Breastfeeding #2

Posted by  | Thursday, January 22, 2009  at 11:01 AM  
My first experience breastfeeding was not a piece of cake. I wrote about it here. In short, breastfeeding a preemie meant all kinds of things I was clueless about at the time. Supplementing, pumping (round the clock!), nipple shields, low milk supply, reflux, etc. I knew that I would be a stay at home Mom with my second and hoped our breastfeeding experience would be easier. Even though I was just as determined to breastfeed, I think I was somewhat more laid back, making things much easier!

Praise the Lord - the most difficult challenge we've had with Adeline is that she WILL NOT TAKE A BOTTLE OR A PACIFIER! I consider that a pretty easy challenge and one I'm thankful for!

Adeline is now 10 months old and we're nursing 4-5 times a day and she's a sippy cup champion. Here's our story:

In the beginning she latched on right away and was a nursing champ! The only rough patch I had in the hospital was when she literally nursed for about 4 hours straight on day 2 and would scream if she wasn't latched on. My nipples were SO SORE. This was something I had not experienced with Will. Basically, my milk had yet to come in and she was just doing what she knew to do in order to make it come in!

I agonized over it and did finally give her a small amount (less than 1oz) of formula through a syringe to give my nipples a break. Jacob advised that we do this and I'm sure glad we did. (I know some of you are squirming in your seat right now...but she turned out fine! :)

She nursed wonderfully and on demand for the next three and a half weeks. When she was not yet four weeks old, I began having trouble with my gallbladder. I ended up having my gallbladder out when she was four weeks old, exactly. Because of the ER visits leading up the to the surgery and then the three day hospital stay - she had her first bottle before four weeks old! She took it like a champ and even had to have a few formula bottles since I had yet to pump any breastmilk!

This is where it was doubly a blessing that we chose to give her formula in that syringe....they gave us more formula to take home from the hospital and I took it knowing I would never choose to use it - but could give it away! Ha! We ended being FORCED to use it! Although I must add that I did not like it one bit that she had to have that formula or that I had to leave her so much over that week. But we survived the whole ordeal and I would do it all again if I was ever in that much pain!

After I was home and recovering from my gallbladder surgery - nursing resumed and we picked up right where we had left off! She did great and it never occurred to me to give her a bottle for practice during that time. So when I had to return to work for three weeks when she was about 10 weeks old - she pretty much refused the bottle. She eventually got used to it and would drink just enough to get by until I got home. Occassionally now, Jacob can get her to take a bottle.

We are still going strong now at 10 months and I plan to continue at least through May (14 months) in order to get through flu season. It was amazing when I quit nursing Will - he promptly contracted every illness and bug within those next few months! I've even considered giving him breastmilk with his regular milk to try to keep him well! (Never have done it though!)

I've noticed two things again this time around now that my period has returned! With Will I got my period around 4 months old (darn pumping!) and this time it held off until really 7 months. Two things occur during my cycle:

1. My supply dips during my period.

2. My nipples get sore again when I'm ovulating. Ugh - this is worse than the first few days of nursing! Kellymom mentions this problem here, and suggests taking evening primrose oil or a calcium supplement. I tried calcium with Will and it didn't seem to work. Has anyone else had this problem or tried evening primrose oil?

I've enjoyed the discussion on breastfeeding so far this week - keep the comments, suggestions and advice coming!

*One more note to add - I have NOTHING to share about weaning. Will was so unattached to me and my supply so low, that it just happened. The biggest thing we did was avoid the rocker (where we nursed) during normal nursing times. This usually meant Jacob rocked him to bed for a few nights and then he was over it! Hopefully, Leah can add more to this topic!


Terra Jones said...

I have the same 2 problems, i have tried EPO or calcium! thanks for those tips!!

Mallory, Amy & John Mark said...

I couldn't resist leaving a comment on this post! When my son was 14 mos old, he had an awful runny nose and cough. I was cleaning out my freezer and found a bag of 4 oz breastmilk that was about 4 mos old. I thawed it, gave it to him in his cup, and he drank it down so fast! My mother and MIL thought I was nuts, but he was better by that afternoon, and I was amazed. It really is liquid gold!

If Will is sick, I'd give him some of your breastmilk if you have a little extra- even 4 oz!!!

KC said...

You said you rock your son to sleep? Let me ask, do/did you rock him all the way asleep or just until he was drowsy? Either way, when did you put him down? The reason i am asking is because we are in the middle of some sleep issues with our 3 month old. He sleeps at night just fine, but will NOT nap. He doesn't seem to care about rocking (in fact it seems to make him cry harder) or any other traditional type soothing technique. He won't just fall asleep if left alone either. Maybe you guys could do a post about sleep!

