no more milk (very long post - i'm sorry )

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by greenfiddler, May 10, 2004.

  1. greenfiddler

    greenfiddler Member

    My son is 5 weeks old and we've had some breastfeeding problems. First off, they told me in the hospital i may never breast feed because i have "flat" nipples (they don't look "flat" to me), then i saw a nurse lactation consultant who gave me a nipple shield and a pump. the nipple shild helped, it was the only way i could get my overly frantic baby to latch on, and after he was 5 days old and i was engorged, and he wasn't nursing, i was relieved. But then the nipple shild kept pulling my left nipple in funny ways until i had a HUGE crack through it. At that point, i stopped using the nipple shield on the right side and started pumping on the left. After 2(ish) weeks of that with my nipple still not healed, and my postpartum depression getting worse and worse every time i breast fed, of course it gets worse, and i get mastitis on moth sides. I had been meticulous about emptying both breasts every time i fed, but got it nonetheless. I didn't breastfeed for 3 days, partially because of the pain, mostly because of the depression. I gave him formula and all the breast milk i had stored in the freezer. now i feel much better, my nipple is almost healed and i am happy and i love with my son again, and trying to nurse, and now I am out of milk. someone please help me!!! I want to nurse so bad and i know i have made mistakes but he's my first and i have no one to help me and i'm overwhelmed! I have been letting him nurse every time he's hungry on both sides but because only a couple drops are coming out, i'm still supplementing with formula. What do i do now!? Can i get my milk back? sorry this is so long, but i'm desperate!
  2. HappyHaHaGirl

    HappyHaHaGirl *HipForums Princess*

    Where's Brighid? :)
  3. BobbinBecca

    BobbinBecca Member

    Can i get my milk back? sorry this is so long, but i'm desperate![/QUOTE]Maybe,
    I know there's a lactation consultant here so defer to her, but until the,
    is there any person in your life who can suck on them for a while? Or can you reach to do it? It sound ridiculous but milk supply is supply and demand there needs to be more demand to get your production up. Pumps are usually inadequate. The herbal tea "mother's milk" has special herbs that stimulate milk production and might help-- I think I still have some I'll send it to you if you have an address. Also, warm showers or compresses, drink so much water you're drowning in it, drink milk or soy milk too, carrots and tuna like you were a sea bunny. If you can't afford it find your local WIC in the community pages of the phone book and get on their program, they have lactation consultants too.
  4. Ask a lactation nurse about a pill you can take to get your milk back!
    If you can do what bobbi suggested that will work as well.. your hormones are still there so if you get someone to suck on you a few times every few hours it should work..??
  5. nimh

    nimh ~foodie~

  6. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    You have been in a lot of pain and had some difficulties to over come, and probably haven't had the proper care. I cant solve this over the net, as I can't see the way your baby latches or anything. My suggestion is to see a PRIVATE PRACTICE lactation consultant. The hospital LCs really don't have the time to give you personal attention, almost ALL problems go home with a sheild and a pump, even if that isn't the solution. (I NEVER give sheilds just for nipple pain, they, if used without correcting the latch, will lead to cracking. Sheilds usage is very complicated, and should only be prescribed by a IBCLC after a good hour long or longer consultation.)

    try for professional Board Certified Lactation Consultants, or call 1800TELLYOU this is Medela the pump company and they can find you an LC in your area.

    or for a volunteer leader. Most LLL leaders are NOT IBCLCs, and are only going to be helpful in less complicated situations.

    An herb called Fenugreek can help with supply, BUT this is far from your main problem, you HAVE TO fix the latch, and see someone who will spend a good hour or two with you to see a feeding, weigh the baby before and after ect.

    I hope you can get help soon. A paid consultant visit is usually less than a few weeks worth of formula. So it is definately worth the investment.
  7. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    BTW, I really like the Kellymom site.....and not just because she uses my articles either.....LOL! She has some good info.
  8. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Green, I PMed you with a list of LCs in Vermont.

    Kathleen Bruce is phenomenal! As are the others. It is waiting in your inbox.
  9. Terelda

    Terelda Member

    I just wanted to wish you all the best, and give you a big pat on the back for trying as hard as you are.

