This blog post is about to get pretty personal. I'm hesitant to put some of this out there for the whole world to see, but then again, I want other women to know they aren't alone in their struggle to nurse.
Even before I was even pregnant with my first, I knew I wanted to nurse, which is kind of strange given my family. My mom didn't nurse, my sister has always thought it is just strange and kind of weird. So I am not sure how or why I was born with the feeling like I needed to nurse. I just knew that's what I wanted for me and my babies. To each their own!
Unfortunately, this natural, miraculous wonder of nursing wasn't at all natural to me and definitely not wonderful! I am anatomically challenged to start. I didn't know I was though, I mean, how would you? Let's just say that things that should go out typically, were going more in. That and things are just big around here. Like they always say, things are bigger in Texas! Ha! So I thought I would have to use shields to be able to nurse from the get go. We had all sorts of latching issues and my milk didn't come in quite as fast as my little Caden seemed to want it to! He was a smaller baby too, 6 pounds, 14 ounces. I know that's not really all that small, but I wonder if it played into the issues or not. Things hurt. A lot. I was hormonal and frustrated and decided that I would just pump. Well, exclusively pumping is not a walk in the park. If you aren't pumping, then you are giving the baby the bottle. And if you aren't doing one of those two things you are washing said pump accessories all the while you are supposed to be drinking a ton of water and eating a healthy diet. Let's just say that the water and food went by the wayside and I was hardly producing any milk at all, leaving me to resent pumping and trying to nurture my baby this way. I slipped into a terribly depressed state. I was so frustrated that, in my mind, I had failed as a woman and mother. Not to mention I was TIRED and HORMONAL!!! I continued like this for about 2 and a half months and finally stopped when I returned to work.
So, that's my story. I guess I could just go into this second newborn phase accepting that formula is what we will do and that's fine. However, something in me just says, no, that's not okay for me. I really want to give this a try again. Now, I am going in with my eyes, my doctor's eyes, and my poor husband's eyes wide open and know that this may not work. I just have a hard time believing that. I mean, if this were centuries ago, I would HAVE to do this. Otherwise my babies would die. It's supposed to work, right? So here is my arsenal of weapons for the fight.
I did a ton of research about things that go in that should go out. I found these really neat things that use suction to draw things out. You can find them HERE.
You can use them with shells like THESE. I started doing this at about 3 or 4 months and I have seen great improvements.
I did get one of THESE again just in case, but I am hoping not to use it since the Supple Cups did such a good job!
Plain Old Nutrition
I have stocked the house with lots of high protein snacks. I have a special water cup I bought that's nice and pretty that I plan on draining each nursing session. I realize this is probably the most important part of production.
These are loaded with oats, flaxseed and brewer's yeast. All things that are supposed to help with milk supply. I have posted the recipe/tutorial HERE!
I have heard great things about these supplements and I will begin taking these now since I am just about a week and a half away from Addyson's arrival. You can get this at any nutrition store.
Mother's Milk Tea
I used this with Caden and it did seem to help, so it will be on stand by for sure. I am confident that my cookies and Fenugreek will do the job and I won't need this. I didn't really care for it. It's not awful, but it's not exactly great either!
There are support groups around and I think it's important to be aware of when they meet before you have problems. The hospitals also have lactation consultants who can help. There is help to be had if you are willing to go get it! I never did seek help with Caden.
It's not what I want to do. I am not even sure I will use it again. I think about it and it takes me to a really dark place. I want to be a happy mom for Addyson. So if that means formula, it means formula. I think my mental well-being trumps the nutritional benefits of nursing at some point. I may get yelled at by the Nursing Nazi's out there, and so be it. I WANT to do the best for my child, but I can't give my child the best if I am suffering from depression!
I hope that this has been helpful to some of you! I will let you know how my second journey with nursing goes!