Breast Milk.......

Meredith - posted on 01/26/2010 ( 69 moms have responded )

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I gave birth via c-section two weeks ago and it took three days for my milk to come in. In the meantime the hospital obviously fed my daughter formula (similac) and once my milk came in I was supplementing her formula with breastmilk. She had attachment issues (and still does) due to the fact that she is used to the bottle. So even though I bought a nipple guard (which helps a bit) I choose to pump mainly because I figure as long as shes getting breastmilk it shouldn't matter where it comes from.



So here is my dilema: I noticfed last week when i got home from the hospital I was pumping alot more milk then I am this week. Some days I wake up and I am leaking and can get 2-3 ounces out of one pumping session...other days I am lucky if I get 1 ounce out of a pumping session. Is this normal or is it a sign that I am drying up early? Is there anything I can eat or take (I'm still taking prenatal vitamins and DHA supplements currently) that can help with the production of breastmilk?



Thanks to you all!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Diane - posted on 01/28/2010

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make sure you are hydrated. it is harder to make milk if you are not properly hydrated.

User - posted on 01/31/2010

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i had the same problem. the hospital gave my daughter formula against my advisement. she also had trouble with the latching. i used a nipple shield and that worked 4 her. i had to use it 4 a couple of months b4 i got her 2 nurse me on a regular basis. keep working with her. i would try the breast first and it she wont take it. i would give her a bottle. some babies once they get used 2 the bottle wont take the breast.i would store any extra milk. dont give up!!!! it is hard i know!!! i didnt have a good support system. i did tough it out and my daughter is 11m and still nursing. i hope this helps and good luck.

Angela - posted on 01/29/2010

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My first child was born at 33 weeks. She had many complications that interrupted breastfeeding. First off her bowels weren't working, so she began throwing everything up. She was put on IVs for a few days to keep her hydrated while letting her bowels rest and hopefully began working. Once they began working, she was allowed only the smallest amounts of expressed milk; I was pumping every 3 hours and freezing it to allow my milk to come in. They had to make sure her bowels were working and not over worked. Then parts of her intestine started dying and she began to poop out blood. This time she was put on TPN (Food in the IV) as she wasn't allowed to eat at all while her bowels tried to heal; luckily they did and she didn't need any surgery. I pumped almost exclusively for 36 days while she was in hospital going through all of this. They hospital was really good about using the milk/colostrum I had pumped. When she was finally able to try breastfeeding we had latching issues as well, due to her being a preemie but also because she had been fed with a bottle (my milk). We used the breast shield for about two months before being able to nurse without it. I suggest everything the others said: stimulate, stimulate, stimulate your breasts. Have her suck on them...when you're pumping, think about your baby, have a picture of her to look at to help your body get into the "I'm feeding my baby" mode. Drink lots of water (don't drink peppermint tea...a lactation consultant said it can cut down your milkd supply). Eat well, gets lots of sleep. I know some are saying to pump after your milk stops, and that's okay as long as you don't tramatize your nipple. Once you've damaged the nipple it really hurts to nurse for a few days! My last baby wasn't latching properly and it took me a week to get my nipple healed after he damaged it. Make sure the mouth is wide open. To get my baby off the shield, I would nurse with it for a minute to get the milk flowing and the "shape" of the nipple right and then quickly slide it off and put the nipple in her mouth. It took a while, but we did get off the shield.
Don't give up...as others are saying there are meds you can take as well. Remember, your milk is the healthiest thing for you baby to drink! It's easily digested as well. Hugs to you and your little one!

[deleted account]

I feel for you. I had the same problem with my now two and half year old. I tried everything from nipple shields to mother's tea and would only be able to nurse when I was engorged after two days. My doctor finally advised me to stick with the formula, I was pumping around the clock. Whatever you decide to do, know that you are making the best decision for you and your baby. In California, we have La Leche League, see if you have anything like that in your community or check at the hospital where your baby was born. Either way, you will know if your heart what is best for both of you. Best wishes!

