|First 'noms' at BC Women's Hospital, shortly after the birth|
If you've been reading the Sprog since Sprout was born or you know me in real life, you can probably skip this paragraph, as you've heard our story. I was one of those women who could make milk, but despite a lot of effort, couldn't make 100% of what my child needed. That effort included pumping six times a day after feedings (round the clock), taking herbs & teas, Domperidone pills, reading tons of breastfeeding books & websites, tracking every detail of feeding, supplementing, weight, etc for months, going to workshops, La Leche League meetings, baby groups, lactation consultants, my midwives & then weekly weigh-ins & doctor's appointments at a specialist breastfeeding clinic, not to mention all the washing & sterlizing that goes along with using a breast pump, bottles & early on, a tube setup.
|After all the struggle, these moments were worth it.|
Now that I'm pregnant again, with my due date looming less than a month away, I've been doing more research. This article on Kelly Mom (8) was interesting to me, breaking breastfeeding issues into three categories. Basically: hormonal issues due to thyroid problems or PCOS, etc, breastfeeding management issues (including tongue tie, latch issues as well as too few feedings, etc), then lack/shortage of milk-producing glandular tissue (IGT).
I suspect I may have mild IGT, but I don't know that it wasn't mainly breastfeeding management issues. At our last appointment with the doctor at the Vancouver Breastfeeding Clinic (7), she suggested I come back before my next baby. I just had that appointment this week & after a refresher on getting a newborn to latch well, plus lots of discussion about how everything went after she last saw us, we've set up a loose plan.
After talking to the doctor, I left feeling very positive & hopeful that I can avoid the months-long struggles that I faced last time & maybe, just maybe, make enough milk to breastfeed exclusively. Having a plan helps me--the obsessive lister. I've got a couple of herbal supplements, one that I'm taking already (5) & one I'll start after the birth (6). My doctor at the Vancouver Breastfeeding Clinic has given me a prescription for Domperidone & I'll go see them in the first week after baby's born. I have a copy of a great book (3) on foods that help in milk production (see below for details) & a prescription for Domperidone. I've got my awesome breastfeeding pillow (4) back but still need to pick up the double pump that my cousin is passing along. Nearly ready!
I plan to write more on this after my daughter is born. I want to share the journey in the hopes that other moms--with IGT or hormone imbalance, PCOS, issues due to surgery or the myriad of other things that can affect a mother's milk production--will know it's possible to stick with it & that it doesn't have to be one or the other. I'm not out to shame anyone who stops breastfeeding & uses formula to feed their baby, because I know how bloody hard it is to combo feed & there are many reasons why it might not work (I'll have to leave that for another post). However, if I could inspire another mom or two to see herself as a success, not a failure, if she breastfeeds & supplements, I'll be happy.
Some of the resources mentioned above that I've found useful:
- FB support group for IGT/low supply moms (private group, you'll need to request to join) It's full of moms who are struggling, who've been there & a few experts in the field.
- The article that inspired me to write this: on Best For Babes
- This book: Mother Food all about things you can eat to help your supply
- My Brest Friend breastfeeding pillow
- EcoIdeas Moringawise Organic Moringa Powder--the best-priced form I could find of a well-known galactagogue in the Phillippines, plus here's a study that found positive results immediately postpartum & another one focussed on moms of pre-term infants.
- Motherlove More Milk Plus capsules with fenugreek seed, blessed thistle, nettle, fennel seed.
- Vancouver Breastfeeding Clinic
- Kellymom is a brilliant site with tons of evidence-based resources.
Mamas out there: what was/is your breastfeeding story? Did you face some bumps in the road like I did? No judgement here--just sharing stories. :)
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