Re: november updates
posted at 11/5/2010 7:50 PM EDT
Stefani--Glad to hear that you're doing well. Good weights on the babies!!! I had problems with milk production too, so just a couple of tips if you decide you want to continue. The LCs I consulted recommended this supplement:http://www.motherlove.com/product/580-More-Milk-Special-Blend.html
There is something in it called goat's rue that is powerful enough to induce lactation in women who haven't even been pregnant (i.e. adoptive mothers). It also has fenugreek and some other stuff in it. It really helped a lot with boosting my supply. It does not taste good, but I would take it with a glass of water afterwards and it was fine.
Drink water. All the time.
Pump at least every 3 hours for at least 15 minutes. One LC I talked to recommended doing a "power hour" once or twice a day, but I never had time. Basically, pump for 10 minutes, wait 10 minutes, pump 10 minutes etc. for an hour. That's supposed to mimic cluster feeding and help to boost your supply.
I also had no increase in breast size during my pregnancy. Doing the above, I was able to increase my milk production to the point that most days the kids only had one bottle of formula each.
Do a Google search on "galactogogues." You will find lists of herbs and foods (someone mentioned oatmeal, but fennel is another one) that help with milk supply. Be aware also, that some things can decrease milk supply (look for "galactofuges"--mint is a big one, but also parsley and basil if I remember correctly).
If you don't have a hospital-grade pump, you may need to rent one for a couple of months. The regular pump-in-style ones are good if nursing is going well, but they are not strong enough to really increase your supply if you're having difficulty.
Now...if nursing/pumping isn't working and your supply doesn't increase, DO NOT feel any guilt or feel pressure to contine with it. Many people born in the 70s and 80s were exclusively formula fed and are just fine. BUT, if it's important to you to continue, have an LC come to your house a couple of times to watch you nurse and/or to check the size of the pump attachments. The LCs at Children's Hospital were very supportive and helpful with ideas for increasing supply and trying to help with the nursing before I decided just to pump.
Do what works and whatever it is you feel you need to do, but in the end, what matters most is that your babies are well-loved and well-fed. A happy Mommy who bottle feeds milk or formula is more important to them than a stressed-out Mommy who breast feeds them.
Regarding stretch marks: I actually went to a dermatologist 7 months post-partum b/c they didn't seem to be fading. She assured me that they would fade eventually and told me that none of the over the counter stuff actually works. The only thing they can really do is laser treatment, but it's expensive, and of course, insurance doesn't cover it. Now, 17 months post partum, they have faded significantly for the most part. There are a couple of really stubborn ones that haven't faded much, but the reality is that I have no intention of baring my stomach in public anyway (I've never had a bikini body and I definitely don't now!). So...try to be patient and see what happens.