Jessica - posted on 01/28/2010

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I attempted to breast feed and my baby never did get enough. She would pull away and scream while I was nursing her. The lactation consultant at the hospital informed me that I may not make enough milk because my breasts were spaced too far apart and I didn't really have any breast changes while I was pregnant. They never offered a supplemental nursing system, which I just recently found out existed, and I wish thet had. When she was about 4 days old we gave in and gave her a bottle and that was the first time I saw her satisfied after a feeding. I pumped until she was 3 months old and I never pumped more than 8 ounces in a day, even when I pumped every 3 hours, including overnight. My daughter is now 6 months old and it still saddens me very much that I couldn't nurse her. No one ever told me there were other options I just recently found out about. I guess I'll be better prepared next time. Good luck with your little one.

69 Comments

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Meredith - posted on 02/01/2010

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I bought some "Fenugreek" from GNC over the weekend to attempt to boost my milk supply....i've been taking two tablets for three days straight now......How long does it take to kick in and start seeing results?

Cheryl - posted on 01/31/2010

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I did the same thing you did - exactly. Decided to pump & supplement with formula.
Once my milk came in I was able to cut out formula completely & keep her fed w/the milk I was pumping.
What I noticed was that my milk production seemed to be directly tied to my water intake. Be sure to stay hydrated - drink more than you would have before you had the baby even. You should see an improvement soon!
Good luck!

Meredith - posted on 01/31/2010

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Thanks for all the advice...I have gone to GNC and purchased some Mother's Milk supplements to see if that will help boost my milk supply. Wish me luck! :D ♥

Sue - posted on 01/30/2010

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i haven't read through all the replys so i am probably repeating what has been said. milk usually takes a couple of days to come in it doesn't matter if it was c-section or vaginal birth. nursing is the best way to increase your milk production. what i do is if the baby fusses i check the diaper and any other comfort issues then put the baby to my breast. yes you are attached to the baby alot but you are sure to get them fed enough and get the milk production up where the baby needs it.

oh and i dont wear a bra - binding your breast is one way to decrease your production so use a non binding bra if you choose to wear one.

Corrie - posted on 01/29/2010

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Relax. Stop reading all of these looong replies. Hydrate, try different positions, always offer breast first, then bottle, massage those tata's and for goodness sakes if you are pumping that much protect those nipples with cream and soft breast pads. You may be trying to hard. Just relax and enjoy your time together. Kangaroo your little one, sing and talk. Eating is social afterall. :)

Lucy - posted on 01/29/2010

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The stimulation of the mammary glands is what causes milk production to increase. I would encourage you to keep offering your daughter your breast because the sucking action is what will get your milk production in high gear. She CAN learn to do this even though it may take a little while. Feeding her before she gets too hungry is helpful since a frantically hungry baby will be too upset to try to latch on. Always offer the breast first and be relaxed and comfortable. I often played soft music when I could. Let the breast time be cuddle time. Only use the bottle as a last resort. Allow yourself plenty of time to breast feed. NOTHING is more important. When she has a growth spurt, you will need the extra stimulation to produce the additional milk she will need. Formula can never replace the real thing, although your baby will survive in all likelihood even if formula is all she gets. Breast fed babies on the whole, have better skin, fewer ear and respiratory infections, much better digestive health, fewer allergies, better jaw and tooth alignment, and some studies suggest they are smarter, too. Keep up the good work!

Meredith - posted on 01/29/2010

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As I said in a previous post on this thread, nursing was not an option directoy after giving birth. I had an operation following my c-section and was on alot of morphine. I was vomiting and unable to hold my child safely let alone nurse. Also I had gestational diabetes throughout my pregnancy and since my baby was dependant on insulin they had to give her a bit of formula to stabalize her blood glucose levels. I did consult a lactation specialist before leaving the hospital as well as purchase a nipply guard in hopes that would help the situation since my nipples are naturally flat and round (they dont protrude out like a normal nipple)....even after all that it's still very challenging. I have not given up however I am not going to force her either. I pump milk several times a day and give that to her in a bottle if she is hell bent on not taking it from the breast. I am also going to the store tomorrow and see about purchasing some vitamin supplements the pediatrician told me about to help produce more milk.

