I still would like to know how old the baby is, and how it was determined that she didn't have enough milk. LLL is a great source of support, but not if you truly have supply issues. She needs a GOOD IBCLC at this point regardless to get the baby off the formula.
one of my friends had this problem last summer, (she is a SAD eater BTW) she added freshly ground flax seed to her diet & fresh sesame seed milk and her milk production increased.
just a suggestion!
Ha! Cheri, I was assuming you and your sister had a mutual friend since I recognized this question! That's too funny! Keep us posted on your friend and how she's doing! (I'm sure she'll love that!)
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My opinion will probably be less popular... ;) I have had 4 dc. NO MATTER WHAT-I have never been able to produce more than 1/2 of an ounce at one time. I have been to drs, LCs, taken herbs, barley, drank HUGE amts of water, used a medical grade pump for 4 months, read books, etc etc etc. and I have come to the conclusion that I just do not make milk. There is a little unknown theory out there that MOMS, who were born preemie did not have adequate time in the womb for their milkducts to completely form and rise up out of the chest and into their proper location. I was born 6 weeks premature to a Type 1 diabetic...So maybe your friend was a preemie herself?
Let me tell you-not being able to breastfeed my dc literally torn my heart out. I think it was SO important because I cannot birth my dc vaginally and really felt ripped off for having to have c-sections everytime. I felt bfing was the only "natural" thing left that I could provide for them, and then I "failed" at that. It's one of the saddest memories I have about the first few months for each baby. I'm telling you all of this because I wish someone had made me feel "okay" about not being ABLE to produce milk. Everyone told me that EVERY woman can bf, that low supply can be fixed, that I needed to try harder, etc. and for MONTHS I tortured myself. 2 of my babies became VERY dehydrated and the drs told me they were so sick that it was bottle feed or hospitalize. One even started passing crystals in his urine!!!
anyway-I just wanted to stand up for moms who *really* CANNOT make milk and there shouldn't be any shame in that. She should try the suggestions above, but if she's like me, they don't help and she shouldn't feel ashamed to feed her baby a bottle of formula. It sucks when things don't go according to our plans, but in the end there's so much to learn from that!
Purl, I cried reading your post. I went through the same thing and 5 years since my last child, it still hurts. I tried it all too and there just wasn't any milk. I would pump and pump and after an hour have only an ounce. Sigh.
I kept thinking that this couldn't happen. Everyone told me the same thing...you HAVE to be able to produce milk! That only made it worse. I felt like a huge failure. BTW, I wasn't premature, so that wasn't a factor for me.
Anyway, I understand the pain and wanted you to know you aren't alone!
Celebrating 5 years raw!!!
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It is one of the worst things you can go through, IMO. I know, I've been there. The problem is the lack of good information that is available to moms. Far too many people (and LLL is VERY responsible for this) just keep saying that the mom must be doing something wrong...keep your chin up and just nurse. LLL leaders are just moms. They have no credentials and need to know when to refer a mother to a specialist...and not just a nurse who happens to work in L&D. It's not just about putting the baby to breast in many instances. It's just not that easy. There are many physiological problems that can contribute to a low milk supply. Problems that almost noone looks for...it's why I'm so sensitive about it. If I had simply found the information the first time around my son would never have had formula. There are so many options that can really help that NOONE ever talks about. It's not as easy as "just drink lots of fluids and take some herbs."
On the flip-side there are many women who believe they have no milk simply because their baby nurses alot and pediatrician's are very comfortable telling htem to try the formula and see if it helps without bothering to find out if supply is really an issue.
Breastmilk is essential to a baby's health. I'm not judging by saying that. IT is a biological fact. I can say it to you because my son wasn't able to be exclusively breastfed. We didn't get to have that bond. Still breaks my heart. However if the 3 nurses and 8 lactation consultants I saw had enough compassion and sense of responsibility to THE BABY to admit they didn't have an answer and refer me on we may have had a chance. By the time I found someone who knew EXACTLY what was going on and fixed it, my son was almost 5 months old. The damage had been done. It's really so important to exhaust your options. THere are people out there who understand breastfeeding in a way most people can't imagine. Those are the people who can give you an answer NO MATTER WHAT. They may not be able to get you to produce milk, but they can find out precisely why you aren't. Information, at least to me, is key.
