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I doubt I have any male readers, but just in case, I’ll warn you now. You probably don’t want to read about breastfeeding. So go away. :laugh_tb: Bye! :bye_tb:
Ok, now that the men are gone. . .ha ha. . .
What surprises me is that people don’t tell you it’s work. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE breastfeeding. Those are some of my most cherished moments with my little ones. Well, ok, when they learn to say “I love you” ranks right up there, but I digress.
I induced lactation and did adoptive breastfeeding with S. It was a tremendous amount of effort but was worth it. Not all women think it’s worth the effort, but it was for me. There were many times when I said that I wished I could have just become pregnant and then breastfed because it would have been so much easier. It had nothing to do with adoption – just that I thought it would be easier.
It was, to a point. But I wasn’t prepared for breastfeeding to still be work. And I’m not complaining – it is still worth the effort. It just isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
I fully believe that a lot of my problems with nursing stem from my PCOS. I knew from the beginning that women with PCOS often have milk supply issues. I wanted to do my best with nursing, but I wasn’t going to beat myself up if I couldn’t. Well, that was my goal, but I didn’t realize just how important it really was to me.
After C was born, it took a full five days for my milk to come in. He was getting hungry, and I was getting discouraged. I was just starting to wonder if it ever really would come in. But then it came and things got a little bit easier. The pain from just getting used to it went away after about a week and a half. That’s another thing people don’t tell you – that just getting used to nursing can be painful. I was SO sore! C had latch issues at first, but once I learned how to deal with them things started getting better.
Things went great for the first month or so. C had just started sleeping through the night, and I was thrilled. Then I noticed that he was getting fussier and fussier, for no apparent reason. I made an appointment with the lactation consultant at the pediatrician and went and talked to her.
Just a note about lactation consultants – a good one is worth her weight in gold. They are invaluable.
It turned out that my supply had dropped, and my milk wasn’t letting down even when it was there. Stress was (well, still is, really) a factor, but the low supply played a huge part. I started to do the things I had done with adoptive breastfeeding to bring up my supply (taking fenugreek, drinking Mother’s Milk tea, and nursing/pumping as often as possible). C was happier, and started gaining weight faster again.
Things were going well again. I had him into the doctor for a well baby visit, and found out that his rate of weight gain had slowed again. I started watching how he nursed. S was complaining about his ears this week (he has a history of recurrent ear infections), so when we were at the pediatrician’s office (he’s fine, by the way), I asked to have C weighed. He had dropped an ounce – from his visit three weeks ago. He was really sick last week and hardly ate, but that’s still too big a difference.
Once again it appears that my supply has dropped. I started doing research about PCOS and breastfeeding. I read that a lot of PCOS nursing moms do well taking metformin, so I called the lactation consultant at my ob/gyn to get her opinion. I wanted to see what she thought about everything; I called her because my questions were more PCOS/IR related.
She is wonderful. She called me at almost 7pm last night, and spent close to 35 minutes on the phone with me. She told me several things to try (which I will be doing). Lord willing, my supply will go back up and things will go well again. I don’t want to look back and wish I’d tried harder, but on the other hand, I don’t want to try so hard that it’s miserable either. But her recommendations make sense to me so I’m trying them.
It hasn’t been easy. I don’t know how much of it stems from PCOS, though the LC said a lot of my problems are common. Doing my best is all I can do. . .but with the Lord’s help. . .I’m thankful I don’t have to do this alone!
She also reminded me of how carefully I need to be eating (for the PCOS, not so much for the nursing). It was that one final reminder I needed of how I need to eat. It’s not just a suggestion – it’s something I’m going to have to do if I want to keep things under control. So, off we go.
This was a lot longer than I intended. But I wanted to be open about my struggles breastfeeding. It seems like you read everywhere about how lovely and easy it is, but don’t see so much about how it can be a challenge. It is a challenge, but it is worth it.