When I got home from Mexico I knew I was only pumping about 4 oz, 3 times a day, and I also knew my 5 month old was drinking about 6 oz, 3-4 times a day. So, I knew I needed to get my supply back up. I also knew that while I was gone, my daughter came to love the frozen breast milk (it was warmed to body temperature before feeding, of course) and always over drank from the bottle and spit some up. Over the 6 days I was gone my husband only ran out in the last few hours and had to make 8 ounces of formula. That means two things:
- She was used to getting the milk easily without working for it. So going back to breastfeeding would require her to work a little.
- She didn’t mind the taste of the formula so she didn’t have a big incentive to go back to the work of breastfeeding.
These two things, plus having a low milk supply, meant we were in for some rocky days and I was right.
First day home she took right back to breastfeeding without any trouble. She didn’t want to look me in the eyes and wouldn’t smile at me but she loved to breastfeed (or at least nurse!) and she was glad to have it back. But she wasn’t getting enough to fill her belly and we continued to supplement with the formula. I did, however, nurse her every second she would to increase my milk supply.
Second day home she was more into me — smiling again and playing with me. But the milk was about the same as before; not much and a lot of work to get it. I admit to some frustrations and hesitations at this point. Was it worth all this work? I was basically back to the newborn stage of feeding on demand but had a baby who wanted/needed lots more. Not only that but I wasn’t seeing any evidence that the milk was increasing. It seemed to be decreasing and I knew it was either going to increase or dry up. My husband had faith, though, and encouraged me to give it a week or so before giving up. So I kept at it, deciding what was healthiest for my daughter was to get back to breastfeeding exclusively.
Third day home is today. I am officially 7 days post-op. I finally saw some increase. Not enough but better than deceasing! I am still supplementing with formula and rice cereal and I’m still nursing on demand. The next 4 days will be critical as to whether the milk returns enough to go exclusive. Wish me luck and I’ll update again soon!
Love and God’s blessings,