Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Breastfeeding = Nature's Way?

So I think I mentioned in my last post that I might talk about Breastfeeding....Nature's Way? If it is supposed to be so natural why is it so difficult for some people....especially me?!?!?! We had a very rough first night home-I'm not sure that anyone got any sleep. We were getting pretty desperate--Owen was VERY upset and we could tell that he was hungry. Even after nursing his little mouth was dry--it was very sad! We had an appt with the lactation consultant at the hospital at 11:30 but we were calling her at 8AM! When we were getting no response from her (she didn't come in until 10:00), we called Dr. B's office to see if the lactation consultant there was in. She was and Aunt Jill told us to come right over! We stopped to pick up some formula just in case he was going to need a bottle to help him over his hump. The lactation consultant was very supportive and helpful, telling me that I did have some milk and helping us to get him fed a little. I felt a little better after meeting with her and we were all able to come home and take a nap afterwards so that was nice too:)

Well, needless to say the lactation consultant from the hospital kept calling because we ended up needing to cancel our appt with her so we could get some rest--I was feeling pretty rough after everything. We finally decided to go and see her later in the afternoon. Well, they weighed him and he had lost more than 10% of his birthweight, so that was not a good thing. While we were there I didn't have any milk that was transferring to my little guy while trying to feed him. She told us that we really needed to supplement him with some formula to try and get his weight back up. I told Tony after we left that I knew it wasn't good when the lactation consultant walked in with formula! So for feedings after that, Tony sat at my side with a little syringe and shot formula in while he nursed. When we met with her on Friday he had gained back 5 ounces, which was really good so she told us we could cut back a little on the supplementing. Well, when I met with her on Monday he had only maintained his weight, which she didn't seem too worried about, but I thought he should have done a little better over the weekend. She thinks my milk supply is still not 100%. I meet with her again tomorrow so we will see how his weight is doing.

So, where to from here? For me it is EXTREMELY frustrating that this is yet another thing that is seeming to not go right! I've feel bad that I cannot provide for him like I am supposed to be able to. Since Tony went back to work on Monday, I've been doing the syringe supplementing myself. I love the time that we are able to spend together while he is nursing, but if he is not getting what he needs then what is the point in continuing? I've tried to just nurse and not supplement, but it is abundantly clear that he is not as satisfied as when I supplement. I know some breastmilk is better than none, but oh how things would be easier to just whip up a bottle and feed him that way. So I feel that we are at a crossroads......everyone says that the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding are the most difficult.....I figure we will continue to try for a while but I'm not sure how much longer it will be going. Oh--and Tony has been wonderful throughout this whole ordeal--up with every feeding to supplement until I told him to just stay in bed:) and telling me that no matter what happens with this feeding thing.....everyone will end up just fine:) Thanks again honey--not sure I would still be sane throughout this past week or so without you!


  1. He is a big boy and will probably nurse as often as you let him - so-o-o - if you want to breastfeed just forget about all else for a while. Nurse day and night, any time he wants/will. Sit or lie in a comfy place where he is well supported so you don't have to "hold him up", use well placed cushions,whatever it takes. Make sure you are drinking enough water - keep a bottle or glass wherever you sit. Watch TV, listen to the radio, read a book - you don't need to stare into his face the whole time! Ditch the formula for at least 24 hours. DON'T give him anything but your breasts to suck! Just make sure that he is still peeing and pooping and sucking - your milk should increase to meet his needs. I had babies that each were over 8 lbs and this was what got me "started". Hope it works for you. If it doesn't or you just don't want to go thru all this don't beat yourself up. First and foremost you are his MOM.
    I wish you luck.

  2. OMG Jen -- you are me 12 months ago after Jake was born! Went through the EXACT same thing. I'm emailing you...

  3. Yep, I had this problem and I really beat myelf up over it, so don't do that because eventually you'll be OK with whatever decision you make. We ended up doing half and half (part nursing/part formula)for 8 months. I've had to stop now due to some medication I'm taking...sad to stop :(

  4. It was hard with a big baby!!! Nolan wanted to eat every hour and a half...and at night, sometimes it was more often than that...I felt like there was nothing left in there!!! Just let him nurse and your milk will come...the more he tries, the more your body will produce to keep up with his need!!! If you decide to stop, it's not a huge thing...Babies turn out great either way! :)

  5. Stumbled upon your blog through twitter and wanted to send some support your way. I also struggled with conceiving my son and when I failed at breastfeeding, I totally felt the same way - like it was one more "natural" thing that did not come at all naturally to me.

    The most important thing is that your baby is healthy and thriving. Don't beat yourself up if you decide to switch to formula. This falls under the do as I say, not as I do category, b/c I tortured myself over it.. I just wish I could go back and tell my early-postpartum self what I know now...

    My son has been formula fed since he was a month old, and he is the healthiest, happiest little guy. I also started enjoying motherhood all the more once I stopped stressing about feeding him from my body and just started feeding him, you know?

    Whatever you decide... best of luck, and hang in there... the first months are the hardest!

  6. Hang in there, Jenny!! You are doing everything you can and it'll work out. Just think...maybe potty-training will be a snap?! You deserve a easier-than-normal SOMETHING ;)) xoxo!