I won’t write about my breast reduction here, or how I prepared myself to breastfeed Anneliese, or how “breast is best” (but really it’s NORMAL and should be the baseline for any comparisons in infant nutrition)…but I will say I am so overjoyed that I get to have this type of relationship with both of my children, and that they can bond with each other through nursing together too. There are ups and downs, but overall, I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.
Sometimes little bumps happen…
When Joseph turned 3 weeks old, something happened. Something obviously changed somewhere, and suddenly he was a spit-up machine. I don’t mean a little bit of spit-up. I mean 3 tablespoons of just-swallowed milk spewing down his face, into his ear, on my arm and my stomach. He basically did this all day and night for 2 days, then mostly at night and in the morning.
I called my La Leche League leader (and friend) Cathy and asked her about food intolerances. Could this be sensitivity to dairy? I had eaten a lot of cheese lately…but then, I eat a lot of dairy and drink milk ALWAYS. Wouldn’t I have noticed before 3 weeks? We chatted for a while, hashing things out, and she told me often people don’t notice any sensitivities until about 3 weeks. (GAH! Please don’t be milk and cheese!) Then she told me that if he did have an intolerance, his poo would probably have a mucousy quality to it, and he would probably have some skin irritation or seem like he had tummy pain. None of that was happening, so I felt better.
Then I realized that since I was tandem nursing, Anneliese’s nursing would affect my supply just as Joseph’s did. And since she had been feeling sick (don’t get me started on the well-baby-visit-and-picked-up-a-bug-at-the-pediatrician’s-office rant), she had been nursing a LOT throughout the day over the last couple of days. So my milk production probably increased to keep up. BUT she sleeps through the night, so this resulted in a supply/demand imbalance (oversupply) at night only. Joseph would nurse, spit up tons, then be hungry and nurse more, rinse, repeat.
So I decided to block feed (nursing on one side only for several “meals” in a row) at night. The first night, I only nursed Joseph on the right side. He didn’t spit up nearly as much! Sure, I woke up with a boulder on the left side, but Anneliese was more than happy to snuggle and have lots of mama milk when she woke up. The second night, I nursed Joseph only on the left, and the right wasn’t as engorged when I woke up. After that? Very little imbalance, and now things seem to be even again.
With breastfeeding, there are lots of little “bumps” that can occur, but they don’t have to signify the end of nursing. If you talk it through with some other breastfeeding mama friends, or go to La Leche League to ask about it, or talk to an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), you can almost always find a way to get through the bumps and back into the lovely part.
(Note: I didn’t say to ask a pediatrician or OB for breastfeeding advice, because they often give bad advice due to not being properly trained in the subject. IBCLCs are MUCH more knowledgeable than doctors when it comes to breastfeeding and its surrounding issues.)