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Making Colostrum and milk

(8 Posts)
Bloopbleep Tue 21-Mar-17 23:42:44

With dd I produced one (!) tiny drip of colostrum. It was so small it couldn't be measured it was quite literally one drip. I had midwives and bf consultants squeezing away at my breasts for the three days I was in after having dd to try to get something out of them. It failed. I never produced any milk either. I felt immense guilt at this failure, particularly after dd became seriously ill due to dairy at about 5 weeks.

Immediately after birth I was diagnosed as having an underactive thyroid which I've since read could have been the reason I produced no milk. This is now well under control. I also have nerve damage in one breast after having a lump removed but this was the breast my drop came from.

I'm pregnant again and I desperately want to try bf but I don't want the same guilt associated with failure as last time.

I also have flat/inverted nipples. Could this have a bearing on the problem?

Is there anything I can do to produce colostrum and eventually milk or is it just another wait and see thing?

sherazade Wed 22-Mar-17 10:43:57

Just wanted to say good luck .
I don't know anything about the thyroid issue . But I have flat nipples and also when dd2 was born I couldn't produce anything but drop of colostrum for two days and I had everyone squeezing me which stressed me out even more . I think it was stress, fatigue and exhaustion ! Having the baby skin to skin and on the nipple as much as possible even if all day helped my milk come in and then it flooded .
So- skin to skin and baby on boob as much as is possible .

MaverickSnoopy Wed 22-Mar-17 10:59:00

I deeply wish there was not so much guilt surrounding breastfeeding not working out. I have suffered from the same guilt so understand your anguish. I was determined to succeed second time around but had even less luck. I still feel guilty, but I also feel guilty about a lot of other things too...because it seems to be part and parcel with parenting.

All I can say is try. If you know you have tried and it still doesn't work, then you know you have done everything that you could have done.

Although I still feel guilt I do now also feel some acceptance. If I have a third I will try again with lessons learned and lots of research to refresh my memory. Have you thought about expressing before baby comes as this will stimulate the milk glands.

xMamfax Wed 22-Mar-17 11:16:41

Hopefully now your thyroid is under control, it may help with milk production. That may have played a part in it.

Also, did you try a breast pump? I was told and expressing was best in the first few days for colostrum and starting off your supply but I got nothing for 3 days. Once I was hooked up to a pump, the milk soon started flowing.

Newmanwannabe Wed 22-Mar-17 11:30:13

Stanford university have a really great video on how to hand express, would be good to revise your technique before DC comes. Early frequent stimulation to the breasts is really important, if your baby won't latch, and LOTS of skin to skin. (Remember though, they have to put women with excellent established milk supply's on the video as it can be a bit confronting if you have low milk supply). I hope things go well for you

There is a good book on low milk supply called "making more milk" by Diana west, it is becoming a bit outdated but is still a good read and will help you troubleshoot other reasons for low supply.

Another thing to look at is a supply line, you can still breastfeed and provide a supplement at the breast if you do not make enough, if your feeding goal is to feed your baby at the breast. There are some great supportive facebook groups for supply line use if you wanted to look them up.

Bloopbleep Wed 22-Mar-17 13:47:28

Thank you!
sharazade I tried skin to skin for weeks, for hours st a time every day. I just didn't make any milk sad

maverick I'm sorry you've felt that guilt too. It didn't help at the time being told that I wasn't trying hard enough or that I just wasn't doing it right. I'd used both nhs and private consultants and they were adamant I was dry.

Xmamfax I did try various pumps for the first few weeks both in the hospital and hired from bf consultants but not a drop came out.

newmanwannabee if it had just been low supply I'd have happily combined formula and breast. There was nothing produced.

reallyanotherone Wed 22-Mar-17 13:56:00

Expressing, either hand or pump just doesn't work for some people. It can really dent confidence to keep trying.

All you can do is skin to skin and feed as much as possible, then feed some more. Keep a very close eye on your baby- are they hydrated, weeing, pooing, skin and eyes moist etc. Is any jaundice improving or worsening? Any doubt see your hv or gp. Don't rely on weight loss or gain.

If it doesn't work it doesn't work. Don't feel guilty.

Whatsername17 Wed 22-Mar-17 15:31:45

I had lactation failure with number one. With number 2 I had colostrum from 32 weeks. Bf was tough at first but I'm now 8 weeks in and it's going really well.

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