Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

What worked for me…

Posted: March 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Breastfeeding, Lincolnton and Wy | 5 Comments »

When I was pregnant with the boys, I was pretty idealistic on what was going to happen concerning how they were born and what would happen once they joined us in the world.  You know the drill…Natural Birth! Breastfeeding! Babywearing! Co-Sleeping! Cloth Diapering!  As the months dragged on and I continued to be sick and Baby B continued to be breech or transverse but never, ever, vertex.  I slowly let go of my need to avoid a C-Section.  Actually, after reaching 35 weeks (when they told me I’d be lucky to make it to 34) I was begging for some sort of relief from the hyperemesis, polyhydramnios and PUPPPS that had taken over my body and rendered me quite useless.  I do thank my body for keeping those boys healthy inside even though the threat of TTTS was always there- my placenta rocks ya’ll! 

We scheduled a C-Section for 1 week from that day.

So, once they were born- a mere 16 hours before my scheduled C-Section (I went into labor), I was ready to put all my new ideals into practice.  Numero uno being breastfeeding, at all costs, no matter what anyone says…because everything I had read made it very clear that I was going to be undermined in my journey to breastfeed, by everyone.  Everyone that is, except for a good lactation consultant. 


My first hurdle was that initial seperationI had Lincoln with me in recovery and that was great, but even after reading books and going to classes, I had no idea what the hell I was doing.  I had the hold right and all the tricks for getting him to latch right at my disposal, but he was tired, he had a tiny mouth, and he just wasn’t that into it.  I tried, the nurses tried, my Mom tried, he was tired.

Wyatt was a different story.  He was in Special Care for 24 hours for observation because he was too small to go to the regular newborn nursery with his brother.  When they wheeled me up to see him after I left recovery I told them I was going to be breastfeeding- no bottles.  The nurses looked at me like I was crazy.  He couldn’t leave until he got his weight up, he needed to be able to regulate his temperature, he needed frequent feedings and my milk wasn’t going to be in for at least another 24 hours. 

So here was my first “big” battle…no bottles or let him have a bottle and get him out of Special Care faster so I could have him in my room?  Have them call me every time he needed to nurse?  I settled somewhere in between.  We practiced nursing, and he had a few bottles- a few ounces over the course of 24 hours.  He got his temp up and got to come stay with me and his brother and nurse to his hearts content.  We also supplemented them both with a dropper- no nipple confusion here! 

So we are finally discharged and we’ve got two little guys, just under 5 pounds and just under 6 pounds, who aren’t really interested in anything but sleeping.  Your pediatrician is going to be very interested in getting back to birth weight within a week or two at most.  If your baby is jaundiced they may recommend supplements to speed up the weight gain so the bilirubin can be cleared out. 

This is not a trap to undermine you and breastfeeding, this is pretty standard advice and after ignoring it twice I can look back now and see that it was actually advice I should have taken.  Once the jaundice was cleared out they woke up a bit more and suddenly things weren’t as hard.  With the boys it had already fallen apart I’d nurse and they’d be popping on and off, on and off and so it went- for hours and hours every day for 4 and a half months.  We’d nurse and pump and supplement with a dropper and later a bottle and I about drove myself crazy trying to make it work.

Tip #1: Don’t make yourself crazy.  It takes awhile to get things going in the beginning, but if it’s taking months and you’ve tried everything and talked to LC’s and found a support group and nothing is working, find a way to be ok with changing your nursing plans.  Exclusivly pumping is a great option, formula is there too.  A healthy and sane mother is important too.

So as I indicated above, pumping was always part of my routine.  With the boys Iwas so in the dark on all things pumping.  I had a good pump and I’d spend hours a day holding two flanges to my breasts, helpless to do anything else.  Hours a day listening to babies cry as soon as the swoosh of the pump came on, hours a day when I coul dhave held a baby or if by some miracle they didn’t cry- eaten a snack…

Tip #2: Get yourself a hands free pumping bustier!  I was clueless until my exclusivly pumping friend mailed me one.  It. Will. Save. Your. Life!

One of the things that can derail pumping is a low supply.  Yes, some LC’s will tell you that empty brests are not a sign of low supply, but sometimes you’ve got to go with your gut and look at the big picture.  I had fairly empty breasts all the time.  Never ever engorged, never any leaking.  That sounds great until you factor int he always hungry (and crying) babies and the slowly dwindling output while pumping.

Tip #3: Enter Fenugreek.  Some women hate it (it makes you smell like maple syrup) some women live by it.  I never would have made it to 4 and half months without it.  There are teas and other herbs but I found Fenugreek to be readily available, easy to tolerate and good at boosting supply.  If you don’t mind smelling like pancakes.

Of course every baby is different and with Judah the magic bullet seems to be the fact that he has a great latch and LOVES to nurse.  I still have supply issues but he’ll nurse around the clock and that helps to keep things going so I don’t have to rely on a pump.  Fenugreek didn’t work as well this time around but I did take Reglan for a few weeks and that was helpful for awhile.

Breastfeeding resources:
The Leakyb@@b

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5 Comments on “What worked for me…”

  1. 1 Bug's Mom said at 3:58 am on March 2nd, 2011:

    Wow! There are so many hurdles we didn’t face. I can’t even imagine how hard having 2 tiny guys would be. Bug was hug as she went almost 42 weeks and her tiny mouth was still so hard to work with.

    Hmm. Im taking fenugteek by the truckload right now and hadn’t noticed the maple syrup… I have to ask my husband.

  2. 2 lifewithlevi said at 5:38 pm on March 3rd, 2011:

    So glad you shared this story. You're absolutely right – it's important to figure out what works for you and not stress too much about all the things you're "not supposed to do". You're doing such an awesome job BFing Judah, I never would have guessed you went through so many obstacles the first time around.

  3. 3 Darcy said at 10:21 pm on March 3rd, 2011:

    You are a strong woman, mama! There definitely has to be a balance of ideal and reality. We only had issues for a couple days – that I would have felt like /i didn't give it my all if I would have stopped then. But if it's stressing you out for weeks – months, then a change that works needs to be made.

    Interesting about the syrup. I haven't taken anything but I swear my scent is different since I started BFing and I can usually smell it stronger during or after a session.

  4. 4 Brie L said at 12:09 am on March 7th, 2011:

    Whoo! What a journey you had with those men of yours!! They had better pony up some kick-butt Mother's Day gifts when they get old enough, LOL! I can't imagine how hard it must have been at the time to give in to the formula, and it's awesome of you to share your story and the knowledge you have now, in hindsight of everything! Thanks for such a great post- what lucky little men you have!! 🙂

  5. 5 台北溫泉 said at 11:27 am on March 9th, 2011:


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