Sorry I have a looong story, but I want to share everything just in case.
I had my first DD in 2009 and just kind of assumed I would be able to breast feed. She was born at 8lbs and nursed constantly. I took her to a LC because I had cracked and bleeding nipples and felt like I was stuck to the bed with her 24/7. She just told me that she was probably born in her 2 week growth spurt because she was overdue(?) and gave me some latch suggestions. I kept it up okay until one night when she was 4 weeks old. She fell asleep, I set her in her bassinette and we woke up 6 hours later with mastitis. I hadn't thought to set an alarm because I hadn't ever needed one. I nursed through it but my supply never really came back. After a few days of listening to her fuss and scream we started to supplement and the bottles started to snowball. I took her to a Craniosacral therapist who decided that her palate was rotated from birth trauma but I think it was too late. I did Fenugreek, Brewers yeast, tea, Reglan nursing, supplementing and pumping while only getting her 5-6 oz per day. I finally decided it was all too much and gave up on nursing completely.
This time I prepared myself. I went to classes, I read the books, I had piles of soothies and a nice pump on hand. My nipples were slightly damaged but not nearly as bad. I have been drinking water by the gallon and decided not to cave to supplementing. The first 2 weeks were amazing. I had milk spilling out of my bra when I bent over, could nurse then pump out 7 oz, my LO was actually choking on it and we were having to do the gravity tricks for oversupply. Around 3 weeks it quickly tapered off and we started sitting up all night while she cried and fussed at the breast. I went to the LC again and was told that her weight gain, although pathetic at 1-2 oz per week, was still gain and that that's all that really counted. Our nursing sessions were, and still are about 1 hour on each side, 15-20 minutes off, baby screaming, while I tend to my older child and grab a snack, then back to it. I just kept putting her back on hoping that my body would eventually get it and start to meet the demand like its supposed to.
I kept at it until my 6 week PP visit when my OB decided to go ahead and insert a nuvaring for me and my sleep deprived brain didn't think to google it. 2 days later LO was screaming all day and night with dry lips and refusing the breast. I thought it was a growth spurt and kept putting her on until day 3 she started having bloody urine. Her pediatrician told me it was dehydration so I finally googled the darn nuvaring, quickly threw it away and caved to the first formula bottles . I've been playing catch up ever since- I'm on Fenugreek, Brewers yeast, teas mixed by 2 different local herbalists, the cookies and oatmeal whenever I can choke it down as well as pumping whenever I get the chance. I wont do reglan again because it made me very depressed last time and I don't feel right about buying mail order meds from Canada. At our peak I was up to 8 oz of supplemental formula per day but had been gradually decreasing then phased it out completely a few days ago. I was SO excited thinking that I had gotten my supply back up but then the bloody diapers started again. A lactation consultant came to my house yesterday and helped tweak my latch a tiny bit because LO wants to curl her lips in. She asked me to break the latch and make her stop after 20 minutes on each side because she said LO shouldnt nursee that long anymore for any reason. She then told me to quit taking Fenugreek, brewers yeast and the cookies because we are also dealing with a persistent case of Thrush (Just my boobs, her mouth doesn't seem to be affected) and she thought that they were probably perpetuating the problem. She recommended Blessed Thistle but I haven't had a chance to get to the store. I was feeling okay about the visit until today when she called me to follow up and I told her that LO screamed all evening and so I supplemented 2 oz to calm her down. She said that she had been thinking about my baby all night, that her chin was too pronounced and that she really thinks I need to nurse, top her off with as much formula as she wants every time and then pump because she just isn't being nourished by my milk. I'm so upset, I know where that heads, I feel like there's no way I can keep that regimen up and after nursing 18-20 hours a day for 9 weeks what is a 5-10 minutes with a pump going to really do anyway? I'm going to fail at breastfeeding AGAIN! What am I missing???
Birth 7lb 3oz
8 weeks 8lb 10 oz