Post # 1
I’m trying to breastfeed but we got a late start. She was already six days when I started to try. I have a medical grade double pump and the nipple shield. She wants nothing to do with the shield and just ignores it. The pump hurts like crap and I have been using it for three days and the supply seems to be getting less and less. All day yesterday and all I got was 1/4 oz.
And it hurts. Bad. Only for the first five minutes but it hurts. I can also tell when I’m about to leak. I think the lactation nursr called it the let down? I get this strong jomesick feeling for about 30 seconds followed by intense nipple pain and then the leaking happens.
They want me at the pump ten minutes every hour and to do the skin to skin with every feeding. As mentioned in another post that is extremely hard when we are still getting drop ins from family and I have a million places to go as well.
I so badly want to do this and won’t give up but there has to be an easier less painful way right? Do any of you have tips or advice on how to make this work? How to ease the nipple pain, increase supply, or get her to latch on the shield at least? In the five days I have only been able to pump out 1.5oz total. Am I doing something wrong or is this normal?
Post # 2
Given that you didn’t get to start bfing until six days in, what you are experiencing is totally normal.
You said you are seeing a lactation consultant. How often? Are they having you take any type of supplements (fenugreek, eating oats, mothers milk tea, etc)? I think all the lactation support you can get is critical at this point.
The feeling that you have during letdown is totally normal too. Unfortunatley, some women have painful letdown 🙁
If you haven’t already, put your foot down about visitors. I would make it painfully clear that you cannot have random visits. Post it on facebook, call everyone you know, put a sign on the door. People need to respect you, and part of being a mommy is telling people to back off when they are interfering!
Kudos to you for continuing to try to breastfeed. If you keep at it, it WILL get easier. Your body will learn to regluate and your supply will increase. Make sure you’re eating and drinking lots. When you are pumping/feeding, go somewhere quiet, without stress, and just try to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. Stress and tension will highly and negatively effect your supply and ability to produce milk.
Good luck mama!
Post # 3
You can try fenugreek to see if it increases your supply. It worked for me. Is it possible you have your pump turned up too high? I read
Post # 4
You can try fenugreek to see if it increases your supply. It worked for me. Is it possible you have your pump turned up too high? I read on kellymom I believe that some women are more successful and get more milk on lower settings while others have better luck on higher settings. If it is painful, that could be effecting how much milk you’re getting.
Post # 5
Mrslovebug: the nipple pain will subside in 2-3 weeks. Use nipple cream like it’s going out of style! Warm compresses before you pump/nurse can help. There are lots of ways to increase supply but I don’t know enough about exclusivd pumping to know what output is normal. I’d turn the pump down a little to see if that helps with pain. A higher setting isn’t always better. I read you should turn it to where you feel mildly uncomfortable and then turn it down a notch. Be assertive and tell your visitors to stay away! Establishing bf is hard enough when all is going well.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
It’s going to take time… A lot of time with baby on the breast and using the pump to stimulate production. If you really want to bf, it needs to be your focus for at least a several day uninterrupted span, if not longer. Curb visitors and cancel appointments (unless medical). Call local bf helplines or contact la leche league.
The shiekd might not be the thing that works for your baby and often they can complicate latching. Try the herbal supplements and make sure baby is gaining weight or you’ll need to add donor milk or formula. Keep in mind that the pump doesn’t empty your breast as well as baby, so you may want to manually massage your breasts while pumping to help get out milk.
After that, if talk to a lac consult about domperidone or Reglan if it’s really a low supply issue.
either way, it’s going to take time and troubleshooting. I’m struggling with low supply myself, too.
Post # 7
Mrslovebug: man I feel you, I went through all that you mention…with twins no less! It’s so frustrating…supposed to be so natural and beauriful bit makes one question their sanity!
my advice would be to make regular appts with lactation nurse if you haven’t yet seen them outaide of the hospital. I went twice after the boys came home and it helped a lot. Yes I felt I was getting no where with all the pumping they had me doing…but my milk finally came in fast and hard. The late start probably reduced your supply but you should be able to get it up again.
pumping really shouldn’t hurt too much…one thing that could be causing you pain is if the flanges are the wrong size/nipples running against. Sides when pumping. You may need bigger flanges…makes a huge difference. Make sure the nipple is properly centered too.
instill ill have days I want to give up but it does get better. but I honestly feel like if it causes too much stress it’s not worth it. A stressed out mommy just makes life very hard! I would set some short term goal…and see how things pan out. For me I decided of things didn’t improve my the time they were 1 month, I’m going tI consider my options.
my twins were always able to latch with the sheild, but they were lazy eaters and it was so frustrating…I have frienda who had no luck with shields, etc who ended up exclusively pumping…ultimately you will so over your limitations and decide if you can live with the way things work out or not. You gotta do what’s best for you!
