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Old 06-24-2013, 11:48 AM   #1
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Recently diagnosed with hypoplasia

I am going to x-post in Formula Feeding Support so I can get some perspective (I know a lot of mama's on both forums have struggled with this!)

Here's how I know. I have type 2 and the symptoms are consistent with my experiences. http://www.sonic.net/~mollyf/igt/

Ironically, I have breastfed exclusively. My first 2 had no formula and my 3rd only a week or so of supps for severe jaundice (we have ABO blood incompatibility). With these three, I never got engorged and they were slow to regain their birth weights (it took them till 3 weeks or so) but they gained. We started solids around 4 months (cuz that's what you did back then!). They were solid little chubsters and we nursed into the second year, though I don't think I had much milk by then.

Yet I had a lot of trouble with #4 and #5. They have slightly different genetics (my olders are from my first marriage, and I got remarried). I can't figure out if they physically just needed more milk than their older brothers, or if my ability to produce milk was less at that point. I was older by nearly a decade when #4 was born...bigger family, more stress....we had to do a strict elim diet due to food intolerances....there are lots of possible reasons which I still can't figure out. At any rate, with #4, he was EBF but he was so fussy all through his first year and he didn't sleep well and he slowly dropped off his weight curve from 50th percentile to 25% to 10th to 5th by age 1. He stayed on for height and looked healthy, so ped said don't worry. But I look at pics and realize I needed to worry. He was waaaaay too thin. After he weaned and started drinking milk, he plumped up considerably. At 4 he's in the 75th percentile (98th for height so he still appears thin) but clearly this boy was never meant to be that thin. I think I was unknowingly starving him. He was fussy and couldn't sleep more from lack of milk than food allergens. Hindsight is 20/20.

When #5 came, I had figured out that low supply was an issue. So we supplemented from the get go. He did so much better. Then at 3 weeks he had blood in his stool. Was it the formula? Was it me? I decided to wean off the formula. He was still getting most of his milk from me or so I thought. He didn't pee for 24 hours. By the end he was screaming inconsolably. I gave him a bottle. He peed 30 minutes later and slept.

I was stressed. I didn't know how to judge how much he was getting without a big hulabaloo. I had 4 other kids to take care of...and I was really not up for another year or two of elim diets and a fussy baby. I cried, I prayed, I meditated on it, and ended up going to a hypoallergenic formula and weaning him from the breast. He thrived and was actually my easiest baby so far! And he was very healthy. No ear infections or GI issues. He was able to go to a regular organic formula at 4 months. He did take quite a lot too so I realize that perhaps my hunch was right and these babies (#4 and #5) just needed more milk than my first few.

So now I am expecting #6 and I am worried, wondering what to plan as far as feeding. My gut tells me that it will be a similar story as #4 and #5 and it might be better to just do formula from the get-go. I can try both, but mixed feeding is not usually good for families with food allergies. It increases the risks of milk allergy compared to exclusive bottle or exclusive breast feeding. So I feel I kind of need to do all or nothing. I just don't know how in the world I can make enough milk for these babies.

I honestly just want a well-fed, content baby above all else. As a busy SAHM of soon to be 6 whose DH works 60 hours a week, I can't spend all day tied to a baby and a pump and a baby scale. I am no longer afraid of using formula...its just hard to go from a die-hard EBFer to an exclusive FFer. Its like changing religions.

I am going to talk to the midwife about it next week, but do any of you mama's have any advice?

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Old 06-25-2013, 10:47 AM   #2
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Re: Recently diagnosed with hypoplasia

If you've successfully exclusively breastfed a baby you do NOT have IGT. It does not come and go. It simply is. It can get better with each pregnancy, not worse.

There are many reasons for reduced supply post partum. If I had to guess, I would have your thyroid checked. Pregnancy and age can both affect thyroid levels and being hypothyroid post partum can result in low supply. I highly advise you have a prenatal appointment with an LC to discuss your failures and come up with a plan you would like to try.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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I have type 4. It's severe. But I nursed 2 babies to 9 months with minimal supplementation (1 bottle a day) solids at 5 months. Then I nursed my 5th until 2 years with no supplements, baby 6 until 19 months with no supplements and now nursing number 7 at 18 months with no supplements.

