So thankful that you both are well. I think there is still so very, very much we *don't* understand about nursing (and birth too)--nobody cared because it was "women's business" for years, and then formula came along and the medical establishment decided that was good enough, so why bother? Lots of women have so much trouble for no reason anyone understands! Is it the environment, or chemicals in our food, or something like that? Was it always this hard, or is it harder now?We *should* know a lot more than we do, so mamas like you might at least know how to work on it more effectively, and more babies would stay breast fed. It makes me angry that we don't. I had so much trouble with my supply, much like yours..but I assumed it was because of my c/sec. And I was so depressed that I had to put all my energy in that fight, not in nursing, so he became a formula baby at 2 months. And I felt like a failure, because everyone told me it was supposed to get easier. If I have another, I'll know I might have a fight on my hands, and plan accordingly. Thanks for blogging about it.
This comment from Dear Reader, Emjabee, really hits home the point that breastfeeding mothers are being failed. I'm all about stemming the tide of this societal failure. But first I had to confront my own predjudices. I fought giving Josiah formula in the hospital for two days. I didn't want to believe the problem was my milk supply. Then my 28 year old visited me and told me not to resist on account of my pride. He was right. I was prideful about being a successful breastfeeding mother, proud that I was the mother of nine and had homebirthed and breastfed 5 previous babies. I was also embarressed that this was happening to me- the town breastfeeding self-proclaimed guru (chairperson of the breastfeeding committee, yada, yada, yada) People came to me with their breastfeeding problems. Now I was having problems- major problems. It was a blow to my pride to give Josiah formula. I let the nurse give him the first formula bottle- still too proud to do it myself. As the days passed and it became indisputable that my milk supply was the problem, I remembered something I had heard Dr. Newman say at the conference last month. He spoke of formula feeding as a medical intervention. Surely, in this case, that's exactly what it was. I have no intention of abandoning breastfeeding. I'm taking 3 herbals and 1 medication (+ the beer) to boost my milk supply, and using formula in the meantime to increase his caloric intake. My baby needed the food, and if I couldn't supply him with adequate amounts of the best type of food, then the second best will do- for now. The more I saw him plump up as the days passed the more I became committed to supplying him with what he needed. I feel ashamed that I refused the formula at first on account of my pride instead of doing what was best for Josiah. I look at him now, his face fuller, his skin no longer sagging against his lanky limbs. I'm so thankful for the lactation consultants, and the nutritionist who worked with me to boost my supply while gently allowing me to introduce formula slowly and at my pace. I also thank you, Dear Readers- I feel your prayers and support. They are being answered because today, I pumped twice as much milk than I was getting when I was in the hospital.