If there are any guys out there brave enough to read this blog, beware, this whole post has to do with boobs.. as in cow. Not Pamela Anderson.
I know I’ve briefly mentioned before about breastfeeding and always said I’d dive into it eventually, but kept putting it off because it’s kinda complicated; however, I need HELP so I thought I’d open up to you fine folks in hopes to get milk shattering advice.
When little man was born he had very low blood sugar and was sent to the nursery shortly after birth for a small bottle of formula. No blissful skin to skin or immediate latching for this crowd. Yes, I was disappointed but I wanted what was best for him and knew it wouldn’t mess up our breastfeeding. Over the next several days he did well; we both did well. As we got home and were both getting the hang of this breastfeeding thing, I was still trying to build my blood supply back - which the lack of sleep and zero appetite was not helping. On top of that, Brady was feeding for 45 min - an hour and then an hour later (max) wanting to nurse again. Big babies = big appetites. I sat in one spot on the couch all day it seemed. I was encouraged to let Aaron feed him once during the night with formula so I could get more than 1-2 hours of sleep in a stretch. I was very very reluctant but I did it and I think it was actually good for everyone. Aaron got to bond with him, the grandmas got to bond with him, he fell asleep easier afterwards and slept longer between feedings.
Then came the marathon feedings. He would nurse.. and nurse.. and nurse. Several times I would sit for 3 hours straight, only having 5-15 min breaks in between feedings. I realized I had become a human pacifier. Which is sweet and everything, but I was in PAIN. So I gave in and gave him a paci which he took immediately. (You’re noticing a trend of pitfalls, aye?) Well it actually wasn’t so bad for a while. He was awesome at taking a bottle, a paci and still wanting to nurse for several weeks. But suddonly one day he decided to ditch nursing all together. He’s no dummy. Why would he work twice as hard when he could get it much faster from a bottle?
He began screaming and refusing to nurse = I began pumping. Fast forward to now, I’m still pumping but my milk supply is LOW. My supply has never been great. I got excited when I could pump 6 oz in one sitting but have friends that pump an extra 20 after their child is done nursing. I say “got excited” because now I’m only pumping 2 oz - 4 oz max per sitting. Yall. That’s terrible. So of course I’m having to supplement with formula.
What I disliked about breastfeeding:
Holy cow (not literally.. obviously) the pain. It did get better but GOOD LORD talk about burning nipples times twelve. Also, my right nipple has ALWAYS been more painful/tender, especially when he latched. While nursing, I’d get a shooting pain in my right shoulder muscle, and a weird light pressure sensation in my left boob/chest area. All of this discomfort would be worth it though if I could get him to latch again. The biggest thing I disliked was how I felt trapped. I had no idea how I’d ever leave the house. What if I was in the middle of Target and he got hungry? He was nursing every hour so how would I ever go ANYWHERE?! People would come see him and I’d have to leave the room after 5 minutes into their visit to feed him, and again, feedings could last up to 45 minutes. I felt terrible. Not only had they come to see him and he wasn’t in the same room, but I wasn’t either. Everyone was socializing and I was alone in another room.
What I loved/miss most: The time I got to spend with him. The way I could feel my body reacting to his latch. Quickness - not having to make a bottle when he’s hungry. Feeling like I was providing the best nutrition possible to my child - in the most natural form.
I am aware that I’m smack dab in the middle of a downward spiral. Is there hope??
- Can I get Brady to latch again? I’ve read and tried many different things. Pump a little before so he doesn’t have to work so hard. Massage breast to encourage letdown, take a bath with him so he’s nice and relaxed etc. He’s not interested.
- How can I increase my milk supply? I know. Get Brady to latch. (See #1.) I drink Mother’s Milk tea. I haven’t tried herbs yet but I will if you swear by them.
Please send me any advice or suggestions you have!
I feel like I read every trick in the book to ruin a breastfeeding relationship in this one post, and I am so sorry about this. I’m so sorry that you fell into that cycle, and I hope you can get out of it. I should also add, that when latched correctly, you should NOT feel pain. I’ll give you a link to my friend on facebook, she’s a lactation consultant, and she helps many women over the net, I’ll also give you a link to a facebook page called “the leaky boob” which will try to help you as well.
The LC: http://www.facebook.com/Alienbeth
The page: http://www.facebook.com/TheLeakyBoob
As for the time spent feeding. An infant will cluster feed when they need more milk. Breastmilk is a “Demand and Supply” cycle. The more that the child suckles the more of a supply you will make. You must also understand that pumping is NOT an indicator for how much milk you produce. The suction of a baby’s mouth is different from a breast pump. In the early days they will nurse every hour, and then less frequently. Then, as time goes on, they will start to feed more to raise your supply, which, considering your supply kept getting underhanded, makes sense why he was always trying to raise it, or so it seems from this writing.
In answer to not knowing how to get things done or to free yourself from being stuck in the house, try a moby wrap or a sling carrier. These will allow you to have free hands, keep the child close to your skin and allow them to breastfeed as well while you can get things done.
If I missed anything to be addressed, feel free to reply of course. :)
You can do it!