Post # 8
Drink lots of water. Can you try nursing without the shield? Make very sure the latch is correct, touch your nipple to the roof of baby’s mouth.
As for family drop-ins–forget ’em! Go into a private, relaxing room, get comfortable (nursing arm supported, feet up), and take ALL THE TIME YOU NEED. Let yourself relax. Don’t get frustrated with yourself or your baby. This is the most important thing you’re doing right now. My biggest regret from the first month of my baby’s life is that I worried too much about accommodating family and didn’t focus solely on what my baby needed.
Post # 9
Thank you bees. I haven’t tried suppliments but will run to the gnc when Darling Husband gets home. I have been seeing two lac nurses all week and still can’t figure ut out. Good news though, I brought baby in the room and fed her with skin to skin while pumping (no easy task) and got 1/4 oz in one sit down, which is what I got all day pumping yesterday.
She tries latching but gets frustrated and starts screaming which breaks mt heart. I don’t want to upset her.
I play calming music or sing to her to ease the tension but the lac consult says I have flat nipples (they don’t get hard easily nor do they stay hard) so that’s complicating things even more but the pump seems to be helping that. I will try the higger size I was given as backup and hopefullt that will help tge pain. I also didn’t know stress would effect production which makes sense. With family drop ins, in law troubles, the flea issue and our ac crapping out on us it has been one rxtremely stressful week. I just put the word iut, no visitors for at least a few days if not longer. They can wait until things get eadier. I flat out said “I’m trying to breastfeed and visitors are making it more difficult. Eill let you know when we are accepting visitors agsin.”
Post # 10
Is she feeding okay? Are you only pumping for supply? If she’s feeding okay, I would stop pumping, and just skin to skin loads and feed her on demand and let her comfort nurse as much as possible and let her regulate your supply naturally and see it that works. You can always add pumping later if you have insuffient supply. And I would spend some really low key days just doing that with no visitors until you’re comfortable with supply!
I had painful letdown, it felt like I was having lightening bolts thrown at my boobs, ha ha ha. It does go away after awhile!
Post # 11
And re: the family drop-ins, they have literally the rest of the baby’s life to hang out with her, so it is totally fine and will have absolutely no long term impacts on their relationship if they stop doing it for even a couple of weeks. In early days with bfing issues, you guys really need the time to get the hang of it, and that needs to be everyone’s priority!
Post # 12
Mrslovebug: Are you using any lubrication with the pump, like Lasinoh? I used a medical grade Medela pump when I first came home and my nipples were getting so sore and then read that like the pistons in your car, they need lubrication. Not a lot, but some. I now use the Ameda Purely Yours which is not as powerful, and so it doesn’t bother my nipples much.
Flanges are tricky, I’ve recently realized that I need to use two different sizes. We had a rough start too with the whole latching etc, but it has gotten better. I didn’t have supply issues though. Lactation consultants really help.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
I wanted to say that I definitely agree that using Lansinoh lanolin (or similar) will help with pain in general and while pumping. Also make sure you are using the right sized flange for the pump — it can affect the volume you make as well as your comfort.
Post # 14
I would def try the fenugreek and double check to make sure you have the right size flanges. I remember pumping being so painful until a lactation consultant saw I needed a larger size (nipples were very happy after the switch!). Also as PP have mentioned the pump may be turned up too high. Are you using a Medela Symphony? Sometimes staying on the first cycle for longer than two minutes helps with my let down.
Also check out Lactation Cookies, I hear they work wonders! Good luck!
Post # 15
Congrats on your new baby and a couple of questions / suggestions 🙂
First of all, feed the baby! I assume your LO has been having formula and it’s ok to keep her on the formula while you get bf’ing sorted out.
Are you seeing an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant? Not all Lactation Consultants / Lactation Nurses are equal but an IBCLC has to meet very stringent criteria.
The fact you can feel letdown is a good sign, some women just don’t respond to the pump and as a general rule, baby is always more efficient at draining the breast. If you find the pump is giving you trouble, you could have a go at hand expressing, I always found it much more effective myself.
Definitely get rid of all the visitors! My milk took almost a week to come in and my midwife recommended keeping baby as relaxed and comfortable as possible and to avoid overstimulation.
Keep baby as close as possible (preferable skin to skin) to help stimulate your milk production, you could also try a “nursing vacation’ – get you topless and baby naked apart from a diaper and just hang out in bed all day!
Eat plenty of good calories, drink lots of water and try to get as much rest as possible. Lactation cookies and oats are both good galactalogues that can also help with supply.
Does your LO have a physiological reason for having trouble with latch? Has she been checked for tongue or lip tie?
Sorry for all the questions, my last suggestion is to check out the LLL forums / message boards, the ladies over there are fabulous!!