need serious breastfeeding help

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  mommandm 7 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #2090

    mommandm
    Member

    I had a baby in October, and at that time found out I have a breast condition called hypoplastic tubular breasts – it is found in 5% of the female population, and of that 5% 40% are able to produce milk at all. I was one of those lucky mommies who could produce milk, but it wasn’t satisfying my very large (just under 9 lbs at birth!) and very hungry baby. He became frustrated, quit latching on, and we were forced to supplement and I had to pump exclusively b/c he wouldn’t latch on. So I pumped for 7 weeks, which was a joy with a newborn and a 2 year old!! And pumping does very little to continue to build supply when you’re not actually nursing as well. I guess that explains why my oldest had such a hard time nursing as well. Its heartbreaking to me, I’m such a huge advocate of breastfeeding that not being able to do so myself is the worst feeling.

    I’m just wondering if anybody has had this problem, or maybe knows of a lactation consultant who specializes in breast problems? I would REALLY like to nurse future children, but the pumping was painful and it made me unable to properly care for my two kids – I was always hooked up to the pump. Any suggestions or referrals would be greatly appreciated. I tried fenugreek and mother’s milk tea, and they did help a bit.

    Thanks, God bless,

    Nicole

    #3371

    lynnt
    Member

    How did you find out you had this?

    I couldn’t nurse my oldest at all, she absolutely refused, and I never was engorged nor made enough milk to pump exclusively for her. With my 2d it was better, and I was able to pump and nurse, but I still had to supplement with formula. I hate that. So expensive. Just curious how you were diagnosed!

    Try http://www.kellymom.com . They are a WONDERFUL breastfeeding resource! I got lots of tips and support from them.

    And praying on it will help, too. Sounds hokey, but praying for help really will help!

    #3372

    mommandm
    Member

    I had 3 lactation consultants working with me at the hospital and afterwards. Oh and a home health nurse too. They all said I have this problem, something about the shape of the breasts and the space between them. They were reluctant to say I had a problem at first because they didn’t want it to sort of become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it eventually became clear that my milk supply wasn’t enough. If you can fit a hand between both of your breasts, when they’re not in a bra just naturally there, then you may have the condition. It has something to do with a hormonal disruption during puberty that causes the breasts not to develop properly.

    #3373

    burrisfam1
    Member

    I had some problems with my first at around 9 months I started losing my milk. I went to a naturpathic doctor and he had me take MACA root and that did the trick, my milk supply returned. With my 3rd, it took 10 days for my milk to come in and I used the mothers milk tea but had simply decided that if it was God’s will for me to nurse I would and if not then babies do just fine everyday on formula. Apparently it was God’s will and I’m still nursing her 10 months later. Best of luck. My mom and others recommended LaLeche league when I had a latch problem with my 2nd but they wouldn’t respond to email or phone calls. :( The best luck I had was to contact the lactation person at the hospital.

    I’ll pray for you. The hardest, best info I got was to relax – which is SO HARD when all you want to do is feed your baby! Good Luck!

    #3374

    andrea
    Member

    Have you tried to contact your local La Leche League leader? They are VERY helpful and sometimes (from what I’ve heard) better than a lactation consultant. I love going to the LLL meetings too – people are very nice and helpful. Here is the website so you can find a league in your area – http://www.lalecheleague.org/
    I wish you the best with your breast feeding situation though – that would be so hard. I too would be devastated if I couldn’t breast feed. My guy is 19 months and is finally weaning – mostly because we’re having another in July! Andrea

    #3375

    @MommaNDM wrote:

    I had a baby in October, and at that time found out I have a breast condition called hypoplastic tubular breasts – it is found in 5% of the female population, and of that 5% 40% are able to produce milk at all. I was one of those lucky mommies who could produce milk, but it wasn’t satisfying my very large (just under 9 lbs at birth!) and very hungry baby. He became frustrated, quit latching on, and we were forced to supplement and I had to pump exclusively b/c he wouldn’t latch on. So I pumped for 7 weeks, which was a joy with a newborn and a 2 year old!! And pumping does very little to continue to build supply when you’re not actually nursing as well. I guess that explains why my oldest had such a hard time nursing as well. Its heartbreaking to me, I’m such a huge advocate of breastfeeding that not being able to do so myself is the worst feeling.

    I’m just wondering if anybody has had this problem, or maybe knows of a lactation consultant who specializes in breast problems? I would REALLY like to nurse future children, but the pumping was painful and it made me unable to properly care for my two kids – I was always hooked up to the pump. Any suggestions or referrals would be greatly appreciated. I tried fenugreek and mother’s milk tea, and they did help a bit.

    Thanks, God bless,

    Nicole

    only a small percentage of women have a problem with making milk or not enough for the baby. it is somewhere under 5%. a lot of women think they dont make enough when really they do. usually it is due to them not letting the baby nurse when it wants or need to. you should never not let the baby nurse or put the baby on a feeding schedule. you will sabotage your nursing right there. (im not saying you did this just general info) most of the time women do not give the baby time to adjust to nursing. you have to remember that is the first time they have ever done it they may take a while to really learn which lead many people to believe they don’t make enough milk. Your breasts will make enough milk for your baby. sometimes the baby isn’t actually hungry and just wants to be close to you and for baby’s sucking is a calming technique. i suggest checking out the la lache league website. they have many experienced breast feeders who love to help. hoped some of that helped.

