Friday, November 13, 2009

Making More Milk

The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk is a WONDERFUL book and I recommend it to anyone who has had problems with milk supply in the past.  As I have mentioned many times before, I had a lot of problems with milk supply with my last two babies.  I am such a "black and white" kind of person... I have a hard time with things because if I can't do it perfectly, I don't want to do it at all.  After reading this book, there is possibly an answer to all of my milk supply issues, which actually makes me feel better about things.  Through the reading of this book (and from researching online), there is a good chance that I have insufficient glandular tissue, which means that I may not be able to breastfeed exclusively.  I have most of the signs and symptoms of this, so there is a good possibility.

This book encourages women in saying that milk supply issues are actually becoming more and more common... and probably because of the amount of toxins in things these days (although there is really no clear answer as to why).  I always feel bad about not being able to produce enough because many women think that it's just something that you're doing wrong.  Through reading this book, I know that's not true.  It is true sometimes, but not all the time.  This book helps you to go through every possible reason for low milk supply, and it gives ways to remedy that situation if possible, and ways to supplement without hurting your supply if necessary.  I have heard many many times to NOT supplement because it will hurt your supply... but this book re-affirmed my intuition that it is necessary sometimes and it can even hurt your supply if your baby begins to get frustrated and/or lethargic.  I know now that it wasn't the wrong thing to do to supplement when with my kids... especially with Ethan.  He was not getting anything, really, and he had lost tons of weight (18 ounces by day 3), was dehydrated, jaundice, etc.  He was also nursing for 4-5 hours at a time and screaming all the time.  He needed more.  The problem came in when I decided to stop breastfeeding altogether because I thought it was too hard to do both... and because I couldn't breastfeed exclusively, I thought I might as well not breastfeed at all.  This time, I will:
  • Supplement if necessary (even at the beginning if I need to), but do it the way that they say to supplement (and my midwife will be working with me on this).  The idea is that it will help me to not get overly stressed, which will in turn actually help my supply.  
  • Begin pumping between feedings from the beginning.  The pump that I had with the last two babies was considered a good one (the Ameda), but it HURT me... which made pumping a horrible thing.  I bought a new pump, the Playtex Embrace double pump.  This pump has many wonderful reviews.  People who have had issues with pumps before because of pain, etc, were able to use this one with ease.  It doesn't just suck... it massages and sucks which makes it a lot more comfortable.  Many women who have not been able to get much milk out at all with other pumps (even the Medela) were able to get a lot more milk out with this one.  I know people personally who have had a lot of luck with this pump as well.  I haven't heard anything bad about it... only good.  And, on the Happy Mothers website, you can buy it pretty cheap compared to buying it in the store or on other websites.  I actually got an additional 10% off because they were running 10% off anything over a certain amount sale a few weeks ago.  So, I bought it for $148 (usually anywhere from $175-250).  We are going to be buying a new car seat from this website as well.  Wonderful site.  
  • Use different herbs and foods to help with supply, from the beginning.  Making More Milk has an entire chapter on the MANY different herbs and foods to increase supply.  There are way more than I ever would have realized.
  • Have a prescription on hand for domperidone.  I have heard from midwives and through this book that if you have major supply issues to try this medication.  
  • Cosleep at the beginning especially.  It actually helps increase supply for two reasons: 1) because the baby is right there... all I have to do is lift up my shirt :), 2) the closeness helps increase supply.
The biggest thing that I have learned through this book and from my midwife is that if I can breastfeed even 50%, then I am successful.  It doesn't have to be black and white.  My midwife tells me to take the pressure off of myself and it will probably help considerably.  I need to be able to enjoy the first several days of having a newborn... not dread them.  I am looking forward to the first days now :). 

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