Making peace with my BFing misery...

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by CapitalChick, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. CapitalChick

    CapitalChick Mommy to 1 and preggo!!!

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    I had a major BFing breakthrough on friday at a local breastfeeding clinic. Not a positive one, though...
    After my dedicated, three-day nursing vacation, where I did nothing but work on increasing my milk supply, I attended a BFing clinic to see how I was doing with milk supply. I went to the clinic and weighed the baby, then nursed her for 40 minutes and put her back on the scale. My heart absolutely sank when the scale showed that, in 40 minutes, she had taken in a mere 18 grams...half an ounce. I broke down and cried right then and there. One of the amazing LCs came over and spoke to me and said "Why are you crying?" and I said "because that's it...I know I have to give up BFing. My baby is not gaining enough, I'm producing almost nothing, and I've tried everything to increase my supply".

    We reviewed everything I've done to increase my milk supply, including pumping, domperidome, herbal supplements, using the SNS gravity feeder when giving the baby formula (in order to stimulate my breasts), taking a three-day nursing vacation, etc. etc.

    The LC said that the fact that I had taken all those steps and still had SUCH a minute amount of milk, indicated to her that this was not a simple supply issue and that I very well may be one of the few women who just cannot produce enough for her baby. She also enouraged me to do indepth testing with my doctor to find out what is going on with my body. She thinks that I might have a tiny tiny piece of retained placenta.

    She said "You do not have to give up BFing. Your baby can have all the psychological, orthodontic and emotional benefits of BFing, even without getting breastmilk." She said "Why don't you just get yourself a permanent Medela gravity feeder and just always give your baby her formula through that system. That way your baby is drinking 100% of her milk at the breast...You are BFing her, like you wanted, and she's being nourished as she needs".

    She said "Some women pump out all their brestmilk into bottles and bottle feed their baby. They are missing out on all the emotional, psychological and orthodontic benefits of BFing for their babies. You, on the other hand, are taking advantage of all of those benefits, even though you cannot produce enough milk to exclusively BF". I guess she's right!

    This conversation immediately took the stress out of my situation. I am no longer fighting against my body. And the funny thing is that I think my supply has gone up a smidge because of the stress reduction. She told me to only pump when I feel like it, continue to with my domperidome and supplements, and just....ENJOY MY BABY.

    I am truly saddened at not being able to feed my baby by purely BFing, but the LC was so positive and supportive of me and everything that I've done for my BFing and my baby, that I feel like I've made peace with the situation.

    My plan forward is to maintain my supply and to GENTLY try and increase it. No more marathon nursing vacations, and NO MORE STRESS. I will feed my baby formula for 75% of her nourishment and the rest she'll get from me. My early morning feeds (anytime between 4am and 6am) will be purely BF, because that's when I actually have lots of milk, but the rest of the day she'll get a combination of breastmilk and formula. And it's OK. It's OK.

    Phew...
     
  2. alice&bump

    alice&bump mummy to katie

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    :hugs: its devastating when you realise your baby's not getting anything isnt it! my milk started drying up at about 12 weeks i think, katie just stopped putting on weight. by 21 weeks she was only 14lb, she was 9lb12 at birth, so it should have been a lot higher. it was really getting to me, but at that stage i'd already decided to try FF, mainly cos i was going back to work and cant express.

    it was the best decision i ever made tho! i felt really bad at first, but now i've got a happy smiley healthy baby who's put on nearly 2lb in under a month!

    i've not heard of that feeder thing so its like they're BF, sounds really good tho! xxxx
     
  3. DonnaBallona

    DonnaBallona newlyweds!

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    Well Done for making a positive decision!

    We have made the same decision with Brooke in the last week-she is only putting on 2oz per week too. After getting over the initial "i cant believe this happening, I wanted to BF till she's 1, I feel like such a failure" just pick yourself back up and dust yourself off. :hugs:

    Brooke and I are soooooooo much happier now im not stressing about feeding-and Iv just had the most fun, least stressful, enjoyable week ever with her.
    Im so much more closer to her now too.

    I hope you have a good week and start to feel the same too :hugs:
     
  4. Mervs Mum

    Mervs Mum Doula & Mum of 3!

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    You gave it your best shot honey and I am so pleased to hear you have a solution that fits you - thats all that matters. Well done you and enjoy xxx
     
  5. cupcake

    cupcake Mommy of a gorgeous boy!

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    so glad to hear you have found a solution , just enjoy mia, and well done on all your efforts
     
  6. Seraphim

    Seraphim Amazing Baby Girl

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    Congrats on finding peace xxx
     

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