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Friend with new baby

A friend of mine gave birth to a girl eight days ago. She is not an Lj user, but anyway, she had informed me that she unexpectedly had to switch her dd over to formula because apparently her milk did not come in well, if at all. I was a bit skeptic at first and had wondered if she just gave up too early and I encouraged her to at least keep trying while supplementing with formula and eventually it would come in. She had informed me that one breast never even produced collustrum as the staff at the hospital had identified, she tried pumping too, and to no avail, no collustrum, no milk...nada for a few days. She also had said her daughter was constantly trying to nurse and cried all the time as if she was hungry, and said she stopped producing wet diapers as well. She said her cheeks started sinking in and was showing clear signs of dehydration from lack of milk.

She had said when her milk finally did come in it was five days later and when it came in, it wasn't much, the one breast never came in at all. She got very teary-eyed and was upset, mostly because her daughter was dehydrated and loosing too much weight, and was not happy that no one in the hospital had suggested trying to supplement with formula sooner, that her daughter was going hungry and needlessly suffering. At some point, a nurse or tech had said that the hospital is working toward being a "baby friendly" hospital, and they are not allowed to mention attempting formula feeding to new mothers and to discourage it.

That being said, any rn worth their salt would have said "fuck this,I know better, this baby is not getting what it needs, and who the hell is going to tell that I told mom to try formula?"

I must also Note, that my friend had an extremely rare and basically unheard of condition when she herself was a baby, she had an ovarian cyst rupture and apparently require surgery was a newborn.she said the doctors treating her had never come across it and in fact, had published an article about her case in a medical journal. Her current physicians have never heard of that happening. Her suspicion is that perhaps this had somehow effected her body's ability to effectively make milk.

Is there anyone out there who struggled with their milk comming in or not at all?


( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 4th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Mine took five days to come in, but I was producing a lot of colostrum, and when it came in, boy did it ever. However, I was also under the care of a lactation doctor who said that if my milk hadn't come in when it did, the next step was supplementing. A big part of why it took so long was tongue tie in my daughter affecting her ability to suck.

I think it is a good thing for more hospitals to encourage breastfeeding, but honestly, what hospitals need more of are trained lactation consultants and doctors. Lactation consultants that actually meet with patients (my hospital LC met with us once for ten minutes; thank gd I was already under the care of the lactation doc for other reasons!) and who are trained to recognize tongue tie or any obstacles a woman might have breastfeeding (hormone issues, breast surgery, etc). Folks actively trained in how to supplement w/o ruining the chances of establishing a good breast feeding relationship, or how to to do a part-time breastfeeding thing.

Sorry for the vent, but yeah, I've been there in terms of late milk coming in. It was very discouraging, especially since DD had jaundice and they were very worried about it. She also didn't poop for six days post birth, though she did have wet diapers.
Dec. 4th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
Was she able to conceive through traditional means or did she need something extra to get pregnant? If she got pregnant just fine, I doubt what happened with her as a baby has anything to do with her milk supply.

A lot of what you/she is describing sounds normal... Wanting to nurse all the time, crying, milk taking some time to come in, etc. etc. The standard recommendation is to nurse as much as possible, even if it seems like baby isn't getting anything. I don't know how often she was nursing or for how long, so I can't speak to whether there may have been some problem there. I also don't know if mom was dehydrated or had birth complications or anything else along those lines. I don't know if baby has a tongue tie or has a suck problem or just a bad latch. And then there is the unlikely possibility that mom, for some reason, really doesn't produce much, if any, milk. She could have insufficient glandular tissue or hypoplastic breasts. It could be a thyroid problem. Really, there's sort of no telling.

I did have a problem with my second son where my milk was slow to come in, but I was expecting that. He did lose a fair bit of weight but he had just enough wet diapers. And he did take a long time, almost a month, to regain his birth weight.
Dec. 4th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
With my first, it was day 5 before my milk "came in." I could not express more than one or two drops of colostrum either manually or with a pump, and once I had milk, my highest day of production (on fenugreek) was less than two ounces- and that was 10 or 11 20 minute pumping sessions combined, both breasts combined. My daughter lost weight during every single weighed feed we did- she was expending more calories trying to nurse than she was consuming (although it appeared to all that she was nursing sucessfully). My breasts never increased in size, never got hard, never got engorged (which I know can be normal, but with everything else going on is not a good sign). My daughter ended up loosing 20% of her birth weight was was seriously dehydrated- we had to moisten her mouth before she could even attempt to feed. The hospital kept telling me that she was alright, and just to take her for a weight check in 2 weeks, and that she did not need formula. The day after discharge we took her to a (different) peditrician in a breastfeeding friendly practice who was afraid she would die of dehydration. She did not end up getting back up to her birthweight until she was over a month old.