The more a mom with IGT nurses the more glands are triggered to produce.

I cannot pump milk but have not had weight issues with babies and no FTT. My breasts look just like the type 4 women. We nurse on demand to make sure baby is getting enough, with a few weight checks throughout the first month.

Talk with an LC and discuss what you can do do maximize your success. Any nursing will benefit your baby, so you could nurse then give a bottle to top baby off.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: Recently diagnosed with hypoplasia

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibeca View Post
If you've successfully exclusively breastfed a baby you do NOT have IGT. It does not come and go. It simply is. It can get better with each pregnancy, not worse.

There are many reasons for reduced supply post partum. If I had to guess, I would have your thyroid checked. Pregnancy and age can both affect thyroid levels and being hypothyroid post partum can result in low supply. I highly advise you have a prenatal appointment with an LC to discuss your failures and come up with a plan you would like to try.
I have to respectfully disagree with the bolded. Here are some of the facts cited in the study I referenced in my first post.

"Eighty-five percent of these mothers produced 50% or less of the milk necessary for their newborns during the first week post partum. (See Table 4) Type of breast appeared to be related to the adequacy of the mother's milk production. For example, one mother with Type I breasts produced 100% of the milk required by her infant in the first week and the other mothers in this group produced more than half of their babies' required milk. However, only one of the mothers with breasts Type II, III, or IV produced all of the milk needed by her infant in the first week of life and only four (12%) produced more than half of their babies' required milk.

Evaluation of milk production in the first month, between the second and fifth week, revealed that seventeen mothers (55%) continued with low production, producing half or less of what their babies required for growth. Two mothers (6%) were producing 51-99% of what their babies needed and 12 mothers (39%) were producing all of their babies' milk requirements. All of the mothers with breast Type 1 were producing all of their babies' required milk.
---
Even with the more severe types of hypoplasia, some women progress to full milk production and thus can be encouraged to keep stimulation and draining the breasts."


Look at it this way, if I have 1/2 my glandular tissue (which is my estimation based on my particular symptoms and anatomy) nursing 1 baby for me would be similar to nursing twins for a mother with full breast tissue. Can they do it? Sure, but it takes effort and time to build up to that.

What I am trying to figure out is why I was able to be in that statistical bracket of 100% by month one with #1-3 but not with #4-5. I did not have thyroid issues (I was actually hyperthyroid during pregnancy with #5 so they were watching it).

I really think it comes down to the babies. I demand fed all of them, and DS5 was my strongest nurser (that is the baby that didn't pee for 24hrs) but just like formula fed babies take in a range of oz depending on their constitution, just like some people eat a ton and some eat little and they both weigh the same - I think that is true of babies. If I had to take a big guess at this point, I think that #4 and #5 are the kind of kids that needed a lot of milk to be satisfied and grow, and my breast were just maxed out? Maybe I have only been at 75% for all of them and for #1-3 that was enough but for #4-5 it wasn't, just like some kids grow fine on 24 oz of formula a day and some need the full 32 oz.
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who are the love of my life and the bane of my existence all wrapped up in one wonderful wacky package.
And wife to my amazing DH who supports me in all I do!
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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Re: Recently diagnosed with hypoplasia

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmelody View Post
I have type 4. It's severe. But I nursed 2 babies to 9 months with minimal supplementation (1 bottle a day) solids at 5 months. Then I nursed my 5th until 2 years with no supplements, baby 6 until 19 months with no supplements and now nursing number 7 at 18 months with no supplements.

The more a mom with IGT nurses the more glands are triggered to produce.

I cannot pump milk but have not had weight issues with babies and no FTT. My breasts look just like the type 4 women. We nurse on demand to make sure baby is getting enough, with a few weight checks throughout the first month.

