Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I am so tired. I don't know how much of this is due to the bed rest and how much is due to irregular sleep patterns.

I've really given up pumping much milk at night. I pump about every two hours during the day and several times in the evening after the kids go to bed. I'm taking fenugreek in an attempt to increase my milk supply. It works great if you want to smell like maple syrup. For me, it is doing little to help me make more milk.

I am hoping that I'll be able to make enough milk to nurse Henry when he gets home. I'll have to do high-calorie preemie formula twice a day when he gets home and my doctor thinks that between this and what I'm producing he should have enough. I'll give it a trial, but it's hard to be optimistic when I spend time pumping and have so little to show for it. I am coming to terms with the idea that Henry might be my "bottle baby". In the meantime, if any of you have miracle ideas for increasing my milk supply while I'm pumping, I would love to hear them.

They had put Henry on a medicine that acts like caffeine to stimulate his heartbeat and breathing. It was working very well and now they want to try him off of it. They'll know pretty quickly if he needs some more time on it. If he doesn't, that's great; if he does, it's not a big deal since he'll do fine off of it as he matures.

They also moved Henry from his isolette into an open crib. We are waiting to see if he will maintain his own body temperature. So far he has done okay. He is hanging on to the bottom edge of what they deem acceptable. I imagine that he will improve as he gains more weight and that he won't need to be moved back to the isolette unless someone gets twitchy.

That's all for now. I need to put Anna down for her nap and see if Thomas feels sleepy. I need a break. It is amazing how tired a person can be and still go trough the motions of living.


Anonymous said...

I can almost hear your weariness. Hang in there! It sounds like Henry is doing well.

Have you talked with a lactation specialist about the milk supply? I've heard that alfalfa and blessed thistle can be helpful, too. I'm not sure if someone in a "conventional" medical setting can/will advise you on the use of herbs, so you may want to talk with midwives at a birth center, too.

Good luck!

Angoraknitter said...

I don't have direct experience with this sort of situation. My first was born with a cleft...but I nursed him a ton and ended up with too much milk, for months and months. My only thought is since you're unable, or not allowed?? to nurse him directly it might be messing up the signals and making it harder to instinctivley build up a supply. So my thoughts would be, how soon can you put baby to breast? I'd be curious cause I don't know the answer to that myself.

Anyhow, I had a pal who had low volume issues with her full term baby last year...think they did supplement, and might have tried an at the breast supplement system. A good lactation consultant should be able to get you set up and transitioned as soon as possible...I would think.

Michelle said...

I might be the low volume lady with the full term baby that AK mentioned. I have lots of suggestions, but let me just say right off that if you really want to breastfeed, you can. There may be many months of struggles, but I can assure you that a baby can go from alomost exclusively formula/bottle-fed to complete rejection of anything but the breast. I sit here with that troublesome little one latched on (and not sleeping) right now.

My first suggestion is this: keep pumping every 2 hours (except at night when I would go 5-6 hours for the sleep), make sure you pump for at least 15 minutes. If you still have milk coming out, keep pumping, but pump the full 15 minutes even if you are dry.

There has got to be a premie lactation can't possibly be the only mother of a premie who struggles with this. Find her. Get her advice and help.

I have other resources I can email you if you want. There is a prescription drug you can take that some doctors will prescribe, but some can't. I have to look it up. I never took it. I managed to increase supply through pumping.

Empty breasts produce more milk than half-empty breasts. Got to get them sucked dry.


This post of mine has links to my posts about my struggles nursing my daughter. One of those links has links to other resources you might find helpful.