Sunday, December 11, 2011

Breast Feeding

I never really thought that I would be the Mom to put all of my worries and woes out there for everyone to read but this topic is a must be simply because it's frustrating yet rewarding all at the same time.

I was not able to breast feed Charli Beth, I'm not exactly sure why but my milk never came in and I honestly did not try that hard to do. But this time I was determined to give it a good try to say the least. I had a feeling from day one that Bryar would be born early just like Charli Beth was, so of course I knew this was the best option for the babies health. I read a book that my sister let me borrow called "So That's What They're For." It's witty, cute but intelligent all at the same time. It really helped with the comfort of being okay with breast feeding in public even if you get the goofy stares (Honestly, Friday was the first time that I have bf'd Bryar in public. It went smooth, and I was even covering us with a blanket.) It also helps with positioning which I had no idea anything about.Being that premature babies have a had time eating, digesting food and latching on if breast feeding. I had tons of help in the NICU and also help from a lactation nurse afterward. We did have to supplement the little guy with formula at first because the NICU Doctor ordered for him to be set at 25 mls of milk, and ladies lets just say that at first I was getting around 3-5. It was ridiculous...to be honest it still is.

They continued increasing the amounts of feedings for him and I was slowly making my way to getting to what he needed. But because of these fast increases Bryar took a few steps back and they had to start tubing us feedings as well decreasing the amount by quite a bit. This helped us both out tremendously. Whenever he was getting the tube feedings, I would do skin to skin time with him which seemed to help my milk come in somewhat better. Not to mention, we both loved this cuddle time.

Around a week after leaving the NICU we went to see a lactation nurse because even after taking Fenugreek (3 3 times a day) I still did not feel like I was producing enough for him. But after doing weighed feedings and her helping with a latch (which he did all on his own at this point) she helped me with being confident that I was producing enough for him but just enough. I sadly cannot "get ahead" in my supply for him. We nursed every feeding up until time for me to come back to work and now he is taking bottles of 2 1/2 - 3 oz of BM that I pump for him while I am at work. He is still varying on his eating being that he still gets tired very easily. But once I return home and nurse him he stills seems to be content with what he is getting from me as well. Although, It still seems that I am only getting exactly what I need for him. I do use a medela symphony pump that we are renting from a health care company, but am ready to quit paying the extra charges and use my Ameda purely yours pump. I have also tried taking Reglan but did not see any changes so I quit putting my body through taking one more pill, because there is nothing I hate taking more than pills. I am still continuing to take the Fenugreek, 3 3 times a day, even though it makes my pee smell like maple syrup (no lie ladies) I do truly think it does help out.

Thankfully, my sister is breast feeding as well and has been more help than I could ever imagine. Not only has she helped with supply but to talk to about the stresses of the roller coaster life of being a breast feeding Mom. I want to continue to breast feed Bryar as long as I can but I am making monthly goals and taking this all day by day. I have faced the fact that I am only one woman and can only do so much. If I can't pump good then I may just have to supplement, but I do not want to have to do that. I want to continue to give this 100% effort.

What has seemed to help you out the most with nursing, pumping, building your supply up, etc?

9 comments:

Brian & Ashley said...

Hang in there. You're doing great. Breastfeeding is a lot harder than what I expected, too. I just take it feeding by feeding - thinking of trying to nurse him for 8-12 months just seems too overwhelming. Are you getting enough water? I've found that if I'm dehydrated at all then my supply is lower.

Ben and Emily said...

I'm no help in this area, but thanks for the book recommendation!

Erin said...

oh girl, i feel your pain. i wanted to bf so badly. i met with the lactation consultant and poor little ty just wasn't gaining weight like he should. I would pump for 15 mins on both sides and still only get like 3 ounces total. i only lasted 2-3 weeks bfeeding and then had to turn to formula. and those 2-3 weeks seemed like years! my hat goes off to those that can bf for months or the entire year! it's hard work!! i felt like all i did was pump of bf! but, i'm still thankful that i could do it for those few weeks. i think whatever works best for you and bryar is what you shoud do! :)

Edwin and Jess said...

Hang in there, breast feeding was by far the hardest part of infancy for me. I was the same way, not a huge producer, it took all I had to build up any type of supply for when I went back to work. I felt like I never slept and was always either nursing or pumping. I took Fenugreek as well (gotta love smelling like syrup all the time). BUT I made it 4 months and I'm really happy I stuck with it that long. Peyton has only been sick (except a runny nose here and there) once in her 19 months!

