Saturday, September 14, 2013

Breastfeeding Diaries: The Good News & The Bad News

Waiting to pick up my APNO 'scrip at the mall.
Baby girl is a week old today & it was time for her third weigh-in. I got good news & bad news... I was going to post this on the IGT & Low Milk Supply Support Group that I belong to on Facebook, but decided to blog instead. I did say in a previous post that I'd take you along with me on the breastfeeding journey this time, so here we go.

The Bad

Baby's only gained an ounce & a half since Monday, which is a bit short of the half ounce to ounce a day that's expected. I have to admit, I felt crushed. I was so hoping that she'd have gained as much as she should have & be on track to regain her birth weight by two weeks old. I started getting flashbacks of the pumping, supplementing & all that I was doing last time around with my son. After getting less than four hours of broken sleep last night, that was tough to take & I cried.

I feel like her weight gain is a bit slow because she's been a bit sleepy the last day or so, not feeding as effectively. I thought that might be related to the heat, but it could also be that I've been stressed & a bit busy with Linnaeus & his ever-so-gradual entry into preschool. I haven't been focussing on trying to make every feeding the best it can be with breast compressions, making her keep the best latch she can & listening for swallowing.

Rather than waiting to see if I can get her to transfer more milk, the midwife recommended giving baby 60mL a day supplement for a few days. Then we'll do another weigh in, plus a weigh-feed-weigh Tuesday when I go to the Vancouver Breastfeeding Clinic again. So I tried using a 25cc syringe with a #5 French tube at the breast, but it got a bit messy--I had trouble positioning the tube. Finger feeding worked much better, but she refused to take more than 35mLs. She then slept a nice long stretch--four hours! She then had a good, active feeding the next two times at 4am & 6:30am.

The Good

She is gaining, if not as much as she should. So I started pumping a little a few days ago. Tuesday I got 5mL altogether from both sides one afternoon after a feeding. Thursday it was a meagre 12mL, at a similar time. Friday I got 60mL in the afternoon after feeding the wee one. This means that I can supplement my little girl with my own milk, provided I can consistently pump that amount daily.

I do feel like I'm making more milk than I did at this point with Sprout. A few signs make me think so: I get a lot more engorgement, I can feel the fullness nearly into my armpits, plus baby was actually overflowing a couple days ago: she'd spit up fresh milk at every single feeding.

I also have a few more 'tricks' up my sleeve to help make more milk: I've got a couple bottles of MotherLove More Milk Special Blend capsules that I haven't yet started taking & I'm only on a low dose of 40mg a day of Domperidone, so that can be increased. It seems I'm making as much as baby needs now, she's just not getting it all out herself. I'm still hopeful that I might just make it to 100% of what she needs as she grows.

A Shout-out

Hello to any mamas who came to visit my blog from the IGT & Low Supply group! This group is an endless source of emotional support for me & many other moms who struggle to breastfeed their babies. There is tons of information sharing & advice giving (both personal/anecdotal & empirical research), so I've learned a lot over the months I've been part of it. I wish I'd had these ladies to lean on when I was going through all the ups & downs of breastfeeding, pumping, supplementing Linnaeus in the first few months.

If you are having trouble with low supply or you have in the past & are hoping to avoid it with a subsequent baby, I highly recommend you join the group. It is a private group, so your posts will not be seen in your friends' feeds & you'll need to request permission to join.

For context, here are some of my past posts about the rollercoaster that was breastfeeding, from August to November 2010:

Adjusting, Pumping, Supplementing
8 Pounds 0.5 Ounces
The Simple Routine: Feed, Sleep, Repeat
Silver Lining
The Latest From Breastfeedingland
And the Rollercoaster Heads Back Down Again

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  1. Keep at it mama! You can do it.
    You look beautiful by the way :)

  2. Yes you look amazing!! And you are feeding your baby!! Yay you!!

  3. Hey, Lisa, I won some Dragonfly Organics Baby at Breast lactation tea that's supposed to help in milk production...I personally have always had a milk excess, would you like to give the tea a try?

    1. Thanks, Dayna. I wouldn't mind having it if it's not too difficult to coordinate getting it. :) I've heard that taking the herbs directly is more effective than the tea, but it definitely won't hurt to throw it into the mix. :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Apparently I don't know how to reply properly. :P

      You are probably totally correct, but a nice cup of tea is a pretty soothing way to ingest them too ;) My doctor is in your neighbourhood, my next prenatal is on October 2nd, if you're not busy I could drop by on my way to or from her office... or I could always leave it in your mailbox, too.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The midwives in the UK always suggested fennel tea, which, it seems, is in that Dragonfly Tea. I knew a few mums who had great success with it. I was a dairy cow when breastfeeding, so I didn't try it. You're doing so well though! Hang in there Lisa. xx


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