Quoting נєz:" Thanks for the post. A lot of what you've mentioned I've already read, and a lot of things I didn't ... [snip!] ... when my milk 'came in', and I've never felt a 'let down' sensation that I've read about. Soooo I'm clueless as to that as well."
Okay - firs toff - NO room for "woulds coulda shoulda - it's all water under the bridge.....so do NOT beat yourself up or whatever.
So...hang in there...so I can address things you mentioned...
Yes - if baby acts like a bottomless pit - welcome to early nursing.
You are right, even though she DID settle after an ounce of formula, that isn't proof that was what she needed. That freaking out at the breast is what stimulates milk production - but again, we know this already...so moving on.
Pooping every day is something that applies to babies under 4 weeks & pooping less than 1 per day under 4 weeks of age *can be* indicative of poor milk transfer. However, your baby is past there & pooping once a week is fine at this point.
If you can nurse all night without supplements - you can get off supplements. Period. No doubt in my mind.
Here goes on more info - to help get you there
The average nursing baby take sin ONLY 25 oz per day. That's it. We overdo ounces with breastmilk because we confuse it with formula. Formula has the same nutritional profile per ounce every single day. breastmilk changes in volume only up to about 4 week s& then it stay pretty stable....from there on out, each growth spurt triggers changes in density of the milk. So you make the same ounces, just more nutritionally packed. If you think a bit it, it makes total sense otherwise our boobies would need carts to roll them around. So this is NOT as insurmountable as you think - you only need to get yourself up to about 25 oz & your pretty golden momma. That is TOTALLY doable.
You can call around to home medical supply places & see if you can get a hold of a supplemental nurser. Medela sells one, but I got one at the hospital that is basically a feed tube with a syringe on the end. You tape it to the breast & drip feed while she is latched. It keeps her interested & helps reduce the supplements WHILE giving you stimulation.
As far as herbs I didn't have great luck either I did find Mothers Milk Tea was decent for me, bu tbetter for me were lactation cookies.http://www.food.com/recipe/oatmeal-chocolate-chip-lactation-cookies-by-noel-trujillo-192346
Make sure you do get the brewers yeast & flax seed though - that is what helps boost that oatmeal.
You get off them the way you got on - you unsupplement. Keep cutting it down. She will fuss - that is part of inspiring her to nurse. She won't nurse if you don't let her be a little hungry. Don't starve her of course, but you can cut out one FULL supplement & let her work it out with your boobies...for real. She will come to peace with it as you supply responds in a few days time. If you can get a supplemental nurser, even easier...you let it drip a little here & there, just enough to keep her working.
And do not worry that you don't feel letdown - not everyone does. Count your blessings - for ages in the early months mine always feels like a horrible titty twister. I thought I might skip that with my younger one as I was still nursing the older one & had long since lost the sensation of letdown, but apparently birth is a like a "reset" and I got to enjoy ti all over again.
if you can't tell when letdown occurs watch the way she drinks - you will see rapid suckling right up to letdown & then slower deep draws & swallowing. It really is a predictable pattern.
Hope that helps momma. For real though - this is not as far gone as you think, You can get back to the boobies full time if you really want that, It takes some patience with the process though. The main reason night feeds are SO important is that prolactin peaks at night - so the more nursing you can do at that time, the better....and interestingly it peaks whether you are awake all night or sleep - it is just part of your bio rhythm. ;)