Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One Week Old!!!

As of Wednesday, October 27th- My Breast Thoughts is ONE WEEK OLD! The response has been amazing. Over 650 views! 20 followers without much word other than a few mamas posting on facebook! WOW! SO- to celebrate- Leave a comment about how you support breastfeeding mothers. I am excited that I have many women who are wanting to guest post or become authors and am hoping they will be set up within a week or so.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mindset Matters

I mentioned in my (Becca) story about how when I was pregnant I said I would "try and breastfeed." Reflecting back on that- I wonder why I, and so many other women do this. When I hear other women say this- I always suggest they change the wording to "I WILL breastfeed."
I will try means you are already thinking that there is a chance you will fail. I think we, as women and mothers, want this "out" in case we for some reason are not able to breastfeed. But, what we do not realize is the importance of thinking positive, having confidence in our body's ability to do what it was intended as far as nourishing our baby.
I am in no way saying that supply issues are not real. As hormone issues are on the rise, so are supply issues. I myself have a low supply. Yet, I can not help but wonder- if I had gone into this pregnancy with the mindset of I WILL breastfeed, if it would have changed it. I think, if my mindset had been such, when I was told to supplement (which I feel was INCORRECT) I would have had the confidence to say no- I was not going to supplement my baby who only lost a few ounces more than the "acceptable" amount when he was in the hospital a day longer than most babies at discharge and had 0% jaundice. I would have not have had formula in my home "just in case." Women think it is no big deal to have the formula in the home as back up. That can of formula is very tempting after struggling to get your little one to latch for 10 minutes. Having it in the home makes it that much easier to just make a bottle. Not having formula would have meant having my baby on my breast even more (even if it was a struggle) during those first few weeks. That may have made all the difference in my supply. Maybe I still would have needed a little help but maybe I wouldn't have.
So often I think we as women doubt ourselves. We don't want to disappoint those we care about, but we don't want to disappoint ourselves. So instead of saying we WILL do something, we say we will TRY and do something. It may be losing weight, getting organized, or breastfeeding- but it is all the same. We are doubting ourselves before we begin, giving ourselves an out, and not having confidence in ourselves. My next child- I WILL breastfeed. No trying about it.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vote On What You Want To Read About

On the right side of the page, under the blog logo, you will find a poll asking what you want our next topic to be. Please vote. You can only choose one answer, but we will discuss all these things at some point. Voting closes on Nov 8th at 1:00 PM so vote now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

When He Doesn't Want To Nurse

When I consider how I felt the first few months of Lil Man's life (like a giant cow- nurse and pump, nurse and pump) I never thought that in 5 short months my feelings would change so much. Since I have a low supply I find that I have really began to cherish nursing sessions.
But what about when Lil Man doesn't want to nurse? These last few days he just hasn't wanted to nurse much. There is too much to see and do. Add to that the fact that he is starting to teeth and the pain that goes along with trying to nurse, and he is as close to a nursing strike as one can be, without actually having a picket line.
For many moms, while they may be sad, they would simply pump and feed their child from a bottle. Or, if their child does not take a bottle, they would suffer through a few days of hard nursing sessions. For me, however, this poses yet another problem. My supply...my delicate supply...hanging by a thread. What will happen to my supply? I can almost feel my supply getting less and less and I find myself extremely frustrated with myself and my son as we fight through each nursing session, only to end with a bottle of formula or expressed milk, and me going to the pump during his next nap.
Some would say- don't give him the bottle after-however, after the scare we had with my son going through two separate weight loss spurts, we can not simply tough it out. We have to make sure he eats, even if he would be willing to go without. I would never let him go hungry in order to try to force him back to nursing. I, as a mother, can not do that. No matter how much I believe he needs to be, should be, and could be (if he were willing) on the breast, I can not as a mother leave my son without the nourishment he needs to grow.
So here I am, supplementing a little more than normal, and in the back of my mind, worrying about that supply. Each time we have a couple days where he seems to prefer playing to nursing I wonder if this will be the time my supply will not come back, but will deplete down to nothing. I pray and pray while he takes his bottle that I will be able to recover, while I make a mental check list of the herbs I still have in stock in my cupboard to help try and help keep it up.
If this is the time that my supply can not recover, I will continue to give Lil Man what I can. Even if it is only a few ounces a day. I will know I have given it my all, that he is still getting the benefits of breast milk for as long as I can give him something, and that he has gotten a great start to life. The short time we nurse is just that- short. While the benefits of breastfeeding can not be denied- the rest of his life can still be filled with health if I am not able to continue this nursing relationship any longer. Only time will tell if this is just another bump in the road or if we are heading to a dead end.


Now On Facebook!!!

After having such a response from friends on a local parenting site- I was excited to start talking to those on facebook about this site. To help get the word out My Breast Thoughts is now on facebook. Please, go to our page and press the like button. Suggest it to all your mom and soon-to-be mom friends. Let's use this as a tool to support each other, no matter how we choose to nourish our precious little ones.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just A Small Laugh!

This made me smile- click to enlarge


United States Breastfeeding Report Card

Here is a link if you are interested in finding out your states breastfeeding rates. How is your state doing? How can you help make a difference? Photobucket

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Give Your Input!

