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.

Becca
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1 comment:

Stef said...

i have my fingers crossed for you! i hope this is just a little bump in the road for you and you lil man.