Thursday, August 11, 2011

One day at a time

Yesterday my baby was 9 weeks old and it was a personal milestone for me. I know that breast is best and priviously I was able to breastfeed Cole for 6 weeks and Davin for 8 weeks. My goal each time is to do my best and beat my previous time.
It has been a struggle for me honestly. I'm not sure why but after a time I previously have hit a rut and then I lost my supply. In spite of my best efforts and all those herbal helpers I always ended up giving in and switching to formula. When I switched to formula with Davin it was after confirming that he was only getting about 1/2 ounce of milk from me in each feeding.
After 9 weeks I am happy to say that I have a chubby well fed baby and all in all we have been very successful so far!
Here are some things I have learned that might help others who struggle in this area.
  • WATER!!!!- like gallons of water. I have to drink massive quantities of water to keep my supply up. Personally I think I drink more than the average breastfeeding mom but who knows.
  • RELAX- I don't worry about how much she's getting or how long she feeds as much as I did with the boys. She is gaining weight, she's satisfied, and she feeds as long as she wants to. Seriously I think I jinxed myself by being so meticulous. 
  • "JUST KEEP SWIMMING"- LOL like Dorey on Finding Nemo; just keep swimming! I have so scared the first time I had to give Faith a bottle because she went through a growth spurt and my supply hadn't caught up. She was inconsolable and I felt like I was repeating history all over again. I thawed out some milk I had stored up and I made Aaron feed her because I don't want her to associate me with a bottle at all. She had her first bottle about a week and a half ago. It's not a nightly thing but every so often she will be SO hungry and there simply isn't anything I can do. The key I think is to just move on. Pump while the baby is eating that way you're stimulating your supply but the baby is getting fed too. They also make contraptions that fit on you and have a little tube so the baby thinks she is feeding and she's stimulating you to make more but the milk is coming from a bottle so the baby is getting fed. I might try to track one of these things down.
These are things that have helped me to know but everyone is different. Not all women will give in and feed their baby. I have seen many women who grin and bear it and work through those difficult nights when their supply comes up short. I know lots of gals who have never had that problem. Take what you can use here and throw away the rest. The biggest thing I have learned in this process is that everyone is so different and all the well meaning advice and wonderful counsel in the world didn't always help me. It took 3 kids and I had to make things come together on my own. There was no magical solution; it is what it is. Faith uses a pacifier and has had a bottle and does very well. I'm convinced that those things really played a big part in my lack of success with the boys. She will feed anywhere in just about any position while the boys were very picky. Part of these differences I'm sure was my own hesitation and anxiety so relax, drink a couple gallons of water and do your best!

I did find a link to a page with a product like what I described before if you're interested.
If you search for it on google try the term Lactation Aid versus breastfeeding aids because you will get a whole lot of info on breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS.

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