I am about to deliver #2, and while I will attempt to breastfeed, I am not particularlly optimistic. I have realized since that I have some degree of hypoplastic tubular breasts, which means that I have a lack of mammary tissue. Some women with it are able to eventually breastfeed exclusively, but most need to at least supplement. I almost went crazy with it last time- with the put the baby to the breast, pump, feed, formula feed, clean up cycle every two hours, I was not sleeping. It was not worth the benefit of breastmilk for us, and I will not do that to myself or my family again. I am optimistic that I may have somewhat better results this time- my breasts have grown this pregnancy (they did not at all last time) and I have a small amount of leakage.
Dec. 4th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
Are you planning on trying a supplemental nursing system? That might resolve a lot of those hassles.

I do want to point out, though, that being on an all night nursing every couple of hours schedule is within the realm of normal for breastfeeding, even without complications. So I would be wary of using that as a barometer for whether things are going well. Certainly, none of us want to be up that often. But some babies just like to put you through the ringer!

I hope things go well for you with baby #2! Congratulations!
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Dec. 4th, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
I'm having this problem for the second time with my second child, born 5 days ago. She's lost enough weight that we are being monitored daily. I'm pumping, feeding every two hours and on demand, and taking brewers yeast. Our next step is medication. Honestly, it's been emotionally taxing. With my first child, they scared me into formula supplementing before we even left the hospital. I was devastated, and my son had colic from the formula for months. I am determined to muscle through this time around. My low supply has caused me a lot of emotional upset, and my daughter's thriving is paramount. St least this time
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
(Sorry, hit post before I was done)
At least this time I'm armed with more knowledge, and the certainty that I'm doing everything I can to make this work.
(no subject) - rummyj - Dec. 4th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
I also had issues with not producing enough milk. My daughter lost a lot of weight and was not gaining, she didn't gain until she was a month old (at which point I was breast feeding, pumping and supplementing with formula), she was dehydrated and wasn't producing enough wet diapers. I look back on pictures now of her in her first 6 weeks or so and she is so thin, it breaks my heart!

The thing that concerns me is though is the "breast is best" mentality people have today. Too many people make women who supplement or exclusively formula feed feel terrible and that they aren't doing the best for baby, and if you have issues with milk production/latching/whatever you get "experts" (everyone online is an expert these days!) telling you you're not trying hard enough, you're giving up etc - I actually fully expect someone to respond to this and tell me I didnt try hard enough and gave up!

Whats best for your baby isnt neccessarily whats best for someone elses baby. Whats best for *MY* baby is a happy mummy (I was a wreck not being able to feed my baby enough, seeing how tiny she was, having all health proffesionals say I must keep BFing even though my daughter wasnt gaining) and a happy baby (well fed, producing enough diapers, etc etc). Too many women are made to feel guilty for offering formula when BF doesnt work out (for whatever reason, sometimes BF just isnt for you or your baby), I felt guilty for weeks for supplementing with formula - even though I could see my baby was healthier and finally gaining some weight!

Anyhow rant over :p I wish your friend and her baby the best, however she chooses to feed her :)
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
This. Not only did I have the peanut gallery chiming in about how terrible I was for having a medically necessary induction but then when my son had a similar situation with your daughter I was first told I was horrible for pumping to get him more milk because it wasn't as good for him as straight breastfeeding and then terrible for solely formula feeding when it was found that he was one of the rare kids with a sensitivity to even the breastmilk form of lactose and still was projectile vomiting and losing weight with pumped milk.

Apparently, my son is destined to illness, low IQ, and low drive in life because I made sure he received the nutrients he needed. At ten months he has no food allergies, says five words, is walking, and the only illness he had was an ear infection before we switched to formula. I absolutely despise how absolutely rabid the breast is best mentality is. In a perfect scenario when it works for both mom and baby (as the majority of the time it does) then yes it is absolutely preferred but no one should feel like less of a mom solely because they supplement or solely feed with formula.
(no subject) - polychrome_baby - Dec. 5th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Dec. 4th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
My older daughter had tongue-tie (diagnosed 2 _years_ after she was born along with various other oral motor issues). She was never able to latch. I tried with various LCs, and moved to EP'ing. I did it for 10.5 months until 1 day I just snapped. I couldn't do it anymore. At that point, we went through my freezer stash and then brought in formula until we hit a year.

