SORRY MEN... (DADS AND GRANDPAS) THIS IS A POST ABOUT BREASTFEEDING... SO THIS IS YOUR OFFICIAL WARNING....IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THIS... STOP READING NOW AND RESUME WITH MY NEXT POST.
So we have been having issues......
As you guys read earlier... P got her first feedings from a bottle.. then when we were readmitted to the hospital we had some issues latching due to P being so lethargic from the high bili and my engorged breasts, so we pumped and she took bottles again.
Anyone who has studied breastfeeding or been to a breastfeeding class knows that every expert recomends that you don't give bottles or pacifiers for the first four weeks because it teaches bad latching habits. If this was the cause of our problems or not I don't know.
About a week after birth I developed severly cracked and bleeding nipples... to the point that I was dreading each feeding. Knowing that this is not normal... I searched for a solution... thus entered the nipple shield. A lovely little silicone shield with holes in the tip that fits over the nipple and allows for proper latching and no pain for mommy. EXCELLENT... so no issues...
As you have also previously read P eats like every hour..... some women at this point conclude that they don't have enough milk for their baby... THIS IS NOT TRUE....... your body produces milk for your childs demands... its a very scientific system.. the more your child eats, the more milk your body produces. Apparently this concept is too difficult for some moms to grasp because at this point most moms quit. IF YOU ARE READING THIS AND ARE BREASTFEEDING AND THINKING ABOUT QUITTING.. DO NOT QUIT...CONTINUE WITH THIS POST
So... P is still eating every hour...6 weeks old.. and getting extremely fussy, and not sleeping AT ALL. She only slept for a total of 8 hours in a 24 hour period, when she should be sleeping at least 16 hours. Feeling like part of the continual feeding problem was due to the nipple shield... I quit using it. AHHH THE PAIN.... this baby sucks hard.. she is an aggressive eater... and back to dreading every feeding again. This is not supposed to be how it is. Having a different experience with B, I know that this is not how breastfeeding is supposed to be. I feel very bad for the mothers who have not had an easier experience first and feel like their bad experience is just how it is... no wonder they quit... I would too if I didn't know there was a pot of gold at the end of this torturous rainbow.
After a terrible.. no sleep.. constant feeding day.. and not feeling like I was satisfying my baby...I felt like I was going to go insane. I couldn't make my baby happy.. I felt like a bad mother because I wasn't making my baby happy... and even worse because I was dreading feeding her because of the pain it was causing me. After many tears (from all parties involved) and my refusal to feed my baby formula...I began to search for answers. Found this fantastic website... kellymom.com...... FANTASTIC if you are breastfeeding and having troubles. I also decided to contact a lactation consultant in my area that was recommended by the site.
That night.. we tried every position imaginable in my desparation to get a good latch that didn't hurt... football hold.. side lying... I even thought about throwing her over my shoulder so she could breastfeed from the upsidedown position. No luck.. still pain.. .still frustration.... still the gassy unhappy baby that I could not console. My mind ran through every scenario.. could this be colic? could she be lactose intolerant(milk products stay in breastmilk) ? should I change my diet? Is she allergic to me? I called the lactation consultant she heard the desparation in my voice and agreed to meet me that night at her office.
So, Matt being the good involved Daddy that he is.. tagged along with me. We met Kristin aka Angel at her office in Jacksonville (about 30 min from our house). Good thing P got hungry just when we got there (I fed her right before we left too). Kristin has this very sensitive and accurate scale in her office, we weighed P before the feeding... 10lbs. 14 oz. Wow! At least feeding every hour was giving results. Then we fed... the latch was painful... it felt as if everytime she latched on my nipple was being cut with a dull knife. Kristin saved me... delatched P.. readjusted and then showed me what was happening.
Apparently, I have an over abundant milk supply. My milk lets down super fast and is like a hose. P was saving herself from drowning in milk by moving her mouth to the end of my nipple and using that to control the flow with her gums.. causing me a great deal of pain. So Kristin showed me some techniques to help P control the flow... when I hear the slurpping that she does with almost every feed.. that is a sign that my milk is coming faster than she can swallow... scoot myself in a lateral position so she is laying on top of me and gravity is helping the milk to flow out of her mouth so that she can suck it in instead of it shooting down her throat. The gas and fussiness explained by this over abundant milk supply. She was just getting the fore milk.. the sweet watery milk that comes first in a feeding... the hind milk is the milk that comes after a little break in your let down.. it has all the fat and provides the fullness for the baby. P was just getting the fore milk, not the hind milk... providing in a gassy.. not full baby. Many moms mistake this for not satisfying their baby, and thus feel they have to supplement with formula or switch completely. Not true... these simple misconceptions can be avoided by a little education. This is why I feel that every new mom should go to a breastfeeding class. You can't learn everything from the internet and TV...
Anyways... P is so much more satisfied now.. slept through most of the night, I am not frustrated anymore.. and I feel like I can do this for another 11 months now. HOORAY!
And I have to give a few props to my hubby... a lot of men wouldn't have gone, but he went to the lactation consultation.. to support me.. and he is really happy he went because he got a better understanding of breastfeeding too and is able to help me if I am getting frustrated. He sat on the couch with me last night and helped coach me through the new techniques we learned... it was super helpful and I am super greatful to have an involved Daddy.