Thursday, July 15, 2010

Help Wanted: Dairy Queens

So, I know that being a mother of three with one on the way, I should theoretically have this motherhood thing all figured out. One part that has eluded me successful breast feeding. Here's where I'm looking for your help. I really want it to work this time around and am looking for your advice.

Here's what my experiences have been in the past:

Baby #1 Nursing took some time for both of us to adjust to. I never had tons of milk, even when I pumped and pumped, but I continued and even took my pump to work every day for about 9 months. Once she had opposing teeth, we moved to exclusive bottle feeding!

Baby #2 Nursing was going ok, but baby was puking up a storm and was allergic to my milk. Once we got her on soy formula, we were all much better off.

Baby #3 Long story short, my milk never came in. We tried the supplemental feeding system, nursed and nursed on demand, but nothing was happening. I would pump and pump and not a drop was found. I think the trauma surrounding delivery and the blood loss contributed to the lack of lac. We went on like this for weeks.

Ironically, the less milk I produced with each child, the less I experienced the baby blues. In my not-so-professional opinion, the hormones that produce milk (in me anyway) produce baby blues. Perhaps I'll have to research that, too...

This time around I REALLY want breast feeding to work! Now that my other kids are older and a bit more self-sufficient, I will have the time and possibly some peace and quiet to sit and hold this little babe. (Not having to buy so much formula would be nice, too.)

Here's where I need the dairy queens. Some of my friends and family members are pros at this. You know who you are. I want to know what tips you would give- specifically if you have something that helped boost your milk supply. Don't suggest beer, but other than that I'd like to hear your ideas. I asked my doctor yesterday and he mentioned a medication that he sometimes prescribes after a few weeks if there are problems, but he didn't seem very impressed with the results. I have read about herbs and supplements that people recommend, but hesitate to try things recommended by strangers. Please share your experiences! If you don't want to leave them in the comments, I would love an email.

Thanks for your help!

15 comments:

Sally said...

Have you found a lactation consultant? I was lucky enough to find one for free online who came to my house before and after my son was born. She also answered questions through e-mail.

The only bits of advice I have are:
1. Drink tons and tons of water
2. Relax and be patient
3. Get professional advice

Also there is a store on Highland Dr called the Lactation Station and they have EVERYTHING there that you would ever need for nursing! I think it is like 3900 south or something like that...

Good luck!

Hillary said...

All I can say is GOOD LUCK! I wish I had some good advice, but you know my experiences, I didn't even try 1 time with Jason. I always wished I could do it but it was not in the stars :) I hope you find the good advice you're looking for.

Emily said...

I had a horrible experience with Megs and didn't even attempt it with Spencer and Bree. I am BF Karly, and so far so good. It's a TOTALLY different experience this time around. My milk was very slow coming in, and so I took Fenugreek (an herb that helps with lactation, and keeps up the milk supply) It is completely safe...I have friends who take it the whole time they are breastfeeding.
Also, I swear by Lansinoh, (Lanolin). It prevents bleeding and cracking, and oh so much pain!

Jill said...

I have a hard time for at least the first month. Getting used to it, baby getting used to it, multiple infections, but have been lucky that my milk production is on overdrive and we have chunky babies. I would echo Sally. My doc's office had a lactation nurse and just one little visit helped with the correct latch-on. Drink, and eat and relax, relax, relax. Don't worry about the house, etc. and then if it doesn't work...it's ok. Don't be hard on yourself. Good luck!!!! Can't wait to hear all about the new baby!

Keppner said...

I wish I had advice too. I had somewhat the same experience as you did, my milk was low with my first and had to supplement after each feeding. My second I pumped and pumped and pumped,(she ended up on soy) My third, I produced 1/4 ounce after pumping all day. My 4th I produced nothing at all. Not even colostrum. It was beyond frustrating, even after trying everything to get it going. With my 5th I realized it was not going to work, so I enjoyed every minute I had bottle feeding. No regrets!

It was so frustrating to me, because everyone I talked to would talk about how they were always leaking and how they would get in the shower and have it start coming out, or even shoot it across the room. My chest was swollen and hurt, but nothing.

I do remember 10 yrs ago, I had a pediatrician suggest that I get on some medicine that helped produce milk supply, but then my OB was against it. For some reason I went with the OB. I can not remember the reasons, but that might be something to ask the DR. If I remember right I was not producing the hormone prolactin (sp). I know at the time I was looking into it some of the meds out there to boost were so new, and not AAP approved, but that was 10-12 years ago.

I hope you can figure it out one way or another.

emlouisa said...

Ditto the Fenugreek!!! It makes you smell like maple syrup but it works! Eat a lot of oatmeal too. The more healthy foods you eat, the better your milk supply will be.

I would definitely have them help you at the hospital with breastfeeding...talk to a lactation specialist. In our area we have a breastfeeding group that you can go to once a week that is for moms that are struggling with it. An LC is there as well and she can talk with you and give you advice and stuff.

Sounds like you have had three way different experiences...maybe this one will be great and you'll be able to do it! You never know! If you can just get that baby to your breast as soon as possible and just keep him/her on it as long as they want to.

