I'm Kristen. Mom to Luke and Zoey, two-year-olds extraordinaire. Trying to keep a foot in the advertising world (I freelance part-time as a writer/creative director out of San Francisco and Boston). Recently relocated to Albuquerque, NM for my husband's job (I love it). Trying to do the creative stuff I did before babies, but it's hard. Hoping to be an outdoorsy/backpacking/ snowboarding/surfer girl again someday, but fear that may be in the past. Really, just trying to embrace change and find balance--and to be grateful for all the things big and small that are good in my life.

Welcome and thanks for stopping by!





« Zoey's Diary: One Month Old | Main | Breastfeeding Is Hard »

Breastfeeding Update

Hi Everyone!

First off, thank you to everyone who commented with support and suggestions on my last breastfeeding post...very much appreciated. :)

So late last week, I went to see the lactation consultants with a list of questions, but mostly to see if I couldn't get some help with the painful latch on my left side. The consultant I worked with I had met in my breastfeeding class, but hadn't seen since. After saying to me, "You look exhausted," (which is what every health care professional says to me these days), she asked me a number of questions about what I was doing and how it was going. And then she suggested that I just pump and bottle feed, and at least for now let go of having the babies feed at breast.

"That way," she said, "you'll have more flexibility." (Because she wants me to pump 8 times/day, but it doesn't necessarily have to be tied to the feeding schedule.) "And you'll get more sleep. And you'll have some time to enjoy these babies, vs the drudgery of constant feeding. And," she said, "my guess is your milk supply is going to go WAY up, because you won't be so exhausted all the time."

I cried tears of relief when she said this to me. Because I try not to complain--I love, love, love these babies, and I signed up for this--but I AM exhausted...beyond exhausted. And with the painful latch on the left side, breastfeeding on that side is something I have to steel myself for...it hurts a lot. And while a big part of me wants to appreciate and enjoy--DOES appreciate and enjoy--every second of this newborn stage, another part of me has been wishing we could get past it, just so I don't have to deal with the pain of breastfeeding, and can finally get some sleep. But I don't want to wish for time to go faster. And what the lactation consultant was suggesting seemed so much more doable than the way things have been...a way for me to enjoy this time vs wishing it away. 

So it's been several days on the new regimen, and I'm getting more sleep, and the pain of breastfeeding is gone. AND, my milk supply has already gone up...will be interesting to see what happens over the next week or two.

The lactation consultant also had a number of other suggestions, which I'm listing here in case they're helpful to someone else:

  • Feeding should be "all business," should take about 20 minutes (cuddle and play after feeding) (we had been stretching out feedings, sometimes taking an hour or more)
  • Good feed: 2–3 ounces; do a full feed every time you feed them...no snacks (we had been giving them small amounts of milk from a bottle between feedings)
  • Burp after every ounce (we had been burping more often, so this will save time)
  • Once a baby has touched formula or breast milk do not reuse (no one had told us this)
  • Diaper change towards end (or after) feeding, not at beginning (we were changing at the beginning and end...so this will save us time, and money on diapers, besides)
  • A pacifier is OK (we'd been advised not to use one for the first month)
  • Wake and feed some during the day so babies will sleep better at night (our babies currently sleep better during the day than at night)
  • Have one person do some of the feedings alone so the other person can sleep (we were both doing every feeding, so very little sleep for anyone)

Oh, and I can still breastfeed, but just when I want to and just on the right side (which doesn't hurt) if I want to. 

All this is not my perfect scenario, but I'm learning to let it go. It's OK I'm not doing this perfectly (which in my mind is feeding both babies from the breast 100% of the time). My husband says that's all ego anyway, and I'm sure he's right. 

Hope everyone has a lovely week!



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Reader Comments (4)

So glad to hear you are getting some relief and some sleep!! I can understand that pressure to do what's best and to try to be the best mommy you can be, but sometimes that means letting go of our own expectations that we've put on ourselves. I think this is a good lesson for me as I'm waiting to welcome my first baby too.

Sounds like you really found a great lactation consultant!! Glad to hear all is going well. More pics when you get time! I would love to see those little ones again!!!

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarra

My husband and I took shifts at night. I was on from 10 pm until 2, hubby was on from 2 until 6, that way we both got in a solid 4 hrs of sleep. I never had enough milk to BF AND pump, so my hubby fed the babies formula at the 2 am feedings, which gave my boobs a break. I always changed the babies first because they were sleepy and fed better if they had some cold air hit their tushies. The best advice I got from my LC, and my mom, was to not let myself become a human pacifier. I fed them when they woke up, not to get them to sleep, and if they were fussing between feeding it was something else besides hunger. They always had a pacifier, and a lovey which soothed them to sleep.

I would also like to see some more pictures, if you can keep your eyes open long enough. :) Set up shifts with your hubby. It made all the difference in the world to us.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchckenpig

Happy to hear that you are getting the rest you need and your milk supply is increasing - that's good that your LS is not a nazi about feeding from the breast and is focusing on your needs first. The good thing is that it will only get better from here on out - more space out feedings, longer sleeps, etc.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTurtleMama

Kristen--- You are doing such an incredible job of mommying as well as feeding. I admire you for looking at the way things are going and trying new things to counteract problems. Keep up the good work!

April 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermom

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