perfect latch, huge breasts, insufficient millk!
for years I told myself "I'll have a breast reduction after I have children and breast feed them" because my breasts are enormous and inconvenient to me - they get in the way, buying bras is almost impossible and expensive.
I'll be very lucky to avoid serious spinal issues in old age because of the weight of them. I had to make my own sleep bra and just pray that when my milk came in my boobies wouldn't expand too much.
well, at the age of 35 I had my son. Despite the first 24 hours of him in the special care unit and me stuck in bed recovering from the caesarian section, when I got him back he had a perfect latch. And 2 hours later, he was still latched. He even slept while still sucking. And screamed if I unlatched him to try to do anything like switch him to the other breast.
And 3 days later, we were still in the same routine - he'd be latched and sucking all day and was still losing weight. Finally a midwife told me to give him formula. I felt like an utter failure. So I latched him for 3/4 of an hour (and the lactation experts in the hospital checked so many times and said "well, he has a perfect latch!" and "keep at it, your milk will increase!"), unlatched him and had a good squeeze & grope (while feeling bovine - moo!) to check... no milk left in there! So he had a formula feed, and went to sleep happily while I cried. Every feed after that was the same - 3/4 of an hour, then a bottle.
He stopped losing weight. We left hospital. I tried breast pumps. I never did get enough for a full feed, despite spending hours and hours each day with pumps attached. I pumped and poured it into his formula feed because some is better than none, right?
I got prejudice from the boobie police on both sides of the breast-feeding debate. If I breast fed him for a little while (usually a small snack to keep him quiet while someone else got a bottle ready for him) then I got tutted at for "being disgusting in public!" and "can't you do THAT in the bathroom?"; whereas if I bottle fed him I got smug breastfeeding advocates making comments like "don't you know breast is best?" and talking about me like bottle feeding also made me deaf, saying things such as "obviously she doesn't love her son enough to breast feed him!"
- totally insensitive, given that for all they knew it could have been expressed breast milk in the bottle, and they didn't know me so had no clue what I was going through with a minimum of 6 hours a day on a pump to get less than 20ml!
I gave up pumping after 3 months, I just couldn't do it any more for less and less milk... when I was down to 5ml in a day it was just time to admit I'd dried up. I decided that time spent being happy and able to interact with others including the baby was more important.
I've since found out that the medication I'm on could theoretically have reduced the amount of milk I am able to produce - but not one of the experts mentioned that at the time. Just "keep trying, your milk will increase!" and letting me feel like an utter (or udder!) failure while my (already tiny) son's weight kept dropping.
I'm pregant again now... and will try again because I know it is best for the baby, but with bottles, pump, and formula standing by because I suspect they'll be needed again.
and yes, the boobie police from both sides have already started trying to tell me how to feed my child who hasn't even been born yet!