Ok, I don't know how long this will get... I'll try to stay to the point. A few months ago, my husband was in between jobs for about 2 weeks. I was only working one or two nights a week as a waitress before that. Because of this loss of income, I ended up taking on LOTS of double shifts and just working a lot to keep our heads above water. As a waitress it's pretty near impossible to pump at work. Once you start your first table, you have customers constantly until it slows down and then you can go home. Anyway, obviously this constant working zapped my supply.
I gradually noticed that my baby wasn't staying on my breast for very long at a time. He would try, and then a few minutes later he would get frustrated and unlatch. I supplemented but didn't pump because I didn't have one at the time. So for a couple months he would just nurse at night when he was asleep. I found a good pump & started pumping 3-4 times a day (I know, not enough). Then, two weeks ago he stopped nursing all together. I am so very sad. I can't even describe how much it makes my heart hurt to not have this with him anymore. I know you ladies probably understand that feeling.
First let me say that I'm pretty positive that this is not a nursing strike, although he is teething. He just likes bottles.
I have been in touch with a good lactation consultant but it seems she mostly deals with smaller babies (understandably). So I've done lots of googling and researching. For the last 3 days I've been pumping every 1.5-2 hours around the clock. I'm taking fenugreek, drinking lots of water, eating healthy, taking prenatals and calcium. While I AM worried that my supply might not ever be enough for him again (I used to have an abundant supply), I'm more worried that he will never want to nurse again. That's where I see the biggest hurdle here. I nonchalantly offer my breast to him every time he has a bottle (we switched to Breast Flow). After he refuses my breast, I put him in nursing position, put my bare breast to his cheek while he eats, and switch sides mid-bottle. I am hoping to eventually get to a point where I can get the Medela SNS & put the tube through his bottle nipple, while it is on my actual breast. So maybe that could transition him. I wear him in my sling as often as I can (but I have an almost-two-year-old also, so sometimes it's difficult to get a lot of snuggle time in). I usually have him in his diaper and I take my shirt & bra off while wearing him.
I know that I'm already doing a lot toward this and making some progress. I guess I need advice and encouragement. Is there anyone who has gone through this or known someone who has? It makes me so heartsick that I almost can't concentrate on other things. I wish I would have done more to not let this happen. Can I get my baby to like breastfeeding again after two months of only bottles? He laughs and squeals happily when he sees the bottle I need help! Is there any additional stuff I could be doing besides what I'm doing now? Also, since I had a really good supply before, will I be able to get all of that milk back with just pumping? (I do massage/compression while pumping, and hand-express afterwards, every single time). Or, will I always have to supplement a little bit, since my supply got so low?
I would greatly appreciate any help you may have on this subject. Or success stories! I need something to keep me encouraged and on track for my baby. Thanks. Sorry for the length of this post.