This was originally the blog of a first-time Mum to remember the ups and downs of my pregnancy - and chart the first year of my daughter's life. But I've kept it going, and am now a mother of two! More than anything, it helps me to get to sleep once I've emptied my brain of issues and concerns and emotions onto the laptop.
If you're reading this and also a mum- or dad-to-be, first time parent, or just someone who's thinking about it - I hope it gives a little insight into one person's experiences - good and bad....

Thursday, 21 February 2013

REST IS BEST

We've been really struggling with breastfeeding this week. It had all been going so well for the first couple of weeks with James putting on weight and having plenty of dirty nappies. But since the weekend he's really struggled to feed properly which in turn is affecting my milk supply. And he's dipped below his birth weight - which is heartbreaking and totally demoralising.

I had a lactation consultant come round today and she says James has tongue tie which is affecting his latch. Although I don't know why that wasn't an issue in the first two weeks. On top of the feeding problems Charlotte and my OH have been suffering with a vomiting and diarrhoea bug since Saturday. All adding to the stress, lack of sleep and me probably not eating enough either.

Even when he seems to have had a decent feed from me, James just doesn't seem content and settled. And those decent feeds are becoming few and far between. I think it's a vicious circle of poor latch, not stimulating milk supply, making me worried, also affecting milk supply, and if he can't get what milk there is there from his latch then it all affects each other in turn.

For the past couple of days I have been expressing after every feed and giving James a top up of that or formula when I really don't think he'll take anymore from me. But that  means a continual cycle of trying to feed, offer a bottle, express - all while trying to occupy and look after a 20-month old. No wonder I'm tired and anxious. And it's stirred up all those conflicting feelings about giving him formula/bottles. 

On that issue, this article and this one make interesting reading.

So the answer for me at the moment is: offer James the breast and really try to get that latch right; once I think he's either satisfied or really not getting anything, offer him a top up of expressed milk if I have it or formula if I haven't, until he's full. And hope the (what feels like constant) expressing and fenugreek supplements will increase my supply. Oh, in between all that, try to eat more and sleep and look after Charlotte!

Thankfully I've had an awful lot of help from Grandparents this week, which has taken a tiny bit of the pressure off.

And when I really think he's not interested in food, but won't still won't settle, I have caved in and tried him with a dummy. Seemed to work for a short nap this afternoon, but until we get the feeding and latch back on track I am a bit loath to keep using it.

On a positive note, if I do need to get anyone else to feed him, James seems more than happy to feed from a bottle, and no apparent aversion to formula in an emergency - both potential pitfalls I know others have had a problem with when trying to offer an alternative to the breast.

And Charlotte's virus seems to have finally gone - she's getting her appetite back a bit, but that also means she's back fighting or completely refusing her naps once again.... just when (on the rare occasion James is also down) I need to be able to nap more than ever!


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