Honestly, breastfeeding can be really hard for a mother-child combination. My second daughter and I got it after a week, but it was never as easy as it is for some other people. I would never ever EP again. It was way too hard, and it made me a little (more) cuckoo. :)
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)
I don't know if this has anything to do with her situation, but I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue in my breasts, which means I just don't have enough mammary glands to produce enough milk.... or something like that. Apparently my boobs just didn't grow enough tissue in puberty... which may or may not be related to my PCOS. I breast fed my daughter until she was about 9 months, and supplemented with formula almost that whole time.
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:30 am (UTC)
I have hypoplastic breast. No milk up in these boobs.
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
My milk took about ten days to fully come in, and even then, it wasn't enough. It was bad enough that my DD has super colicky and had awful reflux that meds only helped somewhat - but she was starving, too. :( When she started slurping down 3-4 ounces from my meager freezer stash and friend's donor milk after nursing both sides, I knew I had to do something.

I ended up on fenugreek and when that stopped working, domperidone. I was fortunate to have my friend with a baby three days older than mine who was a massive overproducer who donated milk to my baby to get me over the hump while I waited for the dom to come in the mail. (Incidentally, she also EP'd for her baby for over a year, donated hundreds of ounces to the milk bank, AND donated to another friend plus a third friend with TWINS. Sheesh!) The dom is the only reason I was able to continue BFing once I returned to work at 11 weeks. DD has just now weaned at 2.5.

I think my supply issues were multifactorial, a big part of which was thyroid. I went hypothyroid post-pregnancy - and maybe during pregnancy? - but didn't get diagnosed until 1 year pp. My (new) PCP started me on Synthroid, and lo and behold, all sorts of things were suddenly MUCH better. I really wonder how things will go down in BFing arena with #2 when the time comes.
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:58 am (UTC)
yep. had a c-section and LOTS of fluids. milk never came in until like 7 days later a little came and then never more than 1oz a day even when pumping every 3 hours. it happens. tell your friend she made the right choice to take care of her baby. my daughter is 9 months old now and I love her and she loves me and she is a healthy baby. my husband was formula fed and I was bf and I am way less healthy than him. it means nothing. her daughter will get plump and cute on it and in a year it won't matter. good luck to her and I hope everything goes ok.
Dec. 4th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC)
I didn't but i'm donating to a woman who has IGT- did everything "BY THE BOOK" to get milk in. She's on the max dose of dom too.

The stat every one quotes is "5%" "can't breastfeed" but if you think about that, that's 1 in 20. That's a lot more than we think it is ! (I personally think its higher than 5%- is that taking into account women who try but circumstances don't allow it? - ie women who don't respond to a pump and have to be back at work soon kind of situation, and women who have babies with really painful latches and nobody helps them get it right and they give up because of the horrific pain. Or SA survivors who don't even try because breastfeeding would be a horrific trigger- these are all cases where technically a woman "could" but it would not be possible or in the case of the SA survivor, healthy for her to try)

Dec. 4th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
Bless you for donating. My daughter was fed exclusively on donated breastmilk for the first year of her life. I won't ever be able to find the words to express my gratitude to breast milk donors.
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Dec. 4th, 2012 05:48 am (UTC)
I wasn't able to breastfeed, it was one of, if not the most heartbreaking thing I've ever been through.
I had a pretty traumatic c-section (long story) and for the first couple of days afterwards I wasn't able to walk, get out of bed and even turn over to pick my baby up out of the plastic crib thingy that I don't know the name of.
The first month of her life I only have vague memories of being on constant pain meds, nurses trying to help me breastfeed, and me crying almost constantly because I couldn't and because of what I'd been through having her.

Having said all this, the hospital I was in was also moving towards being formula-free, however as my milk was practically non-existent and I was so ill they gave her formula straightaway and for the first 3 weeks of her life that's what she was on. Even after my milk came in she just did not latch.
Its one thing to promote breastfeeding but you have to back that up. Some babies will not latch. Some women's milk does not come in. If you want to promote breastfeeding, then have lactation consultants available for everyone. If you're struggling you need LC's to basically sit with you every single time until both mom and baby are home free. Its no good saying, we're pro-breast feeding and then not giving women the tools they need to breast feed.