Kelly - posted on 01/29/2010

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The best way to get more milk is to put baby to the breast. I am an RN on a labor & delivery floor. It disappoints me to know that your baby was given fomula when you were supposed to be breastfeeding. That is unacceptable. I would have been severely repermanded if not fired had I given a breast baby formula. Hang in there. Try to strictly breast feed. Let the baby nurse as much as she wants. You should ALWAYS nurse first & if neccessary supplement with formula. good luck. :)

Jamie - posted on 01/29/2010

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I am so sorry you are having problems but it sounds me that your hospital started you off on the wrong foot. There is no reason to supplement before your milk comes in the colostrum that was in your breasts is very high in fat and only 10 drops can be a full meal for a new born. But you cant change that now I also agree with everyone try to get your baby to your breast often. Eat, drink and rest enough. And keep your baby close nap next to them and carry or wear them in a sling, being close to the baby will boost your milk production.

Marsha - posted on 01/29/2010

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I'm impressed with how many woman have offered suggestions. I know that Peyton is growing and feels loved... and that she has an excellent, dedicated Mamma. With the shape of your nipples, I'm not sure you'd be able to get her to nurse particularly as long as her mouth is so small at this age... maybe in a few weeks. I like the idea of giving her the bottle while you're holding her up to your bare chest though. I saw people were suggesting stimulating your breasts and I wonder if massaging would help. Good luck, sweetie. Drink - Pump - Love!

Jenny - posted on 01/29/2010

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Good for you Meridith! Everyone's situation is different and I'm SO glad you have a supportive husband telling you what a great job you are doing!!! As a word of encouragement, my son was in the NICU for two weeks before he came home and so I also had to transition from bottle to breast. The older your baby gets, the more able they will be to latch on. Also don't worry about your nIpples not being the right shape, mine were almost totally flat, and now after three breastfeed babies they are on point almost all the time! :) Those little babies jsut have a hard time figuring it out sometimes. Something that worked well for me was feeding alittle form the bottle so he wasn't desperate and screaming, and them putting him to breast, Even if you just let him nuzzle it's good for milk production and good bonding too!!! We would LOVE to have you in our new group. "Breastfeeding is Love" We started the group to create a more welcoming atmosphere for moms of all parenting styles. http://www.circleofmoms.com/track_link.p...

Toni - posted on 01/29/2010

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I had the same problem with my second birth. I son was flat line in the womb so I had to have a c section. I did not produce milk until after 4 or 5 days... I was already home. I had problems producing milk so I had to bottle feed him. I think its normal. You can alwsys ask your doctor or you baby's doctor.

Inger - posted on 01/29/2010

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Find a local La Leche League to help you with attaching her properly. Nursing is soooo much easier than pumping! Just make sure you're giving her the first chance at the milk. It's a supply and demand thing and actual nursing is a different action than pumping. Make sure you're drinking plenty, eating well, resting well, etc. La Leche League can give you all the tips you should need. Some of them may seem fanatic, but they know what they're talking about when it comes to the mechanics and the benefits. There are benefits to nursing that I didn't know about when I was having my kids....things I've learned since my own kids are having their kids. Apparently, there's an actual exchange of information between mom and baby via enzymes in the baby's saliva that tells mom what kind of milk to produce based on the baby's needs! I had always heard that a mom of a preemie makes different milk to meet that baby's needs. I guess that's how it's done! My daughter-in-law was in the same situation as you and was eventually able to successfully nurse the baby without supplementing. You can do it!

Janine - posted on 01/29/2010

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I had problems getting my daughter to latch on so expressed milk for 6 months. My milk quantity varied greatly in the beginning so I tried to express every 2/3 hours during the day and did the same during the night - I froze/put in the fridge any excess so if I did miss an express time I still had some in stock. eventually I seemed to produce more consistently so I dropped down to every 4 hours and only did it once during the night.

