august 27- mirena-less

i had mentioned in an earlier post that my milk supply has been dwindling. (due to no fault of my own... i swear!) today i pumped and only got 20ml... she's been getting about 45 when they gavage fed her. so you can imagine that i was one frantic momma. i also started breastfeeding her every feeding! so, as happy as i was to do that, and get her one step closer to home, i knew she wasn't getting enough, so i kept asking the nurses to gavage extra milk after she fed. (of course she can't gavage when she's at home, so we have to resolve this problem quick!)

after talking to the lactation consultant we couldn't figure out what the problem was... until she asked me about birth control. when i told her i'd had the mirena placed about a week ago, she told me that was it. the progesterone released by the mirena is supposedly only localized to the uterus, but she said that some people are extra sensitive to progesterone in their bodies and have troubles anytime hormones are used. (the progesterone causes your body to produce more estrogen, which in turn blocks prolactin, which is the hormone that makes your body produce milk.) so, yes, i tried adding extra pumping sessions, taking my fenugreek, blessed thistle, drinking until i thought i might have water poisoning, pumping after feeding, putting her to breast more, sleeping (as i could), eating right.. blah blah blah. i tried it all.. but it turns out if your hormones aren't working- you just ain't gonna make milk! the lc told me that i'd probably dry up in the next few days if it had affected me so drastically already.

little bitty iud, little bitty milk supply

i went down to the walk in clinic this afternoon and had it removed. the doctor assured me that the lactation consultant, and i, are both just stark raving mad. that it "absolutely is not causing supply issues". that it "has been approved for breastfeeding women". "that galactagogues don't work" anyway. and that i should just "keep feeding her" to get my supply up. but that she "would remove it anyway if i insisted". perfect. nothing like being made to feel like an idiot when you have no sleep and are so worried about feeding your kid that you'd try just about anything. which is what i did, i had the dang thing removed. when i asked her about getting reglan for a boost (as the lc recommended) she said "it absolutely doesn't work, and studies show that it has no effect on breastmilk production", and that "none of the attending obs will prescribe it".

when i got back to the nicu, the lc heard me talking to the nurse about my experience, and she was hopping mad. she said that there are studies that support galactagogues, and reglan for that matter. and also, that many women have trouble with hormone birth control methods while bfing. she got the docs name to have the ob department "re-trained on lactation". haha... pretty hysterical.

my milk is already coming back up tonight... so much for the ob expertise. now... what do do about birth control???


David, Trish and Robbie Cox said...

what the hell? The OB is stark raving mad, if anyone!
Galactagogues don't work?

Maybe I could send her some research. Hell, I can send her my own data. I tried all the OTC stuff w/o much success, but used domperidone for almost a full year. It doubled my supply within 7 days.


As for birth control- you may have to go with a good old fashioned barrier method. My doc wouldn't give me a diaphragm and suggested condoms instead.

We had such a hard time conceiving we just said screw it and are taking our chances.
But I wouldn't recommend that for anyone else.

Jessica B said...

I began to worry about your milk supply when you told me you weren't pumping often or feeding often. Sorry you're going through this. I know how much it means to you to breast feed. It does suck to have to pump and not get anything out. Do let me know if you need to keep the milk that I have removed from your freezer. It is almost to the recommended 3 month time though. I have noticed that a lot of the June milk is orangish, probably from the colostrum still. If a 9 month old gets colostrum, will his immune system be super strong?

Sharon said...

Reglan definitely helps - I took it while doing "adoptive breastfeeding" with Cale (along with the blessed thistle, etc) and I'm sure it helped my milk supply.

Katrina said...

If you like the IUD idea, go with Paraguard. It's an IUD MINUS the hormones.

It's just a copper piece that doesn't have anything else. I've got it. And so far so good :-)

Lindsay H. said...

Charla and Thadd, Wren is beautiful. I a so sorry that it has taken me so long to post. I didn't even know about her until a few weeks ago. As I am so busy chasing two red heads that I have to rely on Randall for any kind of social information and he did not pass along to me that you were pregnant or that she was here. Laci told me a couple of weeks ago. I have been checking out your blog since. I wanted to let you know that all of that stuff about the IUD is so true! I had the same one after I had the twins and by a strange twist of fate, while having a scan to check out all of my oh so fun kidney stones, my doc happened to notice something very odd. He called my back in, perscribed me a valum and sent me directly to the ob/gyn because it had started to perferate my uterus. So much for easy BC! You guys are in my thoughts and prayers. It is exciting to think that you will soon be one state away instead of like 12 and an ocean!