Sunday, September 14, 2008

More Nursing Retrospect

More Woman-Talk Ahead....

There are a few more reasons why my milk failed:

1. I never bothered correcting a poor latch-on because it didn't hurt me and she seemed to be nursing well despite it. Both Bubby and Baby Girl have a slightly convex upper lip between nose and mouth. It's an endearing feature, but their upper lip would curve in rather than flanging outward during nursing. She often would "click" while nursing. Now I know that this was a BIG faux pas!

2. She was a fast nurser and I was glad of it. Most of my nursing sessions lasted under 5 minutes!! She would drink away the let-down, switch sides and need a burp and then sleep for 3 hours. I'd be happy and get up and go start another project. Not good...not good.

3. With Bubby, I LOVED the Baby Whisperer books. Now, I feel like they contributed to many issues, including nursing. The author is against letting a baby comfort-suckle mommy because it makes them too dependant blah blah blah. So, I had it in my head to not allow Baby Girl to pacify herself on me. Consequently, she lost the comfort that only mommy can give, and I lost the stimulation and release of oxytocin that could have greatly improved the quality and duration of nursing.

Today, while I was dressing my hair for church, I looked in the mirror and realized that I look older, but that I looked...well...pretty. It dawned on me that my fight for thinness wasn't necessarily about health and well-being, but it was about vanity and trying to stay young. Part of it, too was that I didn't want to join the ranks of so many American women who "let themselves go" after having a kid or two. In the mirror this morning, I decided that it was ok to "age gracefully," of course still taking care of myself, but also realizing that I can't and shouldn't try looking like a teenager or college chick. I've gone from maiden to matron.

I want to be clear that not one of those rude comments I mentioned in yesterday's post were uttered or even suggested by my hubby. He loves ME.

Here's a question: I'm still making some watery milk. Not much, but some. My daughter actually nursed a little last night before dozing off again and I nursed her after church and then pumped 1/2 an ounce. Is it not futile? Can I relactate? I'm willing to give it a try. I'm thinking of checking out the health food store for a nursing tea.

PS. I also only just learned that women who have a hard time carrying their babies to term can have trouble lactating. All of my babies were premature or miscarried.


Mimi said...

Interesting about the connection between premature birth and lactating.

And, I have no words of wisdom, but the mom in me says that continuing to nurse while formula feeding can't hurt - it will at least be a time together for you.


Anonymous said...

I don't know about relactation but I do know that any breastmilk no matter how little is beneficial so even if you are only producing a tiny amount of milk and mainly giving your daughter formula it is still worthwhile to give her that tiny bit of breastmilk.

Also you mentioned that your daughter would feed for a very short time. Perhaps if the next one is the same, having a break (of maybe 10-15 minutes) and then offering again might help with that? When my daughter was newborn, the average feed was about 40 minutes in total but she usually stopped every 10-20 minutes because she needed the toilet and would happily resume feeding afterwards. Apparently babies don't like to wee while feeding so it's possible a little break might be all that is needed. Of course this is all specualtion but as you hope to breastfeed longer with the next one I thought it might be useful.

Stephanie said...

Your body makes milk based upon demand...the more you breastfeed, the more milk you will make.

My Baby Boy recently went through a growth spurt. When I know this is happening, to increase my milk supply fast I simply breastfeed more often. When he normally might go 3-4 hours between meals, I will purposefully make a point of feeding him after 2 hours. I will also feed him once an hour during the evening...say from 6pm-10pm. The key for me is making sure the letdown reflex is triggered EVERY TIME I feed him, preferably several times...but once will do it. If let down doesn't occur then it takes longer to increase my supply.

I'm praying for you, that you have success with this :-)