Lets get Real about Postpartum – Part 2
My Breastfeeding Experience
Ready for Part 2?! I’m not an expert on this topic BY FAR. I actually think other moms would probably get better advice or knowledge from someone who had some struggles along the way with breastfeeding. Honestly, those moms probably want to slap me and I probably would too if I was them! To make my case though – I had rough pregnancies both of which ended up on bed rest, so go easy on me. J
When I had Hadleigh, I was back in the delivery room from having the C-section within about 10 minutes. They gave her right to me to try and get her to latch, which happened immediately. Yes, I was lucky. My milk had come in by the time I left the hospital, which was 3 days later. I stayed an extra day due to them giving me magnesium, having panic attacks, and my blood pressure still being elevated. As I went home, everything still went well. Occasionally, I struggled with Hadleigh moving her head around so much to try to latch that she got frustrated (and so did i). But eventually, she would latch and eat, and all was right in the world.
As a first time mom, it made me anxious worrying about whether or not she was getting enough to eat. When you nurse, you aren’t controlling how much milk they’re getting, and I like control J A week after she was born I started pumping. It was a huge time commitment, but I was ready to take it on. Daniel was able to help feed her now that I was pumping as well. I did really well for about a month and a half. Hadleigh then started having acid reflux problems, so the doctor had her on medicine and told me to mix some formula in with the breast milk. Looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t change my diet habits to see if that worked?
I ended up getting lazy about pumping and being depressed didn’t help, so I slowly stopped, which dried my milk supply up. A week before I went back to work, I tried to get my milk back by pumping. WHOA! So painful to pump when you don’t have anything to pump out! So I went on and sucked up the fact I was done breastfeeding. I vowed to remember all of this for when we had our second, so I could keep myself on track with nursing.
This time around has been awesome. I have really enjoyed nursing and I’m still going strong almost 7 months into it. This time around I was in surgery for almost an hour, so I couldn’t immediately nurse like I did with Hadleigh. But as soon as they wheeled me into the delivery room, I nursed, and Hayden latched right on. I was definitely much more relaxed this time and just remembered to “shove my nipple to the roof of her mouth” to make sure there was a good latch each time. I think once you get past 2-3 months, things are easier. Strictly nursing and not pumping helped tremendously. I didn’t worry myself with how much Hayden was getting – I was content in knowing she would let me know if she wasn’t. And she did.
I had a few battles with sore and cracking nipples (never to the extent of bleeding) but I used Lanolin and pushed through as much as it hurt. I knew if I didn’t push through the pain, my supply would suffer. So I did what I had to – pain and all.
I did start pumping when Hayden was between 6-8 weeks old – just once a day for 2 reasons. One, I was producing more than Hayden ate, so it gave me relief in the morning, and Two, I was afraid once she got older and started eating 8 ounces (so I thought) that I wouldn’t be able to keep up.
We are at 7 months now and she still only eats 5 ounces out of a bottle twice during the day when I’m at work. I guess I figured Hadleigh was drinking about 8 ounces of formula by now and that Hayden would drink just as much. Our doc said that Hayden just likes nursing, so she drinks what she has to in order to get by during the day – but I can’t help but think breast milk is more nutritious than formula? Who knows?
So, I currently have ½ of a freezer full of breast milk J I’m pumping twice a day while at work, and nursing the rest of the time. I’ll probably think of weaning her around a year, and I didn’t think I’d be upset about it, but I will! I enjoy it as much as she does! It’s the time of day we both get with each other alone, she’s still depending on me for something huge – can they stay babies forever? J
When Hayden was 2 weeks (and on my birthday) we had to take her to the Emergency Room cause she was projectile vomiting right after I had fed her. It was very scary to say the least. She had thrown up her entire stomach full of milk and then some. After taking stomach ultrasounds and x-rays, the doctors came to the conclusion it was reflux/dairy problems. So we started her on Prevacid, but I didn’t see much of a change either way. I decided that I wasn’t going to continue her on it. She wasn’t vomiting every-time she ate, and if she moved around a lot afterwards it was a guarantee for some throw up. I did cut back on my dairy intake and I think that did help for a while, but again, I didn’t see this revelation in me changing my diet. Hayden was also having mucousy stool. In my gut, I still wasn’t satisfied with the reflux/dairy answer, so I googled. Ha. I don’t medically recommend googling of course, but for questions like this, it’s nice to see what other people have encountered. If for nothing else, it’s to see that you aren’t alone and crazy. From my googling, I read that I could be an over-producer of milk – which made total sense to me. I had to pump once a day to get relief cause Hayden wasn’t nursing enough – even with her nursing every 3 hours. It’s also called Fore-milk Hind-milk imbalance. Multiple sites recommended feeding lying down on your side (the side of the breast you’re feeding from). At that point, it was worth a shot to me. It worked! I was amazed what something so simple did! And still to this day, I feed Hayden lying on my side. I’m sure she probably has grown out of it a bit as her stomach has matured, and that I’m not producing too much since she drinks more. But, there’s no sense in switching it up if it’s been working and now it’s the nursing position she’s used to.
The lesson here is:
Stay persistent and go with your gut. Mommy knows best! J