    I had my fair share of problems with breastfeeding...I remember how depressed I was...but just remember that you are doing your best. It's a crazy time being a new mom especially when you are faced with challenges like this. It DOES get better, I hope a LC in your area can help. Good luck.
  10. Brighid

    Brighid Member

    You can do it! It takes some work, and a lot of patience, but it can be done. You said you saw a few drops of milk, which is a good thing, because there's usually a bit more you can't see.

    Get some professional help who can watch you nurse and see how the baby is latching. Eat, drink and get lots of rest while re-establishing milk supply, this should be your primary focus until you both get into the swing of it, so running around, cleaning house and cooking meals should be someone else's job, not yours!
    Good luck!
  11. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    One more thing, DON'T OVER HYDRATE YOURSELF!!!! Drinking too much liquids will cause the release of the hormone vassopressin, which will decrease your supply further and make it harder to lactate. ONLY drink to thrist, no more.
  12. Fern

    Fern Member

    hey mamma! i was just looking here and then i saw your post and had to reply. i had similar problems with breastfeeding my son when he was born. i saw lactation consultant because he wasnt latching properly, my nipples bled and were so sore, my milk supply got really low, even though i pumped like crazy. it was so hard! i finally took him and myself to a specialist-a breastfeeding doctor and she took a quick look in his mouth and said "tongue tie" id never heard of it but it's when the frenulum (the little piece of skin that holds your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) is closer to the end of the tongue than normal so the tongue is shorter and he couldnt latch or stimulate the milk. so anyways, after finding that out well i was still in trouble because of low milk supply. my boobs hurt and i was depressed about not finding out sooner. i supplemented too and hated it. i wanted to nurse my baby. i felt like i wasnt a good mamma cause i couldnt feed my baby! i used a nipple shield and all of that and it was hard to go from that to regular nursing. all i can say is that we persisted and now he is 16 months and still going strong and i have milk-lots. i tried lots of different things to increase my milk supply. fenugreek tea is said to be good. i didnt find it helped much so i tried a different thing-my lactation consultant and LLL leader suggested. its called domperidone. its a pharmasutical(sp?) made for belly upsets but they found that it greatly increases milk supply in mommas without any side efects or harm. im not so into taking pills, im much more into herbs and stuff but i felt like it was last resort so i did it and it really works, and it doesnt have to be long term-once your milk supply is up to par, unless you stop nursing it should stay at that level. so anyways if you are still trying to find a way, consider trying it. maybe fenugreek tea will be the mearacle for you, try that first. and good luck. dont give up because it is such a beautiful thing. and no matter what know that it isnt your fault and you are still a good mamma, even though you are having troubles. everyone has troubles now and again and it makes you stronger in the end! if you have any other questions dont feel scared to ask!

    love fern and elwynn
  13. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Fern, did they snip your baby's frenulum? I have seen so many doctors who won't do it, evne when it is obvious that it needs to be done.

    I am upset with your LC, she should have spotted that tongue tie herself. Was she and IBCLC, RLC? Or was she a hospital nurse "assigned" to the nursing moms? Unfortunatly a lot of people who are NOT Board Certified call them selves "lactation consultants" yet don't have the Master's level training, continuing education credits, the experience and haven't passed their Boards. We are trying to weed these people out, but it is hard.

    I am so glad you finally got the help you needed, Fern.
  14. Fern

    Fern Member

    maggie, they did snip his frenulum and it helped right away. sandra, the woman who helped me at first... was a certified lactation consultant and i know that when i told her what it was she was really upset that she didnt pick up on it. my midwife didnt either. i guess now i know that if i have another baby to check because it is genetic, or tends to be.
  15. Fern I know how it is. Nobody knew Alex was tounge tied until I noticed it after a years of breastfeeding Mind you after a while I was soo good at ignoring the pain and taking care of my nipples that it went away on its own. So Alex wasnt a snipped tied tounged baby. I think one snip on his body was enough for him lol
  16. DecemberSun

    DecemberSun Member

    greenfiddler- how are you doing??? Keep us posted on you and the baby!

