Also since I am 2 weeks away from the 12 week mark which is when my supply will be established, should I continue the nurse +pump until then ? What does it mean to have an established supply? Can I stop my incessant worrying then ?
By everything I read, 3 oz is actually a really normal size feed for breastfed babies, when bottle feeding it is actually common to overfeed a baby.
I was able to recognize a milk transfer problem with my son when I tried to stop using the supplemental nursing system (it is one of those bottles with tubes that go to the breasts so the baby can get the supplement at the same time as the breast.) Basically I was able to pump as much milk as I was supplementing so I tried to stop supplementing/pumping but at that point baby stopped gaining weight and he was working so hard to try to fill his belly from the breast that he really started hurting me. That is when I went to the lactation consultant and she thought he had a tongue tie. Anyway, she thinks now that that is corrected that as he learns to suckle properly and we improve his latch that my milk supply will likely improve on its own but I'm going to slowly try to wean off the supplements and pumping.
As to your breasts feeling hard, that is actually a sign of oversupply of milk. Once your supply aligns with baby, you shouldn't necessarily feel engorged. I do understand how that feeling is reassuring though. Softer breasts is not necessarily a sign of low milk supply but rather when your supply is well regulated to the baby then you will probably only feel engorged when it has been too long since nursing.
Nothing you've said indicates to me that your baby has trouble transferring milk. If he is able to get 3 oz in a feed, he definitely has the ability to get milk. He is still small and nursing takes time and he's not going to gobble 6 oz in 5 minutes like a baby drinking formula from a bottle will. If he still seems hungry after he's nursed a while, then nurse some more. Offer to nurse him frequently and for as long as he likes. And then hold him close the rest of the time. You have ample milk to give him. You are able to pump 2 oz after he feeds because you are making more milk than he needs. He won't completely drain your breast right now because you've increased your milk supply beyond his needs with the pumping, and babies don't nurse until there is nothing left (i.e., they are not like me when faced with a pile of cookies)....they nurse until they are satisfied. They are remarkable in that way. Conversely, if the milk runs out before they are satisfied, they just nurse more often and you make more milk automatically. This is the beauty of nursing exclusively and nursing on demand.
It is very very easy to get fixated on building up your supply and then being unable to stop worrying about it. I know because I've been there. You did a ton of work in order to keep your baby alive and thriving. And you did it. Your body is able to provide what he needs now and it is time to leave the rest up to him. If you still have any doubt that he is getting what he needs, then track his growth every few days or once a week for a while. There is nothing magical about the 12 week mark. Your supply never becomes "established" in the sense that you will always make a certain volume of milk after a certain point, it just tracks baby's needs and responds to his demand. Supply and demand is what it's all about, truly. If you are nursing according to his demand 100% of the time, your milk will be 100% perfect for him.
To all the new moms struggling with low supply, I went from supplementing with formula at every feed to a small freezer stash now. It is possible! What worked for me was using a hospital grade pump (Medela symphony) and pumping every two hours for 30-35 minutes at a time and for 5minutes after the last drops of milk. I used to pump 0.5 oz combined in the beginning and over a few weeks it went upto 4oz in the day and 6oz at night. Also make sure you are using the right sized flanges, I had to get the large ones.
I hope it goes well this weekend. You are going to feel like a new person when you get off the pump. Let us know how it goes, OK??
On my left side I have absolutely no pain, it is heaven.
Last night I foolishly tried a latch technique I read online and that caused him to chomp down on my nipple, and I am back to pumping on my right side now
Hoping to see an LC first thing Monday
I've been doing some research on this site
And some seems helpful (it is where I found the dentist to correct the tongue and lip tie for my LO.)
That said, today seems to be a fussy day so nothing seems to be working and at the moment my LO is refusing bottles too (not that I really want to push bottle feeding but I do want to make it possible for me to go to appointments or something for a few hours if need be.)
I like that they are very pointed is saying that following some "recipe" doesn't really work and that if something is working then even if it is "all wrong" so what if it's working it's working.
It is so hard to heal when everything you need to do seems to slow healing. Hang in there.
So When my LO is acting fussy, I bundle him up and take him outside the house for a short time, always gets him to calm down. I am up in Seattle and I think the cool breeze outside soothes him. Would something like that help with your LO??
After pumping for the first half of today I put my LO back to the breast. I can tell he loves to nurse and will cry until I put him on. My right side is faring a little better after the break so I will try to ebf for the rest of the day.