Breastfeeding?

thegiantess

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Considering I am 6 months post partum, I spend a lot of time chatting with other moms on forums and with friends that have also had babies. It seems that there is a belief that just about every woman can breastfeed if she tries hard enough, and that only like 1% of women are structurally inept for breastfeeding (so says a lot of pro bf sites and books). However I have run into a handful of women who just didn't produce enough. Personally, I have twins and was vastly under producing for them and in the process getting all kinds of plugged ducts and cysts from the demands of the breast pump/mouths. I gave up around 10 weeks bc I was never sleeping which was making my production go even lower. I know hypothyroid is often an issue with lack of milk, but what if that's not it? Clearly prolactin is involved? Any thoughts on how to change ones health so that breastfeeding would be successful in future pregnancies? I remember talking to my doctor about it and his only solution was to give me a drug to increase prolactin, but which had insane side effects like facial twitching.
 

schultz

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I am curious about this new that you've brought it up. There has to be more hormones involved than just prolactin. Prolactin, especially given the name, seems like the logical thing to raise. To me it seems a bit fishy though and I feel like more is involved. I wish Ray would talk more about pregnancy/early child development. He needs to write a book on this.
 

zane93

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Considering I am 6 months post partum, I spend a lot of time chatting with other moms on forums and with friends that have also had babies. It seems that there is a belief that just about every woman can breastfeed if she tries hard enough, and that only like 1% of women are structurally inept for breastfeeding (so says a lot of pro bf sites and books). However I have run into a handful of women who just didn't produce enough. Personally, I have twins and was vastly under producing for them and in the process getting all kinds of plugged ducts and cysts from the demands of the breast pump/mouths. I gave up around 10 weeks bc I was never sleeping which was making my production go even lower. I know hypothyroid is often an issue with lack of milk, but what if that's not it? Clearly prolactin is involved? Any thoughts on how to change ones health so that breastfeeding would be successful in future pregnancies? I remember talking to my doctor about it and his only solution was to give me a drug to increase prolactin, but which had insane side effects like facial twitching.

My wife had a desperately hard time breastfeeding at first and producing enough milk. We found that Raspberry Leaf tea increased production and made things much easier for her and my little one including postpartum.

"Red raspberry leaf is an herb commonly consumed as a tea. It is also available in tablet form or as a tincture. Birthsource.com reports red raspberry leaf promotes fertility, stops diarrhea, decreases post-birth bleeding, regulates menstrual cycles, lowers fever, eases sore throats and increases breast milk supply.
Although mostly used during pregnancy, red raspberry leaf can also have postpartum benefits. The APA states red raspberry leaf can help increase breast milk supply, help the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size and help reduce postpartum depression. Most evidence of red raspberry leaf increasing breast milk is anecdotal, but it is considered safe to consume while breastfeeding."
 

HDD

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http://www.thenutritioncoach.com.au/real-food/feeding-baby-and-me/

This site is very informative.

A factor that might be overlooked is a lip tie. My granddaughter had a lip tie that prevented her from being able to nurse effectively. This wasn't discovered until she was 4-5 months old( can't recall now). It was corrected with a very simple, quick procedure.
 

zane93

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It is now well know that the thyroid changes during and after pregnancy. You just have to be careful the Docs do not jump the gun and call it a diseased thyroid because it naturally enlarges.

"Pregnancy has a profound impact on the thyroid gland and thyroid function since the thyroid may encounter changes to hormones and size during pregnancy. The diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease during pregnancy and the postpartum is complex but knowledge regarding the interaction between the thyroid and pregnancy/the postpartum period is advancing at a rapid pace."
http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-disease-pregnancy/ some good faq's too. I don’t know how much stock I would hold in this site but there are some good titbits...
 

thegiantess

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It is now well know that the thyroid changes during and after pregnancy. You just have to be careful the Docs do not jump the gun and call it a diseased thyroid because it naturally enlarges.

"Pregnancy has a profound impact on the thyroid gland and thyroid function since the thyroid may encounter changes to hormones and size during pregnancy. The diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease during pregnancy and the postpartum is complex but knowledge regarding the interaction between the thyroid and pregnancy/the postpartum period is advancing at a rapid pace."
http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-disease-pregnancy/ some good faq's too. I don’t know how much stock I would hold in this site but there are some good titbits...
Yah, that's the first thing my doctor went after. When my TSH came back right around 1 he said "your thyroid is doing better than mine!!" So.. Yep. So much for that being helpful.
 

thegiantess

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I am curious about this new that you've brought it up. There has to be more hormones involved than just prolactin. Prolactin, especially given the name, seems like the logical thing to raise. To me it seems a bit fishy though and I feel like more is involved. I wish Ray would talk more about pregnancy/early child development. He needs to write a book on this.