Yes-((((Rawmommie))))-it still hurts. It will always hurt that I will never birth a baby vaginally (I was really into homebirth and had even begun studying to be a homebirth midwife!), nor will I ever nourish a child. Not even the SN worked for us. I do agree that breastmilk is very important, but I would not use the word essential. If you CANNOT make it, what else can you do? (Please don't mention milk-banks-feeding your baby gold boullion would be cheaper!) What if you cannot give birth, and you adopt? I just think that the pro-bf community shuts out dialogue for people like me and rawmommie and countless other who would give their right arm to be able to bf. I was judged countless times when I bottle fed my babies in public. I got comments like "Why aren't you bf him/her?" "Do you know breastmilk is better?" Then I had to make a choice, share my very raw pain or get defensive. It actually got to the point that I chose not to take my babies out rather than get the stares and comments. (I live in a very PROGRESSIVE and OUTSPOKEN area.... )
I wish moms wouldn't feel SHAME when they can't make milk. It's not like we are CHOOSING to do something wrong. If we were paralyzed would we feel ASHAMED that we couldn't play soccer with our dc or would we just adjust to the circumstances that ARE and find another way to bond? :) Me-I'd pick the latter.
She can try Malt
Originally Posted by Boysenberry
NOT MALT BEER.
The mexican herb Malt
Is is used in many countrys as a mink producer in mommys & is safe for baby. It works. I will ask my friend where to get it & reply back
Purl, I'm sorry you felt judged, that's not right. It is harder than most can imagine to not be able to produce. My point is that there are generally more options than the public or medical community acknowledge. I was just talking with a woman and supplying her with herbs and info at the request of her LC. She has adopted twins (from a surrogate mother) and is breastfeeding. SHe's never birthed a child and she is producing milk. She worked for months before the twins were born to have a good supply. It can be done. She isn't the first woman who has done it.
I had milk donated to me. By both friends and family. I have assisted donations (for free) across state lines. I never paid, and noone I ever helped paid for milk. There are options.
I'm not attacking anyone here. Just giving out info. IF I had known any of this were possible when I had my son he would have gotten breastmilk. I think it's important to pass that along. Every ounce of milk I have helped get into a child who wouldn't have had it otherwise is a big deal to me.
After reading this post, my heart goes out to all who have stuggled with this. I too...struggled. I was a new mom and the first to try breast feeding in 3 generations. This is what I learned through this process.
This seems like it should be as natural as anything, but it isn't. It's a learned art. Like some of the women have said...there is latching on...how the baby is sucking...what you are eating...but the one I didn't see...is how your friend is feeling.
My first child lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks when I left the hospital. I had been nursing just fine and my child was thriving until I left the hospital and the reality of a new baby set in. The doctor said she wasn't getting the hind milk that comes in after they suck out the milk sitting in the breast. This is the fatty milk that helps them gain weight. My child wasn't dehydrated...she just wasn't getting the bulk.
So...my recommendation is to get you friend to calm down. My husband stayed home from work for a few days...relieved me enough to catch up on a bit of rest...and generally made me feel calm. The let down reflex started working again and I could nurse! Just thought that I would share...just incase it could help your friend.
My mom has been a vegetarian since she was 21 and she had me when she was maybe 30 and couldn't produce milk no matter how hard they tried. She gave up after trying almost everything, and I was fed formula that the drug companies gave to my dad, he's a doctor. I was never sick as a child, an infection in my nose cause I stuffed things up it, but that was it.
Purl, I feel your pain. Breastfeeding is such a time to bond. I am sorry that you have gone through this.
I just wanted to say that I was a preemie too. I was born 3 months early. BUT I am nursing my fourth child right now with no problems. In fact, I have always had an abundant milk supply. So your theory isn't right for me but it could be right for others.
I have always wondered myself if that is why I have such a terrible digestive system. It seems to me that I missed three important months in the womb. BUT that is my theory.
oh, I feel for your friend,I went through the same thing, because when my baby #7 was born he was so big that he had tremmors and low blood sugar so we had to give him a bottle. And for the next 4 months he mostly wanted the bottle, I tried everything to get my milk supply up, but nothing worked, so at 6 months I am seeking a natural milk for him. Maybe goat. Don't like formula at all!! I so glad he is eating now, makes getting vitamins to him easier. That bottle!!!
NEVER thought after 6 dc I would have trouble nursing Next time I will totally boycot the formula and just nurse hopefully no med problems. Also, I WILL EAT HEALTHY DURING PREGNANCY!! MOST CRUCIAL!! They take to liking formula better than B-milk super fast.
;) Kristi ;)
I am pretty sutre you know it, but just in case - do you feed your babies often enough? My Mohter did not brestfeed us, because she did not have enough milk, but she listened to doctors and fed us on schedule. My baby was nursing 40 minutes at the time, then taking 20 minutes brake and would nurse again. But if I tried to use pump, it would take me forever to get small amounts. When my son sucks, I can hear him swallowing a lot. When he was small I actually started giving him just one breast at the time, because he would choke on too much milk, so this way I reduced the amount I was making. They say, that on average mothers in the world feed newborns every 20 minutes or so!
You probably already new it. But just in case.