Dec. 4th, 2012 06:11 am (UTC)
In five years of being a breastfeeding advocate, I have never been able to successfully diagnose someone from secondhand information off the internet. It's hard enough helping someone FIRSTHAND on the internet when you aren't there, you can't see the baby nurse, you can't look at the latch, you can't see if they're swallowing, you can't see how mom is doing, you have no idea how she's faring and how much "fight" she has left in her.

I gave birth at an actual Baby Friendly hospital, and they still brought me formula when my son's glucose was low just in case, even though my milk came in fine and he never actually became hypoglycemic. So I call bullshit on the tech's story that they cannot offer formula. The TECH might not be able to, it might have to be a nurse or even an MD who suggests it, but no one is going to look at a dehydrated baby and tell the mom tough shit. First rule is to feed the baby. The end.
Dec. 4th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
I agree with your first paragraph SO HARD!

And yes, even Baby Friendly Hospitals agree with the principle of feeding the baby. A Baby Friendly Hospital would first supplement with mother's own expressed milk, then offer donor milk or formula if a baby was losing weight, not producing enough diapers and/or dehydrated.
Dec. 4th, 2012 11:20 am (UTC)
Mine didn't come in for a week after I had my son but I didn't plan on breast feeding anyway.
Dec. 4th, 2012 11:52 am (UTC)
It sounds as though the baby was dehydrated. However, 5 days for milk to come in, if baby was early or born by c-section, is not abnormal as far as I know.

Not being allowed to mention formula-feeding, isn't the same thing as a doctor not prescribing formula. They are not to offer it without medical indication or parental request. The hospital I birthed at is working toward baby-friendly, but formula is still available, particularly in the NICU. However, they also had donor milk.

I doubt that the cyst is impairing her milk production. Her milk came in. Hospitals being impatient with milk coming in is a far bigger issue. She should have been encouraged to pump every couple hours and have baby at breast to encourage milk production. My son was in the NICU and the neonatologist was a jerk about the amount of colostrum I left for baby (he was one of the few breastfeeding unfriendly people there, but it hurt). I told them no formula as I had colostrum and would drive in to nurse him. Anyway, the nurse the next shift was so much more supportive, encouraging me to drink fluids and pump tiny bits every two-three hours. She said it would add up. It did and that night, my milk came in.

Not offering formula is part of being baby-friendly, but alone, it isn't breastfeeding support.
Dec. 4th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
She did pump, every few hours, nothing came out...not collustrum, nothing.
(no subject) - claddagh - Dec. 4th, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Dec. 4th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
My baby was still losing weight day by day at 2 weeks old and constantly cried from hunger. It happens. I would have loved to exclusively breastfeed, but as it is, I'm just happy for the existence of formula. :)
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
I have IGT (insufficient glandular tissue) which means I didn't develop enough milk-making glands during puperty (or pregnancy for that matter - I had no breast changes whatsoever). My milk took 5 days to come in, and when it did, the only reason I knew it was because the six drops of colostrum I used to produce turned into six thinner, white drops. On the max dose of domperidone and and other supplements, I never made more than 4oz in an entire day.

No one knows why some people have IGT. There are plenty of theories. But if your friend had an ovarian problem in childhood related to hormones, then perhaps that contributed to a lack of proper development during puberty. I would certainly not discount it as a possibility. Your friend could research IGT to see if this is something that might apply to her. Other hormonal problems can also impair milk production, so if she still has ongoing issues since the original cyst, that could be a factor.

I delivered at a hospital where formula use was strongly discouraged. My son lost more than 15% of his birth weight before formula was prescribed and I was sent to the hospitals "breast feeding clinic," which was a joke in my case. They were not "allowed" to diagnose IGT until every option was exhausted, which took 3 months. For 3 months they had me trying everything, thinking I would eventually be able to exclusively breastfeed, and then all of a sudden I was told, "Well, we've suspected this from the beginning, but..." I carried on for another month or two with my 4 ounces per day until I decided it was ridiculous and not worth it at all. Next time around, unless I have serious breast changes in pregnancy (milk production is supposed to improve with each subsequent pregnancy), I'll be bringing formula to the hospital and anyone who tries to talk me out of it can go fuck themselves, frankly.

