|We did it! All breastmilk all the time!|
From about two weeks old until three months old, Bronte was getting at least a little bit of formula pretty much every day. In the early days, I think she was only getting about half breastmilk. By November we were throwing away half to 3/4 full canisters of formula at the end of the month. That month her weight went up & down. When I just fed her my milk for a week or two, she actually lost weight. But when we started supplementing again with formula, she spat up tons & gained so much that it seemed like she really didn't need the formula. It was frustratingly difficult to figure out if we still needed to add formula to the pumped milk in her bottle top-ups or not.
Despite having been through all this before with Linnaeus, it was still an emotional rollercoaster. I was a bit depressed thinking that I hadn't made it to EBF, despite fairly heroic efforts to increase my milk supply. My doctor at the Vancouver Breastfeeding Centre had faith in me & Bronte & suggested we just give her pumped milk--no formula--over the holidays & come back for a weigh-in after three weeks.
I know it sounds obssessive, but three weeks is the longest we've gone without weighing this baby. Every growth spurt & fluctuation she's had has been evident because we've weighed her at least every week of her life until recently. Three weeks was a bit tough to wait--I vaccillated between being sure she'd not gained enough, or worse, lose weight again & thinking of seeing 6 kilos on the scale when we went in.
The suspense was nearly killing me when I finally got to weigh her--the doctors' office was busy & there was actually a three baby line-up for the scale. By the time I got her stripped down & placed her on there, I was thrilled to see 6042g (about 13 pounds 4 ounces). What that number means is she not only gained enough weight, but she caught up to the percentile she was following (it's a range in the 30s really) before her slight weight loss in early December.
We no longer have a supply problem. I am making enough & just a tad more milk than she needs to grow & be healthy. We still have a distribution problem, however. That means I still need to pump a couple times a day & give her a bottle or two (usually about 150mL total) in the evenings. My ultimate dream has always been just breastfeeding without any pumping & supplementing, but this is the next best thing. It's hard to explain how amazing that feels after struggling with low milk supply for months with two different children. After trying so hard with my first child to get to this point, but still not making it & having to supplement with formula. So proud to be among the ranks of EBFers. :)
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