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Old 10-29-2010, 10:32 AM   #1
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Zappa
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Why is it so difficult?

I am struggling and just need a little support. I have PCOS and am one of the unfortunate ones that have a low supply as a result. I had to start supplementing DS with formula when he was 2 weeks old because he hadn't gained any weight at all. He was born 7,15 and dropped to 6,12 by one week and then stayed there. He was severely jaundiced and didn't poop for 8 days. The doctor told me that if I didn't supplement so ds would gain weight then he would admit him to the hospital. I was devastated (and still am).

I went through a similiar situation with my DD, so this time around I did more research and did everything "right" in the hopes that I could EBF. Nothing worked for me and I just have to accept that I can't make enough milk.

Now, at 4 months DS nurses in the morning and before bed, followed by a formula supplement each time. At daycare he gets 3 4oz bottles that are a combination of formula and breast milk. I pump 3 times while at work and once before I go to bed (usually 2-3 hours after nursing DS) and I get a total of about 4oz each day. So, I am estimating that DS is getting a total of 6 - 8 ounces of breast milk per day between what I pump for him and what he gets directly from me. It is exhausting.

Recently DS has started to refuse the breast before bed as well and I have to give him the bottle first before he will nurse. I can't stand sitting there with my boob hanging out, milk spraying on his face and he is just screaming and won't latch on. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about it. DH is supportive, but he also doesn't really care what DS is eating as long as he is growing. I gave up nursing my DD when she was 4 months old because it just seemed like so much effort for so little milk (I had less with her than I do this time). I regretted stopping for months afterward and I am determined not to let that happen again. That said, I am so frustrated and so disappointed that I cannot provide for my child. When he rejects the boob it makes me feel even worse. On the weekends I often end up still pumping 4 or 5 times each day because he refuses to nurse except for first thing in the morning.

Breastfeeding is supposed to be natural. Why is feeding my child so stressful and complicated for me? Ugh. I know it is worth it and I am not going to stop, but I am so jealous of all those woman who just pop a boob in the babies mouth and voila, the kid is fat and happy. I want to be that woman!

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Old 10-29-2010, 11:04 AM   #2
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Re: Why is it so difficult?

Your post made me tear up. I've struggled with a low supply before and gave up with my first. When I gave up, I regretted it too. I was still getting some, not much. But, looking back, it was better than nothing. With my second, twins, I struggled too and had the dr. telling me I was starving them. It was a horrible feeling. I felt like such a failure, both as a mom and as a woman.

You are NOT a failure. You are doing an amazing thing for your son. All the effort you are putting in and the emotional stress you are enduring shows how much you love him and how far you are willing to go for him. Good for you! You are his supermom!

Also, every little bit of BM that your baby gets is wonderful. I don't know what is different, but this time around, I have so much milk that I actually donating!! (So, don't throw in the towel for next time yet.) The baby I am donating to is adopted and on mostly formula. She gets one bottle a day of BM. If she doesn't she gets constipated. One bottle is all she needs to prevent it! In fact, her mom is trying to use my milk sparingly and I think is only giving her 4oz a day. (She's 8 months now.) I'm working on getting her more so she doesn't feel she has to use it sparingly and can give at least 8oz. But, the point is, just 4oz is helping this baby girl tremendously! So, whatever you are getting is extremely important and wonderful. He is getting those antibodies and all the nutrients. What a lucky boy!!

As for the nursing, I would keep trying. Have you ever tried an SNS? I wonder if when you were home, if you supplemented at the breast it would 1. help him want to nurse me and 2. even help to add extra stimulation for production. Just a thought. I definitely wouldn't give up trying to actually nurse him though. I bet he will go back to it if you keep at it.

You are doing a wonderful job!! Keep up the hard work. It truly is worth it.
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Last edited by HeatherlovesCDs; 10-29-2010 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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Re: Why is it so difficult?

I just want to send you encouragement and love. Breastfeeding can be so hard, and I cried so much inthe earlydays, and even now I hate pumping but I know that it is so good for my daughter.

I have to rely on two things to keep my supply up enough to keep my daughter interested - domperidone (do a search, there are a lot of threads here that talk about where you can get it, if that is a route you would want to go), and co-sleeping/night nursing. Will your son latch on if you lie down next to him and let him snuggle up next to you and comfort nurse?

If not, and he has decided to end his nursing days, it's okay. My nephew weaned himself at 3 months, and there was nothing his mama could do about it (it seems like boys wean themselves earlier than girls). Some babies never latch on at all - try to treasure your morning nursings as long as they last, and remember that your son still loves you - and he feels your love in so many ways, even if he won't nurse!
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:08 AM   #4
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Re: Why is it so difficult?

I don't have personal experience like yours, but I wanted to offer encouragement. Great job for nursing for so long mama!

Can you try nursing with an SNS (supplemental nursing system) when you are home? That way your LO could get faster satisfaction and formula at the breast but also stimulate your nipple to produce milk while getting it.
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