[deleted account]

I haven't read all the responses yet, but I've already noticed some things that you're getting either wrong information on or that important stuff is being left out.



First, you don't have to drink crazy amounts of liquids. If you drink when you're thirsty, you'll be fine.



Second, although lots of these ladies are right that baby does a much better job emptying the breast than a pump does, there are plenty of women out there that have chosen to exclusively pump and bottle feed breastmilk to their babies. (Wouldn't be my personal choice, since it's a heck of a lot more work than breastfeeding directly!) You absolutely MUST pump at least every 3 hours, and if you're worried that you're production is dropping then you might even want to do every 2 for part of the day. You have to pump to replace EVERY feeding or else your body will start sending signals to downregulate production. Breastfeeding is all about demand and supply. If you aren't demanding it, then supply will drop. This is even more important for nighttime feeds because your hormone levels (prolactin) is higher at night and will stimulate more production. What I see happening frequently is that supplements are started, most times unnecessarily, without the new mommy pumping to replace those 'lost' feedings. So, now along with a baby that has had created latch issues from the bottle, we have a mommy with some degree of production issues because the breast hasn't been getting the stimulation it needed. None of the other things that people have recommended (fenugreek, oatmeal, etc.) will work if you aren't removing milk from the breast.



I know it may be an expense, but my very best recommendation to you is to find a lactation consultant (find one that is IBCLC certified) to work with you. If you consider the cost of formula over the course of a year, the one or two time fee for a visit with an LC is just a drop in the bucket. They can look at your specific situation, latch problem, and give you great recommendations.



Edited to add: And I just realized I didn't mention it at first, but although nipple shields may help a problem latcher to get back on the breast because it creates a situation more like a bottle nipple, you have to be really careful. Use of a nipple shield can decrease production because of decreased stimulation to the breast all by itself.



I did see your reply and wouldn't worry that you're getting more in the morning and less at night. That's normal. What I do worry about is that it doesn't seem you're pumping frequently enough. Hope my previous advice helps!

JoAnna - posted on 01/28/2010

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Supply and demand. The woman's body is very very connected to baby's needs. I breast fed all three of my children but never had the c-section to deal with. Must be tough and I COMMEND YOU for breast feeding and for the dedication to pumping. I would continue trying to breast feed naturally sans the pumping and see what happens if you're producing more.

Shelley - posted on 01/28/2010

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I had a horrible time with my second daughter. She tore me up and I had to stop for a while. I pumped for the healing period (I just had #6 so I forget all the details). Someone mentioned I should switch bottles to the AVENT brand. I swear that is the only reason she went back to the breast. You may want to evaluate the bottles you use and use something closer to the breast.

I am currently struggling with a poor latcher now. She will only take the nipple at first but will eventually pull enough in so it doesn't kill. I am pumping anywhere between 1-3oz at a time, then I will let her nurse after the bottle (healing again). Softer breasts work better for me and her.

Good luck! I too had gestational diabetes and she was given formula to boost her glucose levels (sigh). I hope you can get her back on the breast.

Amanda - posted on 01/28/2010

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the fenugreek capsules and mother's milk tea work really really well in addition to upping your water intake.... also, put her to the breast as often as you can even if just to comfort her it will help stimulate more milk production (the more she's there the more milk you will make). it may take a couple weeks of doing this but you can get there

Peita - posted on 01/28/2010

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Hi Merdeth, please don't compare yourself to anyone else, everyone copes differently! Was it explained to you in hospital that because of the surgery and illness from pain relief that you may have trouble breastfeeding! After my second child, I needed a 2Unit blood transfusion and thee hospital I was at never explained what happens when your body goes through trauma, sometimes things just don't work, my milk didn't come in till day 5 and then after 3 weeks of feeding, I had to supplement with formula because my body would not produce the milk! After my 3rd child, I had a complication called Placenta Accreta which is when the placenta grows into the muscle of the uterous, it caused me to have an emergency hysterectomy (without it I would have bled to death), clamps on my arteries to stop bleeding, a 9 unit blood transfusion and a 4 day stay in intensive care, the midwives knew I wanted to breastfeed, so the manually expressed while I was in intensive care, my little girl also had formula because I was so unwell! Again , my milk came in on day 5 and I was able to feed for 2 weeks, but my supply never increased, this time I was aware that it could happen and although I was upset because this is my last bub , I wasn't so devestated I couldn't feed, I knew there was a reason why it happened! My body had been through more than it could handle, and the surgeon said that part of your brain shuts down and goes into protect mode to help you to recover, I breastfed and supplemented with formula until I dried up at about 8 weeks! Do what you can, as long as both you and your baby are healthing, no-one can ask for anything more, things do get better wether you bottle or breast feed!