Shannon said...

Definitely give him breast milk! If you've got extra, why not?? I did that with my oldest daughter, when I had an overabundance of milk and a newborn. (My oldest was 16mo at the time.) She sucked it down, and I felt good giving it to her, especially since she had weaned herself at 7 months and my supply with her disappeared.

And my newborn didn't mind sharing. :) Now over a year later, the sharing doesn't come so easy.

Robin Baker said...

I gave my 21-24 month old breastmilk in his sippy cup - mainly b/c he loved it! but also when he would get constipated it would produce a bowl movement almost immediately. It is LIQUID GOLD and every mother who is able should nurse! Spread the wealth and donate your extra milk to those in need - especially your toddler sibblings =)

Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

non related issue... what do you do for projectile burping / spitting up???

our 2 year old daughter did that maybe 2 times ever

our 10 week old son does it ~1 time a week (which I know isn't awful, I just feel for him b/c of the look on his face when it happens and while I'm cleaning us and the floor and chair and dresser and bed up!) Do I need to feed him more after he does this???


Krista said...

We've covered sleep issues a couple times (look through the topics list on the right side of the blog). But, for your specific instance, I'd try letting him fall asleep in a sling on you for a couple days and napping there. It's great cuddle time, they're only small for such a short time, and you can help him learn how to nap again. Then you could try to transition him back to his crib. I'm sure the baby sleep books say not to give him the "crutch" but Lydia was always a great sleeper and there were many days she'd nap in a sling on me out of necessity - we were out during her nap time and she needed to sleep. Hope this helps!

Christina said...

Rocking is just part of our routine with our kids. They rarely get rocked to sleep (only if they're sick :)

Naps with a 3 month old are going to be rocky (ha! no pun intended) as they just aren't developmentally ready to do it consistently. My rule with Adeline was to do whatever worked to get her to sleep and we cracked down around 6 months.

The most important thing is that they sleep and don't stay awake for too long at that age.

I will say that for a time, probably around 3 months, we did rock Adeline to sleep because that is what worked. But it only lasted for a short while before she needed more help.

so, my vote is to use that crutch - whether it be the sling (like Krista said), the carseat/dryer combo (our fav) or the swing.

Have you read Happiest Baby on the Block? Some great methods for soothing to sleep in there!

KC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KC said...

Krista, I have tried the Ergo and several different slings, he just doesn't like them. I have abandoned all hope for a while of him being on any kind of schedule. I just do whatever it takes to get a nap out of him. I seem to be kind of stuck on this topic and am working on relinquishing it to God. I posted a blog about this.

Christina, thanks for the clarification! I would love rocking to be part of Nate's routine, but it seems to upset him more.

My MAIN issue is just that I haven't found anything that soothes him to sleep consistently. I read the Happiest Baby book (and many others) and just can't seem to help him sleep with or without a "crutch." I would even nurse him to sleep if that worked, but it doesn't.

I know it will get better and I will try to relax and trust God til then.

Mallory, Amy & John Mark said...


I'm a peds nurse and have seen lots of kids do this. The first thing is, don't be alarmed. Once a week is okay- if it gets to where it's several times/day, def go see your pediatrician. Also, true "projectile vomiting" is shooting across the room, hitting the ceiling (I'm serious!), etc. If it's just a large amount of spit up, then it's not projectile, medically speaking.

I would personally not feed him after he does this. Some docs may disagree. The stomach muscles are contracting and you've got more of a chance of the second part coming up too. I would wait 30-60 minutes before offering more.

Are you breastfeeding? I would keep a food diary and record when he spits like this- try to link it to a certain food in your diet. Also, it is the same time every day. It could be when you are experiencing a large supply (in the morning for most women) and he is literally just getting gushed with breastmilk. If that's the case and it's an overactive let-down, you can pull him off the breast when you feel the let down, and put him back on once the flow is more steady. (Of course, save that gushing milk from the let-down for the freezer!).

HOpe this helps! Let me know if you have more questions!


Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

not related ?s:

I started using before I went on bed rest in October. Our 2nd precious little one was born in November. I want to start back, but it takes soooo much time. Any suggestions for speeding up?

When do you most of you find time for blogs? With my 2 year old and 2 month old, I'm really struggling to cook suppers, wash dishes, and clothes!

What is your recommendation to someone who has a sewing machine but doesn't know how to use it? I want to hem my pants and make stuff for my 2 year old daughter but haven't a clue how to get started! I would love to make an apron for me, her, and one day) a "chef" outfit for my now 2 month old son!

baking bread:
how do you get started?

cloth diapers:
how do you get started?

potty training:
how do you get started?

Any tips? I'll be checking back often... gotta go cook supper before they both wake up...


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