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Old 01-16-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Poor supply genetic link?

Hey all you helpful mommies!
I've been talking with my mom about how I plan to breastfeed exclusively once my LO comes... but she has been constantly telling me that I need to alter my expectations and that I should research what formula I want to use when I give up. She said she tried to nurse all three of us kids, but had supply problems, and just couldn't do it.

My sister has a 6 month old, and tried to breastfeed but quit due to no supply - her milk just never came in despite a lactation consultant helping.

So... should I be formula shopping because supply issues are genetic?

Added - My mom does not know if her mother BFed or not.

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:34 PM   #2
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Re: Poor supply genetic link?

It is certainly possible, but I wouldn't have your heart set on formula either! Certainly surround yourself with supportive people (LLL comes to mind) and shop around for a Lactation Consultant (IBCL certified!), NOT formula.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:46 PM   #3
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Many of my relatives had trouble nursing ( though not my mother) and after my milk never came in, I discovered that I have hypo plastic breasts. If you are concerned with supply, it would be a good idea to speak with a lactation consultant During pregnancy as there are several things that can be done to encourage a healthy milk supply immediately after birth. Also look into the relation between interventions like epidurals and pitocin and low milk supply, if nursing is very important to you, you may want to consider med free childbirth. I never made more than .25 oz with 1ds, now with my second I am able to produce a full supply even with my condition.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:30 PM   #4
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Re: Poor supply genetic link?

I don't know. My mom's milk took forever to come in (like a week) with both my sister and I, so I was prepared to face the same thing and had had a long conversation with my midwife about this issue. In the end my milk came in on between day 2 and 3 and I've had a serious oversupply.

A good friend of mine who had a terribly supply issue where she ended up giving up completely on BFing after 2 months and multiple attempts to get things jump started had a mother who BF all 5 of her kids including a set of twins...

I have no idea! I second the PP comments about how an epidural/pitocin/csection can definitely affect this (friend mentioned above had all three in the end, which were so totally against her birth plan where as I had none).

Good luck! Do not give up all hope at all, I think a positive attitude can go a LONG way with BFing!
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
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Re: Poor supply genetic link?

I think something like hypoplastic breasts could be genetic. Maybe flat or inverted nipples can be, too (I don't know for certain), and those can make the early days of nursing more challenging. Have your doctor or midwife look at your breasts to see if they see any signs of that--or even better, check with a lactation consultant. Or you could google it and see if you see any signs for yourself.

But I also think that women of our mothers' generation (though perhaps my mother is a lot older than yours!) either were actively discouraged from nursing, or were given very little support at all from doctors, nurses, family members, etc. That makes nursing really difficult.

My mother is a definite nay-sayer on nursing. She never nursed because it just wasn't done by most women at the time, and my maternal grandmother didn't either.

It's pretty rare to never have your milk come in. But babies do sometimes have difficulty learning to latch and transfer what milk is there, and that can be difficult to get through.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:17 AM   #6
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My mom had trouble with nursing my sister and I and i have had very few problems, one of them oversupply!
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by VeganCupcake
I think women of our mothers' generation (though perhaps my mother is a lot older than yours!) either were actively discouraged from nursing, or were given very little support at all from doctors, nurses, family members, etc. That makes nursing really difficult.

....

It's pretty rare to never have your milk come in. But babies do sometimes have difficulty learning to latch and transfer what milk is there, and that can be difficult to get through.
This. Breastfeeding is largely dependent on state of mind, proper medical advice, and good support. Go to your local LLL now, find a good LC and talk to her about your concerns. You CAN do this.

Remember, if it was common to not be able to breastfeed, none of us would be here. Commercial formula is an invention of the past 100 years. We had to do it the old fashioned way for the thousands of years before that.

Obviously, some people have real medical problems that preclude BFing, but it is rare. Early consolation with a good LC can help to determine if you're one of those unlucky few, or if you might just need a little extra help and encouragement to be successful.

Best of luck to you, mama!
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Poor supply genetic link?

I already have a certified lactation consultant - my doula is actually one of the trainers that TRAINS LC's! And I am planning a home birth, so zero intervention is planned.
I know a positive attitude helps, but BF is the ONLY thing I am freaking out about with this baby - I don't care about the pain, or the blood, or anything else, all I am worried about is that I'm going to do BF wrong!
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Re: Poor supply genetic link?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catbutt Diapers View Post
I already have a certified lactation consultant - my doula is actually one of the trainers that TRAINS LC's! And I am planning a home birth, so zero intervention is planned.
I know a positive attitude helps, but BF is the ONLY thing I am freaking out about with this baby - I don't care about the pain, or the blood, or anything else, all I am worried about is that I'm going to do BF wrong!
I was concerned about breastfeeding, too, before my DD was born. What I did was read virtually every book about breastfeeding I could get my hands on. I went to the library and checked out every breastfeeding book that looked remotely helpful, and I borrowed a couple of breastfeeding books from my midwife's lending library. I also attended LLL before my baby was born.

I think a combination of good information plus good support (which your doula sounds like!) will get you through most anything. Hands-on help is also really important in the early days, so your doula will be invaluable.

If I were you, I would count on success. There are some women who are not able to breastfeed, but most women can. Think of yourself as one of the majority.
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