I’ve always thought that I wanted to breastfeed. There was something so intimate and special about that moment between mom and baby and I wanted to experience that. Plus, I knew that there were hundreds of health benefits from breastfeeding. But I worried that I’d be one of the few ladies who were unable to breastfeed exclusively. And on Wolf’s 4th day after he was born, I discovered that I’d have to fight if I wanted it to happen for me.
I wrote about having low milk supply a few months back and my struggles to accept my “burden” of supplementing at the breast. To recap, for all of Wolf’s life, I’ve been using the Medela Supplemental Nursing System to supplement him with formula at the breast. At 10 and a half weeks old, I’ve just begun to notice an increase in my supply to where I’m able to satisfy him by exclusively breastfeeding when he first wakes up in the morning. But from what I’ve noticed during nursing, my supply is no where near enough to support my baby.
To be quite honest, I’m kind of tired of hearing about breastfeeding and what I’m doing right or wrong or that I’m doing the wrong thing by supplementing or that I’m not doing enough. I realize that it’s a tender subject around here, so before we get all factual about boob vs formula, let me tell you more about my struggle.
I’ve cried many many times over breastfeeding. The SNS is a burden, I’m embarrassed to use it in public, I’ve been hiding in the house while nursing and revolving my schedule around when Wolf is hungry. I take 21 fenugreek pills, 3 saw palmetto pills and 2 tsp of more milk plus tincture a day. I used to pump between feedings but my pump pretty much sucks so I let Wolf nurse on demand until my breasts feel less full. I’ve tried simply nursing Wolf without the SNS and he gets frustrated which upsets me and leads me to think he’s hungry and not getting enough. He grunts and cries then I put on the SNS. I feed Wolf with a bottle on rare occasions but mostly I’m nursing him and using the SNS.
Low supply is real and it happens to lots of women. Unfortunately for me, I have insufficient glandular tissue which makes it more difficult to establish a supply. The fact that my body just might not be made to breastfeed really upsets me. I go through moments where I want to do anything to continue breastfeeding Wolf. Then I go through moments where I want to rip off the SNS, fill up a bottle and just give up. There was a time when I envy women who have no trouble breastfeeding. I envy women with oversupply. I envy women who are able to whip out the boob anywhere they go and feed their baby with convenience. I envy those women who don’t have to spend $30 every two weeks on formula.
Right now I content breastfeeding Wolf with the SNS to continue hopes of boosting my milk. Most people quit after a few weeks of low supply and I’m determined to at least give it 3 months. If you’ve got a similar experience and would like more info, check out this site: Not Everyone Can Breastfeed.
Ok, mini rant over.