Leslie - posted on 01/28/2010

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I haven't read what everyone else has posted, but I pumped from day 1 and am still pumping at 9 mos. I pumped every 2 to 3 hours in the beginning, drank lots of water and ate frequently. I also used fenugreek. It's also possible if nothing else works to get your doctor to prescribe something to help with milk production. However, I'd use that as a last resort.

If you are wanting to actually breastfeed then trying to feed her as often as you can is the best.

Melanie - posted on 01/28/2010

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I had trouble pumping.... the nature of things unfortunately. It was helpful to pump first thing in the morning. It doesn't necessarily mean you are drying up. When I went back to work it seemed that way but if you really want to continue to feed your child breast milk (and I HIGHLY encourage you to do so for as long as it works for both of you!) then keep working at it. You will find a routine that fits. It would be helpful if you could get her to nurse as well - the attachment issues will resolve themselves if you are persistent with her and try to use the bottle less. She will find that nursing is MUCH simpler in the long run but persistence will prevail if you can keep it up! Remember, there is no such thing as EASY when it comes to kids. Some things are, some aren't but figure out what works best for you and your baby! It will pay off in the end and the bond you can create is priceless as are the health benefits for her!

Rosa - posted on 01/28/2010

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I also gave birth via c-section, and my son did not have to have any formula at all. I suggest that you take off your shirt and leave baby anly in his diaper, his instinct of latching on should help to get him on the breast. maybe try this everytime you are going to nurse, it should help until he latches on... try to nurse/pump as much as you can, I notice that early in the morning and early in the week I would have the most milk... I went back to work when my boy was 2 months, he's 7ms now and I Breastfed him exclusively for 6 months. don't get discourage you will make the milk your baby needs.

Zia - posted on 01/28/2010

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Thats normal;.Some days my pumping volumes are more,sometimes less. Fenugreek helps w/production. They make capsules and theres also an organic tea called "mothers milk" its yummy, but the capssules have more in them

Sabrina - posted on 01/28/2010

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drink lots of water....make yourself float through the day! I also found taking a whey protein supplement after each pump helped a lot. also lots of green veggies. also, pumping like a mad woman on the weekends when my husband was home...i'd pump every 2-3 hours, then go back to every 4 during the week. i got ot the point where i was pumping 60ounces a day. now i pump 1x/day and still get 10 ounces.

Sabrina

Kathi - posted on 01/28/2010

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Try taking yeast tablets to increase your milk supply and keep feeding her or pumping and PATIENCE is KEY. Just keep working with her as far at latching on and if you can don't offer her the bottle during a feeding, that may help with the nipple confusion. If you do have to give her a bottle, wait a few minutes in between the giving her the breast and bottle. If she's still not taking to the breast try talking with lactation specialist at the hospital. Some insurance companies will also offer a home care visit to see how things are going. I think that helped a ton. And DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!!! and eat often. I was eating about 6-8 small meals a day, and drinking at least 32oz. a day, if not more.

Meredith - posted on 01/28/2010

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First since I didn't really make myself clear in my original post I will here. I am in NO WAY blaming the hospital for the fact they fed my baby formula when she was first born. First off my husband and I OK'd it, secondly I had a c-section and surgery on my right ovary right afetr they pulled her out so I was on morphine for a few days and throwing up. I was in no way ready or able to breastfeed her. I also had gestational diabetes throughout my pregnancy so she was dependant on the insulin I was taking. When she was born they suggested that she have a bit of formula to keep her blood sugars up.