    #3376

    @MommaNDM wrote:

    I had 3 lactation consultants working with me at the hospital and afterwards. Oh and a home health nurse too. They all said I have this problem, something about the shape of the breasts and the space between them. They were reluctant to say I had a problem at first because they didn’t want it to sort of become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it eventually became clear that my milk supply wasn’t enough. If you can fit a hand between both of your breasts, when they’re not in a bra just naturally there, then you may have the condition. It has something to do with a hormonal disruption during puberty that causes the breasts not to develop properly.

    I’m guessing these weren’t la lache league consultants. Truly I think what they told you is a bunch of silliness the size or shape of your boobs have nothing to do with what kind of milk supply or how you can feed your baby. I breastfeed to baby’s successfully and i can honestly stick my hand between my boobs. the percentage of women who actually can’t breastfeed. Like i said before it is way under 5%. I can’t find it right now but I can get a link if needed. Most of the times moms can’t breastfeed due to being educated by someone who basically doesn’t know what they are doing or saying. I’m sorry someone told you that. Next time you have a baby if it is your will to breastfeed I would go to the la lache league. They will help you.

    #3378

    mommandm
    Member

    I understand what you’re saying Aimee…but I really do have a problem. My Bradley instructor who was also my DONA trained doula, THREE lactation consultants, and several hospital nurses who were all very kind about it have told me that it does happen and that I’m one of the unlucky ones. Its a condition called hypoplastic tubular breasts, which can range anywhere from very small, tube-shaped breasts with particularly large nipples to somewhat normal looking breasts with very little breast tissue and particularly large nipples. I have the condition closer to the better end of the spectrum. 5% of women in the female population have some degree of hypoplastic tubular breasts, and of that 5%. 40% can produce some milk. A *small* population of those women can produce enough, with the help of a good LC, to feed a baby exclusively. I was not one of those women, as I had a VERY large, very hungry baby who became frustrated at my breast, would not latch on even with the help of a lactation consultant, and so as you know without a baby latching on your supply, especially if its already limited, can become inadequate.

    I don’t know if its genetically based or not, but several women on my father’s side of the family have reported similar symptoms. Milk comes in very late, initial engorgement never happens even in a first baby, milk is not plentiful even with unrestricted access to the breast for baby, etc. I don’t think any were officially diagnosed though.

    So I guess I was just wondering if anybody knew of a lactation consultant who knows something specific about the condition or other breastfeeding problems, or maybe a book or other resources?

    Thanks, God bless,

    Nicole

    #3379

    mommandm
    Member

    I also just wanted to add that I didn’t exactly go at it half-heartedly, as I think may have been implied by some posters. I took classes, I read and reread the womanly art of breastfeeding, I took bradley classes that have an entire class devoted to breastfeeding, I had my baby naturally so that he would be alert and ready to nurse, I was beyond dedicated and I still cry about the fact that it didn’t work.

    #3380

    andrea
    Member

    Nicole,
    It sounds you really are trying to do what you can. I have heard of your condition – when I looked back in my nursing books. I really would recommend seeing if your local La Leche League leader could help you. As someone said in an above post – some aren’t helpful but if you can find a good one that’d be wonderful. I will try to remember to ask our leader (tues) or my mom. They are both VERY knowledgable when it comes to breast feeding. I too read the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and did the Bradley Method for delivering my son naturally (At home with a midwife). Good luck. Andrea

    #3381

    celticspirit
    Member

    Hey sweetie,

    Did you ever try a supplemental nursing system? It will help with your supply and your baby will get your milk as well as formula. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them from a number of moms who’ve had lots of problems.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    #3382

    mommandm
    Member

    Stacie, the SNS was one of the most helpful tools I had!! A little awkward, but it kept nursing going longer than it might have without it. I did finger-feeding with my first son, which helped us avoid nipple confusion, but the SNS was a much better alternative. I probably should have relied on it more…

    #3383

    dom-mommy
    Member

    If with your next baby, you still have problems with breastfeeding, you could look into a milk-bank or even a wetnurse. It sounds weird, but obviously since we have a word for a woman who nurses a baby not her own, there must be historically sound reasons for this service. I read an article from New Zealand a few months ago, that talked about this idea, and the idea of milk-banks. There are more ‘political’ and insurance problems with milk banks because of the small risk of transmitting disease, but the milk can be treated. Perhaps you could start looking around or cultivating friends who might be willing to share their breastmilk with your next baby. I know that I have a few friends that I would be willing to do that with.
    Peace.

    #3384

    @dom-mommy wrote:

    If with your next baby, you still have problems with breastfeeding, you could look into a milk-bank or even a wetnurse. It sounds weird, but obviously since we have a word for a woman who nurses a baby not her own, there must be historically sound reasons for this service. I read an article from New Zealand a few months ago, that talked about this idea, and the idea of milk-banks. There are more ‘political’ and insurance problems with milk banks because of the small risk of transmitting disease, but the milk can be treated. Perhaps you could start looking around or cultivating friends who might be willing to share their breastmilk with your next baby. I know that I have a few friends that I would be willing to do that with.
    Peace.

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing anymore. I know my father in law had one when he was a baby as his mom just didnt want to feed him. that is interesting that it is still avaliable i would just make sure you give the lady some blood tests first. just to make sure she isnt transmitting something to your baby! better safe then sorry.

    #3385

    mommandm
    Member

    There are some very generous women out there who donate their milk :D But I think milk banks are primarily for sick or disabled children. The mothers are tested for diseases. And the milk from there is VERY expensive!!!

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