Monday, March 22, 2010

Struggling with breastfeeding today...

Well, after I wrote all about how great breastfeeding was going, I had a really rough morning with it.  I nursed pretty much all morning (about 4 hours straight), and he was still so hungry.  After a little while I didn't hear him swallowing and I didn't feel a let down any more... He was extremely fussy (which isn't like him) and just acted starving... so I supplemented.  And he was happy after that.

I realized pretty quickly that I have put too much pressure on myself again... that's why I struggled in the past.  So, here I am, letting go, and just going with the flow.  If I have to supplement to get him fed, I do.  If not, then wonderful!  It's my goal to not have to supplement anymore, but he needs to be fed so I can't allow my desire to breastfeed exclusively come between him and what he needs! 

Just a little background on my breastfeeding problems:

With the last two babies, I started breastfeeding exclusively, only to have my babies lose too much weight, get dehydrated, and stop peeing and pooping.  I would nurse for four and five hours at a time, with a thirty minute break, then back to nursing for hours again.  And, they were screaming all the time.  They were hungry!!  The minute I started supplementing, they starting peeing and pooping, gaining weight, and wouldn't scream so much any more.  The last two times I went down the slippery slope of it being "easier" to just feed with a bottle, so I ended up stopping.  I also didn't know much about breastfeeding so I thought there was no way to increase my supply, so I figured there was no reason to try.
Before I had Levi, I did TONS of research, talked a lot with my midwife about it, and visited with a lactation consultant.  Through some research, I found that there's a good possibility that I have insufficient glandular tissue.  Women with this, much of the time, can't breastfeed exclusively.  With Levi, everything started out great, then after about a week, we decided that I should start supplementing some because he wasn't peeing and pooping much, he wasn't gaining weight, and he was nursing non stop (just like my last two) and was VERY unhappy all the time.  I was heart broken.  I cried a lot because I thought that meant I would end up formula feeding... But, I am more determined this time and I decided that even if I have to do both, I will continue breastfeeding because even 50% is better than nothing!  So, here I am, giving him more then 50%, but not 100%.  I have to be okay with that if I can't give 100%.  I nurse often (and he empties both sides every time), and if he goes more than 2-3 hours, I pump.  I don't usually get a whole lot out, but the point is to stimulate... even if I don't get much out.  I also take herbal tinctures (as I have mentioned before).  I need to up my water intake because I know that affects things as well.

Anyway... just thought I would share my struggles.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I will try again to avoid supplementing... and if I have to, I have to.  

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