Thursday, December 29, 2011

Breastfeeding

Will I ever figure this out??  This post is going to be a bit of a brain dump and if you have any suggestions at all- I am all ears, seriously.

Ok let's start at the beginning- if you've been reading for any period of time, you know Emily had/has reflux and colic.  This made breastfeeding hard because I began to feel like I was causing these problems.  She would scream when she ate, after she ate, when she wasn't eating.  If I was holding her, she would cry for the boob- all. the. time.  She never slept because she was always crying.  She had gas so I tried to quit eating dairy, gassy veggies, tomatoes, etc.  I felt like I couldn't eat anything and worried all the time that I was causing her to be in this much pain.  Any time she nursed she would let the milk run out the side of her mouth and I would end up with a lap full of milk at the end.  I wasn't sure if this was a latch problem or just her being lazy. But again, I was worried that she wasn't getting enough food because she always seemed hungry.

So I caved, I started giving her formula.  She ate it with no problem but still wanted to nurse, so we did both.  Mostly nursing during the day and giving formula at night.

Then the move came and my supply basically went away.  She wanted to nurse but I didn't think she was getting enough so I gave her more and more formula until that was all she was getting.  I felt terrible, and I still do because I feel like she wants to nurse.

Now that she has been strictly on formula she is even more gassy and has cradle cap and red, dry bumps on her face.  I'm not sure if this is related to formula?

So, my questions are:

~ Can I get my supply back?  I still feel the tingling every once in awhile when she is really crying and if I squeeze, drops of milk will come out. (TMI, sorry.)  How can I go about doing this?  More pumping, taking something?  Have any of you done this?

~ If I can get my supply back what do I do about her letting milk spill out of her mouth?

~  Should I just stick to formula and try soy based to see if it makes her less gassy?  Do any of you have a formula that you think is great in this situation? We have tried the "gentle" formula from both similac and enfamil, both make her gassy. Side note:  When she eats from a bottle she makes a loud clicking noise with her tongue, we can't figure out how to stop this and I wonder if that is what is causing her gas issue?  We use avent bottles, is there a kind that might be better?

13 comments:

  1. I understand the breastfeeding struggle! I've had a bit of my own journey there too (still do!). I am taking Motilium to help my supply, after MONTHS of trying anything and everything else under the sun. If nothing else works, it is an option, even if just to bring the milk back to where it was, which would mean taking it just for a couple weeks. I swore I would NEVER take a medicine to bring my milk back, but I got desperate and tried it and it was the right decision for me.

    Some natural methods are fenugreek herbs, oatmeal, nursing her often and plenty of pumping. I LOVE this website: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/index.html It answers all kinds of questions. Hope some of this is helpful!

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  2. Yeah, KellyMom is a great BFing website. How long have you been exclusively formula feeding? The longer its been, the harder it will be to get your supply back. You'll have to be feeding and/or pumping until your breasts are drained at least every 2 1/2 hrs during the day and every 3-4 hrs at night b/c frequent stimulation is the key to milk production.

    Something like this (http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/breastfeeding-devices/51/supplemental-nursing-system-sns) could be helpful too, so even when you don't have enough milk in yet, she is stimulating your breasts while taking in nutrients from formula still.

    Do you have a lactation consultant or la Leche League person close that you can call? Our hospital had a free lacatation consultant to talk to - she'll have the best ideas!

    Also - Stella has some issues with milk spillage... usually b/c she has a gas bubble and needs to burp, or sometimes b/c her latch isn't great and/or she needs to be held in a slightly different position --- all things a lactation consultant could help you with.

    Good luck!

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  3. I'd recommend finding your local La Leche League and contacting the leader(s) for advice or attending a meeting. Their website is very user friendly.

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  4. i also recommend seeing if you can get ahold of a lactation consultant or talking to someone in LLL. i would imagine you could get your supply back- maybe try pumping and taking fenugreek and drinking mother's milk tea (what i do to maintain what i've got going)? also, our pediatrician prescribed metaclopromide (not sure of spelling) that REALLY helped my milk come in, although i'm not taking it anymore. hugs!

