JB studio 14
20 Jun

Weight Watchers

Last Monday, I took Baby in to be weighed. The lady seemed happy with how much weight Baby had gained; it wasn’t loads, but it wasn’t too little either. Then she asked about breastfeeding. I said that I was topping up with formula. In the next sentence, I could have admitted to murdering people and burying them in my garden and I don’t think she would have noticed. I got a lecture about how I should give my milk time to come in. She advised resting, skin-to-skin contact, feeding on demand, hydrating often and eating calories. Is it wrong that I delight in the fact that Baby peed all over her scales?

So I came home and I did exactly what she said because I would love to increase my milk production and decrease the formula. I sat in my nursing chair in the living room watching TV, clutching Baby to my chest; I let her eat; I let her sleep; I ate a whole box of Celebrations chocolates, carbed up, and drank enough water to keep Wimbledon tennis at bay for at least a week. In addition, I was expressing whenever Baby would give me a break.

After four days of this, a few things happened: 1) started feeling bloated and gross from unhealthy calorie intake; 2) Baby stopped being able to settle herself in her Moses basket, needing instead to be rocked to sleep in my arms and then put down (sometimes she’d just wake up as soon as I put her down and insist on being held again); 3) I had very sore breasts; and 4) I got addicted to Smallville and Scrubs, and started re-watching season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And what didn’t happen: my milk production stayed the same and formula intake actually seemed to increase.

And then today (Saturday), I picked up my copy of Breastfeeding Made Simple (?!), which was recommended by the NCT breastfeeding teacher, and read on page 147:

“What Everyone Thinks Affects Milk Production (But Doesn’t)
Misconceptions about milk production abound, even among health professionals. When women ask what they can do to increase their milk production, the following are usually the first suggestions given:
- Drink more fluids
- Eat a better diet
- Get more rest
Yet except under extreme circumstances, these have little to no effect on milk production.”

I go through cycles of feeling fine and then feeling guilty about Formula-gate. I’m about to start on another marathon, skin-to-skin, on-demand feeding session, just to see if it can help. Or maybe it’s because there are a whole lot of Scrubs episodes on and I need an excuse to sit here and watch them.

The thing is that Baby is actually quite happy. She’s well fed, she sleeps, she wees. She even smiles a little bit sometimes and, no, I don’t think it’s just gas. So, I may struggle with my guilt (a throwback from having gone to a Catholic high school?), but the proof that we’re not screwing up too badly is in the poo. There’s lots of it.

We’re taking her for another weigh on Monday. I might just slip in that murder confession and see if she reacts.

 

10 Comments

  1. 20 Jun

    Sara Thomas

    Think yourself lucky – they put me on Guinness! Yuk!

  2. 20 Jun

    Katy Lunsford

    You’re doing a great job, and don’t let the health visitors get to you. I think they’re trained specially in making you feel utterly inadequate. Mine were completely useless! I had a hard time breastfeeding but still going 13 months on, but no thanks to some of the advice I was given by health visitors! Sophie was topped up for the first few months and it didn’t affect my supply long term. Keep going! xxx

  3. 20 Jun

    Kim

    I don’t have children so can’t comment from experience, but expecting every mum to be able to breast feed seems totally ridiculous to me! As long as you are both well, healthy and happy surely that’s all that matters!

  4. 20 Jun

    Karen

    I hear you. When my people (um, midwives) found out I had seen Clare the breastfeeding guru, it was like I has committed the WORST crime. Whatever. She helped. And she was realistic (‘if you need formula, use it!’). But I did find mother’s helper tea worked for me. It doesn’t for everyone, but after a cup of that smelly stuff each day I became the Dairy Queen. Worth a try if you’re getting sick of scrubs?

  5. 21 Jun

    Laura

    Ugh, health visitors can be a bit much sometimes. One thing that might be worth a try tho is fenugreek capsules, available from all health food type shops.

  6. 21 Jun

    Antonina

    Be careful with too much skin-to-skin. Alex ended up needing us to rock him to sleep, and it was extremely difficult to break it. Now he needs to nurse to sleep but at least I can do it lying down! lol

  7. 26 Jun

    Julia from ICAWatermelon

    Thank you for your comments and I’m on the lookout for Mother’s Helper tea! You’ll be glad to know the second health visitor was much nicer. And Baby has put on a pound since birth, so can’t be doing too badly!

  8. 27 Jun

    Olivia Brabbs

    Brilliant to hear that your last HV appointment was more positive. I had such poor and conflicting advice from midwives and health visitors in the early weeks. My little girl actually had a posterior tongue tie which was causing all of our feeding problems – long long long story! In the end I got some amazing support from Milk Matters – an independent lactation consultant – I can thoroughly recommend Charlotte’s amazing blog – http://www.analyticalarmadillo.co.uk/ – for sensible advice on a whole host of breastfeeding issues. It was a life saver for me in my darkest hours. Milk Maid tea was fab – also fenugreek supplements can get good results for mums. Also oats – lots of oat cookies! I’m all for lots of skin to skin – I’m very into attached parenting and think you just can’t have enough Mummy / Baby contact time. The thought of any Gill Ford type baby training makes me shudder…!

  9. 29 Jun

    Emily Quinton

    There is so much you can read on breastfeeding/formula and so much conflicting advice that you can hear it can send anyone crazy.
    My third baby arrived in February and after having two babies that loved breastfeeding and thrived on it, I was completely stumped by a baby that really isn’t so into it. He likes it in the morning and last thing at night (and in the night of course!) but in the day he just wants formula. This all sent me into a spin for a couple of days. I love breastfeeding, so was in shock that this little guy just isn’t so keen. It made me reassess a lot of things and thoughts.
    He’s happy. I’m happy. He’s growing well. At the end of the day that is really what counts.
    I think I might have just rambled. It’s late but I hope I made a bit of sense! You are doing great! ;-) x

  10. 30 Jun

    Sue

    I struggled with breast feeding too, got hooked on Homes under the Hammer and CSI in the process, but even in the hospital I was topping up with formula. All I can say is trust your instincts and do what you need to do. I’m 30 months down the line and no one cares or asks if she was exclusively breast fed or not.

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