3

votes

What if someone can't breastfeed enough?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 04, 2010 at 12:15 PM

I'm asking because my husband and I are trying to get pregnant, and hopefully this time next year I'll be dealing with this issue directly.

The potential problem is this: I had a breast reduction in 1996, which was very necessary. My doctor used a more modern, less destructive technique which left the "plumbing" intact and attached to the nipple, which should allow for breastfeeding. However, there is a good chance of reduced volume.

So, while I will be doing my absolute best to breastfeed entirely, what are my options if I can't produce enough to feed my child? Also, since sometimes a woman can't breastfeed at all for various reasons, that's always a possibility. Given all the data on how badly bottles and formula are for a child, I'm at a loss.

Thanks!!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on July 06, 2010
at 04:12 PM

Great answers y'all!! :)

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 05, 2010
at 09:43 PM

Look into breast milk banks. http://www.nationalmilkbank.org/ http://www.hmbana.org/

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 04, 2010
at 06:01 PM

Agreed - I think this period is important, but give me an originally bottle fed now paleo person over a breastfed SAD devotee any day of the week

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 04, 2010
at 04:53 PM

While I agree with most of what you say, here, CT, I have doubts about this one sentence: *"The food choices you give them over the next 15 - 20 years will ultimately be more important than the first year."* A lot of food allergies and sensitivities are formed in the first year. http://www.infactcanada.ca/foodgrup.htm

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on July 04, 2010
at 03:42 PM

Gonna vote this answer up, but I'd like to add (but doesn't directly address the question): toughen your nipples! I can't emphasize this enough! I thought I was going to die of the pain when I breastfed my last baby (who is at this time 36 years old (and healthy), and the memories have not faded a bit). All just because I didn't believe it when they said that some people need to toughen their nipples or risk a painful first few weeks. Trust me - SIX weeks is a long time when you are in constant pain! Best advice: use a toothbrush on them, every day. You'll be glad you did.

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9 Answers

6
8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on July 04, 2010
at 02:15 PM

I breastfed all 5 of my children and what CT said is correct. I feel confident that if your 'plumbing' was reconnected properly, that you'll have no problem breastfeeding. :)

Whatever milk ducts you have left will happily adapt to demand and increase supply. Just remember one thing: all newborn mammals come equiped for minimal eating the first several days while mom's milk supply comes in. Many, many women throw in the towel right at the fist because "the baby is hungry!" or "I'm not making enough milk!"

Well, nobody makes gallons at a time from the get go! Baby is born with a layer of subQ fat to live on during this period. He's NOT starving. You produce colostrum at first anyway which is low quantity and v. high quality (this is where Baby gets your antibodies from).

Breastfeeding can be v. difficult at first (another thing that deters many women) - it's two poeple (you and baby) working out a solution. Stick with it. It'll all work out. Each of my kids took different lengths of time and different adaptations befor we got into the groove of breastfeeding.

Finally, if you cannot physically breastfeed then I'd highly recommend goats milk. Human milk banks are an option but they are probably hard to find and pricey. Goats milk is everywhere. I've raised Dairy Goats for over 20 years. Just contact the American Dairy Goat Association for a list of breeders in your area. You may be close to a Grade A dairy. If not then I'll bet you can find a local breeder who will sell you raw milk "not for human consumption".

Good luck with it! Are you taking your folic acid? If you have any conception or BF questions, please feel free to DM me. :)

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on July 04, 2010
at 03:42 PM

Gonna vote this answer up, but I'd like to add (but doesn't directly address the question): toughen your nipples! I can't emphasize this enough! I thought I was going to die of the pain when I breastfed my last baby (who is at this time 36 years old (and healthy), and the memories have not faded a bit). All just because I didn't believe it when they said that some people need to toughen their nipples or risk a painful first few weeks. Trust me - SIX weeks is a long time when you are in constant pain! Best advice: use a toothbrush on them, every day. You'll be glad you did.

3
1acd420f12b037de278a4aa249a689af

(293)

on July 05, 2010
at 04:52 AM

Aloha! Be sure to join a local chapter of La Leche League International. http://www.llli.org/ Start when you are pregnant and you will find answers to many of your questions from seasoned moms and LLLI leaders. The work this group has done to educate the nursing mom in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is outstanding. Some of my best friends were made in such a group ....30 years ago!

3
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on July 04, 2010
at 07:59 PM

I would say two things - first don't listen to health care professionals who tell you your breastfed baby is not putting on enough weight - their weight charts are based on averages which obviously include many overweight bottle fed babies. Secondly be prepared to be feeding constantly at first - sit on the sofa and let everyone else run around you while you concentrate on feeding - baby will feed little and very often which will stimulate your breasts to get producing. This includes at night so make sure baby sleeps with you - he/she will help themselves that way. Get a sling - carry baby everywhere and he/she will be able to feed discreetly while you get on with other stuff. But in the first few weeks get someone else to do chores, cooking, etc and give yourself and baby time to get things working. Read the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff. Marvellous book. Also check out the Natural Nurturing Network.www.naturalnurturing.org.uk (BTW my babies are now 16 & 15, were both 4 weeks early and I struggled to get them latching both times. But we stuck with it and I happily fed them both till they were 2. Both now fit, healthy, strong, confident & independent). Good luck and enjoy - believe me it goes so fast!!

1
Abb08da08e327d776926f2c9e4856582

(225)

on July 06, 2010
at 03:24 PM

I have to recommend Kellymom.com to you. It's the most complete, detailed, researched website on breast feeding I have ever seen. Here are their links about breastfeeding after breast reduction: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/breast-surgery.html. Here is the page for all kinds of supply issues: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/index.html.

If worse comes to worse, check out http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/. You might be able to get some breast milk directly from a mother who has excess supply and is willing to pump for you and your baby. The suggested milk banks are wonderful, but as I understand it, it is hard to qualify for milk unless your little one has health problems and even then, the price is astronomical.

Good luck with everything!

1
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on July 04, 2010
at 02:10 PM

The Weston A Price Foundation has baby formula recipes for those who can't breastfeed, for whatever reason. Try their site.

1
7431586c21bca496c5a7ec7bd0ca4d6e

(974)

on July 04, 2010
at 01:08 PM

Can't you get can breast milk from other women? Look into a breast milk bank.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 04, 2010
at 01:07 PM

I'm not really an expert on this subject, but Nina Planck's Real Food for Mother & Baby has a chapter of "what if I can't breastfeed."

0
3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on July 06, 2010
at 06:12 AM

0
1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 04, 2010
at 01:03 PM

In my experience, the body steps up to do what it needs to do. My wife had a problem with our first child, but pumped, and the volume increased gradually. I think there's a good chance you'll be fine. The problem is as modern day parents we often give up very quickly for fear of stunting the baby or it being undernourished. I have friends with twins, and the mum started slowly, but the babies demands told her breasts to up the output, so they did. And the worst case scenario (assuming your preference is to breast feed) is you bottle feed. The baby will be fine. The food choices you give them over the next 15 - 20 years will ultimately be more important than the first year. All the best with your birth and first few tough, but fulfilling months. PS - some formula types are far superior to others - worth investigating as a fallback position

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 04, 2010
at 06:01 PM

Agreed - I think this period is important, but give me an originally bottle fed now paleo person over a breastfed SAD devotee any day of the week

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 04, 2010
at 04:53 PM

While I agree with most of what you say, here, CT, I have doubts about this one sentence: *"The food choices you give them over the next 15 - 20 years will ultimately be more important than the first year."* A lot of food allergies and sensitivities are formed in the first year. http://www.infactcanada.ca/foodgrup.htm

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