Jay and Kristen said...

With my first I was so clueless I just thought I wasn't doing something right all the time. Therefore, I quite after like 2 weeks. This time with my baby, now 7 months old, I was determined. It was crazy my milk came in almost right away, I started pumping like 8oz at a time (so had a good supply), he was gaining weight. Everything was perfect except I HURT constantly. In fact, 7 months later I still hurt sometimes. For as natural as breastfeeding is, it is truly not easy! Anyway, we are still going good. But I thought I had a pretty good stash until he went through a huge growth spurt and now I have nothing in the freezer so am trying to build my supply back up. FRUSTRATING! Good luck! Sounds like you are doing wonderful! Oh and having good support around has helped me the most!

LAURA@laurasblondemoments said...

Hey Paige :)

Let me tell you, it's not fun pumping so I completely understand what you're saying! Some days it just flows and other times I'm literally telling myself I must be done bc there's not much milk coming out. I know it all has to do with the amounts of water intake, stress, being relaxed ( and in my case having both kids settled so I don't worry the whole time and can't focus to letdown). All that to say a lot of factors to consider. I've been lucky to have a good supply I guess, but I'm also borderline obsessed my supply won't last ha! I ended up doing a "pump" post. You're doing a great job don't think any different! Every little but Bryar gets is better than none and if you have to do formula, that will be fine too. It's hard not to get upset though, I know girl! Maple syrup pee has to be better than asparagus pee lol!

Laura
laurasblondemoments.blogspot.com

Jess said...

HI! I found your blog one day while I was blog hopping and I enjoyed your posts. I stop by from time to time. First of all, congrats on your little one and beautiful family. I am a Momma to 4 kiddos and currently breastfeeding my nine month old. I was able to bf my oldest for only 6 weeks, but the others have made it to 13-14 months. I am also a ex-NICU nurse, I am able to stay-at-home now. Keep taking it one day a time! Drink lots of water and try to avoid caffeine, when pumping bring a picture of your baby and maybe an item of his clothing. I read that you work 2nd shift. This is good because most of the time you can pump more at night. I am a big fan of skin to skin that really does help with your supply. It's hard on you, but if you can nurse on demand and not keep baby on a strict schedule(but nurse at least every 3 hours) you and baby will both be less stressed. Keep talking to your sister for support, and considering joining Le Leche League, it helps tremendously to have someone to share your ups/downs with! Keep up the good work!!

Andrea said...

I know, I'm a little late on this, I'm a new follower and just read it =) First of all, you are doing GREAT! Any amount of breastmilk he gets is great and if you have to supplement then that's okay too! Breastfeeding was by FAR the hardest thing I have ever done. I know that probably sounds silly, but when Gracie would sleep when she was an infant, I would spend hours researching breastfeeding and supply and latch and blah blah blah and I just stressed myself out. I did go back to work after 8 weeks and to "get ahead" I would basically try to create a demand. After she ate in the morning, I would pump for 20 minutes even if nothing came out at first. Same thing with the last feeding of the day. Granted, she slept about 10 hours at night at 8 weeks so this wasn't hard for me to do because I knew my body had plenty of time to replentish the stock! Eventually, I started producing at the times I would pump so I created a "stock" of milk. I had the ameda purely yours as well.. At work, i would pump at the times she would eat. I also took fenugreek, but for whatever reason, it made gracie turn into a wild child, crying, no sleeping, etc. So I stopped taking it. For me, the biggest help was always in how much water I drank. I could literally drink a 1/2 gallon of water and my boobs would inflate, haha. But everybody is different so do what works for you, and remember that you are doing GREAT! ~Andrea
http://www.andreasattic-andrea.blogspot.com

Candice said...

I found pumping after feeding and even for a few minutes after my milk would run out would help. I think it made my body think more milk was needed and my supply would go up. Good luck! Hang in there, it's worth it!!

Story of Mommy

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I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. A wife to the 5oh, and Mother to Charli Beth and Bryar. This is my story of Motherhood, life experiences and sometimes even my overwhelming heart all typed out. I believe in second chances, yet the firm hand of parenting. That sweet tea is of the comfort food category. Chickens belong in every backyard. Children should each have a responsibility of their own while helping take care of duties in the home. Sports are a must for our family, and we spend many nights on courts or fields. We consistently feel new to each of the experiences that are brought into our lives. But we are always excited for the journey in which God has given us.

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