November 24, 2014

The Struggle of Low Supply


Not making enough breast milk feed my son is a struggle I deal with every day.  I spend hours every day pumping and I take close to 30 vitamin and supplements everyday. I can't even tell you how many times I have been told  that is it just a supply and demand issue, you just need to nurse more, drink more water, eat more lactation cookies.  Guess what?  It is not that simple.  Low supply is a real problem and it is a complex problem.

I wrote about my breastfeeding journey a few weeks ago. I shared that I suffer from low supply and shared some of my challenges. Though I have it better than some because I am able to provide a good amount of my babies nourishment, my body just won't make enough. There are many reasons for this, but most of the time the answer just tends to be "who knows".   Some of the reasons you run into a lot are hormone issues like thyroid or PCOS issues.  There is also something called IGT which is low glandular tissue in your breasts.  There are also issues relating insulin resistance to low supply.  There are many causes, but there just isn't much research and help for mama's out there. 

I have talked before about my issues with gestational diabetes, which most likely means I have some insulin resistance issues.  This is one of my main reasons for low supply I think.  There are drugs you can take for this like Metaformin, but the best thing you can do is just diet and exercise.  I am basically still doing the high protein diet/ low carb diet I did during pregnancy to help with this.  I may try the Whole 30 diet soon, we will see.  Also when they ran a hormone panel on me they found I had low prolactin level.  One good thing about this is there are somethings we can do, sadly they are not yet legal in the united states.  There is a drug called domperidone.  It can be prescribed in the states as an anti nausea meidcation, but not yet for lactation.  That being said.... I am taking it for lactation and I have been for 2 weeks.  I have seem my supply almost double in 2 weeks, which to me is amazing.


So a basic day for me is filled with feeding my baby whenever he needs to nurse, pumping between 4-8 times for thirty minutes, and taking all my pills.  I take 4 domperidone 3 times a day to help my prolactin levels.  I take 2 goat's rue 3 times a day to help with breast tissue production.  3 fenugreek 3 times a day to help with production.  I take 2 Shatavarri twice a day to help with estrogen levels. And I also take my prenatal vitamin and vitamin D.  I also eat oatmeal and drink lots and lots of water.  I do all of this just so I can produce a little over 1/2 of my son's needs. So when people do not perceive low supply as a real issue it is infuriating.

So this is just a reminder to all those proud nursing mama's out there.  Please be kind to each other and try not to judge.  You do not know each others journey and the road that has gotten you to where you are.  I defend myself every time I get out a bottle to feed my baby.  Yes, we all know breast is best, but it is not that easy for all of us.  Every time you post on facebook about how much breast feeding rocks and all the down falls of formula it slowly breaks my mama heart.  Yes, I see all your information about how breastfeeding is good for the gut and produces high IQ's and gives babies the best start.  I get it, but I assure you my twin that were formula fed are smart and healthy and wonderful.  We need to stop scaring and guilting people. We need to handle each other with care and not be too judgemental with each other.  We are all doing the best in the situations we have been given.  We are moms and we all love our children, breastfed or formula fed.



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1 comment:

  1. Im so sorry you are facing this. I had trouble with my second child. Oh the mama guilt! I felt like the worst mother ever. I had to supplement with formula and wanted to stick my head in the sand. She's 14 now and she and I both survived it, although at times I wasn't certain we would. Please know this mama feels your pain and is supporting you!

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