The problem that could arise with any "RN worth their salt" suggesting formula is that in some of these baby-friendly initiatives, in the hospital, formula is tracked and dispensed. It's not as simple as "here's a bottle of formula, don't tell anyone I gave it to you." Some hospitals even require mothers to sign a waiver before they will dispense formula. I would have brought my own formula with my first if I'd had even the vaguest notion that breastfeeding wouldn't work. But I didn't, and I'm not sure how that would've worked, "Uh, your baby is starving to death, will you please sign this waiver stating that you know formula is terrible so that we can give him some?" (I am pretty sure this would not actually happen at the hospital I go to, but if it did, I would be checking myself out AMA to go buy formula before I'd sign some stupid formula waiver.)

Anyway, I hope your friend is okay. It was really devastating for me going through this. But my son is two now and is brilliant and awesome and amazing and healthy, and my only regret now is trying to get water from a stone for so long that I missed out on a lot of things in those first few months.
Dec. 4th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry that you went through that experience and had such poor breastfeeding management. I hate seeing that happen, especially as an RN and IBCLC at a Baby Friendly Hospital where we do really work with moms to make sure their babies are fed and that includes supplementing with formula if necessary. Part of the problem I think is that these initiatives are taking hold, but there is not enough education out there for the staff and not enough IBCLC support. Places say they want to go Baby Friendly and start changing things without really thinking about how they're doing it.

Just to clarify, Baby Friendly does not require consent for medical supplementation, only when it is not medically indicated. You also don't need to sign the consent if you plan to exclusively formula or do both. It's only for moms who had planned to exclusively breastfeed, but then ask for formula later--it's supposed to be informed consent of the risks of non-medical supplementation. The tracking of formula only occurs for billing purposes, Baby Friendly Hospitals cannot receive free formula, so we cannot just give it out without accounting for it. No one goes through the inventory at the end of the day to see who pulled out formula for what baby. (Although they might if a breastfed baby was given formula without mom's consent.)
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Dec. 4th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
It took me a good five days for my milk to come in with my son. I was nursing on demand but even the colostrum wasn't enough to fill up my big boy. So after a night of trying so hard to nurse and to get my son to the point that he wasn't crying out in hunger I finally come in and see me in tears because I couldn't stop the crying, nothing was helping and it was to the point that is was terribly painful to nurse. She asked me if i wanted to try formula and when I agreed it was the best idea she asked why I hadn't asked earlier, before I was in an overwhelmed and tearful state. I told her I didn't know that was an option. I also had a doctor look at my son the next morning and help figure out that the reason it hurt so much was because he was curling his lower lip in and essentially chewing on my nipple instead of just sucking. In the end I ended up supplimenting a couple ounces of formula a day with my son until my milk fully came in. Since then he has nursed like a champ.

I really do hate the breast is best mantra. Breast is normal and nealthy, but nursinf isn't something every mother is able to do. My mother didn't produce milk and wasn't able to nurse either my brother or I and both of us had incredibly healthy childhoods, rarely ever sick, we are both very smart, and all in all you wouldn't be able to tell us apart from somebody our age who was breastfed. I agree that there should be more education and support for mothers trying to breastfeed, but it should be done in a way that doesn't put so much pressure on the mother.
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
My son had to be combo fed. I tried as best I could to breastfeed as much as I could, but it just wasn't enough. At just about a week, he was so dehydrated that he was peeing out orange crystals without any wet diapers. I just wasn't producing enough for him. I'm grateful for formula because my son was literally starving on just boober alone. I kind of laugh when I read posts about how formula is evil and whatnot. Glad your friend's baby is being fed, formula and all. :)
Dec. 4th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
I had a c/s my milk came in around day 5.

The amount of milk I was producing I don't was the main problem. That being said when I did pump it was minimal. And it broke my heart how little I was able to pump.

I think the big problem we had was she wasn't gaining. I had a week where I nursed every 2 hours and demand fed in between, she gained HALF AN OUNCE that week, my husband was even floored when we had that weigh in.

At 3 weeks we began supplementing. I continued to nurse while suplementing with formula for about 8 months.

Edited at 2012-12-04 11:40 pm (UTC)
Dec. 4th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
take what happened to your freind, and that is exactly what happened with me. Never came in on one side, and extremely low production on the other.
I felt like such a reject because my body wasn't doing what it was "supposed" to- and I tried everything. And don't get me started on the guilt....
Dec. 4th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
I don't generally like talking about this because it is not the way breastfeeding should work, and because so much of having a breastfeeding relationship work is about going into it with an attitude of success, a support system in place, and the rolemodeling of others with successful breastfeeding relationships.

