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Breastfeeding With Sleeve



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Wish I would've seen this post sooner. I was sleeved July 2011 when my youngest was 14 months old. I took my pump to the hospital with me, but after the bowel cleanse and dehydration leading up to surgery, there was NOTHING coming out of my breasts after surgery (or before really). I live in PA and had flown to TX (alone) for my VSG. I was so sad on my return trip, convinced breastfeeding was over for us, as I'd been away from him for five days. BUT. My son was persistent and I let him try. I nursed him in side-lying position so it wouldn't hurt the biggest incision. It took a few days but my milk came back. He's now 22 months and I'm pregnant with a 3rd baby. He is STILL nursing. This boy just won't give it up. The milk must taste salty as he will guzzle Water after (and even DURING) nursing so I suspect he will tire of the taste soon.

Check out my blog. I haven't announced my pregnancy yet but will soon.

http://stealingskinny.blogspot.com/

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Thanks for all the great answers, I was starting to get nervous I was gonna have to wean my 14month old son. So glad to hear of the success stories here. I am on the pre op diet now in conjunction with my period I do have a decrease in my supply :( but I'm still pumping extra for him for my surgery day. Talk about weight lifted off my shoulders :)

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Hi, I am new to this site and am nursing a two year old and about to start my 2 week pre-op diet. I haven't received instructions yet. Did any of you ladies have any special instructions the Doctors had you do differently because you were nursing?

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Hi I really worry about breastfeeding my 2.5 years after gastric sleeve one reason why I’m worry I heard it is very hard to get enough Water and problem of dehydration always on. I try to wean her out but she does not want to give up.

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I was sleeved in July of 2013. My son was also 2 and a half. He is still nursing! I kept a full bottle of Water with me at all times. My doctor told me to remember we have people who don't have running water in other countries who do okay. As long as you are getting something and don't have major complications you should be fine. You will lose a bit of your supply the first few days. But the more you heal the more you can drink and your supply will eventually get to what is needed, as long as your child is still trying to nurse.

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i DO NOT recommend weaning now or ANY TIME before YOU and baby are TRULY ready.

i am a full time breastfeeding mother and i was sleeved 9 days ago. you CAN continue to breastfeed after the sleeve, but you MUST stay hydrated.

my milk supply COMPLETELY dried up on day 4 post surgery because i was going through TERRIBLE, and i mean TERRIBLE...dehydration. i was close to needing hospital IVs. 1/4c liquids every 15 minutes was not only not feasible for me, it left me craving more Water, and being frustrated and miserable.

i decided to see how much my sleeve could comfortably hold before i felt like i was on my way to becoming full. for me, it's about 4 ounces of liquid, or about 1/2 cup. i can probably drink 2/3 cup liquid before being "FULL", but i don't like that feeling, so i stick to 1/2 cup. life immediately got SO much better.

i now take ALL of my bari Vitamins and minerals, drink at LEAST 2 bottles of Water per day, and i eat as much yogurt, blended cottage cheese, and strained Soup as my heart can stand. i'm so happy to say that yesterday my milk came rushing in, and today my baby JUST had her first full breastmilk meal in a week! i was really depressed over the drop in production and we were both MISERABLE, but i REFUSED to give up on her. i let her dry nurse all the days i had no milk and through her tears i would soothe her by holding her close. when i created more milk, her attitude immediately perked, and i felt better too! now, we are back to our normal breastfeeding mode, going strong!

there are NO nutritional deficits from breastfeeding or to baby when you follow your doctors advice, TAKE YOUR Vitamins, DRINK DRINK DRINK and get your Protein in. you will feel good and baby will be happy. you CAN do this mom!

Edited by mrsbailey921

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I love this thread. I know it's ancient but I feel it's really important so I'll put my experience in too.

I was sleeved 13 days ago. I am still nursing my 16 month old daughter perfectly well. I nurse 4-5x a day and she has had no complaints. I asked the staff at my clinic if I could continue to breastfeed during all my preop appts and they said no. That I "couldn't" while I was on the 2 week preop diet because it wouldn't be safe for baby. (It's just low calorie, high Protein food. Nothing unsafe there.)

They also said I couldn't because of the anesthesia. (I wasn't gonna nurse in the hospital anyways. In fact, I didn't even pump. I didn't get engorged until nearly 24 hrs after my surgery. I tried to hand express but I gave up quickly. My boobs don't like giving up milk for anything but baby.) I was released from the hospital 36 hrs after surgery and went straight to my baby and nursed perfectly fine.

They also said that I would get so few calories after surgery that I "wouldn't" be able to nurse. I have averaged 500 calories a day and she hasn't complained yet.

Don't wean unless you want to.

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I am so glad I found this post. I was worrying about this with my little one. :) I was wondering if it was even worth it to keep pumping s little just to keep my supply up while I'm in Mexico. I won't go nuts since he's a little older but we aren't ready to wean just yet. Thanks ladies!

