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.