Within the twin community we all tend to rely on each other very heavily for support, also. The been there/done that's of the parents who are a few months or years ahead of where one is are often depended on heavily. Sometimes merely for commiseration. There are many successful breastfeeding mothers of multiples.

I am not one of them.

I am not an example of everything that could go wrong, but I am an example of things going horribly wrong. Although I did produce, it was minute amounts, without any real collustrum, and I had two babies who simply could not work it out. One of them was never able to get her mouth to work out suckling and horrible reflux issues. She was switched to bottlefeeding, and had a mix of what little breastmilk I could make and formula. The other wanted nothing to do with the bottle and everything to do with my boobs and could not make that work no matter how hard he tried. He tried very hard. I tried very hard. He ended up in the hospital and almost had a feeding tube installed because he couldn't make bottles work, either, even when he tried.
We tried medicines to increase milk supply. We tried oatmeal. We tried gallons of water. We tried so very many different things. My doctors were very set on breastfeeding working and worked very hard at it. Every failure felt visceral. We started every feeding session at the boobs, and they were worn out by the time we got to the bottle. A month went by without any weight increases at all for him (and much lost below his newborn weight), and very minute gains for her.

It's hard to even talk about because it was so painful and scary a time. My children were dying because of this, while people on LJ spouted shit about how breastfeeding never really fails, people just don't work hard enough at it. Meanwhile I was crying every single time I'd try to feed them.

We got her settled out pretty quickly, and eventually she was on an effective reflux medication and bottlefeeding. At the hospital when we were getting ready to install a feeding tube in my son, the doctors worked at trying many different solutions for him and finally found a nipple type that worked for him (orthodontic, fast flow). The doctors said they've never actually seen such a thing work, that it was mainly desperation and elimination that made them try every single possible solution before surgery.
Within three days he had gained a few ounces and was finally released on the road to recovery, with strict instructions to never try breastfeeding with him again (when given the nipple, he'd just simply not attempt the bottle at all, and was so weak and tired from lack of nutrition that he was fading away) and after seeing the impossible amounts I was getting, to not bother at the constant pumping as it was wearing me away (I could never sleep because of the pumping schedule vs. taking care of twins).

I failed spectacularly. This is not the way it should go. The only reason I ever give this story is to help those who have failed, and to remind the sanctimonious shitheads who talk about breatfeeding as though it is a thing that will absolutely 100% positively work if you really put your belief behind it and if it doesn't it's because you're defective that perhaps they should shut the fuck up. Hey, maybe there's a reason that nursemaids have always existed, even before there were cultures that thought it was unseemly to themselves breastfeed but to let the "lower classes" be the breast for their children.

Breastmilk is best, but it's not better than life or sanity. The end.
Dec. 5th, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
...while people on LJ spouted shit about how breastfeeding never really fails, people just don't work hard enough at it.

I think people who give this advice think that the "failure to produce enough milk is super rare" line is comforting to those who are struggling to breastfeed. I wish they had any idea how much it just makes those who are suffering from real problems feel like freaks of nature. Or total, abject failures.
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(no subject) - pootz - Dec. 5th, 2012 01:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 4th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
Happened to a friend of mine: very long bed rest, c-section, twins, and... nothing. Never got more than half an ounce, while working with some of the best LCs in the midwest.

It happens. We forget that in the old days, babies died due to things like this, and mother nature took 85% as a good success rate.
Dec. 5th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
or there were wetnurses, well if you were wealthy there were, which is a career that's just kinda sorta out of vogue.

We're very lucky to live in a day and age when breastfeeding doesn't work out there are safe and easily obtained options.
Dec. 5th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
After I had twins the hospital told me I'd never make enough milk and they'd have to start supplementing with formula right away... wish I had been more informed at the time, because sometimes I think that caused my supply to be lower.

Though during the first few weeks I realized they weren't getting enough milk (breast and formula together) and have intense feelings of guilt over them being hungry.

Edited at 2012-12-05 01:29 am (UTC)
Dec. 5th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
My cousin had an extremely long labor during which she was not allowed anything except water and ice chips. She lost a ton of blood too. She didn't realize her milk had never come in until her baby was admitted to the NICU at a week old after a trip o the ER for dehydration. Poor baby had lost 2 pounds! With the help of a pump and strict pumping regimen and fenugreek she got her milk in but during the hospital stay her baby developed a nipple preference so she exclusively pumped for 6 or 7 months and then gradually switched to formula.
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