Monday, November 22, 2010

Nursing Dilemma!

Normally I don't bring too many "private" issues to light on my blog. I don't necessarily think this is too private to talk about (obviously . . . or I wouldn't be writing this) but some of my readers might.

So . . . if you don't want to read about breastfeeding, please skip this post. Consider yourself warned!

So I have breastfeed both my babies. Neither one has had a drop of formula. It's hard work to put it in mild terms. But that's a post for another time.

I nursed Abigail until she was 17 months old. I got pregnant with Elsie when Abigail was 12 months old and so I had adequate milk supply until about month 15 but we kept on for a while. I felt very good about that experience. One morning (the morning of her 17 month birthday) instead of nursing her first thing, I just walked downstairs and fed her breakfast. She never batted an eyelash, so obviously it was time to quit. She hadn't been very interested for about a month anyway.

I have nursed Elsie now for 12 months (what I consider to be my personal minimum amount of time to nurse a baby). I got pregnant with this baby when Elsie was about 9 to 10 months old (still not quite sure on that timing). Anyway . . . I was hoping to also hit the 17 month mark with her. However, I have a problem. I have hardly any milk left!

I discovered this when I went to a movie with my husband on Saturday night. I missed a feeding (Elsie got pumped milk and drank 5 oz). I pumped when I returned home and wasn't even able to come up with 1 single ounce. Depressing!

Elsie currently nurses about 5 to 7 times a day, depending on whether or not she nurses at night and after her naps. I know babies are more efficient than a pump but she can't be THAT much more efficient. She's still probably only getting 1 ounce per feeding and I think I'm being generous there.

My ultimate goal is to find a way to boost my supply so that I can keep going a few more months. I'm drinking a lot (of water . . . ha!), eating oatmeal, pumping after almost every feeding and before I go to bed, getting as much rest as I can, nursing Elsie almost whenever she demands it. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I know she's over a year-old and can turn to other foods for her nutrition so I don't need to turn to formula. I just feel like she's not ready to quit (I mean really . . . 7x a day!!!!!) and I want to keep going for a while too (for her sake). My body is just not cooperating.

This is on my list to talk to my midwives about. Perhaps they have some experience with this issue. They are very supportive of my decision to continue to breastfeed during pregnancy and don't see any problem with it.

I'm just not ready to quit yet and it kills me that I might have to. Some articles I have read today have given some ideas on how to increase supply and give encouragement to just keep going until it's gone. Some others say that there is no way to recover (sad!).

Any advice (positive that is) is welcome.


Amanda @ My Everyday said...

I hope you can find a way to help I don't have any advice you haven't heard already (fenugreek?) :( I know my boys weaned before I would have liked (10 months) and this one is a distracted snacking nurser so I'd like to quit!

It's wonderful you're able to keep up this long! Don't feel discouraged if she weans.

Jaime said...

I have read that fenugreek is not recommended during pregnancy. I'm going to talk to my midwife about it at my appointment tomorrow.

We're still going strong (she's nursing about 8x a day) so I guess we'll just keep going. She will be 13 months soon.