Sunday, July 6, 2008

Breastfeeding blues

Well Kaitereo has discovered how to use here nice shiny sharp teeth - ouch! She has been biting me when she is feeding, so I have been unlatching her and putting her on the ground in an effort to stop her. Unfortunately, this has become a downward spiral:

She bites - I stop feeding - my milk production decreases - Kaitereo can't get enough milk out, so she bites...and so on

I started expressing in order to keep her on breast milk, but avoid the biting, and that is when I discovered just how low my supply is, so we have bought some formula to supplement.
Now I never had any trouble feeding Mapera and she kept going til 13 months, when I weaned her straight onto cows milk. I don't have a problem with formula, it's made for babies and it serves a purpose, but I still feel like I have somehow failed my second baby.

I wanted to feed her myself until she turned 1, and I was even OK to do it via the bottle, but to have to supplement makes me feel rotten, like my body is not working properly. I've been looking up how to increase supply and I'm trying to drink more water and get more rest (both easier said than done), and I also made a batch of Tigers Milk - which was fine until the yeast woke up, and turned it into a fizzy banana milkshake - BLEUGH! I am also expressing like crazy, but it takes over 20 minutes to get 100mls.

Now I know the formula is there to help me until I can get the supply up, but it feels so wrong. I've already failed at using washable nappies 100% of the time as Kaitereo got really bad nappy rash in them overnight, so she is in disposables for night time; and Mapera is in pull-ups as I haven't found a washable equivalent that holds enough liquid yet.


Can anyone give me some ideas for boosting milk supply? Or just make me feel like I haven't completely failed my second child.


littlehouse said...

I have been thinking about how to respond to this post all day. I can't give you much advice, and telling you that you have SO NOT failed anyone sounds a bit trite..

My experience is that I could only feed Jamie for 8 months and Noah for 5, both with formula top ups all the way. I pumped like a cow, did everything possible to increase my production, any never got more than 2 oz at a time.
With Jamie it was emotional agony. I am a huge breast feeding advocate and it was a big blow and we went through weeks of screeming, under nourished baby and very upset mummy before I added some formula and chilled out. Still not milk though. I see to be one of the 2% of women that really doesn't make anough milk.

My midwives told me that I was fully breast feeding because I was doing as much as my body was able to and for as long.

My point is this.... you have done a hiuge thing for your baby by feeding for as long as you have. There is no problem with formula now as you are adding a variety of food as well. I would keep going with the boosting supply, but don't let it run your life - stress makes it harder any way. It may simply be your time to stop. My babies were formula fed and healthy in all ways, but I know just how you feel!!

Louise said...

Thank you so much LH, it's very comforting to know I'm not alone in feeling like this. It's very frustrating as I had no troubles at all feeding Mapera and produced loads of milk!
I've been expressing and the supply seems to be increasing, but it's such a slog! I'll try and keep it up til she turns 1 if I can, but you make me feel a lot better about topping up with formula xxx