This blog has been created so that women can openly share their feelings in support of breastfeeding and breastfeeding education. This includes formula feeding moms who still support breastfeeding.
I am excited for this blog and have already received emails and messages from many women that are excited to be apart of this blog. I am overwhelmed by the positive response that has been shown.
So- What do you, the reader want from this blog? My vision includes giving the reader what they need in order to succeed at breastfeeding, or being a breastfeeding supporter. Leave a comment and let me know what you want from this blog.
Also- next week we will be adding authors. I look forward to these women sharing all their experience and knowledge. Each woman has a unique experience. Some who exclusively pumped in the past, others who pump at work and nurse at home, some who have combo fed and then succesfully nursed a second child with no supplementing, and those who exclusively pumped but then were able to bring their child back to the breast. Some suffer from oversupply, others have the perfect amount, and some have a low supply. Each woman has something special to bring to this blog.
Please spread the word. Post this blog on your facebook. Women need to be able to talk as openly about breastfeeding as they do about pregnancy, sleeping through the night, and teething.
Welcome again and I look forward to getting to know those who read this blog.

Becca's Story

After nearly 8 years of infertility, I was ecstatic to be told I was expecting. As I went through my pregnancy I knew I would "try" and breastfeed.
"Try and breastfeed" How many moms say this? Why don't we just say "I will breastfeed." For me it was because I had PCOS and I had read a comment on a blog somewhere that this effects supply. That got me worried. I began researching it. Reports on this varied- some claiming as many as 1/3 of moms with PCOS "reported" having low supply (not verified by a doctor or LC).
So, I decided that just in case, I would have some formula in the house. Lucky for me (not of sarcasm here) I was sent some by the formula companies who got my name off some mailing list from a pregnancy site, maternity store, or something.
During my pregnancy I went to the breastfeeding class offered by the hospital. I bought a boppy, did some online reading and thought I was ready.
My son was born after an induction (8 days past his estimated due date) that resulted in an emergency c/s- not because of the usual "failure to progress" but due to his heart rate dropping to 33 bpm.
Nursing seemed to come pretty naturally for us in the hospital. However, when we were discharged I was told he had lost more that the "acceptable" amount of weight. I later learned that induction and c/s babies will often lose more because the mother receives more fluids during labor and delivery. Had I known this I may not have done the next thing.
So, we began to supplement. I remember going home the first night and suddenly, my son, who had been attached to my breast for 3 days, wouldn't latch on. It was so easy to just give him the bottle at that point. However, being stubborn, I knew I wanted to make breastfeeding work. I called the LC first thing in the morning and got in.

I continued supplementing as my milk took longer to come in (5 days) due to the c/s. I had the misconception that I needed to feel engorged when it came in if I had a well established supply. So, I still supplemented. When we took my son in to the doctor at 2 weeks, he had not only reached his birth weight- but had an extra pound on there. I was told I could stop supplementing.
As the next two weeks went by, my son, alert from day one, didn't seem to have an interest in comfort nursing. He also was not a fan of eating in general (really, he still would rather do something else than eat). I felt like my supply was low and also I felt like Lil Man was not gaining weight.
I went to the LC who said it appeared I did have a low supply. Also, it was found that Lil Man had lost weight. Back to supplementing.

It was a long struggle. I tried everything, reglan, fenugreek, shatavari, more milk plus, tons of water, lactation cookies, and more. I finally thought at 3 months that my supply was up enough that I could stop supplementing. I had purchased an infant scale so I was able to monitor my sons weight (back after he had lost all the weight). About a month in, Lil Man was losing weight again- so now, I supplement. My son has a few days where he doesn't get any formula- those are joyous and keep me going. He also has days where he eats constantly and ends up getting 6-10 oz of formula. I try and keep the perspective that some breast milk is better than none, and that more than half of his nutrition is yummy mommy milk.

Looking back- I feel I did not get enough education or support. I feel I was given bad advice. I never should have been told to supplement as we left the hospital. I should have just been told to put him to the breast more often and had it explained why his weight loss was only a few ounces over the acceptable amount. I was not taught at all about comfort nursing or cluster feeding in the class I took. I was never told a newborn can nurse every hour for 30-45 minutes each hour. I felt like I educated myself as I went along. Maybe with my next child I will be able to exclusively breastfeed....for now though- I will give Lil Man what I can.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Hope For This Blog

I have been thinking a lot recently about why I am a combo feeder instead of being able to exclusively breastfeed. I feel a lot of remorse in some of the decisions that I made that I feel added to my need to supplement with formula.
In no way do I want a mom with low supply to feel that this issue is "made-up." It is very real. However, I think all to often, due to poor support, mis-education, etc a woman may have a low supply when she could have had a healthy breastfeeding relationship without supplementation.
I set out on a quest a while back to make a difference. To help other succeed where I felt I had failed. While I hope to better the education and support in my local area, I felt I needed a way to reach farther.
This, plus my growing friendship with other breastfeeding moms made me think- wouldn't it be nice to have a site that really let us all share our feelings? I know there are a lot of them out there, but I wanted one that several different moms could come on and write. I wanted it to be a site that advocates breastfeeding, while still acknowledging the possibility of low supply. A site that breastfeeding moms can share their opinions in a way not available on parenting forums and social networks. A place where they can freely speak of breastfeeding, without risking offending someone or having a battle of comments break out.
So, these are my breast thoughts....and hopefully the thoughts of other mamas too.
Please, if you are a breastfeeding mama who would like to be an author- let me know through the comments. We would love to hear from you.



Welcome to the My Breast Thoughts Blog! This blog was created as a way to help others succeed at breastfeeding, talk about thoughts a mom has as she breastfeeds, and discuss common breastfeeding concerns & struggles. There will be several guest posts by other breastfeeding moms and those who have breastfed in the past.
At the bottom of the page you will find some great resources to help you during your breastfeeding journey.
Please be patient as this blog is still under construction.