Sunday, July 24, 2011


Before I had Adelei, I was very adamant about breast feeding. I knew that this was the best option, and it was what I wanted to do for my child. When the time came however, she wouldn't latch on. Thankfully, our lactation consultant introduced us to the shield, and with that we actually had hope. What I didn't realize at first was that while we were in the hospital, the nursery was feeding the baby formula bottles. These bottles had fast flow nipples, which meant that she could suck down a 2 oz bottles in less than 5 minutes. Which meant that when it came time for her to work for her milk, she threw huge fits.

It took us a while, but she eventually got the idea. It wasn't easy, but it was working. Between breast feeding and pumping, I still wasn't getting quite enough so I was having to supplement with formula. I knew that people did this, and that it was still healthy, but I wanted to be able to provide for my child fully. So I spoke with my lactation consultant and she mentioned an herbal supplement that would help me DOUBLE my milk in just a few days. That made me so hopeful, we went out and bought it immediately. I started taking it 4-6 times a day and I was supposed to see results within a week.

Two weeks went by. I went from having a decent milk supply to having barely a milk supply at all. I was devastated. I didn't understand why this was happening. At first I thought maybe I wasn't eating enough. But even after I started eating more often, I wasn't seeing any changes. Again, I spoke with the lactation consultant. This time I learned that in some women, this herbal supplement can actually cause the opposite to happen. Instead of doubling the supply, it diminishes. This is what happened to me. I felt awful. Like I did this. This was something that I had full control over, and I messed it up. Unfortunately, she said that when it gets that low [basically dried up] there's pretty much nothing I could do to get it back. She did encourage me to keep trying [as long as I wanted], but after two days of trying & getting nothing, I'm just done. It took me a little while to get over it, but I've accepted it now. Some people may read this and think that I'm being so silly, but when you have your heart set on doing something it's really hard to just let it go.

I will say, that if you're ever in this kind of situation, please please please do research before hand. I wish I would have done research before I started taking the supplement and maybe I would have convinced myself that I didn't need it.


Smart Ass Sara said...

I will tell you that I'm sure that the worst part of my post partum depression with Olivia was because of breastfeeding. I tried and I tried hard. I had lactation consultants (two of them) trying their hardest to get this to work. And finally on the last day I decided it wasn't worth me crying over. Giving Olivia formula is not going to kill her, she won't be sickly from it, and it's not the end of the world. But bless the women that can do it because I just couldn't. Then when I had Jackson, I didn't even try. I pumped for 6 weeks (both kids) and then we gradually went to formula 24/7. And you know what? My kids are hardly sick so boo to the haters. :)

Shirley said...

I am sure its rough right know because you really wanted to breastfeed. But in the larger scheme of things you have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. And by the time she is a year old the important thing won't be whether she breastfed or not. And you know, I didn't breastfeed either of my kids at all and they get sick MAYBE twice a year. Ryan has been the only one to get an ear infection and it was just once. And they are excelling in every milestone they need to meet. But I 100% agree that people should do their research before taking herbal supplements because of the potential side effects. Hope you are resting.

Lin said...

Aw, that really sucks. I dont have kids so I have no clue what this is like but I do know that it sucks not to be able to do something you had your heart set on.

I'm sorry this happened but glad you're dealing with it so well :)

Cassie said...

Don't worry about it! You know I had problems too and Nanny said our mom had problems with us (or at least with me??). It does suck that the supplements didn't work, but it's not your fault. Everything will be fine! Love you!