Edited by Debranua

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Thanks for this post. I am 33 weeks pregnant with my second child and I'm desperate to breastfeed. I wasn't able to nurse my son because of he had heart problems, making the suck/swallow/breath reflex nearly impossible for him. So far, my baby girl is healthy and my dr says there is no reason why I won't be able to nurse her. However, I am terrified that I will lack nutrients for my baby. This gives me hope that it'll be ok and as long as I continue my Vitamins, Water and Protein, we will be ok.

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Thanks for this post. I am 33 weeks pregnant with my second child and I'm desperate to breastfeed. I wasn't able to nurse my son because of he had heart problems, making the suck/swallow/breath reflex nearly impossible for him. So far, my baby girl is healthy and my dr says there is no reason why I won't be able to nurse her. However, I am terrified that I will lack nutrients for my baby. This gives me hope that it'll be ok and as long as I continue my Vitamins, Water and Protein, we will be ok.

How is the pregnancy going with your sleeve/bypass? Which surgery did you have? (I'm on iPhone and can't tell)

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I had VSG in February 2013. After severe complications, I finally made a full recovery and lost 150lbs. I was 325 when my son was born, and 170 when I conceived this baby. So far I've gained about 30lbs, but my doctor is very happy with my health overall.

This pregnancy has been much more difficult than my first. I don't know if it's WLS surgery related or not - but I was extremely nauseas my first 17 weeks, and even now I have times when I struggle with nausea and vomiting. Eating hasn't been a huge issue, I just eat small amounts a lot more often. I try not to eat right before bed because I've had a horrible time with reflux, and I still take Prilosec daily. I try to drink 90oz of Water a day, and eat Protein to keep me full, but I don't stress if I don't get xx amount in. I always have a Protein shake for Breakfast because I can't tolerate heavy food in the morning. I'm on the fence as to whether or not this will be my last pregnancy. I really want more children, but I don't know if I can handle being sick again for 4+ months.

Edited by annapatel

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I'm not sleeved yet, but I am a professional Lactation counselor. DO NOT WEAN! Just nurse as ofter as your daughter wants. Fenugreek is only slightly effective in increasing milk supply and I would suspect that any fussiness you might be seeing and interpreting as low supply are actually baby's reaction to the flavor of your milk. This is not a concern for her. Your caloric intake doesn't change the quality of your milk at all. In fact women in countries where this is severe famine are often seen with fat little babies on their hips. Your body will take every it has and put it into milk for your little one, just as it would for pregnancy. This is of course an issue for you and you should try to boost your Protein after the surgery (my nutritionist suggested putting greek yogurt in my shakes to up the Protein by about 10mg a day). Unfortunately the LLLi leader you spoke with may be using old info. We don't need alot of calories to make milk, and we absorb far more calories then a non lactating woman would. We have alot of new info that is breaking alot of the old beliefs but the old beliefs do still persist.

Keep in mind that babies go through fussy periods that have nothing to do with supply, such as at around 6 months they have a "growth spurt" where they nurse all day long and all night long too. If you have not had a period PP yet that can also be on it's way back and causing you to dip slightly. This is ok and normal. Also they get to times when they re JUST about to do a new milestone and they will nurse nonstop, ditto with teething for some babies. Just roll with it, it's almost certainly not you.

Some things that may cause supply issues are birth control pills which are often recommended after surgery because of our increased fertility once we start losing weight (this includes progesterone only products), and lack of time nursing. Things that do not decrease supply are not eating enough or drinking enough (lots of research has been done on this, honest). Here is an awesome way to boost supply (without digging into your freezer stash), power pump. To do this, set up your pump and turn on the tv. When there is a commercial turn the pump on and pump. When the commercials are done, turn it off. Rinse and repeat for 30-60 min until you've seen 1-2 tv shows. This high frequency, short duration pumping schedule tells your body you have a set of starving twins and to ramp up production in a hurry. If you do this and let your daughter eat as often as she wants you'll be back to a full supply in no time. There is no reason to believe you need to wean or that your milk will change, but doubt and supplementation are a sure way of decreasing the feedings you give her for which will lower your supply. Keep up the great work and congrats on nursing this long already. I'm sure you'll be able to make it to a year and as long as you want to nurse as long as you keep it up.

Lucia (CLC, and mom of 4 breastfed babies including a set of twins and a singleton who will be nursing when I'm sleeved)

Thank you so much for this post!

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This post is so helpful, I appreciate all you ladies taking time to let us know about your experiences. I am breastfeeding a 19 month old and am terrified of my supply dropping or drying up if I have this done in Mexico and am gone for a while. I am also concerned about the medication afterwards, I am assuming you guys didn't need anything that interfered with breastfeeding and/or would cause harm to baby?

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This is the first post I’ve found regarding breastfeeding and wls that wasn’t just full of “you need to wean!” comments! Thank you so, so much pro breastfeeding mamas for reassuring us that we can make this big change for ourselves and still nurse our babies. I’m seeking surgery this year and nursing my 7 month old. I was so sad thinking I might have to stop!

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