Posts Tagged ‘bottles’

Getting Over the Fear of Not Making Enough Milk While Breastfeeding

Monday, November 21st, 2016
getting over the fear that you aren't making enough milk

“When a baby is hungry, he tends to clench his fists tightly and bring them toward his face. If he falls asleep hungry, his fists usually stay clenched. But when he gets milk, he relaxes starting with his face. Then his shoulders relax, and finally those fists unclench. Eventually they’re as limp as the rest of him. Thing of his hands as a built-in fuel gauge.” p.120 Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

When my son was first born, we had a difficult time figuring out breastfeeding. It was challenging and stressful for both of us. In the very beginning, he lost weight instead of gaining and was extremely fussy. I contacted my acupuncturist and told her I thought my milk supply had decreased significantly. I didn’t think that I was making the amount that my baby needed and didn’t know what to do because my goal was to breastfeed until he was 12 months old. She had me come right in and she worked her magic with her needles to help get the milk flowing again, if it was true that I was having issues with my milk supply.

The amount of milk that a baby consumes while breastfeeding can be such a mystery, especially if they are exclusively breastfed like both of my children who refused bottles. It can be nerve-wracking wondering if an extra fussy baby means that they are actually starving because they are not getting enough milk. Since it was my first experience with breastfeeding, I was always seeking proof that my body was making the correct amount of milk that my baby needed.  These are some ways that eventually helped me feel confident that body was doing the job that it was supposed to, so I could get over my fear that I was not producing enough milk:

  • At breastfeeding support groups, lactation consultants weighed my baby right before I breastfed him and then immediately after.  The number of ounces that he gained was proof that he was consuming a good amount.
  • Regular wet diapers proved to me that the process was working.
  • Appropriate weight gaining was on track and was proven at regular doctor check-ups.
  • Pumping milk into baby bottles to maintain a back-up supply showed me the number of ounces that my body was producing.

With my second baby, I learned to trust the process and reminded myself regularly that my body knew how to do it and would get the job done.

Sarah Cole is a stay at home mommy to two busy toddlers.  She nursed both of her babies until they were almost 2 years-old.  Now, she wonders if her picky eaters are getting enough food at each meal.

When To Dump The Pump

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.26.58 AMThere comes a certain time during a mother’s breastfeeding journey when she is ready to dump the pump.  I was ready to dump my pump as soon as I had my first experience using it.  The noises it made and the way it made me feel worked against the machine from the very start.  After 3 years, I continue to look forward to someday officially being able to dump the pump.

In the beginning, I desperately needed my breast pump to keep my supply up and to have bottles of breast milk to send to daycare with my son.  Once my son refused a bottle completely at around 5 months old and I became a stay at home mom, I questioned how much longer I would need to keep my pump around.  I occasionally used it just in case he ever cooperated and took a bottle. It also came in handy when he started sleeping through the night and I would wake up with more milk than I needed in the early morning hours.  I was very hesitant to dump my pump with my first child since it was my first time breastfeeding.  I didn’t use the pump after he turned a year old, but I still waited to donate the pump until I was completely finished nursing him.
Less than two years after starting my breastfeeding journey with my son, my daughter was born.  I received a new breast pump in the hospital and thought “here we go again”.  Luckily, my daughter was a great nurser and since I was not going to be working, I didn’t need a supply for bottles early on.  I did pump once in a while, so that I could try to give my daughter a bottle sometimes.  But, she refused bottles just like her brother.  I was dumbfounded and also somewhat relieved that I wouldn’t need to spend as much time with my pump.
Again, I wasn’t too quick to dump my pump.  A few cases of mastitis and several clogged ducts later, created attachment issues with my pump.  Even though my pump has been sitting in my closet and hasn’t been used in over 6 months, I am still afraid to officially dump the pump.  I’m pretty sure I will hang on to it until I am completely finished with breastfeeding, whenever that may be.
Sarah Cole stays at home with her two busy toddlers and has been breastfeeding for over 3 years.