Can, But Not Enough
I have exclusively breast fed my baby for 6 months.
My supply has not kept up with her, however, and I've used almost all my emergency frozen milk to supplement her.
I have tried it all, everything. Pumping more, nursing more, eating more, eating oatmeal, drinking more, taking herbs, new bras, no bras, no exercise. I even called the dr who told me to call the lactation nurse, whom I'd already spoken to 5-6 times.
I rented a hospital pump from her anyway. NOTHING has made my supply increase to keep up with my daughter.
I can make milk but it's roughly 2/3 of what she demands during the day. Even when I'm nursing, not pumping, she will cry wanting more.
I've had the panic of dry overnight diapers and FTT pediatrician appointments. I have been so so torn up about giving her formula. This weekend after nursing her 3 times in less than 3 hours I went and fixed her a bottle. And then another one. She drank 8 ounces and didn't utter another cry the rest of the evening. I pump 4-5 times and only get about 8-10 oz in a whole day at work.
My heart soared and broke at the same time. Finally, my little baby wasn't upset and hungry but I was so sad that I couldn't provide that comfort to her.
Plus I had kept her hungry for so long trying to do what all these experts say anyone can do. "You just have to try harder. Nurse, nurse, nurse. And relax." ??? Suggestions to nurse do not help when a) I'm already doing that and b) she's not getting anything when she nurses.
Sometimes she's so upset from being hungry she won't even try to latch and just screams. I am still upset about supplementing but I will be truely supplementing, not substituting. I'm going to have to find some peace in that.
I plan to still pump and nurse as much as always but give her formula also while I'm at work. It is not what I wanted but I have learned that sometimes happens in motherhood. My pregnancy wasn't what I wanted but I didn't miscarry. My delivery wasn't what I wanted but I had a healthy baby. And I plan on keeping her that way by whatever means necessary.