Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand; and let’s just say, my supply is not keeping up with the demand. Breastfeeding is not as “natural” for some as it is for others, and for me, it is rocket science.
Me and John Luke couldn’t get into a rhythm in the beginning. I am not sure if he wouldn’t properly latch because my milk wasn’t coming in; or my milk supply wasn’t coming in, because he wouldn’t properly latch to extract it. After a few minutes at the breast, he would get frustrated and start crying, then pull away. My breast became so sore from trying to latch and re-latch. Blisters resulted.
My lactation consultant advised me to feed 10 minutes at each breast, then supplement with formula. She also instructed me to pump every 2 hours, to help keep the supply up for the demands of my growing baby. The piglet. That’s when I was introduced to my Ameda pump, and we’ve been joined at the “boob” ever since.
After my breast healed, I could nurse for longer sessions; however, he continued to pull off the breast after about 20 minutes. Then he would still act hungry.
I would try to put him on the other side, or change positions, but frustration for both of us would set in. I could not tell if he just wasn’t getting enough, or if being bottle fed had spoiled him. Either way, giving up and getting a bottle becomes very enticing in the middle of the night, when you’ve had no sleep.
The lactation consultant suggested two options to remedy the problem.
A)To eliminate bottle feeding all together. She said it will take about 48 hours for my milk production to build back up at a rate that would be sufficient for his needs. Sounds easy right? Wrong. This would require him squalling through the 48 hours until the supply met the demand. You’re talking to the mom that had to leave the room when he got his jaundice shots.
B)Exclusively pump every two hours to see how many ounces are being extracted daily. Divide that by the number of feedings per day, then supplement the difference. She said it would be a good idea to nurse at night instead of pumping, to eliminate me having to do double duty; also to keep him used to coming to the breast.
Option B has worked for me. It has allowed me to approximate how much milk I am producing, and how much supplementation is required to meet his needs. He seems more satisfied, and we are starting to get into a rhythm at our night feedings. Soon, I will resume breastfeeding primarily, as I continue to evaluate my supply versus his growing demands.