What a roller coaster. The pain of the first two weeks seems like a distant memory now that we’re a month in and I’m relieved to be able to share that I longer dread the next feeding or have emotional, “I-can’t-do-this” meltdowns every few days! Wahoo! Progress, eh? I haven’t had to use the APNO or Soothie Gel Pads since about 2.5 weeks, or “prepare” before each feeding with warm compresses (and prayers that she’ll latch well)!
The other day, I even said how much I loved breastfeeding. Out loud. I couldn’t have imagined that three weeks ago but I totally get it now. It’s almost addicting how much I crave feeding her; it’s so bonding. It makes sense though, since oxytocin is released while you breastfeed. There are times when I’ll tell Brian, “let’s do a bottle for the next feed”, usually only because I don’t want to waste the pumped milk in the fridge, then as that hour approaches, change my mind and decide to nurse anyway. I can’t really explain it — it’s crazy!
I raced home from a solo grocery store run the other night when I felt my milk let down (it’s a tingly, pins and needles feeling). I was so worried that I’d miss a chance to nurse and snuggle her.
We definitely turned a corner and hit our groove around 2.5 weeks and I got into a nice routine with Emilia. We’d sit on the couch, I’d have a movie or some tv shows DVR’d and ready to go, a huge glass of water with a bendy straw, and some sort of snack, and we’d spend about 45-minutes to 1-hour on a feeding session start to finish when you figure in the time for burping, soothing and a diaper change.
But then around week 3, we think she must have hit a growth spurt and started to cluster feed and fuss at 7 pm every single evening and I got SO worn out. And then in the last week, she’s started to fuss a LOT more at the breast before and during feedings, leading me to worry that something I’m eating is causing her tummy troubles or if she suffers from reflux. She’d been easily nursing on both sides, then suddenly in week 4, refusing my right breast and screaming her head off when placed on her back to nurse. It’s been awful. Paired with her limited napping and increased need for snuggles ON me, I’ve felt really worn out and exhausted lately and can’t get anything done most days.
We talked to her pediatrician earlier today about all this and decided to try having me eliminate dairy and chocolate in case those are bothering her tummy. I’ve been craving hot cocoa for weeks now, and sometimes drink two cups a day, totally not realizing that hot coco is chocolate — duh. And one of the 10 foods to be wary of while breastfeeding. Oops! So that one makes sense and I hope is what the problem has been.
I may also try pumping on just the one side she is having trouble on, for now, to keep up supply, until she grows out of this fussy stage.
It’s weird because she’ll take that side sometimes, but not always. This morning we even successful nursed in side-lying position which we haven’t successfully been able to do so far. It was really nice! I actually snoozed a bit while she nursed this morning and must have fallen back asleep because when I woke, she’s finished and was peacefully snoozing in front of my chest, a little milk mustache and beard splashed on her sweet little face to show for her nursing efforts. I melted. And then proceeded to stare at her, propped up on my elbow for about 45 minutes this morning.
This was really useful info I wanted to share about milk production.
Breastfeeding IS so hard at first, and you’re right…at some point your finally “turn the corner.” Glad you stuck it out and are having such positive experiences now!