Click here to see Part 2
Our second year of breastfeeding hell – Part 3
Once she FINALLY came back to the breast, and started eating nicely I noticed that she was super uncomfortable, very gassy, and cried a lot. After seeing a few different lactation consultants, and hours of research online we determined that I had an over active letdown. Which meant way too much milk (and the sugary foremilk at that) was coming out WAY too fast. I would pump one breast for about 5 minutes and get about 8 oz of milk. When it would settle you could see that there was hardly any fatty solids on the top. She would click on each suck (even with a perfect latch), milk would come out of the corners of her mouth, and she would only eat for about 5 minutes total. I would do what the nurses would tell me, feed on one side for two feedings, and then switch. Eventually I think it did go down in volume but by that point she was so used to it happening so fast, and feeling full so fast, that when it wouldn’t come out fast enough, she refused to eat. She would suck and pull off and scream, just like her very first weeks. She would never nurse herself to sleep, because it would come out so fast, she wouldn’t have the ability to relax the whole time. Which meant that we would have to do other means of getting her to sleep, which eventually ended up in bouncing. She was so uncomfortable, due to the excess air she inhaled, as well as the excessive foremilk, she would not be able to fall asleep on her own. So the bouncing started. I had a love hate with the bouncing. I hated that only I seemed to be able to do it, I hated that I HAD to do it (especially with a little boy who wanted to go and play) but I loved that I got into great shape. I lost a tonne of weight, my legs and tummy were so toned. Squats, so many squats.
We continued this trend until she was a year and then we were both ready to wean. We went straight to cow’s milk and never looked back. Both of my babes had two very different breastfeeding experiences. I knew that it was going to be a challenge, I knew that there would be bumps in the road. But if I wasn’t determined at the beginning to breastfeed there was no way I was going to continue. It was hell, I constantly doubted myself, my body and my countless research and appointments with Lactation Consultants. But now that they are older, and done with breastfeeding I am so proud of them, proud of me for continuing and for persevering through a very difficult time – but a time I knew that it was the ONLY thing I could do to help their little bodies get through their first year of life. Whatever your choice may be choose it, be proud of your choice, and don’t feel you need to explain to anyone your choice. Because if your baby is eating, is thriving, is healthy and happy, and above all getting love from you – then you are doing the right thing. Good job Mama!!