A Breastfeeding Disaster… SOLVED!

God bless it. This is the all about breastfeeding post. Because if you’re a new mom and breastfeeding, it is your life. This is hard work. Like, really hard. Way harder than tossing together the kid a PB&J. #Werk. Forget everything you once thought about what being a new mom would be like and imagine only being a big milk machine. It’s true. This is what happens. Nobody tells you!  But it’s awesome. Because when your baby cries, he needs YOU. You have all the answers (and milk) to solve all the problems. It’s a very gratifying feeling.

Last week I decided to attend a local breastfeeding networking group. Although, breastfeeding had been going really well… I thought… No pain. Easy latch. Weight gain was great. All is well. I could actually ADVISE new mom’s I bet!

I took the elevator to the group with one of those easy-going, baby-wearing types. You know what I’m talking about. Those baby wearing veterans. God, I so badly want to pull off baby wearing. Me, trying to make friends, said “oh, you’re one of those annoying people that pull off wearing a baby like it’s super easy.” She wasn’t amused and didn’t at all get my humor. Oops. 

Anyway…

I entered the group and everyone was in line with their sweet little babes to get them weighed. Kent was asleep in his car seat so I chose to not have him weighed, as I feared waking him up would be similar to waking up your college ex-boyfriend that drank too much whisky and loved to pick fights. (no, just me?… ok…) So I opted out.

I looked around at all these newborn babies. Mostly around the ages of 1-7 months. They were either eating, getting their diaper changed, sleeping, or laying on their back on a soft blanket staring up at the lights that beamed down on their beautiful newborn faces. My baby, on the other hand, had been screaming his bloody head off all morning. I decided to go to this group because it got me out of the damn house. I was ABOUT.TO.LOSE.IT.

The group got started and as each person shared about a recent struggle with breastfeeding, I became more aware that my experience was very different than theirs. One girl started crying because she has to go back to work in 2 months. 2 MONTHS! That’s a long time in my opinion! I have two weeks and I am counting down the hours because my baby… my baby… is A LOT of work. I wish I felt like her. I wish I felt sad. But I don’t. I feel like my baby doesn’t like me and is always sad and I need to go to work where I can accomplish something.

So, now I’ve got a bunch of well behaved babies surrounding me, girls that are good at baby-wearing and sad to go to work soon… ya know, normal mom complaints. And I’m feeling very isolated.

“Mallory, what’s new with you and Kent?” Ok. It’s my turn. Do I just tell her everything is peachy? Or do I tell her how much I wish I was sad I was going to work soon. How much I wish I could put my baby on the floor and know he would be content. How much I wish attempting to wear him wouldn’t look like World War 3!

So, I did what any other exhausted, confused, and out-of-ideas person would do… I told the truth. Thankfully. He’s colic. He cries all the time. And when he’s not crying, he’s fussy. He doesn’t sleep very long. I’m tired. He has a lot of gas issues. His diapers are explosive…

And the lactation consultant stopped me, “You have a milk imbalance” she says. WHAT THE MOTHER F-ING, WHAT? There’s something wrong with my milk? This isn’t normal?

Ok, long story short this very fussy baby is only fussy because he’s HUNGRY. Apparently I have a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. In short, he wasn’t getting enough fat in the milk and as a result, was starving! Although he gained weighed very rapidly because he ate so often of the high calorie foremilk, he never stayed full very long.

I started doing exclusive pumping. He only drinks from a bottle now and within 24 hours… I had a new baby. A happy baby! He smiles. He coo’s. He RELAXES. He’s awesome.

Thank you genius lactation consultant… you brilliant little gem… my life has changed. And now I’m crying because I have to go back to work in a week. Crying about this has been everything I’ve ever wanted.

Check it.

This is Kent this week at the group. Relaxing on the floor. Relaxing. Yeah, baby!

image

I love you, Kent! And now I want to quit my job and be with you every day like all the other moms!

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6 thoughts on “A Breastfeeding Disaster… SOLVED!

  1. Welcome to the EP world! It’s hard but it’s def worth it 🙂 glad you were able to figure out Kent’s fussiness! And sorry you’re sad about going back to work. It was rough for me the first week, but it does get easier.

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  2. I’ve been thinking of exclusively pumping and bottle feeding just because it would be nice to know exactly how much milk she’s getting and get on more of a schedule before maternity leave ends. Is it still going good for you and Kent? No regrets?

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  3. Hi! I’m a midwife and will soon sit my IBCLC exam and I can tell you it is very normal for the colic symptoms you described to start to clear up at the 12 week mark!
    I’m so shocked at the advice giving to you by that LC. Was she board certified? I don’t know any IBCLC who would advise a woman to switch from exclusively BF to exclusive pumping based on what you described.
    If you’re happy to do this then that’s fine but if you plan to give your baby your milk long term I would strongly suggest seeking a second opinion from another LC, preferably one who is board certified (or if this one was an IBCLC then just find another one! Not all IBCLCs have the same education/experience sadly.)

    Many women’s supply suffers in the long run with exclusive pumping. The fore milk/hind milk rationale given to you by that LC sounds like it has been delivered by someone who doesn’t quite understand the subtleties of human milk composition. IF you had an imbalance there are better ways to solve the problem than by pumping. Block feeding for example might work better and cut out the hassle of pumping.
    Kellymom and Pinky McKay are fantastic resources you might like to have a look at.

    I wish you lots of luck with your BF journey but it truly sounds like you were doing perfectly before.

    Colic is caused by lots of factors, including adjusting to life outside the womb and dealing with overstimulation, and is usually worse for pre-term babies. Explosive nappies can also just be a sign of great supply and aren’t necessarily a problem. And sleeping in 2 hour blocks? Normal!
    Actually, sleeping for only 45 minutes at a time is also normal for some babies! It does change, it gets easier, and they do start to sleep longer.
    As I said for most, this improves dramatically at the 3 month mark.
    My baby was the same 🙂

    Also you need to remember to adjust your expectations to your baby’s corrected age. Your 12 week old is really only 7 weeks corrected.

    Plus I’m sure your baby misses feeding straight from the source. Feeding at the breast releases a wonderful cocktail of love hormones from baby’s brain.

    Have you considered trying him back at the breast and seeing how he goes? You might be pleasantly surprised 🙂 xx

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    1. hey! You’re totally right on. The LC actually did not give me that advice. Like you, she recommended block feeding and to pump after each feeding and then give that bottle at some point. However, due to having to go back to work next week I thought it’d make sense to just to bottle feedings. This is because he was so colic that I wasn’t able to pump before… like at all. He was screaming constantly. So now that he’s calm and i can put him down and he is relaxed, I have been thinking about breastfeeding at night or in the morning some. I’m sure that will help my supply too. I know exclusive pumping is not ideal, it’s definitely not for me, but I was going to have to pump half the day regadless so I thought I’d go all in to ensure the problem would be corrected – which it was. And I’m extremely thankful that it is. He is so much better, I can’t even tell you. It was clear to us that the milk was an issue, as th eproblem was pretty much resolved after about 24 hours. Including the diapers… they are now the seedy, normal color they should be, too. Thank you so much for giving your two cents. You ugys are the smartest people on the planet as far as I’m concerned! Go you! and good luck on your exam! (ps – the LC was board certified 🙂

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