    I, personally, wouldn't drink soy milk. I tried it because DS couldn't tolerate dairy, and it dried up my milk a little bit. I guess there's some sort of estrogen complex in the soy that causes it in some sensitive people. Just my thoughts...

    I'd try to hand express (or as someone mentioned get someone to suck on your nipples, or suck on them yourself- it works!) before having baby latch on. This will help stimulate your let-down, and your nipples will be a little 'harder' so baby might recognize them easier. Pumping never yielded more than a few ounces for me, so I always had to hand express to stimulate milk supply, or relieve engorgement.

    I'd take the Fenugreek (cheap at Walmart), and Mother's Milk tea, and drink lots of water and eat good foods. You might ask your doc about Reglan if you're desperate, it's a prescription med that's sometimes prescribed to temporarily increase milk supply.

    Breastfeeding a newborn is hard work for every women, so don't beat yourself up! You are awesome for trying so hard and keeping with it. We're hear for you, mama!
    Love, Leah
  17. greenfiddler

    greenfiddler Member

    hi thanks everyone for the advice, support, everything. We're doing much better. i discovered one of the reasons my nipples were hurting so much is because he wasn't gettin enough of the areola (sp?) in his mouth while nursing, so now my nipples are doing better (not completely healed but better) and i have been nursing him sometimes every hour, and even when i have no milk left and he's half asleep i have been just letting him suck, which is helping to stimulate my milk but also keeps him from waking up and realizing that he's still hungry ,therefore helping me to wean him from formula, because i know the more formula i use, the less milk i will produce, i just hate thinking he might be hungry. he eats SO MUCH, even when he gets some breast milk, if i offer him a bottle, he usually wants 4-6 ounces more. he's growing so fast and he's so big i can't believe it. but we're both so happy, and oh yea i am taking fenugreek ,i can't tell if its working, i mean i have lots more molk, but i dont know if its from the constant sucking, of what. anyway, if anyone has any more advice, i'd love it and thanks again!
  18. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Green, honey. I am glad it is somewhat better but, PLEASE see a specialist, You are nowhere near out of the woods. I sent you a list of IBCLC, RLCs in Vermont PLEASE call one.

    Because of the way breastfed babies suck, they will often take HUGE amounts of bottlefed liquids, even if they aren't hungry. IT IS NOT AN INDICATION THAT HE ISN'T GETTING ENOUGH AT THE BREAST.

    The human breast will produce milk as long as there is suckling, MOST of the milk is made during the feeding, your body stores very little milk, and unless you are pregnant or taking estrogen (you aren't are you?) your baby will never be sucking on a "dry breast."

    PLEASE call an IBCLC, you still have a long way to go, I don't want you to have to do it alone.

    Do you have a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding? This book is essensial to contiued success, as well as being there to help with misunderstandings. Attending LLL meetings will be SO helpful to you. You need the support and in person contact both LLL and an IBCLC can offer. We can support you here, but it cannot take the place of inperson support and help.

    PLEASE call one of those LCs!
  19. DecemberSun

    DecemberSun Member

    At your baby's age it is perfectly normal to be nursing every hour, or almost constantly. He is basically using your nipple as a pacifier. That just means that he is bonding to you and doing just what he's supposed to do! It doesn't always mean he's hungry when he wants to nurse- he just wants some comfort, and nursing provides that for him. Don't think that you're doing anything wrong! This happens all too often- a newborn wants to nurse constantly, and the mother is afraid she's not producing enough milk, so she supplements with formula, which causes less milk production, so the breastfeeding relationship ends, etc... Don't give up! You're doing GREAT to nurse him whenever he wants, even if it seems like you're attached to him 24/7! We've all been through it before, trust me. Your baby is lucky to have you, and he knows that, so he wants to be close to you as much as possible! :)
  20. sky

    sky Member

    I'm a first time mom too and i'll tell ya, breastfeeding is the most reasuring reward there is. But its not just the baby that has to work for it, i cried every time my baby tried to nurse on my cracked and bleeding breasts for the first week or so. And then pluged milk ducks and engorgment. its not an easy thing but if you want it bad enough you've gotta just tough it out. If you only give your baby enough to get by so she stays hungry and let her nurse every couple hours, yuor milk will come in, in no time.

    Good luck

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