Talk with an LC and discuss what you can do do maximize your success. Any nursing will benefit your baby, so you could nurse then give a bottle to top baby off.
First off - congrats! There was only one mom with Type 4 in the study which is a shame because her numbers stayed low, but clearly that is not the case for everyone. I think every mom/baby pair is different and there are a lot of different factors at play!

I plan to discuss things with an LC pre-delivery. With DS4 I didn't call in the LC because I didn't recognize his issues as related to supply, we were too focused on the symptoms of allergy. With DS5 I was figuring to just take that exact approach, nurse as much as I can and supplement a bit to top him off. I bought a medical grade baby scale to help monitor BM intake. But when he started reacting to formula and showing similar signs of allergy, it became a lot more complicated. I don't regret my choice for him, I did what I needed to do at the time for our family. I just am not sure where to go for this little bub.

Thanks for responses, mamas!
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Mom of six boys
DS(18)DS(15) DS(13) DS(5) DS(2) and Baby DS
who are the love of my life and the bane of my existence all wrapped up in one wonderful wacky package.
And wife to my amazing DH who supports me in all I do!
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
ktmelody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibeca
If you've successfully exclusively breastfed a baby you do NOT have IGT. It does not come and go. It simply is. It can get better with each pregnancy, not worse.

There are many reasons for reduced supply post partum. If I had to guess, I would have your thyroid checked. Pregnancy and age can both affect thyroid levels and being hypothyroid post partum can result in low supply. I highly advise you have a prenatal appointment with an LC to discuss your failures and come up with a plan you would like to try.
This isnt true at all.

I have severe severe hypoplastic tubular breast syndrome. I have sucessfully nursed my last 3 babies with no supplementation. Babies 3 and 4 were rough but we did the best we could. No production of milk after 9 months.

I have over 5 inches of space between my breasts. My doc said he has never seen as severe a case as mine. And with lots of of demand nursing over several children I have been able to nurse exclusively.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver)O(Moon

First off - congrats! There was only one mom with Type 4 in the study which is a shame because her numbers stayed low, but clearly that is not the case for everyone. I think every mom/baby pair is different and there are a lot of different factors at play!

I plan to discuss things with an LC pre-delivery. With DS4 I didn't call in the LC because I didn't recognize his issues as related to supply, we were too focused on the symptoms of allergy. With DS5 I was figuring to just take that exact approach, nurse as much as I can and supplement a bit to top him off. I bought a medical grade baby scale to help monitor BM intake. But when he started reacting to formula and showing similar signs of allergy, it became a lot more complicated. I don't regret my choice for him, I did what I needed to do at the time for our family. I just am not sure where to go for this little bub.

Thanks for responses, mamas!
I would love to see more women with my type in a study like this. I always hated my breasts. But after nursing my last 3 for so long I am proud. And we call them duck boobs. Hahah. They look like duck bills. My daughters think its hilarious.

My 15 year old has hypoplastic breasts as well. Probably a type 3 and she plans to work hard to nurse as well. Even if she has to supplement or use herbs/meds. Hopefully not for 10 more years though!
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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Re: Recently diagnosed with hypoplasia

I think someone is misreading what I wrote or I'm misreading what was posted here.

OP said she managed to exclusively breastfeed her first 3 babies. Even if she has hypoplastic breasts, that means her body is completely capable of producing the "right" amount of milk which is between 25 and 32 oz by week 6. If your body is capable of doing it before, then there are other mitigating factors leading up to why your body is not doing it now.

Hyperthyroid can absolutely affect supply and also inhibit let down. Advanced maternal age can affect supply. Lip ties, tongue ties and other issues can ALL affect supply. I think the important thing here is to say that if you did it once, there's probably another reason why things aren't working and not hypoplasia OR not just hypoplasia. Whether you decide to to 100% formula from the start is up to you, but I personally wouldn't give up until you have all of your facts. And you won't be able to do that until you speak to a professional about all possible mitigating factors.
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