I am not giving up on attempting to get her to breastfeed, all I am saying is that as long as she is happy, calm and cared for that's what matters. I am not going to force her to do anything...I will continue to pump. I do it normally atleast 20 minutes at a time and atleast 4-5 times a day. I notice I have alot more milk in the morning than I do at night.

We have a pediatrician appt tomorrow morning and I will consult with them to see what I can do differently as well as inquire about any supplements or medications I can take to improve my milk supply.

In often find myself comparing my situation with others and beating myself up because of it. I guess I can blame new mom jitters coupled with out of whack hormones for it. My husband tells me daily that he loves me and that I'm doing a great job. He also reminded me today that our beautiful daughter smiles at both of us everytime she eats whether it's my milk or formula....and that's all that matters. ♥

Vicki - posted on 01/28/2010

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First of all, the hospital should have had you nusring the whole time because before you have your milk come in, you had colostrom that has many needed nutrients for your baby and that is all the baby needs for the first few days until the milk comes in. I find it strange that they didn't have you do this.

Some women have a difficult time pumping. I would say as long as you keep a consistent pumping schedule (don't skip sessions) your supply should level itself out. Always remember to pump aobut 5 minutes longer than the milk flows. Your body responds to how much it thinks your baby is drinking. If you quit pumping when the milk stops, your body will never think it needs to produce more.

Don't give up trying to get the baby to nurse. It may take many tries but you can usually get them to take the breast. Try slower flow nipples on the bottles which will make the baby work harder and make it more like the breast.

Good luck to you! My little man is almost 10 months and we are still nursing though he better quit trying to bite momma with those new teeth! (o;

Reneca - posted on 01/28/2010

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Meridith,
While you are nursing or pumping, try to massage your breast. That will help to ensure that you are expressing all the milk. Good luck.

Brandy - posted on 01/28/2010

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Understandable. The lactation consultants at the group I go to talk about pumping alot especially for moms going back to work. One of the things they recommend is pumping at least 10 minutes, and going an extra 5 minutes beyond when the milk is coming out to signal to your body to produce more milk.

Meredith - posted on 01/28/2010

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thank you for your kind words. after my c-section i was on a fair amount of morphine and would have been unable to hold her properly let alone breastfeed. Also my nipples tend to be more round and smooth much like my areola is....they don't protrude out so latching is virtually impossible without the nipple guard/shield. i did see a lactation specialist at the hospital before i was discharged, however it was difficult with my daughter. She didn't stay on for long and i'm not going to force her head on my breast or deny her a bottle if she flat out won't take to my efforts. i'd rather her be calm, happy and fed then red in the face, howling and flailing her fists about just to suffice my wants. I will continue to pump, because i do believe that's better than nothing.....i will also ask the pediatrician their advice tomorrow at her check up.

Brandy - posted on 01/28/2010

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sounds like you've gotten lots of good advise. I've found too that the baby is more efficient than the pump, I'd put her on ever 2 to 2.5 hours. Try and find a breast feeding support group. I go to one thru the hospital weekly, and there are several lacation specialists there that help with these types of questions. One mom was one the shield for 3-4 months before her babe finally got to taking the breast without the shield.

Helen - posted on 01/28/2010

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I only breast fed my first child and had plenty of milk, never used a pump in my life. took meds to ddry up my milk for the rest of my pregnancies. so I really would suggest you ask your doctor what to do.

Gerah - posted on 01/28/2010

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I've only seen the nipple guards confuse babies and cause problems. I've nursed two babies each for one year - and my best advice at this early stage for you is to forget pumping and formula for a bit and just nurse nurse nurse.

As another person commented, during those three days before your milk "came in" you still should have been nursing - feeding colostrum. That's totally normal! Most people take a couple days for milk to come in, and the more you stimulate by feeding colostrum, the quicker the milk comes in. And, the colostrum is like super food for newborn babies. It has all the perfect stuff that a baby needs until the "milk" comes in. Shane on the hospital for not guiding you better. I'd give your doctors and/or OB unit feedback on this if I were you!