You're right! I wanted to email him and ask about it, but it seems like you can no longer contact him through his site. I think he's been overwhelmed. And I have listened to most of his podcasts with Herb Doc and politics and science, blah blah. Nothing.
 

dd99

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I agree with HDD. Perhaps see if it's a tongue tie. I wrote about our experience before:

Is it a lack of milk issue or a latching issue? Often, they can be related. As I understand it, the more demand there is for milk, the more the mother will generate. If the baby has a bad latch (extremely common now that breast feeding isn't as supported or encouraged as it should be anymore), she could get a breast feeding expert to help.

Our son had a bad latch from tongue tie. As recently as thirty years ago, midwives would swipe with their nails under a baby's tongue immediately after birth to free up the tongue for feeding. The prevalence of speech impediments these days is apparently because this is now predominantly untreated. We went through a couple of months of bad feeding and my wife almost gave up several times. We saw a breast feeding expert who said he had tongue tie. We went for a procedure that took 10 seconds and overnight - I kid you not! -ehe fed perfectly. My wife started making even more milk to keep up with demand and happily breast fed him for a year.

Hope it helps. Good luck to your sister and her daughter.
 

thegiantess

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I agree with HDD. Perhaps see if it's a tongue tie. I wrote about our experience before:
Yah I had them both checked out when I was troubleshooting months ago, no tongue tie issues. Ah well. Better luck next time!
 

dd99

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Are you eating enough dairy, fruit and dare I say it porridge?

Also remember RP's quote:
Pregnancy and nursing increase all nutritional requirements, with the possible exception of vitamin D, copper and iron. Calorie intake should increase slightly in pregnancy, and considerably in nursing. Zinc, folic acid, B12, and probably B6, and vitamin E, requirements are increased more by pregnancy than by nursing, while protein, other B vitamins, calcium, iodine, and probably magnesium, vitamin A, and possibly fats, are needed in larger amounts for nursing
 

tara

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Also remember RP's quote:
Nice quote.

Olwyn says normal calorie requirements while nursing and raising babies are around 3500.
Unless you are a giantess, in which case maybe a couple of hundred more. :)
 

thegiantess

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Nice quote.

Olwyn says normal calorie requirements while nursing and raising babies are around 3500.
Unless you are a giantess, in which case maybe a couple of hundred more. :)

Ha. I only aspire to be a giantess. Unfortunately the ship has sailed for me. I weaned months ago. But next time, I will down the foods and I will encourage others to do the same. It's just so tricky to eat a lot and well with a new infant or Two!
 

tara

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It's just so tricky to eat a lot and well with a new infant or Two!
I know. I was getting woken up every couple of hours for feeds. I figure in retrospect, I might have given more substantial and long lasting feeds if I'd been eating more.
 

MommaBear

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Chiming in late here... 6 months postpartum is a big time for our hormones and is a huge growth spurt. I often gave up at this time too. Looking back I realized my thyroid always crashed btwn 4 and 6 Months postpartum. The times I recovered on my own I was able to nurse thru the rough times. This last one I still have milk 2.5 yes later and I started desiccated thyroid and progesterone when my hormones crashed this last time. My doc was surprised at how low all my hormones were.

None of the herbals or increased food/water for increasing milk has helped me. So for me it was thyroid and hormones.
 

YamnayaMommy

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feeding baby, and me | The Nutrition Coach

This site is very informative.

A factor that might be overlooked is a lip tie. My granddaughter had a lip tie that prevented her from being able to nurse effectively. This wasn't discovered until she was 4-5 months old( can't recall now). It was corrected with a very simple, quick procedure.

I want to bump this because I’ve known several mothers and newborns who went from having serious problems breastfeeding—to the point of the mother not having let downs, and baby declining in height and weight percentiles—to having great milk supply and baby growth after making a simple visit to ENT doc to correct tongue and lip tie. For some reason lactation consultants and pediatricians often miss these ties. My sister was having trouble breastfeeding her fifth child and they suffered horribly for six months until a friend correctly identified a tongue tie as the problem. They had the tie snipped and problem was solved immediately.
 

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