|May 7, 2004|
breast hypoplasia and insufficient glandular tissue. An ultrasound confirmed that I had minimal gland tissue and as a result could not produce a full supply. This time I was going to try pumping after feeds and add more herbs (fennugreek, blessed thistle to name a few) and a high dose of domperidone (motilium, 90mg 3x day). None of this actually helped with my supply as far as I noticed which in hindsight makes sense as if the tissue is not there no amount of galactagogues are going to help. I breastfed Ciara for just over six months using the SNS to supplement. I would have liked to go longer but she was ready to move on. Another sad day.
During both my experiences I met lots of people who tried to help whether doctors, lactation consultants or La Leche League leaders and enthusiastic members. Most meant well, but generally made things worse by telling me everyone could breastfeed and I was obviously doing something wrong when clearly baby was latched perfectly and I was continually attached to a baby or pump. Six years later there is a lot more known about my condition, but I have yet to find anyone else in Ireland with my problem. Breastfeeding is atrocious here, most women get very little help and give up within days or weeks. It makes me so sad to think of all the women and babies out there that were perfectly capable of having a wonderful nursing relationship and full supply who did not do so because no one showed them how or helped them when they encountered more common difficulties. When you've pumped for 18 hours straight and are staring at a sum total of half an ounce, you would literally kill to have functional boobs albeit ones with mastitis, inflamed nipples or oversupply.
The good news is that this condition does improve slightly with each pregnancy as more tissue is formed. Women with less severe hypoplasia can even go on to have a full or almost full supply in subsequent pregnancies. There is much more known about the condition and many books and groups that help. MOBI (Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues) has been an incredible resource for me as have two books.
The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk is an incredible resource for anyone with supply issues be it something like my IGT, breast surgery, PCOS or something baby related such as tongue tie. There is lots of research on physical, herbal and medical solutions to many of the problems mothers and babies may encounter.
Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with Lactogenic Foods and Herbs for a Mom and Baby's Best Health is the second book which is a riveting read regardless of issues you may have. It's a fascinating insight into breastfeeding throughout time and investigates both modern and historical antidotes for various issues and essential outcomes. It's a great book for anyone breastfeeding who wants to ensure their milk is the best it can be.
Both books offer suggestions for women with chronic supply issues before and after baby is born which has helped me immensely in preparing for this pregnancy knowing the issues I will face. My IGT plan of action is as follows:
- Pre-natal natural progesterone supplement to 38 weeks
- Pre-natal supplement of Go-Lacta, Goat's Rue, Alfalfa
- Pre-natal nutritional supplements including prenatal vitamin, Omega 3,6 oils, Evening Primrose Oil, Calcium and Floradix Iron Supplement
- Pregnancy Tea
- Expression of colostrum from 34 weeks to collect and freeze for baby and encourage supply
- Gentlebirth Hypnobirthing and the breastfeeding hypnosis track after birth
- Home waterbirth with no interventions, immediate skin-to-skin and nursing.
- Frequent on demand nursing with breast compression
- Supplement donor milk* using SNS, as necessary
- Post-natal nutritional supplements as above, increasing iron if required
- Herbal supplements of Shatavari, Leptaden, fenugreek, More Milk Special Blend and Blessed Thistle.
- Prescription supplement of high dose domperidone (motilium)
- Pumping after feeds.
* I was lucky enough to find some very understanding, kind and generous women to offer me donor milk through Human Milk for Human Babies. I am so incredibly touched that these women would help someone in my situation and I am blessed that I will be able to feed my son the best I can in my circumstances and avoid formula.
|Our wee man!|
So that's the plan and my story. Little Boy Blue is due any day now and I hope that it will improve this time . I would love to hear from other Irish Mama's who have IGT, I know I can't be alone! I would also ask lactation consultants, LLL leaders, Doulas, PHNs and midwives to read up on the condition as it can be extremely disheartening to be told you are doing something wrong when in fact you are doing everything and then some right, but baby is still not thriving.
I've listed some other excellent breastfeeding resources below:
Dr. Jack Newman's Website - Renowned Canadian breastfeeding expert. Lots of articles, videos and research here. A fantastic resource for new Moms.
Kellymom - A wonderful resrouce by mothers for mothers.
La Leche League - The breastfeeding advocates. Information on local meetings, a useful forum and tons of great handouts and pamphlets.
Human Milk for Human Babies - Find donor milk or donate milk to mothers and babies in need.
MOBI - Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues: great articles, fantastic email support group and links to various books and suppliers.
Breastfeeding Mums Ireland - A facebook group for breastfeeding mothers.
Friends of Breastfeeding - An Irish group promoting breastfeeding and lactivism.