Monday, September 14, 2009

One day at a time

I've always thought that saying was a little silly - "take things one day at a time" - pft - as if there's any way else I can take them right? So on this day, I have been quite frustrated. I've had more than a couple of moments wrought with self loathing and irritation. My milk has decreased significantly. It has over the last week or so. No doubt it has everything to do with exhaustion and the fact that the babies are sleeping a little longer at night - only feeding about twice between the time I go to bed and get up. I've been consciously drinking more, trying to eat more while concentrating on carbs which I read help with the fat content of milk. I've gained 2 pounds, but not produced more milk. I pump more often than the babies eat which I thought would rememdy the problem in a few days. Nope. Maybe I'm being impatient. Luckily, I have quite the collection of pumped milk in the deep freezer but it certainly won't last forever.

I'm just frustrated. In the moments I allow self centering, I absolutely feel gut wrenching guilt for not being able to carry my little ones longer, for not being able to care for them when they were most fragile, for the loss of my precious little Kuylen. I don't know why all of this happened. No answer would be good enough anyhow. But I've drawn much comfort and repaired bits of self doubt knowing that in the face of all adversity, I could in fact supply Mary Louise and David with the best nutrition. The perfect diet created just for them by my silly silly body.

Hopefully, I can resolve my latest issue in the next few days - or at least see a more promising supply. UGH!

P.S. I absolutely LOVE the jogging stroller - and the babies are much happier on our daily walks.


  1. Heather,
    I so feel your pains and frustrations, though I haven't ever felt the loss of a child. A pain no mother should ever endure.

    I too curse my body for not being able to carry a baby to term and always ask why. But, I know that I am a better mother from my NICU days and the milestones we reach are that much sweeter.

    Charlotte would not, could not, 110% refused to nurse, so I pumped for her for 10 months. I too went through ups and downs with my milk production, but it IS possible to pump for as long as you want (I stopped only because I was ready to start working on getting Frances in our lives).

    Tip #1: DO NOT stress about milk supply. More stress = less milk. It will come. Relax. Read People. Do mindless things while pumping. Your body knows what to do.

    Tip #2: Your babies will be just fine if your supply runs out. I supplemented formula with Charlotte and that child will eat ANYTHING now. Frances, who came out a nursing pro, never had formula. She is my pickiest eater and I struggle to get nutrition in her now. Oh how the tables turn!

    Your babies are precious and are lucky to have you as their mama.

    Just a FYI, I did a post on storing breast milk. WHEN your milk production increases, I hope this helps you!

    Much love,

  2. And remember, a fact that we kept getting beaten into our heads on wards, as your babies age and you continue to breastfeed, the caloric density and nutritional content of your milk changes, meaning that while the volume may be decreased, in all liklihood, the milk produced (even if it doesn't look "richer") typically ends up being equivalent to what they received before. It's a natural response to decreased feeding demands and frequency.

  3. A few tips. Do compressions as you pump. You know, squeeze the boobs together. Also, try fenugreek or More Milk Plus (by Mother Love). Both helped my supply increase after every bout of mastitis. I know sleep is valuable but if you pump between the hours of 1-4 am, your prolactin is at its highest & will yield you the greatest amount of milk & also set you up for higher production for the rest of the day. I pumped at 2am until the kids were 6.5 mths old. That was the ONLY way I kept up my supply. I would yield about 18-22 oz of milk during that 1 session. Try to rest when the babies are resting, even if it is laying down for 15 minutes. It will help.

    Most importantly, don't get down. You are doing a fantastic job!


  4. Don't worry... I know easier said right? My sister and I had the same problem with milk production. My pediatrician suggested Fenu Greek and it is safe for you and babies. You can get it at GNC. That worked for a good while. Then my pedi suggested domperidone again safe. I pumped sucessfully through his 1st year. And decided to stop after that. I have a few links posted below.

    Side note: the Domperidone was cheeper in Canada so I emailed Dr. Jack Newman and he sent me a script I then sent off to the website listed below.

    Without the help of these my sister and I would not have been able to give our children breastmilk past about 6 months or so.

    Also ignore Dr. Jacks stuff about No bottle breast only. I had to give ahdyen a bottle he just couldn't ghet enough on breast alone and he did just fine.
    I hope this helps. Call your Peditrician and get their opinion.

  5. A friend of mine gave me this recipe and said it really works. If anything, it is an excuse to eat cookies!

    Monster Booby Cookies:

    1/4 cup butter, room temp
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup peanut butter
    1 1/4 tsp baking soda
    3 cups rolled oats
    6 ounces of either: m&ms, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, raisins, whatever you desire!
    2 tbsp brewers yeast

    preheat oven to 350

    Beat sugar, brown sugar and butter until creamy.
    Add eggs, vanilla, baking soda, brewers yeast and mix well.
    Add peanut butter and mix.
    Stir in oats and m&m's (or whichever ingredient you choose).
    Place teaspoon full of dough on lightly greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown on edges.

  6. Heather I struggled so much with breastfeeding both times due to low milk supply. The doctors forced me to supplement with formula b/c of continual weight loss in the babies. Finally with my second one, someone finally told me about Fenugreek. I was able to stop supplementing with formula. Please try it. It worked. If it doesn't work for you I will be so surprised!

  7. I too "beat myself up" about not being able to carry either of my pregnancies to term. (especially with the twins..) I do not know what you are going through with the loss of Kuylen, and I wish no other mother had to experience such devastation. I constantly keep your entire family (including him, of course) in my prayers. Know that you sharing your life experiences has changed the lives of all of us who read it.

    On another note, my lactation consultant had me call my OB and get a script for Reglan to increase milk supply. Keep up the awesome work and get some rest (I know, easier said than done..)


  8. Heather,
    Awesome job on keeping the babies on the boob juice for this long!!! ;D

    If you're taking a multi vitamin and it has B6 (in the 50mg range), stop taking it; high doses of B6 is recommended to help decrease milk supply for those not wanting/able to breastfeed.

    Lentils are supposed to be lactogenic. So are the following: oatmeal, fennel seed, carrots, beets, yams, almonds, cashews

    Get plenty of naps, you're doing all you can. Remember, you're doing more than many people could imagine or would be strong enough to do.

  9. I can sympathize with low supply issues. After 9 months pumping, I've had a supply decrease. It seemed to happen very suddenly, and I'm running out of my freezer stash quickly since I've been low for almost a month now. I do find the more I relax and become "one" with the situation, things seem to get better.

    Be sure to check your equipment, it might be the pump after months of heavy duty use. Be sure to replace your membranes on the medela (the white things) every 3 months or so... and maybe try different size shields. I believe a lactation consultant can check your pumps suction too to see if the motor is burning up. Less suction means less emptying, which decreases your supply.

    Check out this site for lactogenic foods:

    Also, I found that my daughters intake never really increased (she is always at 20-22 oz per day) after about 3 months adjusted. But I kept offering more milk, and wasting a lot in the process. There is research that breastfed babies never increase their intake since the milk changes as they grow.

    Good luck, you are doing awesome, you have really accomplished a lot and should be proud. Your babies are very lucky to have you as a mom.