Monday, November 23, 2009

Feeding Guilt

I am having some guilt issues when it comes to feeding Henry. Number one on this guilt list is my reduction in breast milk. Actually, I am not even sure it is a reduction as much as it is just simply not enough for him. I look at him, and he is healthy and thriving. He is small for his age, but that has always been. He has grown right along side the 5% weight category. Never dropping below, never having a "failure to thrive" issue. His doctor doesn't seem worried. She says it takes a while for my body to catch up, that this is normal at six months. Still. It is so hard to look at him once he is done nursing, done after only five or ten minutes, and I know he wants more. I know he is OK, but not really full. To see his face ask, "so...that's all you got??".

I called my doctor and they put me on some medicine to help. It will be the third time I am on it. I guess this is an issue I have been having for a long time now, which I just didn't talk about. I have cute caffeine 100%. I am drinking as much water as I can during the day. I am trying. Still, I feel guilty. I feel disappointed in my body. I had a ton of milk before I went back to work, and I know that was only seven weeks in, but my supply has never been the same since. So, I blame work. I blame my body. I blame my infertility. I blame my thyroid. All reasons to explain why I see the look on his face that asks for more food.

I have thought about supplementing. But...I don't want to. I feel like it will be the beginning of the end of breast feeding. Then I have a new wave of guilt because I truly don't know if I don't want to stop breast feeding for him or for me. I love it. I love the time together, I love providing for him. I just love it. And I know that it is best for him, but is it still the best for him if I am not making enough milk? Am I actually not making enough milk? He seems healthy and happy...he sleeps through the night. Maybe it is enough, but it seems as if it is just enough. Nothing more. Nothing extra. Just enough.

So, we are coming to the end of the rope. Taking one last ditch effort to get my supply up before we truly discuss other options. This last time I called the doctor to ask once again for the medicine, they happily called it in. I talked with the nurse about my reluctance to supplement, but my concerns about my supply. She reassured me that it is FINE to be on the medicine again. That some women with Thyroid issues require it all the time. That if I don't want to supplement, they will find a way to get my milk supply up. She seemed so sure. I so hope she is right.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling guilt about this... as usual I have no constructive comments to make, not having any experience in this field, but know I am holding you in my thoughts and hoping that you get the result you are wishing for x

  2. Have you considered trying domperidone? I had the same issues with Riley's weight gain and that look of "More Milk Please!" It took the domperidone 24 hours to work. I have doubled my supply. She usually spits up a lot onto me after a feeding because there is too much milk! You should try it. It's incredible.

  3. The mother's milk tea always works good at upping my supply. You can get it at the health food store. Hang in there ;) don't feel guilty ever! You are a great mama! Xoxo

  4. Best of luck to you, dealing with all this. I love nursing my daughter for the same reasons you listed and she is 9 months old. I breastfed my son 14 months and hope to do the same with her. I had a point where my milk supply seemed to drop and she wasn't getting enough. I nursed her as often as I could and pumped a few extra times just to get my prolactin levels up higher and get me making more milk. It worked for me and hopefully it could for you, too. You don't have to give up on this if you don't want to, but don't ever feel guilty about it - any and every choice you make for him is out of love and that is all that matters.

  5. Oh, sweetie, welcome to the world of mom guilt. And here's some news for you - IT NEVER ENDS. If none of the above suggestions work, think about supplementing with a little formula. It may be that he needs just that little extra - and you can still breast-feed him too. Good luck!

  6. What is happening that makes you worry your supply isn't enough for him - weight loss? crying? not enough wet diapers? My supply went down after I went back to work but it was just regulating to the baby's needs. I pump a wildly fluctuating amount during the week, too. Monday's are good, Tuesdays are iffy and Wednesday suck then Thursday and Friday are ok. I also had a couple of crazy dips and then started my period. Could you do a before and after feeding weigh in somewhere? I did that and learned that she got 3 oz after feeding for about 6 minutes so that really helped lessen my worry that she wasn't getting enough.

    I know you have probably covered these bases but I thought I'd add my two cents! It can be nerve wracking to try to figure it out!

  7. *hugs* Please don't feel guilty. Are you taking Reglan to increase your milk supply? If so, fyi: two known side effects of that medication are depression and feelings of agitation.

    Things that worked for me to increase milk supply: kangaroo care (skin to skin as much as possible), eating lots of oatmeal and whole grains, drinking one very dark beer every day, avoiding herbs such as thyme, oregano and sage, staying hydrated, pumping often, nursing often, and getting lots of sleep.

    But even if it doesn't help and you need to supplement, no worries! You're a great mom. :)