Elaine - posted on 01/28/2010

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Dear Meredith,
I went almost through the same problem, and I didn't give up trying to breast feed my daughter. I noticed that the more I allowed her to feed on her own, the more I produced milk. I stopped using the pump and breast fed her until she was 6 months old.
I didn't give her formula any more and when she was 1 mo. I had completely switched her eating habits. It demanded a lot of my time, and patience, but it was totally worth it. I believe 100% in breast feeding and would not have changed this experience for anything. My daughter is now 12 and ultra healthy!

Mags - posted on 01/28/2010

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Take Valerian tablets and fenugreek- it helped me BIG time after 2 c-sections! Don't give up but if it doesn't work - don't get upset! My first child was formula fed from about 2 months and he is a super star!

Lacey - posted on 01/28/2010

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The pump doesn't give our bodies the same cue as an actual baby latching on so yes it is possible your body is just 'giving up' on it so to speak. There's been tons of great advice here but you really need to be persistant. One thing you can do so that you don't feel as if you're being mean and holding out on her is to give her the formula by a little medicine dropper tube. This way she won't continue to be used to the bottle and since they need to suckle she will latch onto the breast.

Also please make a complaint to the hospital. It is normal for milk to not come in for 2-3 days. Shoot this last baby mine took 7 days and he was far from starving.

Cathy - posted on 01/28/2010

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I was told by the midwives and the breastfeeding specialist, every time you feed the baby or pump, drink water at the same time, baby drink you drink and relax and pray to God for help and peace, hey he made the milk right

Tiffany - posted on 01/28/2010

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I had a similar issue with my first child. She was born early and they had me on IV drugs which made me "sleep" after giving birth. So obviously I wasn't up to breastfeeding her right away. The hospital assumed that since she was a preemie they should give her a special nipple on the bottle (small and hard). (They think preemies can't suck well) Well, after that she wouldn't take to breastfeeding at all! We even had the la Leche people in to help and nothing worked. I pumped for several months to ensure that she WAS getting breast milk, but she never nursed directly. As for the amount of milk, that is something that you should be able to just call your OB doctor/midwife about. I think I remember it being somewhat normal for me as well, but it was 10 years ago. Sorry. As long as you are pumping regularly (mimicing a baby's feeding cycle--feed her and pump all in one), then your breasts should react just as if you were nursing your baby. Once you slow down or stop pumping, the milk with start to dry up naturally.

Victoria - posted on 01/27/2010

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i would like to know if the hospital staff asked you if it was ok to feed her formula before they did it, how rude if they didnt! i also had trouble breastfeeding and expressed, i just took out as much as i could and stored what i didnt use. i did notice that other days i had more. I just used what i reserved for those days. i was also leaking and found that breastpads were useless and used thin sanitary pads instead, i never had breastmilk leak on me ever again, the adhesive on the back of the pad stayed in place were as most breastpads had nothing or very little, i hope i helped, good luck to you and your bubba

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I've had 3 kids, the last born by c-section and i found the breastfeeding more difficult. Baby didn't put on any weight in first few weeks, any she did was an ounce or two, all i did was feed her constantly and after she had fed I was expressing. Eventually they discovered she had a urine infection and put the difficulties I was having down to the fact I had a c-secton. (More research on this and links to difficulties with B/F needed I think). Yes I have supplemented her with formula but completely stopped that at around 3 months - she is now 8 months and I am still breast feeding. I would suggest to B/F baby then express, even if you only get an ounce or two and rest as much as you can, I found it took me a few weeks to recover from the c-section. PLUS do not feel bad about supplementing with formula - you are doing great!!!!

Nerida - posted on 01/27/2010

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It can take up to 90 seconds of suckling before a let-down can happen. If she is crying after about a minute on the breast she is possibly just frustrated that the milk isn't flowing into her mouth yet (remember, she is used to the instant gratification a bottle gives her). Keep on trying - perhaps express a bit before you offer her the breast until she gets used to it and realises what great stuff it is! You are doing a good job and congratulations!

