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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board


Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index


[QUOTE=KeltoKel]I am beginning to wonder though, is it possible that some people just never end up producing enough breast milk?[/quote]

It's really pretty rare to not be able to produce milk. There is usually a reason for why we have troubles. For me it was a very medicalized birth and traumatic delivery. I was induced (which in hindsight was a HUGE mistake, but I can't change that now), was in labor 37 hours, 19 of which was with pitocin and antibiotics. I also had an epidural (we won't even go there!). Pitocin is HORRIBLE horrible stuff. It is basically fake hormones that force your body into labor, and jaundice is a huge side effect. Between the jaundice and my body simply not being ready to give birth I was doomed from the start. By the time she was 4 weeks old she was loosing weight and had barely got back up to her birth weight. I, like you, had to supplement. It took 10 weeks to get off the formula, and I did EVERYTHING possible to get there - SNS, fenugreek, blessed thistle, pumping, co-sleeping.. you name it, I did it.

What was your birth like? Unless you had a natural (no inducement or c-section) birth with NO drugs, I would attribute your breastfeeding problems to your labor and deliveries.

[quote]I am wondering if there is just something hormonal in me that makes is hard for me to produce milk?[/quote]

Do you have thyroid problems? I would have blood drawn to check for thyroid levels. A wonky thyroid can cause problems with milk supply.

[quote]I have pumped for 36 hours now and don't even have an ounce of milk saved. Can you imagine if I was only breast feeding my son exclusively and not feeding him anything else? He would be very hungry.[/quote]

Not necessarily. Pumping is NOT an indication of milk supply! Some women have no troubles breastfeeding but never respond to a pump. A pump is artificial, a baby is the real thing. Our bodies can tell the difference.

The ONLY way to tell if your baby is getting enough is by checking diapers - what goes in must come out! If your baby is having 5 wet diapers a day then he is properly hydrated.

I mistook my daughters "ravenous" signals as a sign that my milk must not have been plentiful, and while I needed to supplement for a short while, I underestimated my body. When I realized how to count diapers and monitor pee (5-6 nice clear, non smelly pees per day) I realized she was getting enough and that she just LIKED being on the breast. It's called comfort nursing, and it's totally normal. Your body will also adjust to this, so if your baby is used to taking in 18 small meals a day, your body will produce accordingly (which is why he may have measured as having only taken in a small amount).

In any case, the SNS is a great way to get him supplemented, and it gives him the instant gratification at the breast that only a bottle can provide, which may help boost his suck. I would give it a try, you can get them at Babies R Us.

[quote]Numerous people have told me that I need to be happy and my son needs to be happy. If this is making me miserable, then I am not going to stress myself out over it anymore. Although the breast is best, my son can grow just as healthy with formula. At least I know I tried my best.[/QUOTE]


I remember going through this same thing - trying to rationalize formula and giving myself permission to quite. Obviously it never happened and my daughter, at 8 months, is still almost exclusively breastfed. Don't sell yourself short, this kind of thing takes time and hard work. I pumped AROUND the clock, with NO results (not a drop) for weeks before seeing results. I ended up pumping for a total of ten weeks before I was able to stop.

Stressing certainly doesn't help, but, you have to do what you have to do. Babies don't grow well [i]because[/i] of formula, they grow well [i]inspite[/i] of formula.

Even if you always need formula you can still have a successful breastfeeding relationship. I know a woman through LLL (speaking of which, you should join, they're a great help!) who had a single mastectomy and breastfeeds on one breast and supplements the rest with formula. Her son is almost 3 years old, and while he no longer needs the formula, she was still able to breastfeed successfully in spite of her troubles.

I guess what I'm saying is to do what is necessary, but don't give up. Take a deep breath, relax, and repeat after me - "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this". You CAN do this! If women who have never given birth can produce milk for an adopted baby, you can breastfeed your son.

I totally know what it's like to be discouraged when you work so hard and see no results, but it does take time. Maybe not one week, or even two weeks. It could take a month or more, but in the mean time your son is still receiving breastmilk which is full of immunities. He's still bonding at the breast with you. He's still receiving the most natural and save form of comfort.

You can do it, you can do it, you can do it, you can do it!!





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