Monday, January 26, 2015

Not everyone can breastfeed

Yep, it's true.

I have never been able to breastfeed anyway because my babies are born so early, but I did pump at home and at the hospital with a hospital grade pump. Each time I rented them from the hospital to take home.

My first pregnancy, Brennan was born at 29 weeks, 11 weeks early. I pumped for about a month. Each time I would pump I would get a few milliliters, not ounces, milliliters. I continued to pump doing all of the things I was instructed-drink lots of water...pump every 2-3 hours-even at night...pump next to the baby's bedside...use a hospital grade pump..the list goes on. I continued to get the same amount no matter what I did. I even took the medication, reglan and that didn't help either. So when Brennan was taking ounces and I was still producing only milliliters, I stopped pumping and he got only formula. They told me it was probably a combination of him being born early, the magnesium I was on and the steroid shots I got.

With Reese and Scotlyn, I pumped for 11 days until Reese passed away, but it was the same thing, I never could produce enough milk.

This time I pumped again. I felt like I had a lot of resources this time. My nurses that cared for me after I delivered seemed very knowledgeable, I had a lactation consultant at the hospital I delivered at and a lactation consultant in the NICU where Brooks was. After pumping for about 6 days this time, I stopped the lactation consultant in the NICU and explained everything I was doing and asked if she had any suggestions. She sat down with me and told me that she noticed my breasts when I was holding Brooks a couple of days after he was born and said that I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue (IGT). Basically, I lack mammary tissue. I don't have breast changes in pregnancy, I never got engorged and at most I produced 7ml (and that was rare, usually it was 1-3ml) between both breasts. She didn't tell me at first because she didn't want me to be discouraged and stop just in case I produced more than what I usually would. I continued to pump and even tried fenugreek, which is an herb to help produce more milk, but that didn't help either. I pumped for 3 weeks this time until Brooks was taking way more than anything I was providing would make a difference.

I wanted to post this in case there is anyone else out there that has the same issue I do or a health professional that may be able to help someone else who is having trouble. As much of a bummer that it is that I can't produce milk for my babies, it's nice to finally have an answer and not feel like I was doing something wrong. It totally makes sense now, but there is obviously a lack of education about it since this is my 3rd pregnancy pumping and many health professionals-doctors, nurses and lactation consultants knew my situation and were not familiar with this diagnosis.

There is a website that offers a little more information.

1 comment:

  1. This is very informative. I have many friends that have issues breastfeeding because the just don't produce enough. They give up and are hard on themselves for it. I will share this information and maybe if they have another baby they can look into this issue and have a piece of mind. Thank you for sharing....