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Old 03-09-2007, 09:40 AM   #1
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Need advice...

My SIL just had a really traumatic birth. She had retained placental fragments and hemmorhaged so badly she almost died. She has had six units of blood transfused to her and she is finally home on bedrest, but her milk supply sucks. I think she is really discouraged about getting her supply up. Her mw said it's normal to have a crappy supply after that much trauma and blood loss, but I know how much she wants to breastfeed. I am afraid she will really regret it if she gives it up too easily, after the smoke clears and she's feeling better. I am trying to be gentle with my advice to her, because I obviously don't know first hand how it feels to be her right now, but I also know how traumatic it would be to me if I had to give up my breastfeeding relationship with my son. She knows the benefits of breastfeeding and wants to breastfeed very badly. I know how fickle the supply can be early on, and I'm afraid it won't work out, and will only make her experience worse. What can I suggest to her? Or should I even get involved? She is pumping in between feedings and using the SNS. She said she tried to do only breastmilk and her baby had NO wet/dirty diapers for an entire day! I suggested at least reading about fenugreek and mother's milk tea (I don't know the side effects with her blood loss issues), is there anything else I can tell her? I know this is a vague question. I guess I am just looking for advice. I am really concerned for her. I'm afraid she'll really regret it if breastfeeding doesn't work out, I know I couldn't let it go that easily.

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Old 03-09-2007, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: Need advice...

Just nurse as much as she can and hang in there! Laying in bed and nursing all day would help her recover andd help her supply if she felt up to it. Give her lots of TLC for me!
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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Re: Need advice...

Well, my mom experienced the same hemorhaging (sp?) problem w/me about a week after I was born. But since that was in the 70's, the hospital did their best to get her to NOT breastfeed. She was in the hospital for several days (while I was kept at home), with IVs in both arms, and they refused to give her a pump to help w/engorgement! She said it was *incredibly* painful. Her supply almost dried up, and they fed me formula during that time. But after she got back home, she nursed as often as she could while supplementing with formula. It took her about 2 weeks to get her supply back up, but after that she successfully breastfed me until I was 7 mos old.

SO, I'd say for your SIL - she should just nurse as often as she can & not worry at this point if that's not the *main* source of nutrition for her baby. She doesn't need that extra stress right now, and a little formula certain isn't an *evil* thing like some people make it out to be. If she keeps with it, her body should adjust & eventually produce enough BM for the baby.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Need advice...

Hello,
I just wanted to add my two cents.
I hemorraghed at the birth of my daughter. I lost 3000cc of blood and needed 4 units of blood. Then at four weeks postpartum, I hemorraghed again and was in the er. I was sent home with the doctor saying it was my first postpartum period. Then a week later I was in the hospital having a d&c due to a retained placenta. This experience nearly killed me and from the blood loss I feel I missed out on the first month of my daughter's life. Every drop of blood I saw once I left the hospital I felt as though I was going to loose all they gave back to me. It was a very scary experience.
While I was in the hospital, i had one nurse that kept telling i would never breastfeed. She kept refering to Sheehan’s Syndrome and there was no way my body would preduce any milk after that kind of blood loss.
Once at home, I sat around all day, nursing constantly. My husband did all the diaper changes and carrying of the baby so I could save my strength. We co-slept and she would nurse through the night. My daughter is almost 2 month old and aside from when I was in the hospital she has only had breastmilk. And she is alot chunkier then her sister was at this age.
There is hope. That is awesome that she has even gone to getting a SNS to try to give her daughter the best start. Give her the best support possible. It will work, it is just a little more tough. Maybe hearing stories of other people that this has happened to and has worked out, it will give her hope. Good luck to her.
About the fenugreek, it effects blood pressure by lowering it. After that amount of blood loss, i wouldn't recommend it right now since she is still recovering and getting her blood levels back up.
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Last edited by copykitten; 03-09-2007 at 12:22 PM. Reason: fenugreek
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:48 PM   #5
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Re: Need advice...

Thank you for your encouragement. She is doing really well, and her milk supply is now quite abundant! I am very very pleased for her.
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Old 03-11-2007, 02:23 PM   #6
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Re: Need advice...

What about blessed thistle? That's what I use for supply issues. I'm not sure about other side effects though. Just a thought!
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:14 PM   #7
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Re: Need advice...

yahooo!!!glad to hear that she is doing better! the body is amazing!
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