Exhausted single mom of two/pumping exclusively

by Katherine

I'm a single mom of two and currently tied to a pump, trying desperately to give my two week old daughter the little milk I make.

She couldn't latch or transfer milk, so my lactation consultants started me pumping, finger feeding, and ultimately bottle feeding. I am taking fenugreek, a milk supplement, and a tea.

My supply has doubled...to just below an ounce every three hours. I have had a breast reduction and revision and was unable to feed my first child.

He, however, latched like a pro and was fine nursing for drops then taking a bottle. I knew I would likely have a supply issue; I never ever thought about my daughter not latching.

And everyone keeps telling me to keep trying. I can't pick her up when I'm on the pump. I can't be with my son because I'm trying to sleep. And at 12 weeks I go back to work.

My ob has doubled my zoloft because I'm so depressed and disappointed. I can't go anywhere or do anything because my daughter and the pump are not in sync. I am trying to convince myself 4 weeks is enough but if anything happened to her that they tie back to formula (lets face it...from SIDS to a cough they can blame not breastfeeding)

I couldn't live with myself. However, I'm not easy to live with now. I'm a mess.

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Mar 12, 2013
Your best
by: Tracy, CBC, CLD (CBI)

Hey Katherine

You have tried your best, you know its more important for baby to have a happy mommy, even if you have to stop breastfeeding.

As a last resort, you could try keeping baby at the breast with a "supplemental nursing system" SNS. It's a little bottle that you fill with milk (preferably donor milk in your case) The bottle has a little tube attached to it that goes into the corner of baby's mouth while you breastfeed. This helps baby stay at the breast to build supply while supplementing.

You sound really frustrated and I think it would be less stressful, if you just made the decision to stop (in my opinion). And this advice is coming from a very pro-breastfeeding advocate and someone who is a studying in this field.

I would like to just encourage you to find out about donor breast milk in your area.

Mar 12, 2013
Be kind to yourself
by: Anonymous

My dear you have gone above and beyond what many women would.

I am a mother of two with another due in a few weeks. I tried medication, tea, fenugreek, feeding tube, you name it we tried it.

Finally our pediatrician told me that the girls would thrive just fine on formula, after I got done crying with both of them I agreed & I now have two beautiful and healthy little girls.

My husband and I agreed we will try again with this one, I meet tomorrow to come up with a plan for nursing at the hospital, but if we have problems and struggle I will be kind to myself & my family and stop much earlier to alleviate the unnecessary stress.

Know that you did all that you could and now take the time to enjoy your two bundles of joy at home! You will be so relieved and thankful you did.

Mar 12, 2013
by: Katherine

We saw a new lactation consultant today, who was lovely. She started us on an SNS instead of the pump. However, my daughter still isn't transferring...by dinner I was leaking and had to pump.

I'm hoping it gets better...pumping AND an SNS don't simplify anything. But I loved the SNS...I was able to hold my baby and she did latch while with the consultant. Home was another story. She had trouble again and as I said, it ended with pumping.

Her pediatricians keep talking to me like if I just try harder I'll suddenly be pouring milk. The one today reluctantly said I have to take care of myself, and didn't seem to get that two breast surgeries and a poor latch later, I wasn't just being lazy or whiny.

After seeing ob for postpartum depression today and finding out I have lost 30 lbs in two weeks, my ob was the first to say do what you can, but if you can't you're still a great mom.

So I'm giving it two weeks. I have every tool. I am hoping the SNS somehow works, but if not...I will give her a month and mourn that I couldn't do more.

I'm mourning now. But my girl has gained 2 oz a day since I started supplementing and pumping and is healthy and beautiful. That will have to be enough.

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