Adventures in Pumping…


For the last few days, I have been trying to increase my milk supply so that eventually (i.e. preferably in the next few weeks) I can try to breast feed Noah.

Unfortunately, because of his rough start, he has yet to breast feed. The first 3 days of his life, he was on a “sugar water” IV, then he got transported to Edmonton where he was on a “nutrition” IV (which contained his fats and nutrients) for 3 days, then we took him off all of his tubes for 3 days, when we started him on a bottle (that was on the morning of December 27).

I had started pumping when we were in Grande Prairie, but I wasn’t getting much. What little I did get was given to him with a syringe. On Tuesday morning (December 21), when he found out that he had had a seizure and was getting sent to Edmonton, they told me that I should pump, but I ignored them and instead spent my day trying to get my shit together so that we could get in the truck and drive to Edmonton. But really, it’s not like I would have been able to get anything with all the stress I was under anyway.

So we get to Edmonton. Exhausted after 24+ hours of no sleep, I went to bed. The next day I pumped, but they told me that he couldn’t use it yet because they didn’t want his kidneys/digestive system to work too hard. So the 10 mls that I managed to get was put in the freezer, and since we spent pretty much that entire day trying to figure out what the hell was going on with Noah, I didn’t pump again that day.

The next day (the 23rd), we got “THE BIG NEWS”. When you hear that your son is “brain dead” and know that he will die, you pretty much completely lose any desire to pump….because really, what is the point? Your son will never get to use it.

Over the next couple of days, I leaked like a milk cow. It was such a bittersweet moment. I had been so worried about not being able to breast feed, and here I was obviously producing enough, but we thought that Noah would stop breathing at any moment.

5 days passed from when I stopped pumping to when I started up again. That first time I got an amazing 1.5 oz (the most I have EVER got to date), but after that it majorly declined….10 ml, 5 ml, 2.5 ml….and so on.

Once we got home, I got about the same results. But I was (and am) still determined to eventually get enough milk for Noah. This Monday (Jan 3) I went to a breast feeding group, and from the doula that runs it, I got some herbal supplements: Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek. The fenugreek is effing disgusting, just FYI. So since Monday, I have been taking 2 of each, 3 times a day, and pumping every 3 hours (well, as close as possible to that, anyway).

So far I haven’t really noticed a HUGE difference so far, but I’m hoping that in the next couple of weeks it’ll pick up.

Fingers crossed!

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4 thoughts on “Adventures in Pumping…

  1. It can and it WILL get better, Olivia! If people can induce lactation to feed an adopted child, then there is hope!! But don’t be so hard on yourself if it doesn’t work out as ‘planned’.

  2. As long as you’re making milk, your body will eventually catch up to Noah. Drink a TON of water, keep taking your supplements, and maybe talk to someone about a prescription for Domperidone?

    • I talked to a lactation consultant the other day, and I remember SOMETHING about Domperidone….but unfortunately I was so tired that I don’t remember the rest of the conversation, lol.

      But I messaged the doula that got me in contact with the lactation consultant, so hopefully she can give me her email or something, haha.

  3. Oh I am a TOTAL Domperidone advocate! The risk/benefit ratio is FAR in favor for the baby.
    Because I was so desperate to get my colicky baby to take a bottle, I would leave the house for hours and make my mom try and feed her-be it formula or pumped milk. She would never take it, so my mom would usually call me after my baby had screamed for 3 hours to come and bf her. But since I never pumped for bottle feeds or missed feeds (it is CRUCIAL for milk establishment that you pump any time baby takes a bottle), my milk turned into a mere trickle. It didn’t help that the added stress and lack of sleep from having a colicky baby also took it’s toll on my nutritional intake as well. The doctor told me to formula feed, and I was devastated. So I turned to the internet for advice and 3 days later, I was back in his office demanding Dom. Not more than a day after starting, it was like my milk was coming in new, all over again!
    The reassuring part about Dom is that it is often prescribed FOR babies to remedy spit up issues, and the amount that actually passes to baby in your milk is FAR less than what is even prescribed for baby. But if you were ever concerned about it passing to baby, you can always use it for a month and supplement baby while you are re-establishing your supply. Dom is on the safe list of drugs to take during bf’ing. Herbal supplements are much more risky, as they have not been tested in humans. Any time you ask a pharmacist about ANY herbal remedy and bf’ing, they will tell you it is inadvisable. A ‘herbalist’ is of course going to tell you different, but they are not MDs, and are likely trying to sell you something.
    Dom is also very affordable, if you do not have a drug plan. I think I MAYBE paid $30 a month for it. And you don’t have to use it every day either. Once you are satisfied with your supply, you can take it only when you feel the need, (I did when I wanted to add to the freezer collection!), but likely you will not need it longer than a couple of months. If this is something you are interested in trying, TELL your doctor you want it, don’t ask. (If your doc is as stubborn as mine, you have to, lol.)
    If breastfeeding is truly something you are passionate about, and bound and determined to do, and your herbals aren’t doing what you had hoped, do try the Domperidone. You have literally nothing to lose.
    🙂

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