How do I even begin. There have been intense changes here in the past couple of weeks regarding Abby’s breast-feeding. I thought I was producing more. I was. I am. More than I did with my first anyways — where breastfeeding was a big, painful battle and I tried everything to increase my milk flow, to no avail.
Well, I/we — are in the same boat again. This time it’s a little different because the first three months went swimmingly. Swimmingly in that there was no cracking or bleeding. Other things yes — like colic due to acid reflux — not so awesome. Abby was gaining weight and it all came to me/us so painlessly.
We even bought a new pump and for a while I thought it was my weak-ass, second hand pump that hadn’t been doing me any favours to increase my milk supply. Because I could actually get some! More than a trickle! But — as it turns out — still not enough.
Abby is growing and naturally, the amount of milk she needs continually increases. My flow, unfortunately, is not meeting that demand. Perfect amount for a newborn, not so much past that stage. She is now in the 10th percentile for her age of 19 weeks and height. Why? Why can’t my body produce like a gold rush? I try not to get stressed about it, as I know this can affect my milk flow. I drink a ton of water, pump like nobody’s business and take blessed thistle, fenugreek and nettle. I’m thinking about starting on Ignatia 6X (homeoathic) and/or Domperidone. In the meantime though, baby girl has been hungry and obviously — we have had to supplement with formula to meet her needs.
It’s so explicitly raw and powerful the connection and bond between a nursing momma and her babe. It has been and continues to be for me anyways. Which is why it tears at me to not be able to BF exclusively anymore. I don’t have anything against formula. The decision on whether or not to BF or formula feed is a personal one that gets entirely too much mommy wars attention.
My thoughts and feelings about this are deeply personal. While I know that Lil’ Abner will be just fine, that importantly — she’s getting fed properly, I can’t make the hurt go away. No matter how I wrap my brain around it. It’s all at once hormonal and frustrating. Feeling inadequate I shouldn’t, but it’s there — that dark ugly judgment that so many of us mamma’s have on ourselves. For all of our various reasons.
So. How do you deal with feelings of being inadequate in the mama department? How does one tackle the dark waters of not producing enough breast milk to feed one’s baby?
Top Image Source: Me!