07 October 2013

Milk: The Saga Continues

The trying-to-feed-my-child saga has come to another turn. Last Monday, my doctor gave me a prescription for Domperidone, to help boost my milk supply, but told me that I might need to supplement. J. and I decided we'd give it a few days to see if the medication would make a difference, and then if it didn't, we would start supplementing. I'd weighed E. on Monday, so I went back to the public health unit on Friday to weigh her again. She was pretty furious about the whole scale thing as usual, and when the numbers settled, I knew what we'd be doing that evening. Over five days, she had gained one ounce.

That is not normal weight gain for a baby at all. The most she's gained in a week so far has been three ounces, and that's with spending most of the day attached to my chest. No wonder she's been so fussy. This week, she decided that me setting her down constituted horrible torture that required much screaming. I couldn't even get a glass of water without her screaming at me.

Fortunately, we had bottles on hand (since I'd had ambitions of expressing enough milk for a whole bottle), and we have half a dozen cans of formula that our doctor offered me (I think he was tired of them cluttering up his counter and he doesn't have a lot of really young patients in his practice right now), so I didn't have to go to the store and stare helplessly at all the choices. When J. got home from work, we mixed up a bottle and he gave it to her. She was pretty happy about it. She was also pretty happy about breastfeeding again at her next feed, and has remained happy about either option (unless she's grumpy, in which case, breastfeeding makes her happier. Actually, she's just happier in general. She's not always too excited about diaper changes, or about the part of baths where we wash her hair, but she's not screaming about being hungry anymore, and she's sleeping more because she doesn't have to eat quite as constantly.

I'm still breastfeeding her as much as I can, but there are times when she's getting next to nothing out of there, is really hungry, and starts getting extremely upset. Those are the times when she's been breastfeeding for something like an hour, and then downs 4 ounces of formula in less than ten minutes when we offer her a bottle, and drops off to the sleep.

And the difference, other than her moods and her sleep schedule?

I weighed her this afternoon. She'd gained about seven ounces since the last time I'd weighed her. She's finally over the six pound mark. Finally.


  1. Hi, I found you from "the Yarn Harlot" so sorry to hear you are having trouble with breastfeeding. If your baby has to have a bottle for her growth and your sanity, so be it....BUT... did you realise some staff at health units have never actually breastfed successfully themselves, so their advice may be from study, not actual experience,such advice is not the best.
    Is there a breastfeeding organisation you can call to speak with an experienced breastfeeding Mum who can be of real help with getting you and your supply back on track. Good feeding and supply depends on many things,so it is important to keep trying with the right help.
    Well Done so far, it isn't easy, I was convinced to give up after 3 months with my first, but fed for 18months with the second baby.
    Oh yes, I hear you about the food problem, I think the best you can do is cook in bulk and freeze the excess portions for when you are busy, my favourite for the cold weather was a BIG pot of Minestroni, bulked up with pasta or butter beans,kidney beans or barley.You can warm up a meal like that pretty quickly when needed and it is healthy and will keep you full for quite a while.
    Good luck , hope the feeding sorts out for you both : )

    1. Thanks for your comments! The staff at the health units that I spoke to were very helpful, and at least one of them had breastfed her kids, and I talked with some other people who'd breastfed, but the attempts to boost my breastmilk both naturally and with medication didn't do very much. It seems like I'm making more milk now that I'm no longer on the medication for it, though she still needs a couple bottles a day so she ends up getting enough food. I'm hoping we'll make it to six months still breastfeeding, even with the supplementing, and possibly longer, but I'm definitely okay with having to use some formula. It's like a night and day difference with her temperament, sleep, and weight gain. She still loves breastfeeding, though, so I'm not worried about her deciding the bottle is better.

      I would love to do that with freezing food, but we have limited freezer space. I really wish we had a deep freeze sometimes. Right now I end up cooking stew or something else that we can refrigerate for a few days so we can eat that for a bit.


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