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breastfeeding question

August 10 2015 at 7:22 PM
De22  (Login De22)

 
Did anyone else not have enough milk to breastfeed? I only had enough to supplement my twins feeding, they drink mainly formula. Tried pumping, taking herbs like Fenugreek and nothing has worked. I talked to a lactation consultant who told me I'd need to get at least 4 hour continuous sleep at night, to make enough milk. It isn't possible for me to get 4 continuous hours of sleep. I had this same problem with my 1st baby - not enough milk.

When I pumped for 30 minutes, I'd get only one ounce of milk.

Obviously, they drink lots of formula or they would starve. I just wish I had slightly more milk.

 
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AuthorReply
Al
(Login AlinAsia)

it was hard....

August 11 2015, 7:50 AM 

I do think stress takes a toll, including sleeplessness. Once E began sleeping longer stretches it evened out for me (although I have the luxury of only one, not juggling 3 !). The thing that made the most difference for me (I also took fenugreek and drank something called "mothers milk tea" daily) was finding the right pump. I had a mega expensive double electric pump for the first few months and it didn't really work to remove much milk, so my supply dropped as soon as I went back to work. I switched to a cheap Avent hand pump and it was like night and day...the lactation consultant who helped me said that after your prolactin levels drop (around 6 months) then mechanical stimulation is the best way to increase, and for me, that meant hand pumping. My hands are a mess now (tendonitis in both wrists and elbows) but it meant I had enough milk for E. If you're only removing 1 ounce then your supply will definitely be restricted.

I know your kids are getting bigger now but maybe the lactation consultant could help with pumping techniques ? If I had my time over again, I'd ask for more help to learn how to pump effectively (induce let-down etc). I only figured it out by trial and (mostly) error.

Good luck

Al

 
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birdy1600
(Login birdy1600)

Yep

August 11 2015, 8:29 AM 

I had low production bfd for two months with first tried it all with second it was too hard with another child etc so we made a family decision to go to formula and it was fine

 
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Maggie in VA
(Login maggie1961)

Same here . . .

August 11 2015, 1:03 PM 

Just very hard to have enough time and rest to do it, but one of my breasts seems to have been damaged from fibrocystic breast syndrome. And it's a problem for older moms. I used domperidone, which helped considerably. Without it, I would have probably just stopped. I also took fenugreek and blessed thistle. I think FDA has changed domperidone's status so you can get it from compounding pharmacies now -- anyone know whether that's right, ladies? When I was bf'ing, I had to order it from an Oceanic pharmacy. Take care, Maggie (in VA)

 
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Leigh
(Login leigh74)

That would be great!

August 11 2015, 2:40 PM 

I had to order domperidone from an overseas pharmacy as well, so I was really excited to read this, Maggie.. All I can find on the subject, though, is the original FDA warning from 2004 and then this update in 2014:

"The FDA has been cracking down on questionable practices at the largest compounding pharmacies, and it recently caught one manufacturing an unapproved drug.

According to a warning letter sent Feb. 28 and posted this week on the FDA website, Total Pharmacy Services has been making domperidone, a drug some breastfeeding women take to boost lactation. The letter to Houma, LA-based Total Pharmacy Services says compounding pharmacies can be exempt from FDA rules if they have valid prescriptions for the drugs they make, which it didn't, but even if it had, domperidone is an unapproved drug and wouldn't qualify.

A decade ago, the FDA sent warning letters to some compounding pharmacies, saying they should not be making the drug. The agency cautioned women against using domperidone because of its heart risks, pointing out that there have been reports of women having heart attacks, and some even dying, after getting injections of the hormone-boosting drug. Women were then buying it from compounding pharmacies or bringing it in from foreign countries. Today it can be purchased online from foreign-based pharmacies."

If anyone knows differently, I'd love to hear it! My OB said she'd prescribe Reglan, which is in the same general class of drugs (dopamine antagonists), but the potential central nervous system side effects of Reglan were too scary for me. Domperidone only acts peripherally (doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier), which is why it's preferred for the purposes of lactation.

