My breastfeeding quest was full of challenges and obstacles.
As I mentioned earlier we had a number of breastfeeding problems. Insufficient weight gain was one of them. My son was in the 50th percentile at birth. Still in the 50th at the two-month appointment. It dropped to 30th by month 4, 20th by month 6, 15th by month 9, and 10th by month 12.
I stayed home for 12 weeks, then went back to work. I was pumping at work and breastfeeding after work. I left work when my son was 6 months old, so I only worked and pumped for 3 months.
During the first 12 weeks my milk supply was good. I even pumped after every feeding and stored milk in the freezer.
When I started work I started pumping. It wasn’t going good for me. My milk supply dropped drastically. I was in the same new mom's room with some other ladies. We all used the same model pump. I know it does work. It just didn’t work for me as well as it did for others.
When my son was 5 months old (and I was still working and pumping), I found blood in his stool. It was a sign of food allergies. After all the tests, the doctor started me on an elimination diet. No corn, wheat, nuts, dairy, soy, eggs. Read more here.
When my son was 6 months old, I decided to quit job. I knew my son needed me. My milk supply was still low from pumping. And my son was not gaining much weight. Our gastroenterologist recommended supplementing with a hypoallergenic formula Nutramigen.
My son started gaining weight better with the formula. But I was giving him just a little, still hoping to re-establish my milk supply. By the first birthday we outgrew the allergies.
Low milk supply was definitely a result of some mistakes made by me, like pumping, supplementing, being stressed about the allergies. Allergies contributed too.
Months after I stopped breastfeeding I was dropping the milk
I had left in the freezer at a local milk bank. The nurses tested the milk and
it was healthy, but it had too little fat in it. It was still of a much greater
value that formula for the babies they were using it for. But my son was
on this milk for 16 months! No wonder he wasn’t gaining enough weight. I wish I knew that milk composition was an issue. There are ways to improve milk quality.
I wish I was referred to a lactation consultant. I just didn’t really think there was a problem.
I am happy about my breastfeeding quest. I know my son benefited hugely.
I hope my story helps you become better educated than I was. Knowing is half the battle. Read about my experience and my inexperience and become a happy breastfeeder!
There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.