This is my first post but I have been reading forums since my daughter was born 8 months ago. It will be a long one, so sorry about that but my story is complicated and I need your help!
Here’s some background - LO has been refusing breast occasionally since she was born, and it’s always around my ovulation and a week into my period (I got my period when she was only 2 months , calcium+magnesium+zinc supplements didn’t help much). I had 3 bouts of mastitis so far, two treated with Clindamycin. LO started to poop green and slimy with streaks of blood when she was 2,5 MO and every ped I met said it’s probably cow milk protein allergy. Even though I didn’t believe it, I went on dairy free diet. It took almost 5 months before the poor thing was diagnosed with pseudomembranous colitis caused by Clostridium difficile infection. FYI Clindamycin is known to propagate infection and she probably got the bacteria back in the hospital during delivery. The next person who tells me that green poop is normal is getting a punch in their face!
Anyway, to cut the story short, she started to stagnate in weight and height because of the illness. My supply has been reduced because she seemed to have lost appetite over time (I always nursed on demand) so I started to pump 10 days ago instead of feeding hypoallergenic formula like pedi suggested (it’s the most disgusting thing I ever tasted in my life!). I rented a single electric pump at the hospital (double electric is not available where I live, I am not from the US and we don’t have lactation consultants here sadly). This is my pumping/nursing schedule (total volume expressed from both breasts, I measure in ml so fl oz units may not be accurate):
8 AM 7-8 oz (or 200-250 ml) 30-40 minute session
11 AM 3,5-5 oz (120-140ml) 20-30 min session
2 PM 3,5-4,5 oz (around 100ml, add or remove 20ml) 15-20 min session
5 PM 3,5-4,5 oz (around 100ml, add or remove 20ml) 15-20 min session
7PM nurse during the nap nap
9PM nurse to sleep
So I pump nearly 0,5 liter in total during those 4 sessions.
Since I started to pump, I am waking up mildly engorged. She refuses breast completely during the day but takes a bottle after some convincing (I always offer 120 ml, she eats anything between 60 and 110ml, 400 ml in total per day plus I nurse 3-4 times afterwards, I freeze the leftovers). She gets solids twice per day, fruits, veggies or iron fortified baby cereal as per pedi's recommendation but doesn’t eat much because of the illness. Regardless, she is still 90 percentile for height, weight and head circumference (the reason no one believed me she was ill!). She wets at least 5 diapers now that she got treatment, is still taking antibiotics. I don't think she is teething.
I am at my limits from worry and stress, so I am just wondering if I am doing things right. I pump until the last drop plus a few minutes to stimulate breast. I use medium shield, it starts to get uncomfortable by the end of the session, a bit of areola gets into the tube on one side but it's tolerable. I tried fenugreek but to my surprise – my pumping output was reduced when I started to smell like maple syrup!?! Fennel and oatmeal helps though, I start feeling milk let down sooner. I also use Syntocinon nasal spray for pumping, it made a big difference for me. I did everything to put LO back to breast for past two months but it started to be a torture for both of us and I didn’t want to stress her anymore since she was sick and probably exhausted from pooping all that slime and blood. Since I have no access to double electric pump, I have to start from one breast but I alternate breast I start from at the beginning of every pumping session.
Am I doing this right, ladies? Am I pumping enough to maintain good supply? Is it OK to pump every 4 hours instead of every 3, my nipples are sore since I went suddenly from EBF to part time pumping. I used to nurse off one breast per session, she always refused the other one. I can’t judge by the baby’s intake since she is sick, next checkup is in 3 days. Please help me with your experiences, I feel desperate and scared of the 4th mastitis !
Thank you so much in advance!