Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the breastfeeding efforts continue

Thanks for your breastfeeding suggestions. I forgot to mention I am on 2000mg fenugreek 3 times a day as well as maxalon 3 times a day as well. Supply has improved marginally on this but not greatly. I don't get anything that I could describe as a "let down" feeling - whatever that is (but from descriptions from others I don't feel anything really other than the pressure of my nipple being squished on latch on).

The amount I got the other day was the total result of 24 hours of pumping after feeds as well as one pumping session where I didn't breastfeed him first.

So if I miss a breastfeed I might get 18-20mls if I am really really lucky - over about 30 minutes. The most I have ever pumped in one sitting was 21 mls (and that was after a night where I was feeling really sick with a stomach upset and missed 3 breastfeeds - Hubbs bottle fed him instead).

If I pump after a breastfeed, I may get absolutely nothing up to about 5mls (rare).

I have seen 4 lactation consultants - all were great but all said I am doing all I can really. I was offered the feeding line (like you had Meg) but I really don't want to go round that route as he is quite easy to breastfeed and happy to take a bottle - it is just purely a supply issue.

I drink heaps of water and have been making a huge effort to eat enough as well. I even joined www.calorieking.com.au and have been recording everything I eat. I make sure I am getting the correct calorie intake that I need for breastfeeding based on my height and weight.

He is putting on the perfect amount of weight each week, but that is with bottle feed top ups. I try every breastfeed to not give him a formula top up, but he is still starving - still crying, and saying "Hungy" and "uh uh uh uh" and seeking with his mouth and nothing will settle him - not a dummy, not a cuddle or anything. Then he attacks the bottle like he has never fed before. When he slows down and shows the first sign of being full, we take the bottle off him and try other means of settling him, but I won't see him starve. Mind you - he has been bottle fed top ups since the day he was born so we have no idea what he would be like on breastfeeds alone.

The lactation consultants are happy with the quality of my milk so that is one thing that is good - it is just supply.

To be honest I really do not care if we can't improve beyond this point. I will just continue as is as long as I can. As long as he is getting fed, is happy and putting on weight then I will be happy. Either way it will all work out in the end.

Don't you love this little jacket? Nana knitted this for him and it looks so cute on him. I just want to gobble him up he is so cute. (Yeah I know - i am biased).

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At 7:17 pm, Blogger Sitting in Silence said...

He is just so beautiful.

You are doing a great job, like you said you have done the best you can.
It cant get any better then that.
For what it is worth, your BF story and mine are identical...right down to top up's etc...
Ty happily went on for this for 14 months...Boob to bottle no problem...

At 8:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's so cute!!! But I'm biased as well!!!
Cyber Cuz Loz

At 6:33 am, Blogger Ruby said...

You're doing great!

I went through the same thing and near beer (non-alcoholic beer) boosts your milk supply too. There's also a medication that helps. I can't remember the name but they even give it to adoptive mothers to begin lactating.

Where you on magnesium for pre-eclampsia/toxemia?

I had other medical things going on and gave up after the first month. A few months later when things settled down I tried again but it was too late for me. I've regretted it ever since.

Mine was a lazy eater; went to sleep while nursing because he had to work at it but inhaled a bottle right after.

Hope it all turns out well?

At 7:03 am, Blogger Mrs_Pants said...

Bugsy I had almost the exact same experience as you are having with the breastfeeding. I had to comp feed after every breastfeed, expressed next to nothing and was on fenugreek and, maxalon and then tried another drug (motillium). I never had engorged breasts nor did I feel any letdown. I would leak sometimes and it used to piss me off because I didn't have enough milk to feed my babies yet I leaked? It was all very disheartening because eventually I dried up to nothing.

Apparently guiness is great to increase supply but I never tried it.

At 11:52 am, Blogger Mari said...

Hi Bugsy

SNAPS for you for being strong enough to continue, with breastfeeding. I didn't have the strength, but then again after breast feeding and pumping I didn't even get a teaspoon.

I admire you for continuing, but I worry that you will burn out.

Take care

At 2:13 pm, Blogger Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

You are doing a great job. BF'ing is not the easiest thing and it's awesome you're doing all that you are. I'm not sure if you've tried Reglan - but that was something I was on when I nursed our triplets that seemed to help my supply tremendously. I also did Fenugreek 3 pills 3X a day - but had to stop when I OD'd and had an allergic reaction.

He is a beautiful baby!!

At 10:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bugsy
I've been reading your blog for a while and don't comment but thought this might be useful. I often visit moxie.blogs.com and noticed that she had a question re pumping that she discussed and included some website support groups/reference groups. Hope you find it useful!

At 7:00 pm, Blogger Drew said...

Hey Bugsy

Your boy is cuuuuute.
Just to let you know - I also find by using the breast pump I couldnt get much milk out of it (the same for some other mums I know, who are producing enough for baby, but cannot pump their supply out efficiently for some reason). So eventually I stop using the pump and feed Poopee very regularly. I find that it increases my supply (just by feeding her more), and anyway, without checking how much I am making, Poopee seems to thrive very well.

Everyone tried to describe to me the `let-down' feeling, I didn't know how it felt - but eventually I worked it out myself and now I can tell when I am about to let down. I guess everybody's different - you will work your way out yourself - I promise you - so dont worry. Breastfeeding can be quite stressful initially, but once you get the hang of it, and see your boy thriving as a result of it, you will feel much better.

I am no expert, but I look back at how much we used to struggle, I realise it was all a learning curve, sounds like you are doing very well already. Hang in there bud.

At 11:13 pm, Anonymous Meg said...

Bugsy - you really are doing an amazing job, and kudos to you for having such an amazing healthy attitude to it... it took me so long to realise that my best was enough.


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