Tammy - posted on 01/27/2010

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Ask your doctor. I had that problem with my fifteen month old and the doc never told me that there was anything he could do, but then I was talking to a girl at work and her doctor prescribed a medication that actually tripled her milk production. I wouldnt suggest this route for long because your baby eating is the best way to increase and produce breastmilk. However, this might buy you a little more time until she is latching on and over her attachment issues. The more you nurse the better!!!

Kate CP - posted on 01/27/2010

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Try actually nursing your daughter for a few sessions. It'll stimulate milk production AND she's much more effective at draining your breast than a pump.

SARAH - posted on 01/27/2010

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WATER WATER WATER and eating well will help with milk production too. Baby latching is the main key, however. I had a hard time with latching when I brought my daughter home too. What worked in the hospital did not work at home. First she like the cradle hold, then she liked the football hold and then back to cradle. Babies will always prefer one side to the other. I can get about 4-5 ounces out of one side and only 2 on the other.....my daughter is 5 months now.

You can call the hospital lacation consultant too. They can do in-home visits if requested.

I'm also having some issues too due to bottle feeding - though not the latching part. My daughter is a 'lazy eater' now - meaning she doesn't want to work for her food when breastfeeding because bottle feeding is instant. I use the slow nipple flow for this reason.

I have an herbal supplement at home.........sorry i cannot remember the name but it makes you smell like maple syrup. I have noticed a difference when I'm taking that. I have thought about a prescription - reglan (also known as an ant-acid) that will not harm baby.

Good luck to you.

Meredith - posted on 01/27/2010

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I appreciate everyone's advice in this matter. I guess I will have to figure out what works best for us and work it out that way. I tried again this morning to breastfeed and she latched on for about a minute and then started howling again. Even though I know deep down that persistance in this will eventually pay off, I cannot sit by idle and refuse her formula simply because I am trying to reintroduce her to my breast. I want her to eat, grow and be healthy...that is the most important thing to me overall. I am going to continue pumping because atleast that's better than not giving her breastmilk at all. I want to make sure she gets all the antibodies I can produce. I am envious of those of you that say you pump 8oz in one sitting...lol.....I've never done that much!

Amanda - posted on 01/26/2010

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Everything everyone has said it very true, however I can tell you from experience that you want to stay away from chocolate and mint. They both slow down production drastically...I didnt know until I was online looking for some information to increase production, and oatmeal and avoiding these things brought my milk back to normal with in 24 hours and I had gone from pumping 8 oz at a time to 4-5 ounces at a time. BFing can be rough but its worth it and if you dont give the baby any formula it will help too, because it means that you HAVE to make the milk for ever feeding. This time around my little girl has only had 6 bottles of formula and she is almost 3 months old and she is doing great and I have only had production issues that one time.

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Congrats Mama!

Only offer the breast. If you want to keep breastfeeding, pumping and bottle can mess you up. The baby is so much more efficient than the pump.

Don't beat yourself up if she doesn't get it right away. There are a lot of ups and downs with breastfeeding, but you will never regret pushing through the trials.

Good luck.

Cynthia - posted on 01/26/2010

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I breastfed my baby, other than him being given a couple of bottles of formula in the hospital due to low blood sugar from the IV they had me on in labor. I pumped whenever we were going to church, shopping, etc because I got tired of my nosy mother in law always peeking over my shoulder and yelling that he wasn't getting enough to eat. I found that for some reason, sometimes I couldn't hardly get anything when I pumped, yet at other times I would get plenty. I dont think it's that your milk is drying up. You probably got more to begin with because milk seems to flow alot faster when it first comes in, and probably now that things have settled dow, the pump may not be providing enough stimulation! Try not to worry though, as worry and stress can reduce your milk supply!

Ateh - posted on 01/26/2010

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Congratulations! Never give up... she'll come back to you for milk if you totally stop the bottle. Breast feed her as much as she wants.

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