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After a bit of a rocky start we are both starting to get a hang of breastfeeding. I have had a breast reduction and am breastfeeding first topping her up with formula after and pumping in between to try and increase my milk. I'm also taking fenugrec and blessed thistle. I think I'm still only producing about 30-40% of her daily need.
When I breastfeed she feeds at both sides. She seems eager to eat and I can hear her swallowing for the first 5 minutes and then it just stops. No more swallows (or very very few) after 5 minutes and if I leave her on she just tends to fall asleep. I have been trying to keep her on for 15 minutes each side, but I have to admit I get impatient when it doesnt look like she is getting anymore and I tend to want to rush the switch. I know leaving her on should encourage my breasts to produce more milk but how long should this take? I've been religiously recording how much she eats and how much formula and it doesnt seem to be going up. Makes me want to just switch her after her 5 minutes and cut down on feeding times by 20 minutes.
Lol...not sure if I'm asking a question or just whining!
The side that produces more can go for about 10 mins on the pump (longer than she seems to go on the breast). I can only 1 oz out of that side.
My other side I can barely get anything out on the pump but can get it flowing fine by hand expression and can hear her gulping when she is on it so I know she is getting milk out of that one even though it seems immune to the pump.
She is taking approx. 1oz in formula after each feeding at the breast. She feeds about 8 times a day so she should be taking around 2-2.5oz a feeding I think.
my pedi. told me that babies get 95% of what they need with in the first 5 moinutes of nursing. so i wouldnt worry about her not getting enough. i still nursed longer though to keep up my milk. some babies are very good at draining the breast faster then others
Well, breastfeeding is supposed to be more efficient than pumping, so chances are if you are getting an ounce with the pump, she is getting more than that at the breast. If you are able to get more out of the one side by manual expression, then it sounds like your pump isn't working effectively for you - what kind do you have?
Maybe try pumping right after she's fallen asleep after nursing, since that may be more stimulating than she is if she's drowsy. You probably won't get much at that point since she will have taken the bulk of it, but it will continue to stimulate your breasts to produce more milk. Also, try adding oatmeal to your diet, and make sure you are drinking lots of water.
Tammy, proud mom to 2 girls.
First surrobaby (girl) arrived April 24, 2008!
Surrotwins Hayleigh and Teagan arrived September 24, 2009!
I have a hospital grade electric pump (rental), the medela symphony. I tried a couple different bell sizes to see if that was the issue but no luck.
I tried switching positions with her during her feed tonight from cradle to football hold and she fed for much longer so maybe she is accessing different milk ducts that way? Although I couldnt get the cradle hold latch down well so now my nipples are sore...****** if i do, ****** if I dont
I also have a hard time unlatching her. She can be asleep for 5 minutes and I go to pull her off and she wakes up and latches on to the nipple like its life or death. I try to stick my finger in her mouth to unlatch her but she's a little baracuda, its always a painful on and off process!
Started the oatmeal yesterday and already drink lots of water. Thanks for all the tips, we'll keep plugging away. Today she drank way less formula so maybe all the hardwork is paying off!
Last edited by pearlica; October 12th, 2009 at 09:20 PM.
How long ago was your reduction ??
I too had one, over 12 years ago and was curious if everything is hooked up and will work. I had always figured I wouldn't breast feed but the Doc says give it a go. I am all for the ole college try ...
I had mine done 11 months before I got pregnant (she was a surprise!). The doctor knew I wanted to breastfeed later on so he left a lot of milk ducts intact but ideally you want to have had the surgery at least 5 years before you have kids because the ducts can take awhile to re-canalize. I figure at this point I'm providing approx 40-50% of her need and it seems to be increasing now so thats good. I say give it a go, some breast milk is better than none.