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A Story of Supplementing- Don't Beat Yourself Up!

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  • 7 Post By joonzgurl
  • 1 Post By joonzgurl
  • 1 Post By HopefullyaLawMommy

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September 29th, 2011, 10:26 AM
joonzgurl's Avatar Proud mama of 2 girls
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Small Town, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5,639
My birth experience was long and traumatic. I was induced at 41weeks 6 days. It was a Thursday morning, and baby girl did not come into the world until 4:33pm on Saturday afternoon, via c-section. I was absolutely exhausted, and had a newborn baby.

The first few weeks were incredibly difficult. Avery had a huge weight loss (dropped from 8lb 5oz to 7lb 1oz) and everyone was concerned. I did my best to keep breastfeeding her, but I had a sleepy baby who had trouble staying awake to get the calories she needed.

I used all the resources I could. Kellymom.com, the breastfeeding message board, the public health nurses, and my local La Leche League. Still, at 3.5 weeks old baby girl was still not gaining.

I was sent to the city to see a breast feeding specialist (a pediatrician who was also a lactation consultant), and she told me I needed to start supplementing right away, with enriched breast milk or enriched formula. I was devastated. I felt like as a woman I could not provide for my baby, and it was very hard to take. I was also prescribed a drug to help increase my milk.

We started to supplementing with a syringe, and tried a feeding tube as well, but in the end it was just too cumbersome. So, for the past couple weeks, baby girl gets offered a bottle after breastfeeding. She took anywhere from .5oz to 2oz after feeding at the breast. The specialist said to use medium flow nipples (saying that a baby who needs the calories should not have to work hard to be nourished). I shared with her that I was so afraid to ruin breastfeeding- and she said it wouldn't. That it is just theory- and in my case she was right.

After I began to supplement, I had a different baby on my hands. It was a HUGE relief. In a way I felt like I shouldn't give her the bottle, but she has no problem going from breast to bottle to pacifier and back, and I am so glad I did it. I wish I had done it sooner. Poor baby was jsst so hungry. I now have a baby who is growing well and sooooo much happier now that she has a full belly.

Avery does not always take the bottle either. 2 of her 3 feedings overnight last night were just breastfeeding. I can feel the drug working- my breasts to start to feel heavier when it has been a while, especially at night time, so the drug is working. It looks like I won't have to supplement forever either- I just need to keep at it.

I just wanted to post this for other women who might be faced with supplementing. I felt so upset and defeated about it, like my body was broken, like breastfeeding was over, but it is not. Don't feel bad that you have to supplement- just remember that what is important is a healthy baby who is growing and well nourished- no matter how that nourishment gets to them! 5 years from now, no one will know if the baby was breast fed, bottle fed formula, or a combination of the two, so give yourself a break and do what is best for your baby
JeCaLe, Babytooth, magz88 and 4 others like this.

Proud mama to:

Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011) & Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
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March 13th, 2012, 01:35 PM
Lolorr's Avatar Regular
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 56
Read your post.

I too had a tough time in the beginning with BF and my body was just not producing enough. I pumped constantly and fed constantly. I went to BF consultation classes. I took so much Fenugreek I smelled like a pancake breakfast all day. That stuff stinks. At least it smelled like Maple syrup to me.
Can I ask what kind of medication they gave you to help you produce more milk?

I am having my 2nd little girl in May! and I really want to try again. With my first I had to give up at 8 weeks. I was in such a sad state. and so tired of pumping and trying to give her the breast. At 8 weeks she was getting so cranky when I tried to BF, she knew she could get it from the bottle much easier.

Nothing seemed to increase my supply.

Thanks for your post. I'll try and not beat myself up this time.

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March 18th, 2012, 09:52 PM
joonzgurl's Avatar Proud mama of 2 girls
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Small Town, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5,639
They prescribed me domperiodone. Using it to increase milk supply is technically an "off label" use, but it is widely used up here in canada. I hope it works out for you next time!!

Proud mama to:

Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011) & Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
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September 3rd, 2012, 08:30 PM
magz88's Avatar First Time Mum
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,411
Thanks for posting this.
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January 10th, 2013, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 32
Read this post crying. I had the same problem. My baby lost a lot of weight and it took 5 days for my milk to come in. The doctors asked me to supplement until my milk came in which I was fine with. She had a difficult time latching and I got one of those breast shields which helped us for a few days. She seemed calm after feeds, but still nursed often. I then started to notice there wasn't any milk in my right shield when she was done feeding. I first thought she just sucked it all. I thought I am going to pump and see how much she is getting. So when it was time for her next feeding I pumped and was devastated-- I had NO milk in that breast and 2 teaspoons in the other. We had to follow up with her peds dr a few days later because of her initial weight loss, only to see that she had lost weight again. I did everything--everything I knew. I am a NICU nurse and have taken so many lactation classes, I help moms with this stuff. I called all my friends, lactation specialist I knew. My daughter is 3 months old. I still pump every 4-6 hours (its time consuming!) and mix it with formula. I never get more than 2 ounces and that is both breast combine. But some is better than none. I still feel like I am missing out on something very special as breastfeeding solely. But she is a very happy little girl and in the end her health and happiness make me happy!
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January 30th, 2013, 05:10 PM
OnesOnTheWay's Avatar #3 Due November 2016
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Southwest
Posts: 4,651
Thanks for sharing your story!
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July 7th, 2013, 11:08 PM
joonzgurl's Avatar Proud mama of 2 girls
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Small Town, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5,639
I am glad that I was able to help some mamas with my story.

Just as an update... Avery started to refuse the supplement around 7 weeks old, and we breastfed until just 2 months ago when she was 21 months old

So even if you do end up having to supplement, it does not mean it's over!
HopefullyaLawMommy likes this.

Proud mama to:

Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011) & Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
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August 21st, 2013, 07:47 PM
HopefullyaLawMommy's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 417
I know I am late but thank you for your story. It is nice to see something positive and encouraging.

I gave birth to my first in June. After having to have a c-section b/c she was breech, I was determined I was going to breastfeed. She was perfect. She latched and nursed like a champ an hour after she was born. Our problem is my supply is low. I have tried so many different things and nothing has helped.

She lost weight and we were going to the Dr. every week for a weight check. At her one month well check, she still wasn't back to her birth weight. At that point I had to start supplementing. She is 11 weeks old now and thriving.

It took me a while to feel good knowing no matter what, the least little bit she is getting is better than nothing at all.
Thank you so much for your words!
joonzgurl likes this.

Proud mommy of Hallie Jean <3

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September 17th, 2013, 11:49 AM
trusting and believing
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 811
So many women need your message. Thanks for sharing it. My son is almost 3 now, but Lordly Lord, have I been there. As a newborn, he was losing and/or not gaining and when they told me I needed to supplement, I was so very down and depressed. I tried multitudes of resources like you, and paid a lactation consultant to come out. I thought we were doing pretty well, but he still wasn't gaining well. Oh I was so heartbroken. I've had anxiety about having a second child because of breastfeeding. I pray that things will go better next time, but if not I feel better prepared to deal with it.
Thanking God for a healthy, happy, and BLESSED----->

Mom to one son born December 2010 and expecting another little guy June 16, 2014!
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