breastfeeding revisited

If you would have told me how passionate I would be about breastfeeding six months ago, I would have laughed in your face. For reelz.

If you've been around awhile, I really hashed out my feelings in this post. If you are new, check it out.

Although it's getting a bit harder now that Coop has great ears and head control to look around when he wants to be nosy, I still love it! Primarily the closeness {nobody else can do it!} and the beautiful eyes just staring into mine.

With the six-month mark so quickly approaching, in addition to just experiencing some issues with low supply, I thought it was a good time to update.

For the most part, we stay on a great schedule, nursing in the morning and once or twice in the evening. Now that he's up to 8 oz. bottles, it's usually just once, around 8 p.m., then off to bed. I pump after the morning feeding {he only nurses on one side} and two to three times at work - around 10, 1 and 3:30. Sometimes I do just before bed as well, but that all depends on what time C's final nursing session is. On the weekends, I try to nurse exclusively, or only one bottle if needed. Pumping and bottle feeding just seems like such a waste of time and resources. Breastfeeding is SO much easier, and I really detest washing those bottles at night.

Anyhow, last week we had some issues, and I'm pretty sure it's due to the whack schedule I had. On Wednesday, I had a long work day and didn't pump for the first time until 1:30 p.m. During my 12-hour day Thursday, I pumped once, then didn't get to nurse when I got home and pumped again. By Friday, this had all taken its toll, and instead of pumping 5-6 ounces each session, it was more like 4 oz.

Over the weekend, it was no bottles in hopes of boosting my supply. I could tell I wasn't producing as quickly, because C was eating much more frequently - like every three hours, similar to his newborn days.

I'm sure my getting sick didn't help any of this either. Then yesterday, for the first time, I didn't pump enough to feed Coop the next day. No, I didn't have to dip into the freezer stash, as I had some extra in the fridge. But I hated the feeling and it had me terrified I was about to dry up. I went through tons of water and began popping the Fenugreek again. I researched the meds I am on right now to make sure they aren't linked to a dip in supply. In fact, I considered throwing it out, but figured that really wouldn't do any good.

This morning, for the first time in a week, I woke up with my rock-hard boobs again. And I laughed. Who would have thought I'd miss those so much?

What I'm learning about breastfeeding is that, just like anything, it will be filled with ups and downs. It's really basic - drink plenty of water, don't stress too much, and stay around the babe as much as possible.

We are still trucking along rather well, in my opinion. If I had to guess, I'd say that my freezer stash is now around 500 ounces, and next week, I'm going to begin cleaning that out and freezing everything I pump, since it's recommended to use frozen milk within six months.

Right now, I have my eyes on the prize of making it a full year breastfeeding. I feel like we've come so far, and it's just so comfortable on the schedule we have now, which I'm sure is more or less what we'll maintain until he is 1. I am flexible however, and very mindful that my body may decide differently. If so, we aren't opposed to supplementing with formula, but I've decided that I will continue to pump/nurse as much as I can - why do four formula bottles a day if you just need one?

This past week's events make me even more anxious about potentially leaving Coop for a few days for Branson {we still haven't received the letter that we are for-sure going, but it looks very promising!}. But right now is too soon to start worrying about that. Once we get the details, I'll have a talk with our lactation consultant to see what they recommend, and we may look into asking my parents to come down for the weekend as well to keep an eye on Mister and allow me to nurse a couple times a day.

If you are/were a breastfeeding mom, what are your suggestions?

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  1. Having your parents come over the weekend so you can nurse a couple times sounds like a great idea! I took my mom to DC with me twice for work, so I could nurse Tully in the mornings and evenings. My best advice is to keep doing what you're doing. Keep an open mind. You know that there are ups and downs. Don't stress. Teething, solids, growth-spurts, strikes, and sickness all happen.

    At 13 months, we're down to nursing 1-2 times per day, and I bet it's only an ounce or two at a time, but we're still nursing! If he dropped nursing completely, I'd be OK, and if he continues...well, so be it!

    I'm so proud of your breastfeeding journey!!!! And just think of the hundreds (thousands?) of dollars you've saved! Burning a few extra calories each day doesn't hurt either :)

  2. Congrats momma in 6 months of breast feeding!! That's awesome! Sounds like you're doing everything right and you know what to do to get your supply back up! Keep it up and you'll have enough for your trip. If they could bring him up to you that would probably help you too! I just weaned my boy at 12 months but still have a lot frozen! I joke and tell people he'll be on breast milk till he's 16, I have so much! Apparently you have much more milk with kid #2, or at least I did!

  3. Great job! I know it is hard. I am approaching six months too and I feel like hopefully if I made it this far, I can make it to a year. Sounds like you have a good system going!


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