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relactating
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November 2008
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Heidi [userpic]

Hi ladies!

I'm hoping someone can help me out. I'm sure you've all heard this story, but here we go! My daughter weighed in at 6lbs 11oz when she was born. I planned on exclusively breastfeeding as it was VERY important to me - STILL IS! :) However, like most new moms my milk took its time coming in and my daughter dropped down to 6lbs 2oz when she was 4 days old. I had a home visit from a nurse from my hospital and she was concerned about her weight so she talked to my pediatrician who wanted me to supplement with formula to get her weight back up since my milk wasn't it yet. SIGH. Well, you can just imagine how that went. I was made to feel like the WORST MOTHER EVER! It was like I was starving my child or something. I felt terrible! Just terrible. Well, my daughter got SO used to the bottle that refused my breasts. She would scream and claw at them and not surprisingly, I was THISCLOSE to giving up. I decided on Jan 3rd that I was going to go strictly to formula...and you know what? I couldn't do it. I felt SO guilty and cried and cried. I REFUSE to give up!!

My daughter latches on to my left side very nicely, but only for a little bit. There's no way we get in a good feeding. Plus she tends to fall asleep after 5-10 minutes. I'm using a nipple shield on my right breast to help her latch on. I have terribly flat nipples. :( I tried to pump tonight to see if I even had any milk left - and I do! It was only a few drops, but I was BEYOND excited and am determined to do everything in my power to breastfeed my daughter. I don't think I'll be able to do it exclusively, but I'm determined to try my hardest!

To be honest, breastfeeding didn't come very naturally or easy to me. I was SO SO SO determined to do it and once I started and my nipples got rubbed raw and I got mastitis I was SO ready to quit. But the decision hurt so much. I honestly don't think I have ever been in such emotional pain. I'm hoping somebody can give me some pointers!

I'll be going back to work on Monday full time. I will be working from 7:30-4pm. I get an hour lunch, but my company is WAY cool on pumping moms. What type of schedule should I make for myself? How often should I pump? I plan on nursing my daughter when I'm home, providing there's milk for her get!

Thank you SO much for any help you can give me! This is very important to me! Thank you!

P.S. I have a Medela PIS pump, for those who are wondering. :)

Current Mood: stressedstressed
Comments

Hi sweetie. I writing from experience. It is entirely possible to provide for yuor daughters needs fully 100%. The fact that you are willing, have a pump are two huge steps in the right direction. My suggestion to you is to continue and try and get her to breast. This can be accomplished by skin time her skin against your own. When she refuses to take it try and not take it as a rejection and pump. Pump to your hearts content. I ended up getting my milk completely back and supported a preemie on my milk after relactating. I did this by pumping for two weeks around the clock every 2-3 hours for at least 15 minutes. Within 4 weeks I was making 60oz of breast milk a day. After I had a more established supply it was easier to convince my daughter there was something in there and she might want to check it out. We tried the whole SNS and nipple sheild thing and had no luck. That is why I just tried to establish my milk fully and never had any problems after that and builds up quite a stash. I hadn't nursed her in three weeks from the time this process started. The first time I pumped I made maybe a drop. Just try and trust your body. It will do what it is meant to do.

HUGS and good luck and I am on email if you want to chat.
sentimentbutcrazy.shannon@gmail.com

Thanks for your support! It's nice to read a success story and know that this CAN be done! :)

relactating

Hi, I was searching around and saw your plea for help. Know that I've been seriously working on relactating for about two weeks and after having no sign of ever having produced milk (after stopping breastfeeding and pumping 4-Nov), I'm now seeing drops of actual milk! I didn't even know it was possible to relactate! Don't give up. If you're changing your mind now, it's much, much better than later. I'm taking Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek capsules, drinking Mother's Milk tea and conditioning my breasts faithfully. Pump at least every two hours for fifteen minutes AND every time you can squeeze in a manual pumping session, that works too! I work and pump during my breaks (I have an Ameda dual pump). Like you, the break in breastfeeding has been one of the most emotionally painful decisions I had in my life. This baby is my last child and I didn't breastfeed the others. Unfortunately, it's my last opportunity to get it right!

Re: relactating

I've been taking Fenugreek and have been getting more milk out of each pumping! I went from getting .5oz out of pumping for THREE DAYS to getting .5oz yesterday alone! I was THRILLED! What do you mean by conditioning your breasts?

Re: relactating

For "conditioning" I keep Lansinoh breast ointment on my nipples and massage my breasts at every opportunity I get. I'm so sorry--I should have been more clear. Sounds like you're on definitely on your way to producing more and more milk. Of course, I'm way behind you, but I'm thrilled nonetheless with the little progress I'm making after not lactating at all for almost two months!

(Anonymous)

Hello,
I just wanted to give you a pat on the back for the effort you're making for your baby. When my son was born he refused to breastfeed and despite all the help I had from nurses and lactation consultants it didn't make a difference. Luckily for me I came to the decision to pump and provide him with breast milk even if he would never breastfeed for me. However, I continued to try with him even though it seemed hopeless. Then after about a month I tried nursing him and he latched on! I was shocked. At first he would only nurse on one side and only for a little bit, but within a couple weeks he would nurse for longer and on both sides. Now he is almost exclusively breastfed. I just wanted to encourage you and tell you not to give up hope of having the breastfeeding experience you wanted. It is still very attainable for you! =) Good luck and congratulations on the success building up your supply!

(Anonymous)
hI

Hi, I say good job for sticking with it! I have had two children in two years and although I had some set backs I can tell you that sticking with it even after going back to work is possible if you make breastfeeding a priority. I went back to work after 1 month of maternity. I had planned to pump enough milk for those first few days with the excess milk I always have the first few weeks following delivery but then my baby got thrush so I had to throw away all those precious frozen packages of milk. So I started work with only one days surplus of milk for my baby. I also had to continually boil all my pump equipment and use a topical medication on my nipples that first month to prevent re-infection. So my first day I carefully instructed the caregiver to only feed my child on the schedule that I planned to pump on, and off to work I went.. Here is my advice set a schedule and stick to it!!! weekends evenings and daytime at work. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!! (yes exceptions will happen but if your policy is no exceptions it makes it harder to skip a pumping, or postpone it! I know this can be hard and awkward at times with coworkers and work schedules but it is worth time. I also told my boss the schedule so she new if I had to step out of a meeting and why... It took thought and planning but by staying on a schedule I was able to keep my milk supply up and I was able to successfully pumped for a year!
My work schedule:
Nursed at 6AM at home:
Pumped at:
9AM at work 15-20min simultaneously both breast Medula pump, high setting( The high setting just resembled how my babies ate )
12pm at work
3pm at Work
6pm at home
9pm at home
and during the night the first six months on demand.

It was inconvenient I had to be aware of the time...setting an alarm helped and planning my day around pumping but it was worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat! I hope that helps! Marjorie, Kansas