Thursday, August 16, 2007

Harder than it looks

We made a visit to the lactation consultant today. Breastfeeding has been an uphill battle for us over the last 6 days, and when it got to the point where I was bleeding, we decided we needed some help. The good news is that the LC was very helpful and we seem to have located the source of the problem. We're supposed to do some simple exercises with Luke prior to every feeding to help him learn how to properly position his tongue to feed. I'm still worried about how we're going to do long-term, but at least for now I think things will improve.

I never knew just how upsetting and all-consuming it can be to feed a newborn. When we came home from the hospital, Luke really wasn't getting enough to eat. We didn't realize it for several hours, and when we did we had no choice but to give him a couple of bottles. Then the pediatrician told us that he'd lost a bit more weight than she'd like to see (around 11% of his birthweight) and I felt horrible. Intellectually I know that we did the best we possibly could for him on that difficult third day of life. Things have gotten SO much better since then (thank goodness my milk came in quickly), and we know that he's getting enough. The lactation consultant was very reassuring on that point. Still, I spend virtually all day, every day thinking about how much Luke is eating. Is he getting enough? Is he really done with a feeding or is he just getting sleepy because his tummy is starting to fill up? Will he have a long enough nap after this feeding for me to take one?

Breastfeeding is hard. I truly, truly believe that it's the best thing I can be doing for him right now, but I can really understand now why many women give up. It's hard. Very, very hard.

Edited to Add:
We're back from the pediatrician and Luke has gained 6 oz! He needed to gain at least 3 to be back on track weight-wise, so we're pretty happy with 6.


M said...

You're doing great! I had a horrible time with Gillian and I know how you feel. If she'd been my first I don't know if I would have made it through.(Cara was much easier and knowing I had successfully breastfed her kept me going.)

For days I cried just thinking about feeding her because it was so painful. Bleeding nipples? Check. Pain? Check. Baby spitting up blood? Check. Worried about how much milk was getting in her belly? Check.

You've made a great commitment and it sounds like you are doing great! Good job for taking all the support you can get and not stressing about a little formula supplementation. The good news is that Lucas was born big enough to lose a little weight and not be in any trouble.

You do have pure Lanolin, right?
Hang in there!

Bea said...

Glad it's going better!


Kathleen said...

You know I'm thinking of you and praying that it just gets better and better...I am glad it's continuing to improve, and I know it's just going to go up from here!