I know I've blown up this forum, but I have another set of questions... or just an update with a request for opinion.
Situation: I noticed that I have frequent blocked ducts/pores (just started getting blocked pores on the left breast instead of just the right breast -- oh joy). I was power pumping and pumping post feeds and was getting engorged. When I would put my daughter to the breast she would get on and fuss, so I would think I was starving her and give her a bottle. However, after posting previously, I took what Meg said about the breast not being drained sufficiently and began putting my daughter to the breast a lot (after all, if my breasts are engorged, she must not be getting it all out). I think the light bulb went on when I was nursing her and she got this pocket of milk out near my armpit that I thought was just a normal lump in my breast because it had been there for so long. Eventually early this morning my breasts were completely floppy for the first time in a long, long time. I was super excited and rented a hospital grade pump (Ameda Platinum since I have a kit for it), hoping it would alleviate any future plugs... but after allowing my daughter to sleep to her heart's content today I found that I again feel like I have plugged ducts in both breasts. I've been nursing her as much as possible, only turning to a bottle if I feel her fussiness is because of drained breasts and she hasn't had enough (completely bendable and floppy breasts, etc.). I've pumped five times today and have nursed her a lot... I kind of stopped counting because I just put her to the breast.
So, a few questions (I'm sorry I'm not more organized in my thinking... I only have a small clue about all this):
Do you think that the plugged ducts/pores could be because of a lack of breast emptying still, or could it be candida? I've stopped wearing a bra, and I've asked my OB/GYN to swab my breasts for a yeast infection but she just looked at my breast and said the baby "had her way with it." My nipples are pink, have been pink a long time, and they have hurt since I can remember if something even so much as brushes against it. I was on antibiotics about a week after birth because of a UTI. I asked her ped to swab her mouth for thrush, but he saw no symptoms and said that the tests aren't always accurate, so he didn't do it.
When do you think it's safe to take her off of formula? Is it strictly determined by diaper output? How should diaper output look for cloth rather than disposable? I found out that my ped wasn't using the WHO chart for her growth, and doesn't think bf babies grow differently. Also, my daughter has grown a total of 3.5" in two months (has generally been more long than chub, and her father and his family are generally lean and lanky people, think professional dancer kind of lanky)... are these things to consider in case my ped begins recommending supplementation again if she stops gaining as much as he thinks when I began ebfing again? On formula supplementation she gained 10oz a week in three weeks rather than 4oz when ebf.
I read on kellymom.com that the amount you bf during the first six weeks determines how much you can make in the mid/later months of bfing. I'm frightened that I haven't bf her enough in that time, but I can remember constantly having her on the breast for days. She would nurse, sleep, nurse, etc. I would always be sneaking away to feed her (I'm a private nurser right now). What kind of nursing was she talking about when she mentioned not nursing enough?
Also, should I wake her when she's sleeping? She hasn't slept hardly at all when supplementing with formula, and she got a round of vaccinations yesterday and since then has been sleeping. I felt guilty for not waking her, but I've tried to bf her when she's searching for the breast and groggy during her naps. She does wake up after about 3-4 hours... and I'm wondering if this is normal and I should let her sleep, or because of my possible low supply if I should wake her? I don't know.
While ebf, how should a baby's softspot feel? Should you be able to feel the softspot or no? Is there another way to determine if she's dehydrated on top of diaper output?