going back to nursing after initiating weaning..possible?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2007
going back to nursing after initiating weaning..possible?
6
Sat, 07-07-2012 - 9:07am

Hi,

I have posted many times here  before with my multitudes of problems...low supply, baby not feeding well, low diaper count, low weight gain, bad thrush...etc etc...So here i am again..So dealing with all of the above issues, on may 22nd, my 8 mth old baby was diagnosed with distal rta, an inborn defect in kidney tubule, which leads to acidosis and poor growth. I was devastated to hear the diagnosis, and its complications, but the ped nephrologist reassured me it is self correcting usually, no kidney failure, in short not that serious if treated.

Basically the baby needs a citrate supplement to correct his acidosis..nonetheless, i was extremely guilty because i had been bf him and didnt give him vitamin D supplements. My own vit . D were severely low too, and i didnt take supplements myself either. I felt i had been giving him inferior quality breastmilk. And 2 weeks after diagnosis, i put him on formula, just as a supplement because he has been really bad at nursing and i was mostly giving him expressed milk, and sometimes thats not ready as quickly as formula....i did not want to deprive him of nutrition....he only weighed 13 lb at 8 months. way way below the growth curve.....

Well, my supply was still good, in fact more than what he consumed...but slowly i drifted towards not pumping often, thinking..what the heck.....why keep giving him inferior breastmilk...Then i went  to visit my family for my brothers wedding for 12 days, rented a medela symphony pump there as well, but still continued nursing him, but he bit me so bad, and i ended up pumping 2 times or less.....

I thought i would just stop pumping eventually, and let him nurse during the night, when he took my breast directly more readily.

Well, now my supply is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of what it was 6 weeks ago. I then used to make an average of 1 oz. per hour. I pumped about 5 times a day and nursed too.....

With all the infrequent pumping, and few days as big gaps as 24 hrs...i am drying up, and now the dilemma is that the baby has teethed too, bites horribly, and because my supply is so diminished he doesnt want to nurse anyway..  My breast size has dramatically decreased.too.

My question: I now want to increase my supply at least to a level where the baby might have at least some milk to want to nurse....i hate to let that bond go...for the past 1 week, i am now pumping every 5-6 hrs, sometimes 10 hr gap at night......i am trying hard to keep up with his nutrition with formula and solids..i am meeting with a nutritionist soon as well recommended by my babys pediatrician....... i now feel i was stupid to allow my supply to dry up when i was already making enough and more to meet his demands....i do not regret starting formula because even though i was averse to the idea of formula (i HATE formula, its smell, taste, and the huge list of ingredients ) but i didnt want to cpmoromise my baby s growth...and with formula, i just make more in the bottle than what i feel he might drink....with breastmilk (expressed) u have to make sure it doesnt go to waste.....thaw just enough, if the baby wants more, it will take time to thaw , will get impatient , refuse to drink etc etc.....so i felt in the light of his poor weight gain, i would start formula, which the peds recommended too..

Anyway, my question is : what are my chances of building my supply back up so the baby can effectively nurse and i can pump better volumes? I know in the last few months, my body responded pretty well on at least 2 different occasions, when my supply dipped and i made it go back up. But never before did i pump this infrequently like just twice a day....and the breast size didnt go this small either...

I guess the answer is ..everyones body is different and it might respond, might not..but i would like to hear any general comments, that after 6 weeks of poor pumping habits, what are the chances??

I am able to pump every 2-3 hrs with a medela symphony double electric rented pump. I can start today, but knowing that it will help will motivate me to pump, otherwise i will just give up. I am now only making 1 oz after 3 hrs. And seeing milk come out in v. slow drops instead of a spurt is quite discouraging...but as i said, as long as i know theres hope, i can try to pump every 2-3 hrs. (for the last one week i m pumping every 5-6 hrs , but much longer gaps at night 10-12 hrs...and because i have cuts on my nipple, i m not nursing, he doesnt take it anyway, and today he had his first tooth.....clinked on the glass!!!)  

mel2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2007
Re: going back to nursing after initiating weaning..possible?
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 4:23pm

Hi,

thanks for your wondefrful answers.

Sadly, i m coming backa while after i posted. First to answer some questions, my vitamin d was tested and was less than 7. Why i didnt supplement myself or the baby, well,iwould always forget , and have never been a good pill taker my entire life. so i would just forget and forget and never properly took it.

Anyway, since i saw your replies, i swayed between dismay and hope. In fact i was between two extremes.........1) i ve lost my supply, too much work to pump 2 hrs, it wont bring it back, so whats the use..the baby is almost a yr old and anyway struggling with wt gain...

2...hah...i trust my body...my body can  make more milk whenever i increase the demand....like it happened twice in the last few months..

so i got overconfident and didnt pumpas frequently,then also because my nipples were really cracked and hurting, i wanted to give them rest and didnt pump more than twice a day....no nursing either...well, now the situation is such that my body is ready to believe that the baby doesnt need more milk and is ready to shut down the milk supply altogether...i can go 24 hrs without pumping or nursing and have no engorgment or fullness at all...and when i do pump after a day i can make maybe an oz.

So now, i have brouught this upon myself...but with 3 kids etc .i found it hard...i knew i could never make enough to meet my babys needs...but i did want to make enough to meet half of his needs...but now i m making one last effort for the next few days....maybe i could produce 3-4 oz in a day? or enough that he would still b e interested in nursing at night?

