As a new mom, or a new mom to be, you are told quite frequently that breast milk is the best milk…..and that exclusive breast feeding is the absolute best for your child. I am definitely a member of the breast milk is best milk club. We all know how beneficial breast milk is to the health and development of babies. As a whole, the U.S. Is moving away from formula, and adopting the breast is best mentality. Mothers are put down and made to feel guilty if they can’t breastfeed.
There are so many reasons that women choose not to breast feed from low/no supply, food allergies, personal choice……the list goes on. There is a group of women who want so desperately to breastfeed that they will do anything, and yet can’t for whatever reason.
For me, breast feeding, like trying to conceive and pregnancy, has been an uphill battle. I am fighting a battle that I don’t know if I can win. My milk supply took a long time, requiring supplementation to sustain my son. We struggled with poor latch, lip and tongue ties, milk allergies, and now low supply. We worked through the latch problems and come to terms with supplementing with formula. We changed formulas, which seems to have helped with the vomiting and whatnot, and have decided to hold off on clipping the ties. Now we are just struggling with supply issues.
I went to a lactation clinic today and it didn’t go very well. The nurse weighed Luke before I fed him. He was 4414 grams. I then fed him for about an hour (30 minutes on each side) and took him back to the scale to see how much milk was transferred in that time frame. Luke was up to 4434 grams, which I thought was pretty good…..until they did the conversion. Luke gained 20.6 grams, which equates to .73 ounces. Essentially in an hour, Luke ate a little less than three quarters of an ounce. I knew my supply wasn’t highl but I didn’t know it was as low as it is. No wonder my son is so hungry on breast milk alone!
I am now looking at a couple of options. 1) I can continue to do what I have been as far as drinking as much as I can, taking fenugreek and flax and Brewers yeast and oats. Try and pump as much as I can using my new pump. And essentially feed Luke as much as I can from the breast, and then top him off with formula. 2) I can attempt to take medication to increase my supply. The doctor recommended domperidone, which can drastically increase milk supply, but is banned in the USA. 3) I can give up completely on breast feeding and switch to only formula.
I don’t know which way to go. Ultimately, it’s a decision that no one can make but me.