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Tosha

I too am breastfeeding after reduction. I had a reduction in 2002 with no severing of the milk ducts. I had my daughter 8 weeks ago. Prior to this I met with one of the lactation consultants at the hospital so that I had already established a relationship with someone before being admitted. I was feeling very positive about breastfeeding but also wanted to be realistic.
 
My daughter was offered the breast within about 15 mins of vaginal birth but didn't attach and the following 6 days in hospital were very challenging. We had so many different midwives over the first couple of days and each time I had to tell the story and then they would offer their opinion on what I should do and each time it was different. It got so confusing and on day 3 I cried hysterically the whole day. They then said "no visitors or phonecalls" and I had an excellent midwife who wrote out an action plan for everyone to follow and also planned for some continuity of care over the following few days. 

I also started on Motillium 8 tabs a day. We syringe fed the few mls I could express for a couple of days and then moved to supply line feeding with formula and a nipple shield as she wouldn't attach which worked well but of course I needed three hands do do this. I was expressing after each feed too so the whole process would take 2 hours and was very exhausting. I ended up ordering a Medela SNS system to be delivered to the hosp the day before we were discharged so that we could go home and feed independently.

This worked well but we didn't need it in the end as the day we came home I tried her with just the nipple shield and there appeared to be plenty of milk pooling in there. [NOTE FROM DIANA: This is not sufficient evidence alone that there is enough milk and that baby can get it.]

She was then topped up with formula after each feed but this is now not required. So, I would say I am now giving her 100% of her requirement which is more than I could have ever hoped for. She started to suck directly from the nipple at 5 weeks. Her weight gain has been excellent.

I was taking 2 Motillium (domperidone) a day and have just stopped. I was also having 2-3 cups of fennel tea each day which I started the day after the birth. I'll never know what worked or if I would have had enough enough supply myself but it doesnt matter as the most important thing is that she is getting my milk.  Her chiro has given me fenugreek drops which have been the most successful.
 
Some tips:

  • Don't try to force them on to the nipple when they are crying. It needs to be done when they are calm.
  • Dont introduce a dummy in the early stages as this can cause more confusion.
  • Try to arrange only a few midwives to help in hospital - find out who is on what shifts.
  • Be persistent and consistent
  • Get lots of rest and make sure you have plenty of support.
  • Make use of any hospital or Child and Youth health in home support.

Sorry this ended up so long but having been through it myself I wanted to tell you my story to give you hope that it is possible.

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