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Relactating

  1. #1
    mom_of_2 is offline Registered User
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    Relactating

    Hi - my DD2 was 6 weeks premature and took us totally by surprise. I had trouble breastfeeding my DD1, so was all prepared to do the right things from the start with DD2, but got caught off guard with her being early. She was in NICU & SCBU for her first 2 weeks during which I pumped and she received extra formula because I wasn't pumping enough. When she came home, I put her on the breast, but she was so sleepy she wouldn't take much & fall asleep after about 5 minutes. We also realised she had reflux and she would vomit up after I fed her or EBM a lot of the time, so it was so difficult to feed her. I continued to top her up with EBM or formula after each BF. A few weeks ago, I decided to stop BFing because I just didn't think I had enough milk, so I am now down to 2 feeds a day, after 11 weeks of pumping & BFing. I still feel guilty for not being able to make it work, and was wondering if anyone has had experience relactating and can share? I'm considering doing it, but think it would be extremely hard, and not sure how to go about it. I also feel terrible not being able to spend so much time with DD1 because I spend so much time BFing or caring for DD2. I haven't yet got my helper to help out with DD2 because she was early and is a bit difficult to handle with the reflux and her fussiness. Any advice would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    phoenixashburn is offline Registered User
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    Hi mom_0f_2,

    Firstly -- RELAX... you dont have to feel guilty....Then consult a lactation specialist. They can come home and troubleshoot. You need to know if its genuinely something you're not doing right.. the lactation specialists are available at LLLI | La Leche League Groups in China

    and lastly -- if all else fail -- have a read through The Case Against Breast-Feeding - The Atlantic (April 2009)

    I breastfed my daughter for 9 months..I know that during month 3 I was going out a lot and therefore needed to have breastmilk stored up..expressing instead of directly feeding my baby made my supply lower -- (psychological ..the bonding with my baby makes breastmilk supply grow..blah blah) so I made it a point to breastfeed every chance I got..and it got much better ..

    Take care...

  3. #3
    curiouscat2 is offline Registered User
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    Hi mom_of_2,

    my daughter is 4.5 months old and i had a lot of trouble breastfeeding her. it's a long story, but we found out at about 4 weeks that she was tongue-tied which is why she had trouble latching on... our pediatrician in the US gave us really bad advice and so my supply never got established, and it's at 4 weeks that we realised that we were on a path to a 100% formula diet.

    after that we spent almost 2 months working with a lactation consultant, who not only diagnosed her tongue-tie and helped us find a doctor who would correct it, but also worked with me to increase my supply.

    and today my daughter is 100% breastfed.

    so, it can be done!

    here's what we did to increase my supply:

    1. pumping is the most important thing. i was told to pump 8 times a day, for 10-15 minutes each time. if that gets too overwhelming, it's good even to sneak in a 5-minute pump. but do aim for at least 6-7 pumps a day. fewer longer pumps are not as effective as frequent, shorter pumps.

    2. herbal supplements + homeopathy. i took the following: more milk plus, goat's rue, shatavari (all herbal capsules) and lactuca virosa (homeopathic pills). also calcium carbonate (homeopathic), which just had to be taken once.

    3. healthy fats in the diet: oatmeal, coconut, avocado

    4. this was psychological but helped immensely: my husband kept track of how much milk i pumped everyday, and graphed it in Excel. just watching that line trend upwards helped us stay motivated so we could keep going.

    i hope this helps! my suggestions are based on what barbara, my LC recommended to me, but i am not an expert at all. your best strategy really is to go to a good LC first and take it from there. with good being the operative word. our LC at the hospital was rather useless; we're extremely fortunate to have found barbara.

    oh and while on the topic, here's a book i recently read that i simply loved. it's called "breastfeeding made simple: seven natural laws for nursing mothers" by nancy mohrbacher and kathleen kendall-tacket.

    good luck!!

  4. #4
    mom_of_2 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks both for the responses!

    I'm torn between whether to try again or just stop. I'm down to 1 feed per day know, so it would take such a huge effort. I know it's the best for baby, but I can spend more time with my toddler when I'm not BFing. Also, my baby has reflux, and she is actually a bit better now that I'm feeding her known quantities. At least I also know that when she cries it's not because she's hungry, but potentially for other reasons like the reflux.

    It's so difficult to decide what to do!!

    Curiouscat2 - is Barbara in HK? Is she with LLL? If you wouldn't mind sending/PMing me her number, that would be great.

  5. #5
    curiouscat2 is offline Registered User
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    No, I'm so sorry -- Barbara is in Ann Arbor, MI! I really wish there were someone like her in every town. Maybe someone can tell you if there is a good lactation consultant in HK. (By the way, a lactation consultant is an IBCLC -- Internationall Board Certified Lactation Consultant -- they take courses and have many hours of experience and they've passed an exam. Not to be confused with nurses who have some experience with breastfeeding help, or anyone else...)

    My thoughts on whether you should try this or not -- it's totally up to you. I personally felt like I had to make a good-faith effort to make breastfeeding work. And then if it still didn't work then so be it, at least I tried. But a good friend of mine had problems and she made a big effort, and it still didn't work out like she wanted. And now she feels like it was such a waste of time and energy.

    So try to decide on the basis of what feels right to you.

    My original goal was just to increase my milk supply somewhat so that I could reduce the proportion of formula my baby was getting. But it was Barbara's encouragement that kept me going until we were completely off formula. You could even set a more manageable goal like that, if you wish.

    The other thing to know is that the first several weeks were *rough*. I couldn't have continued with it without the support of my husband and mother. (We were in the US so there was no helper to help out with anything...) So if you do decide to try, keep that in mind as well.

    If you want any more information feel free to PM me. But just remember, whatever you decide to do, you're still a good mom!

  6. #6
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Here are the numbers of the Local LL Leaders.

    JENNY 2987-7792
    MAGGIE 2817-7475
    PAULINE 6331-5078
    ROCHELLE 2947-7147
    SARAH 2548-7636
    THERESE 9485-0268

    Hope they can help you.

  7. #7
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Mom_of_2,

    It is always possible to increase your supply although no one can guarantee that you can increase it enough to have a full supply for your baby. It is difficult to give suggestions for your particular situation without at least speaking together on the telephone or better, a face-to-face visit.

    If you would like more information about how to increase your milk please contact me at 2548-7636.

    And please remember this any breastfeeding, even one feed a day , is a benefit to your baby.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  8. #8
    mom_of_2 is offline Registered User
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    curiouscat2 - i sent you a pm with some questions on what you did.

    sarah - i've tried to get some time to call you today but had my hands full. i'll try again tomorrow.

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