Amber - posted on 08/30/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )
I know that nothing is better than a baby's sucking, but I have to exclusively pump. Our son is now 12 weeks old, but had failure to thrive due to severe and atypical reflux. He now has to have Prevacid to keep anything down, Mylanta to help with it still comes up and to help soothe the ulcers on his esophagus. We have to add Simply Thick to his breastmilk, and they have me adding a very small amount of powdered formula to boost calories. He gained 9 ounces in the first month, which got him back up to his birth weight. But he only gained 1 ounce between his 1st month and 2nd month, and we spent a week in the children's hospital. He is finally gaining weight. At 12 weeks old, we finally got him to 9 pounds 13 ounces (he was born at 7 pounds, 15.4 ounces) and his newborn wrinkles are finally starting to disappear. He seemed so fragile before now, and now he seems fairly solid. I know that I have to exclusively pump for several more months at least, probably permanently for him. I wanted to delay solids and breastfeed for 12 months, but...
I am exhausted, which I know doesn't help my supply. I'm stressed to the max, which doesn't help either. My husband doesn't help at all when he is home (which is only every third day because of his job). In fact, my husband thinks it best to pick fights when he is home. I get to listen to him complain that all the laundry isn't done, that supper isn't on the table right when he wants it, that the grass hasn't been mowed, and everything else you can think of. I'm sure most of his complaints stem from the fact that he isn't "getting any," but the one time I let him since our son was born, he didn't help me along (despite me explaining the dire need to), and it hurt so bad that I cried all through it (he didn't really care as long as he got what he wanted) and then bled for 2 days afterward. It's been about a week since then and I'm still in a bit of pain. So yes, I'm married to a jerk. He's a good dad to our teenage son, and he says he's excited about the baby, but he just doesn't help. It's just me that he treats like a servant.
I am also working almost full-time running my own business, and this is one of my busiest times of year. That doesn't help either.
But now I am discouraged because I am trying to find ways to boost my supply because I hate that I am having to give my son formula at night now. I keep reading on LLL and other reputable websites of women who have children the same age as my son and they are getting 40 ounces a day, and a good 6-8 ounces per pump. I'm not getting anywhere close to that! It makes me feel like a complete failure. Now I'm even more stressed, so trying to read about how to produce more milk has become counterproductive to producing more milk...
I generally get about 3 ounces per side, a total of 6 ounces, first thing in the morning. The right side has always produced more than the left side. After that first pump, I pump every 3 hours (which is basically the most I can pump) and generally get anywhere from 1 to 2 ounces on the right side and 1/2 to 1 ounce on the left side each time. I stopped pumping at night because I am having to grab what little sleep I can (I'm lucky if I get 4 hours per night), but it didn't seem to affect it. When I was pumping at night I'd get the same as my daily pumps, sometimes a tad more, but my first pump of the morning was decreased by about the same amount. So that seems to have evened out. I'm lucky to get, at most, about 18 ounces a day. But my son is eating 3 ounces every 2 1/2 hours during the day and two feedings during the night, a total of around 24 ounces in a 24 hour period. He ends up with 3 formula bottles a day usually.
I've tried Mother's Milk tea, no help.
I've tried Breastea, no help.
I have not tried straight Fenugreek yet, although it is in both teas, but I think that is my next step. Don't now how much to take though.
I stopped all vitamins, etc. weeks ago because the milk seemed to be thin and I was not producing enough. My supply actually increased a little when I stopped them, and the milk is much fuller and richer now. I need to ad them back because we both need the nutrients, but I don't know what to do on that.
I even rigged up my nursing bras to hold the breast pump shields in place so that I can pump hands free. I pump while working on the computer, while doing paperwork for my job, even while driving (one day a week I have about 3 hours of driving for my job and there was no other option). So I set up the pump in the truck and it's running before I even put the truck in gear. That has helped with the time constraints, and for the most part I've even got in 1 more pump a day.
I know this is long, sorry. Somebody help me here. Tell me what to do. I have to do something or I'm going to end up giving up. I have almost given up pumping so many times, and my husband being a jerk this morning was the last straw for me. Either I have to see improvement this week, or I'm going to have to stop. I just can't take it any more.