Monday, May 09, 2011

Breastfeeding pitfalls.

I have been exclusively breastfeeding/pumping Hannabert for the last 8 weeks or so.  He, as the lactation consultant noted, was "failing to meet potential" at the beginning.  We had to use a supplemental nursing system for his second week.  It was an absolute failure though as he quickly realized that he could use the system like a straw. 

After that, he and I went full force at nursing only and not using any formula.  Now, as he was in NICU and I had some issues with his delivery (I do not have anatomy that is conducive to an epidural) which resulted in having to have a c-section under general anesthesia, I always felt like the "Boob Fairy" (as the lactation consultants call when a new mother's milk comes in) missed me.

I have been stressing over whether or not Hannabert was getting enough food.  My wonderful husband kept reassuring me that if he was wetting diapers more than 6 times a day and gaining weight, he was probably good.

Now that I am back at work and having to pump and was only getting 2 to 3 oz total, I was getting really pretty stressed again.  It really just didn't seem like enough for him.  I had read a ton of breast feeding books but none of them really had very good ways at measuring how much milk was enough milk when pumping.  One, The Nursing Mother's Companion, suggested feeding, then pumping, then pumping exactly 2 hours later, and then multiplying that number by the number of feedings and then determining how much was being consumed in a day.  All other books suggested suing a baby scale, but I didn't really want to spend the money on one (although I was definitely tempted).  I am thrilled that I found the Kelly Mom website which has a ton of resources including a chart where you can calculate what you need to pump at each pumping session.

This chart has definitely eased some of my concerns although I am still stressed about making sure Hannabert is getting enough, especially with lack of support from family members about continuing to breastfeed.  I think that they think they are being supportive when they tell me that I should supplement or that it isn't a big deal to supplement, but I really want to Hannabert to have breast milk for as long as possible without supplementing.

I am currently trying a variety of supply boasters (it doesn't help that I have a co-worker who is able to pump 9oz during each of her sessions) such as Goat's Rue; Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and all other sorts of herbal solutions.  While they might only have a placebo effect, at least I know that I am doing everything that I can do to help maintain/increase supply.


  1. Hey Hannah, I breastfed Brant exclusively for about 6 months, then started to add in cereal. I also was only able to pump 3-4 oz. But I did, and I froze what I could! This sounds crazy, but a beer a day does help your milk production (perhaps it's the relaxing/calming effect). Very little is transferred to the baby. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was the book I referenced, and have passed on to all my breastfeeding friends...check it out, it's practical and reasurring!

  2. Thanks Katy - How much did you send with Brant to Daycare? I just got that one from the library - I have tried to read all of them for their tips. Having a beer at the end of the day would be relaxing...

  3. I didn't have to send Brant to daycare, so I don't know that answer, but the Womanly Art book has all that info...sorry I can't help there. But here's a funny, last year, our freezer died. As I was cleaning it out, I found a bag of milk! I actually had a very hard time throwing it away, it was like liquid gold once I got it pumped!!!