This post contains information that those with an aversion to breasts, specifically mine, may not want to read.
Our strategy with feeding Tristan was that I’d breastfeed and we’d supplement with formula, but things haven’t worked quite that way. He’s thankfully eating anything we feed to him, but as long as it comes from a bottle. He seems interested in breastfeeding, and we were semi-successful in the hospital, but due to our inexperience, it’s not working properly. I can’t get him to maintain a latch, basically. We’re thinking that the size of my breasts and the size of a newborn’s mouth are not entirely compatible. In order to breastfeed successfully, the nipple and a good chunk of areola need to make their way into the baby’s mouth, and without getting too specific, I am not in any way small-chested.
It also doesn’t help when many, many people (well, women, who were nurses and lactation consultants) have entirely different advice about how to make breastfeeding work. “Hold the baby this way, put your hands here, move your breast, don’t move your breast, pinch your nipple this way, pinch it another way, make sure you try to feed for this amount of time..” – it all makes me want to scream! I had to start exclusively with the “football hold” because of the surgical delivery, but the incision has healed enough that I can experiment with other positions.
In any event, I am now a pumper. When we bought the pump, my milk had barely come in. I am currently able to almost keep up with the baby’s intake, but I worry about whether my supply will continue to increase. I spend at least 5 hours a day pumping, during which I can’t do anything besides watch TV because my hands are tied up holding the breast shields. On a positive note, James has been on board with this, which is important because he has to take care of the bottle feedings and most of the diaper changes while I pump. I also have caught up with random shows I’ve seen but not paid much attention to. Also-also, we can actually keep track of how much Tristan is eating, which you really have to guesstimate when you feed directly from the breast. On a negative note, we really do sink a lot of time into this process.
As far as amount goes, the baby is currently taking from 3 to 4 ounces of milk or formula (he gets the formula about once per day) per feeding every 2 to 3 hours, which is a bit beyond a kid of his age. Of course, he has the overdue baby factor; he’s a little older developmentally than his time out in the world would suggest. After a bit of a bump where he lost about 10% of his birth weight (due to inept breastfeeding, the fact that colostrum comes in smaller quantities than he probably wanted, and us thinking he was supposed to be taking less), he’s almost back to his good old giant birth weight.
Now, we’re hoping he will need to be fed less during the night…