or a LC and do a weighed feed. You'll find out exactly how much she's getting from you by weighing her before and after.
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  • I can sympathize with feeling like LO isn't getting enough.  I had some supply issues in the beginning.  I took fenugreek tablets (3 tablets/3x day) and pumped a half hour after putting baby to breast.  I make enough for DS now, but I still only pump 2 oz. at work when I miss a feeding with DS.  I know DS is getting enough because he has plenty of wet and dirty diapers.  When I spoke to my LC about this, she reminded me that when you pump you are only getting 40-60% of what LO can get from you.  If it's important to you I'd stick with it and try putting your LO to the breast.  If LO still seems fussy then feed LO what you pump between feedings.  Good Luck!
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  • kewltifkewltif member

    Thanks for the replies. Everything you all have said makes sense, but when I throw the breast reduction into the mix it just complicates the hell out of everything.

    I have a lot of thinking to do Embarrassed

  • I too have had breast surgery, and when I pump I only get 1&1/2 to 2 oz. I usually BF my son, then supplement with formula immediately after. Even though it seems like he isn't getting enough from me, I figure ANY is better than none. He is stil getting the benefits of breastfeeding, and I don't have to spend as much on formula. Keep at it. It's good for baby!
  • I can't really tell you what to do, but I can tell you my story. DD lost almost a lb in the hospital, but soon started gaining. When I started pumping at around 3 wks so DH could give her a bottle, I pumped and pumped and maybe got 1 oz. But I knew she was getting more than that from bf'ing because she was gaining and had lots of dirty diapers. My boobs never grew or felt engorged (unless I went like 12 hours without nursing/pumping). Also, my milk often looks very thin. It doesn't mean it isn't good for LO. I guess I'm just trying to say that you may have more/better milk than you are giving yourself credit for.


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  • imagekewltif:
    I am afraid to feed her directly, because I wont know how much she is getting. With pumping I can measure it.

    Pumping only shows you how much you can pump.

    I would put her to the breast and if she is still fussy 20-30mins after her feed I would suplement with formula. But as PP's have suggested I would talk to a LC.

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  • I have a friend who had a reduction and was not able to make enough milk.  She nursed with a supplemental nursing system for 6 months. . . it's a little reservoir that you fill with formula that has small tubes that you tape to your breast.  Baby latches on to the nipple AND the tube so they get any breastmilk plus supplementation from the formula.

    I had to use one with my DD to get her to learn to latch.  It sounds really crazy, but it's not that hard to use once you get the hang of it.

    After 6 months, my friend mostly bottle fed with formula, but she'd do a few "comfort nursing" sessions where she knew her daughter wasn't getting much milk, but was still getting to nurse.

    Good luck!

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