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  5. We had to supplement until the past two days and had switched to Similac Alimentum- is that the one you're using? I'm not sure about getting your supply back but we've experimented with positions and use the football hold in more of an upright position which has worked out best with getting all of the milk. Also, I had a consultant come by and she said when you are supplementing to hold the bottle more level and, when the baby takes a break/breath, hold it down until s/he starts sucking again... it's supposed to help them switch back and forth between breast & bottle easier. Good luck, let us know how it goes!

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  6. I also blamed my milk when Logan was colicky. I actually did an entire day of formula (the expensive hypoallergenic kind). There was no difference! After I'd read HSHHC I realized it was never my milk - just a phase he was going through and an immature digestive track. Luckily, the one day didn't effect my supply. It's hard not to second guess everything you're doing when your baby is unhappy though ;(

    As for the milk pouring out - you probably just had an overactive letdown (meaning she couldn't drink as quickly as you were flowing). I'd nurse side-lying with a towel under his mouth. This didn't last past his third month though.

    Most people I know that switched to soy had issues with constipation - just a heads up.

    I think it's should be possible to get your supply back, but you'd probably want to see an LC. For now, if she wants to nurse - let her. Nursing is the best way to increase your supply. I should know - I allowed myself to be a human pacifier when Logan was colicky haha. GL Keep us posted! I really hope you have success. BF has truly been one of the greatest experiences I've ever had and although it can be rocky at first - it's well worth it if you see it through!

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  7. I have no Bfing advice, as we did formula from the first day. We had to switch to soy before leaving the hospital. I don't know if it made any difference in her reflux though, since I have nothing to compare it to, really. Good luck with either the FF or the BFing.

    As far as bottles, we use Dr. Brown's bottles. It sends the air from the nipple back down into the bottle. Reagan still has reflux issues, but her gas isn't bad at all. Have you talked to your pediatrician about medication for reflux? We also use cereal to help keep her milk down. Sometimes all of those things work, and some days she spits up a ton.

    Let us know how it all turns out.

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  8. I don't have a lot to add other than adding that Kellymom.com is a godsend and that I know of a couple babies with a dairy/soy intolerance - have you noticed anything in her poops (blood streaks, etc) that would indicate an intolerance with something she's ingesting?

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  9. With my daughter, when I stopped breastfeeding her and gave her formula, she had the most awful gas pain, until I switched to soy formula. She did great on soy formula. I don't know how to get your supply back...you just have to constantly stimulate. I talked to my doctor because I'm not getting as much milk as my son needs, so he told me to just have him latch on all the time because that stimulates the milk to come in. It sounds like she may have nipple confusion with the noise...like it's hard to make the right contact. If you use the Tommee Tippee bottles, those are known to be the closest to the mom's breast. I use that and my breast, and my son is able to latch onto both just fine. I'll be thinking about you. It's so frustrating sometimes, huh? Keep up the good work!!!

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  10. I've never had those questions posed to me, about getting a supply back, but I know it must be possible, because there are women who are able to stimulate their breasts enough, even when not pregnant, to be able to breastfeed a baby they are adopting. Perhaps if you were to research how they do that, you'd get some things to try?

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  11. Is it the flow of the nipple that is causing the problems, too high or too low?

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  12. I think if you wanted to get your supply back, you would have to pump or breastfeeding every 2-3 hours around the clock and hopefully after a couple days your supply will build back up. I took Fenugreek, Brewers Yeast, and Mother's milk tea while I breastfed and my doctor prescribed me Reglan to help my supply as well.
    We use Avent bottles too, but I've heard the Born Free ones and Dr. Browns are excellent. Aiden had a hard time bottle feeding in the beginning, but it's like one day he just figured it out. We still use the smallest hole nipple so that the milk doesn't come out too fast and cause glassiness.

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  13. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/relactation.html

    Check out this link!

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I would love to hear what you have to say!