Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Retrospect and Looking Ahead

Warning...woman-talk ahead.

Stephanie, thank you SO MUCH for your advice. I should print that out and keep it in my Home Management Binder for when I have baby #3. I did put your advice to work yesterday, but still nothing but a 1/2 an ounce of watery milk. But, it did get me to thinking and thinking HARD about what went wrong this time.

I was doing so much right (exclusively nursing round the clock), so I was pretty shocked when I got my first post-partum period at 2 months. At 3 months, I had a huge hormonal shift that was like crashing into a brick wall. It seemed as soon as I hit that hormonal brick wall, my milk supply went down to nothing. So, I started feeding her more often, but she would still cry and fight. Quinoa, fenugreek, borage, eating enough food that I actually put on weight.....taking afternoons off for nursing and napping sessions. At 3 months I lost my let-down, too. I had a great let-down at the start. But once this hormonal shift occured, my let-down left.

But I don't think this was the ONLY reason my milk failed. I think stress was a big factor. My mom is a worrier. I don't worry so much, but I stress.

The contributer to stress was trying to do too much at once. I wanted to prove to everyone that having a baby isn't the end of sanity and that I could keep a household together and thriving. I also am a project person and I wanted so many projects done. Rather than putting everything on the back burner, I dove right into everything from garden expansion to basement clean-out to re-enacting. I figured so long as I nursed regularly, got enough sleep and ate enough, I'd be all right. After all, there are other moms out there who could do so much and still nurse. Our foremothers must have had to put up food for the winter and care for home and animals and sick children and tired husband and still nurse.

Another factor was trying to lose the weight. I wanted to do it as healthfully as possible, but the nags wouldn't leave me alone. It seemed everywhere I turned, even just a week postpartum, I was getting comments from people like, "you still look pregnant," "when are you going to lose the weight?" and "when are you getting your hot figure back?"

This was also one of the busiest and most stressful summers I've ever had. And what is it with people having us over instead of them making the trip to our house?! Next time I have a baby, I'm putting my foot down.

I missed a lot of church before I had the baby due to a danger of having a premature birth. So, as soon as I could, I started going to church again post-partum, bringing newborn and toddler with me. Hubby came when he could to help me.

I should have stopped all the running around when it was obvious my daughter didn't like to nurse in public. I was fine with it, but she rarely seemed to nurse well unless we were at home. Now that she's nearly 4 months, I see that she doesn't usually sleep well unless she's home. I wonder if this is part of her personality and character....a homebody or consistant type.

There is also a lot on my plate in just my every day needs existance. But, I heaped to overflowing.

I was trying to live up to everyone else's expectations and failing to live up to my own....to nurse for 6 months to a year.

But, it's over now. And now I know even better for next time.

So, in preparation for the future and successful nursing (3rd time's the charm!) for my next baby, I'm going to get myself as healthy as can be and in my post-partum preparations, I'm going to include an arsenal of nursing aids.

As for formula, I usually buy Walmart's brand. Avoid soy formula at all costs! Soy is highly dangerous for young children. Phytic acid in soy blocks the absorption of minerals. Protease inhibitors block the digestion of protein. Soy formula also has high levels of fluride, aluminum, MSG, and manganese that have negative affects of the brain and nervous system. The phytoestrogens in soy can cause delays puberty and adverse affects on manhood in boys as well as learning disabilities. In girls, it can cause early puberty (as early as 2 years of age!) {Read Nourishing Traditions}Unfortunately, ALL commercial formulas contain some amount of soy. I'd love to try my hand at a home-made milk-based formula, but I can't get raw milk where I live, nor can I find non-homogenized milk that's not ultra-pasteurized. I might try my hand at Sally Fallon's meat-based formula.

1 comment:

As Simply As We Can said...

Hi~

Also remember, the mothers in the generations before us mostly lived within the confines of large and extended families. So while there was lots of work and canning and winter preparations to be made, many hands made light work. I even read somewhere that the time of day from 5pm-6pm was coined "grandmother's hour" because it was the end of the day, toddlers and babies would be tired and cranky but supper had to be made. So the grandmothers would take charge of the littles so the younger wives could prepare supper for the men. They didn't "do it all" as they say. Most had alot of help. Just something to keep in mind. :-)