Also, DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT!! You said that it contributes to your baby blues...if that's the case, if it doesn't work out, don't feel guilty or bad or stressed about it. Give it the old college try and if you can't do it don't feel bad! I have a friend who totally gets postpardum depression and nursing makes it a billion times worse. If it is making you feel bad, don't do it.

((HUGS)) Your pregnancy has gone super fast for me! (LOL) Good luck!

Crystal said...

I heard the oatmeal thing. Since I don't like oatmeal, I made a oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I know probably not the same, but I think it helped. ;) I have no great advice. I hope you have the success you desire. And I love all the girls names you have in your poll.

This Place is a Disaster! said...

I have low milk too, I have to nurse every 1-2 hours unlike the 3 they say is normal.

My fat does not dissolve off as I nurse, unlike what they say it should do. My weight does not go away until I stop nursing.

I think I nursed my first one all day every day for the first 3 days, she was starving, I was raw, but after 2 weeks the pain was gone. The bleeding subsided as well at about 3 weeks.

Nursing is painful at first. It does get better.

Do your nipples actually poke out. Some peoples don't so it is a bit of a trick to get the right latch for the babe - but 100% possible!

Nursing is painful at first . . . did I say that already?

Go pee first. Nursing let down causes contactions to your uterus and if you have a full bladder it can be more painful, AND also, it's helps to know you won't have to get up and go in the middle.

I honestly LIVE on the couch nursing for the first 3 months. Don't plan on getting anything done for the first 12 weeks.

I am serious about the first 3 months. Don't make plans.

Pumping is not as efficient as actually nursing. The baby drains it better and it is not so hard on your nipples, but I like to pump once a day durring those painful beginning weeks, it offers some nipple relief.

Some say to pump more - I say to just nurse more - however the more I nurse, the more my milk DOES NOT increase, like they say it should. I too have low milk and have tried to increas my volume but am not successful - BUT I have successfully nursed 3 babes til 12 months.

This Place is a Disaster! said...

Ahh, yes and recently I heard that there is a vitamin that supposedly helps to increadse milk volume - ask someone about it.

Courtney said...

Well I didn't have much luck with Nate in this area, but have been around Brooke who is a milk machine, and here is what we did differently. In the hospital I told them to go ahead and bottle feed, I was too tired and drugged to work at it.
I did try and had the people help me, but I am a bit skittish about modesty and people seeing me... you know...
So I did both bottle and nurse because Nate would get so upset and just cry because he was hungry.

Brooke used their industrial style pump every hour or so and documented how much she got (Aaron, was in the NICU) when she was able she tried to nurse. Her milk came right in.

At home, I tried to drink lots of water, but don't really like water... I also didn't eat very well, because I was sore and didn't want to get up to eat.

Brooke is awesome about eating - lots of fruits and healthy stuff and is always drinking water.

One thing that did help me when I was trying was the nipple shields - you can get them at target - that really helped with the pain.

Brooke was also told to not bottle feed until at least 4 weeks, so that he wouldn't get used to the bottle.

I started with both because I figured that since I was going back to work after he should be able to do both easily... Plus he had to be starving because I only remember really leaking - like 2 times...

Linda said...

OK, I used to be the president of the La Leche League in Hollister, and I would definetely advise a LACTATION SPECIALIST or joining the La Leche League. I also agree with going PEE first, that will really help. Also, I also agree about not stressing about it. As STRONG as a Hippie-Mom-Nurse-Until-They-Are-Two as I am....I still would advise against it if you are stressed, sore or overwhelmed. Try the lactation specialist first though.... It's supposed to be a bonding experience not a stressor... NO GUILT okay?

Matt & Val said...

My Chinese friend brought me papaya after I had TJ and she said it was supposed to help with milk supply. I don't know if it actually did, but my kids CHUNK up right after I have them, people ask me if I am feeding them cream. Guess it doesn't matter what size your chest is before hand. :-) At least I get a little glimpse of what a big chest would be like, and honestly, I think it would be a pain to have for a long time. :-)

Laura said...

I love that people are telling you not to stress or feel guilt. I am a definite proponent of nursing, and I nursed my twins they self weaned at 15 months. However, nursing DOES NOT work for everyone, and it never has! In Biblical times they had wet nurses, now we have formula. Do what you can, try, and if it doesn't happen, happily move on knowing that you are still a wonderful mother and a fully capable woman.

That being said, try brewer's yeast. It is the stuff in beer that helps with milk production, but without all the alcohol :)
You can get it from old-fashioned style rootbeer, but I know I'm not a big fan of soda, so when they told me to drink a bunch to increase my supply with the twins, I just couldn't do it. We found you can actually buy the yeast in bulk- In fact if you want to give it a try I have enough to supply a small army through the millenium!
Good luck to you ! You are getting close!

Meggan Hansen said...

Are you delivering at Alta View? The lactation consultant there is great. If you're there on a week day, she has a mini-breast feeding class in the morning. (At least she did 22 months ago) I definitely recommend that. I went to the class, even though it was my 3rd child and learned a ton. The 3rd had trouble nursing, so I made a follow up appointment with the LC after I was discharged and she was SO helpful.

Dawn said...

I remember my 5th baby spitting up and fussy all the time at first but then when I took him to his six week check up found out I had to supplement nursing and bottle feeding. As he got older He didn't spit up as much and I ended up nursing till he was 17 months old.

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