Hehas not nursed ,a few times i did offer, nothing came out and so he demanded bottle....

its sad the way i ended my breastfeeding bond..when i was doing so well, but discouraged by his diagnosis...i felt my milk was unworthy of being fed...now i dont think my body can make more than a couple oz a day even if i start pumping  every  2 hrs.

i know i said earlier i can pump every 2 hrs but that never happened.i did not even pump every 4 -5 hrs...........i just pumped twice a day, which slolwly killed my supply........dramatic drop in breast size..........i think once the body is at that stage, its an unsalvagable state........but i just dont have the heart to quit...........by the way, i m basically dumping my milk because i feel such a little amount is not worth it..........i m pumping just to see...hmm...maybe by a miracle it could go up...and until then i m saving time by not having to wash pumpparts, store milk in bags, etc...i just pump, throw milk and makesit quicker..

mel2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Don't dump what you have. Even half an ounce is better to give the baby thaqn none at all. It will still have valuable antibodies. 

I am not sure if you realise this, but for women who breastfeed their babies into toddlerhood, it will get to the stage where the baby may only have one nursing session a day, and sometimes even skip days. But this can go on for a long time. The mother's body will be able to just respond as required for the baby. In my experience, even doing that, if the baby had two or three sessions one day, and then went to one the next day and then went a day or two without breastfeeding, there was still milk there when he wanted it. I think the baby was getting more than I would have been able to pump though. I also never got engorged either. Atthat stage the body just seemed to induce a let down and make most of the milk needed during the let down.

So, if you want to and the baby is interested, you can still continue nursing a couple of favourite times of the day for as long as you feel like. Pumping ability and lack of engorgement do not mean your milk supply has completely stopped. You may be thinking that is so little not to be worth it, but I can assure you that it is not. The anitbodies alone are SO worth it, even if the baby is not getting a huge proportion of nourishment from this. A child's immune system is not fully developed until around the age of five or six and breast milk is what will support it to develop better. Your milk composition will also change to suit the fact that you are nursing less, and is likely to be richer in the essential types of fats that your child needs.

Vitamin D is one of those fat soluble vitamins that can be stored in the body for a while. It is also made when the skin is exposed to sunshine, which will naturally boost levels in you and the baby. Even if your levels drop, the baby may have had higher levels due to storage and sunlight. They could have also been boosted with some sun exposure. I do not know what sort of a climate you are living in for that though.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2007

Thanks teresagem, your words have been encouraging once again :smileyhappy:

I think u r right, in that the baby gets more than a pump, because a few days ago, the baby nursed during the night and i could hear little gulping noises. The only problem is that because the letdown is so slow, he gets impatient. So i have thought maybe giving him an ounce of formula before attempting to nurse?

This is what i would really really want, that at least i would be able to continue nursing the baby even if only once a day. Just to keep the bond....

i was dumping milk in the hopes that if i know i dont have the added work of cleaning storing etc, i might be motivated to pump more often. ...to the point that i was making a little better quantity when i would actually start feeding the milk to the baby...But i guess i should just let the baby get the benefit of the antibodies.

Thanks.

mel2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Remember, if you do use formula, the baby will drink less at that nursing session, and that will cause your supply to drop further. I would see how you go with just offering several times in 24 hours, perhpas  did not pump enough, and it sounds as though it was difficult and discouraging for you. But even the level of milk you have will last as long as you continue to let the baby nurse.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2007

update:

So i had wanted to start pumping more frequently to build a lost supply, so that the baby could nurse at least once at night.

Well, i could never accomplish tht. Now, officially i am milk free.

What happened? Well, i tried to pump, and then many different things happened to deter me.

1. one day i was pumping with baby in my lap, he pulled the cord as i was placing him on the carpet below. The heavy medela symphony hit his head, fell on my laptop and the baby started crying, my laptop was damaged and the pump to my horror got a bruise on the screen...it still worked though, but i just felt i didnt know how to do things right..

the next day, the baby was in the bed with me while i pumped, he pulled the cord of the pump and began chewing on it..all of a sudden he started crying and i founf out there was current in the wire!

Thank God, the baby wasnt hurt badly.

Also, amidst all this, my nipples got severely itchy..as if thrush was going on...but unlike previous many episodes of thrush i have had , this time, it was just intense itchiness as lomg as i pumped, but in between sessions, i was perfectly fine, which is unusual with my thrush..the itchiness got so crazy i had to stop pumping...the baby of course was not interested in nursing if there were just a few drops, but more so, i was so craed of him biting i didnt offer..

Well, so then i didnt nurse or pump for 7 days..last time i pumped was august 8. Then as my nipples healed, i thought maybe i could try today. Just now i pumped, and after 24 minutes, 2-3 drops from each side = 0 supply...plus the itchiness returned....maybe its a reaction to the vaseline i use?

I was hoping to make just enough so i dont lose bond with the baby, maybe just one session, or even half a session so even if one session was not enough i could offer him bottle afterwards....but i think it is a lost cause now...my body has now entered the non lactation mode...

Sadly, this is my last baby and i never could nurse any of them until at least first birthday, and with this baby, i was so determined to do so...Even after the diagnosis of rta, i started formula but wanted to nurse once a day at least...I had heard of women who do just fine with one feedng a night...the supply is there for the baby..somehow my body couldnt do it..

just wanted to share because all of you have been so helpful and encouraging during my bf journey.......

mel2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Just remember that whatever breastmilk you have given your babies has been beneficial to them. 

Teresa