Best,
Leigh

 
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demomone
(Login demomone2)

Some advice if you are not already doing this

August 11 2015, 3:24 PM 

I had a limited supply for the first few weeks. I worked with a lactation specialist from the hospital where I gave birth. She had me pumping every time I fed my daughter. So right after you finish a feeding, go and pump ten minutes on each breast. I used a hospital grade pump (Madela Harmony). I also drank mothers milk five times a day (not sure that helped) and I ate a very heavy on good fat diet. My milk volume increased but had to do this for a year. I was a long term feeder (3 years) but I had a very good milk supply after working really hard and consistently on it for a year. Its a ton of work and may be too much with the twins.
I also think you are pumping too long. Timing is also an issue with pumping. I only pumped after a feeding. That's what they have all of the moms do in the nicu. I also think that is when the best milk (fatty) comes in, after the feeding.
Good luck to you and if you cant do it, don't put too much pressure on your self.

 
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Antonialisa
(Login Antonialisa)

domperidone

August 11 2015, 7:12 PM 

I also took domperidone - amazing! Eventually we figured out after seeing a few lactation consultants that my son had a minor tongue-tie and therefore a poor sucker. i also pumped after feedings but found the whole thing exhausting. I got up to full supply (almost 1 litre of milk per day!!) but it took awhile. I am still breastfeeding and my boy is 2 and he loves it so I am happy I stuck with it. Here is what I would do if I had known everything that I do now.

- it seems obvious but your first duty is feeding the babies whatever they will take when they are hungry - this is more important than worrying about supply issues
- take domperidone. YOu can take up to 12 10 ml pills per day
- put formula into the SNS and give the supplement at the same time as you breastfeed. This helps teach the babies how to suck better and they won't develop bottle preference that way. You can put the SNS into the fridge between uses. No need to clean it every single time - once or twice a day is okay
- this might be crazy but I rented a super sensitive scale from the lactation consultant and weighed my baby before and after each feeding. Then you know exactly how much milk he drank and it takes away the guesswork
- I pumped say 5 minutes after feedings but you don't need to overdo it. You can also put the pumping stuff in the fridge in between uses. I washed everything really well once or twice per day and kept it in the fridge the rest of the time.
- I stressed to much about pumping. Just do it if you can for a few minutes; don't worrry if you don't have time or are too tired. Better to enjoy life and the babies more; it can take months to get to full supply, partly because they will keep drinking more and even if you produce more it is hard to catch up. So take the long view: if it is a beautiful day get out and enjoy it and skip pumping
- As your babies get bigger and their muscles get stronger they will suck much better and you won't even need to pump so much after awhile.
- don't set your alarm to feed or pump - sleep is every bit as important. Your babies will wake you up when they need feeding
- Hang in there and don't be hard on yourself. Every ounce of your milk is a great gift to them but you are not a bad Mom if you give up and give them formula

Good luck!

 
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De22
(Login De22)

domperidone

August 12 2015, 3:07 PM 

Please tell me how you got domperidone. My OB wrote a prescription for it, but my pharmacy claims the drug is not available yet because it is still in "trial testing". However, I would like to get it!

 
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Maggie in VA
(Login maggie1961)

I think it's in "orphan status"

August 13 2015, 9:49 AM 

Here's a link to the pharmacy I and other members here have used:

https://www.inhousepharmacy.vu/search.aspx?searchterm=domperidone

Maggie (in VA)

 
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De22
(Login De22)

domperidone

August 13 2015, 4:18 PM 

thanks for that link.

Have you taken domperidone??

 
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Maggie in VA
(Login maggie1961)

Yes.

August 17 2015, 7:59 AM 

It wouldn't have been worthwhile to have continued breast feeding without it. Took it about 4 mos. Maggie (in VA)

 
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sophie
(Login sophie6)

4 hours of sleep???

August 12 2015, 3:12 PM 

I don't have advice for increasing supply, but wanted to say that I don't get 4 hours straight very often and it doesn't impact my supply. Not sure why she thought that.

I hope you figure something out, but if you don't, please don't let it bring you down. It's not your fault and they will be fine with the supplementation.

 
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De22
(Login De22)

Re: 4 hours of sleep???

August 12 2015, 6:47 PM 

thanks. The lactation consultant who told me this seemed to be knowledgeable about all this, but who knows. Seems like I heard somewhere else that you need sufficient sleep to have a good milk supply. I try not to let it get me down, but I've done everything I can.

I could have pumped a lot more, but I wouldn't have had time to eat regular meals or get much anything else done. The lactation consultants at the hospital acted like I should be a pumping machine, constantly pumping away to get milk. Said I should pump 8 times during a 24 hour period, then do feedings for 20 minutes afterward. I calculated all this and I would have never gotten anything else done.

 
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