Why I have difficulty with breastfeeding?
1. I did not read enough about this topic during my pregnancy.
2. I should have had contacted the local La Leche League.
3. I should have listened to other people to attend more classes about it. I attended just 1 short class and it was very basic.
4. I had Gestational Diabetes and my baby had borderline low blood sugar at birth. He was given 4 oz of formula to bring up his sugar.
5. I assumed that my baby will have nipple confusion because of number 4. Most literature said "no" to formula supplementation due to nipple confusion. I was discouraged early on that I will be able to breastfeed.
6. I sent my baby to nursery at night during our hospital stay so I could recover from my surgery. Most literature recommends to room-in so I could nurse the baby more often to stimulate milk production. But I was in pain, highly medicated and exhausted that I gave in to my husband's plea to send him to the nursery.
7. After colostrum which my baby was able to take, I did not have a drop of milk for about 7 days. So, I formula feed. I cannot stand a hungry baby.
8. After that, I had a very low milk supply. I was pumping and pumping since hospital stay. Initially, there was none. It slowly crept up but I continue to supplement because of the baby's voracious appetite and my supply was way low for it.
9. Because of that I lost all confidence that my body could supply my baby's need. I continue to pump, though.
10. Now, my baby lost his patience in suckling into my breast and prefers the easier silicon nipple.
11. It was a busy week for maternal ward when I gave birth and lactation specialists did not really give too much attention to me. (That's how I felt)
13. I gave up so easily on SNS feeding because of too much work.
I was about to give up but I persevere to increase my milk production. This could possibly be my only baby and I would like to do my best, at least for couple of mos, to give him breast milk. What did I do?
1. Follow the lactation specialist's recommendation of pumping at ;east every 2 hours or after feeding for 15 to 20 minutes using hospital-grade pump.
2. Also from my lactation specialist - eat more oatmeal, dates, brown rice, and green leafy vegetables.
3. Take supplementation of fenugreek capsules.
4. I took prescription medication, Reglan, to stimulate my brain production of prolactin. This made me so sleepy. So, I just took it for 1 cycle.
5. Slowly familiarizing my baby to my breast again.
Where am I now?
My baby is about 99 to 100 percent breast milk fed. He continues to get most of it through the bottle. I continue to pump every 2 to 3 hours. I don't pump at night anymore. I just have him latched to my breast in the middle of the night. I continue to be paranoid that my baby is not getting enough milk when directly latched and I tend to offer formula when he's fussy after breastfeeding. Pumping is getting more difficult because he demands more attention now and I am tired of washing the small parts along with baby bottle parts (I am using Dr. Brown's) every couple of hours. My hands are dry, cracked and sore from frequent hand and baby stuff washing.
I take it one day at a time. As long as there is milk in my breasts, I will offer it to my baby. My initial goal before I gave birth was to breastfeed for 1 year. Now, I'll be happy if I could do it for 3 mos.