1. Let me preface this section by saying how very much I appreciate all the advice on my last post re. supply issues. I REALLY appreciate all of it, even if ultimately, I might (maybe) decide not to follow some of it… To those of you who referred me to Kellymom, I really appreciate it. I have used the information on that site before, and I find that MOST of what is written there is very helpful to the new breastfeeding mom.
BIG, GIANT HOWEVER:
With my latest concerns over supply, I found myself quite pissed at what Kellymom advised. See, as with most sites offering expert opinion, especially those that offer expert opinion that is sometimes counter to mainstream conventional wisdom, Kellymom suffers from being a bit heavy-handed in it’s advice– don’t let those peds boss you around (let US boss you around!). Despite being told over and over again to “follow your instincts”, to “feed the baby when he/she is hungry”, the second that you actually “follow your instincts” in a direction other than where Kellymom thinks you should go, you are suddenly just a stupid, naive, inexperienced new mom who clearly:
1. didn’t put the baby to the breast often enough
2. gave your infant a drop of formula (you wanton whore) and therefore caused a drop in supply
— except that if you think your supply is dropping, you are WRONG. THERE IS NO WAY YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A DROP IN SUPPLY!
4. However, you probably did one of these eighteen things that can cause your supply to drop.
— BUT, your supply isn’t dropping.
6. Follow your instincts and feed your baby when he/she is hungry. Simply put them to the breast. There will be plenty of milk made to feed them.
— If it’s evening time, and there isn’t enough milk to feed them, and your child is screaming in hunger, you are probably too dumb to realize that your child isn’t hungry, it’s just a case of the nighttime fussies!
7. If your supply has dropped (which it hasn’t) and you think this might mean that your baby is hungry, your best bet is to put them to the breast over and over, even if this results in them screaming in hunger (because you will just magically make enough milk because your supply hasn’t dropped. It just can’t. It doesn’t happen.).
8. Whatever you do, DON’T GIVE THEM FORMULA, because this will cause your supply to drop. Instead, watch your twins chew on their fists and scream and nurse and nurse and nurse until your nipples are raw, pausing every ten seconds to scream in hunger. We could see how this might make you think your supply has dropped.
— (Except your supply hasn’t dropped! Aren’t you listening to us??? Do we need to repeat ourselves???)
9. If you think your supply is dropping, wait until your baby(babies) lose weight to address the problem, because (once again) YOUR SUPPLY IS JUST FINE. And if it isn’t, I DARE YOU to PROVE US WRONG!!!
Um, yeah. I’m just a little peeved at their “advice” regarding issues with low supply. Women with PCOS notoriously have supply issues (sometimes under, sometimes over). And forgive me, but with twins, I am exceptionally protective of my supply, because with two of them, even a small dip means that there are two babies who are not able to eat to satisfaction and it’s all that much easier to spiral downward into a place where I end up having to supplement more and more, and I don’t want to go in that direction. But neither will I let my children starve, so YES, I will supplement with formula if it is the difference between my children happily nodding off to sleep in the evenings vs waking every 45 minutes screaming in hunger.
I think I’m just mostly pissed because the subtext is that the author(s) at Kellymom are the only ones you should trust, even over your own instincts. It seems that it’s perfectly fine to rail against the Man, to tell moms to throw off the shackles of the patriarchical pediatric establishment, but what I’m reading at Kellymom (and plenty of other websites like it) is that we are to kowtow to a different set of “experts”, who stand in stead for the establishment as the ones whose beliefs we should subscribe to.
Which is stupid.
2. So yeah. I appreciate the advice. After a week now of carefully monitoring my diet and watching my fluid intake, and a few days of adding an extra pumping session in the evening, and now also adding fenugreek, I think my supply is getting under control. The night before last, I actually got an ounce or two when I pumped. And my breasts are finally feeling ever-so-slightly full– not full-to-bursting like they were early on, but just not-bone-dry-empty like they had been the last couple of weeks. And the most telling is that last night, they nursed, and then as usual, I offered them a bottle, and for the first time in forever, they took only 2.5 oz each, instead of finishing 4-5 oz and screaming for more. And when they nursed after the bottle (as they always do), it was comfort-nursing, instead of frantic sucking.
And then, they SLEPT. Like contented little rocks. It’s hard to explain the joy at seeing your children so incredibly content after almost two months of tears and frustration and exhaustion. They went down without a peep at 7:30 p.m., and woke at 1:15 a.m., quietly ate, and then went back to sleep until 4. (We won’t talk about after 4, though… He.nry has been incredibly fussy the last couple of days, and he was fussy from4-5, then woke up at 6:15 again, and then at 7– but then went back down until 8:45… at which point, Ding-Dong Mama finally took his temperature and noticed that he was sitting right at 100 degrees. And after a little T.ylenol, all is now right in his world). Jack ate at 6:15 a.m. and then slept until 8:45 also.
And now, today, they are actually going more than 45 minutes to an hour between feedings, and they aren’t screaming after nursing for the better part of that hour. They’re even napping a bit.
Point is, my supply has clearly been waning over the last several weeks, and now, it seems to be turning around, and I am SO GLAD that I finally listened to myself and did something about it.
3. We have decided to fly to Austin for the holidays. Bring on the advice for air travel with infants!!
4. Jac.k discovered his voice yesterday. We were at the dermatologist for me to have my stitches removed, and the boys were in their stroller in the exam room with H and I, and Ja.ck apparently wasn’t thrilled with sitting in the stroller, and so started to express his displeasue loudly and vocally. He started to sound like he might be ramping up for a cry, but stopped himself, so thrilled he was by his new vocal range. He practiced some more after we got home, yelling at the toys on the bouncer, and then, after his 1::15 feeding, he spent another 5 minutes practicing his new yells in the bassinet before he went back to sleep.
5. I forgot to mention that the boys officially discovered each other the other morning. H and I were sitting with them in bed, one on each lap, and they were smiling at each of us, and then, we turned them towards each other and they spent a good five or so minutes trading smiles with each other. So. frickin’. cute!
Um, okay. Now I have to go, because H is home, and I get to take a run this afternoon. Yay!!