All for a good cause

(Chris snapped this picture as I was nursing and walking outside in the yard. A normal occurrence around here)

I am in the middle of nursing my 3rd child. I love nursing my babies. I really do feel bad for women who have a really hard time nursing, because I have been blessed to have had a pretty easy time with it. I love that my babies have gotten all of that wonderful breast milk. I love the bonding that goes along with it. I am a hyper person, and I love that it forces me to just sit and bond with my baby. I could go on about why I love nursing, but this post is really all about telling you the thing that I don’t love about nursing, and that is (drumroll please)…… the uneven and lopsided breasts that go along with it. Again, an apology for tmi, but at the current moment, one of my girls is almost a full cup size bigger than the other. I try hard to have Miriam nurse from both sides, but it is pretty obvious that I just produce a lot more milk on my left side than on my right. I have talked to girlfriends and sisters who have experienced the same thing. This is one of those things that people forget to mention to you before you have a baby (it must have been written somewhere in the fine print), so I must admit that it took me by surprise. While many women dream of ¬†boob jobs, I have ¬†0% interest in taking part in any of that. Although I must admit that I would be happy to see everything even out (and it was significantly better when I stopped nursing.. although not quite even), I know that it has all been for a good cause. Breasts were created for nursing babies, and even taking into account the unevenness and sagginess acquired along the way, I wouldn’t trade my experiences nursing for anything.

Have any of you had a similar experience? Are you okay with it, extremely self conscious, or somewhere in the middle? I am also interested to know if nursing came easy for you or if it was a difficult process for you? Oh, and one last question. I would love to hear where you all live and how common nursing is among your friends and in your communities.

Karli - June 26, 2011 - 11:36 pm

I’m jealous of you mamas that can do other things (i.e. walk around your yard) while nursing. My babies (and my breasts) are always too big, my little arms are too short, and my babies are WAY to ADD to do anything but sit on a couch. My kids have not even let me read books at the same time… they always pull of and try to knock them away… ALL my kids have done it. The best I can get away with is looking at my phone. Of course, I love to sit and look at them too… it’s just, it always amazes me how people can do something else other than just sit.

All my friends here in Hillsboro have pretty much been breastfeeders. In Seattle too. I would say 90% of the people I’ve hung around with babies the same age have been, so there’s always a nice support system.

Heather - June 27, 2011 - 12:37 am

uh, yeah. like, ridiculously so. nursing & co-sleeping, there was always more time spent on the side that kept baby tucked in between us. I learned too late that I could flip over almost to my stomach & keep baby nestled in the same spot. Also… as for the boob job, I always thought that was the vainest thing. Unless you had gobs of disposable income that kind of money could be spent on so much more worthwhile things. BUT, after nursing ‘thing 1′ till he was 2 1/2, & ‘thing 2′ is at 18 months so far. Well, I get it now, where do I sign up?!

Rose - June 27, 2011 - 2:20 am

I truly enjoy nursing more than I thought I would. I was frustrated at first because my milk took a while to come in. But the babe was great at latching on and sucking even though mommy had very little milk to offer her. Even now, I still have low production. My body make just enough to feed, so stocking up by pumping is rather a challenge. We opted to supplement with formula as well to make sure she gets enough to eat. It’s a great joy whenever I get to nurse, because beside the health benefits, I can see how much of a comfort breast milk is to my baby. It is a truly bonding experience.

On the size issue — Before giving birth and starting to nurse, My left one had always been slightly larger than my right (make sense to me since I’m left-handed). Since I began nursing, it seems that there is more milk on the right one, and this tends to make the right one usually bigger than the left one when they are fully engorged. However, the size difference isn’t that significant, so it never bother me much. I, too, try to nurse both side evenly, hoping that they will eventually even each other out. But I think once I stop nursing, things will probably go back the way they were :p

PS – Love to hear from working moms and their breastfeeding experience. I’m about to go back to work soon, but still want to continue breastfeeding. I know that pumping is the key. But is there any suggestion on how to increase production. I try herbal supplement, but only have limited success.

EmmaJ - June 27, 2011 - 4:36 am

I love breastfeeding! My milk production has been more with my daughters than it was with my son. I produce plenty and have a pretty easy time with it, but with my son I don’t think anyone could produce enough to keep up with his appetite. Even when pregnant with him I was always hungry and ate all the time, but only gained 12 pounds with him.
Most of my friends here in Northern VA nurse. In fact the mother’s lounge at church often has at least one mom waiting to get in. It doesn’t seem like this is an area where nursing in public is accepted though. When we lived in FL I would nurse at library time or classes and saw other women doing it too, but here I don’t see people nursing in public at all.
I too am jealous of those of you who can do more than sit when you nurse. My breasts are just too big. I can’t even nurse lying down in bed because my boob just covers my baby’s head. I went up two cup sizes with my first daughter and a cup size with each other child but don’t go down hardly at all once I stop nursing. I am now at an H cup and I hate it. I think they look vulgar. No lopsidedness though. I told my husband that once we are done having children I am getting breast reduction and lifting done. He said fine, but nothing else.

Elisa - June 27, 2011 - 5:50 am

I have never had an abundance of milk for any of my three….and my back has always killed me. But after reading your entry…I am going to try to appreciate nursing more :)

kara - June 27, 2011 - 8:06 am

I never thought about the fact that short arms would make it nearly impossible to walk and nurse, but it’s totally true :).
You are a total babe as is :)
People have a hard time believing me when I say this because my babies are so huge, but I also don’t produce very much milk. Obviously enough, but when I have tried pumping in the past, I hardly get anything. I also hope other working moms will chime in on pumping for you!!
I’m sorry you have to deal with size H breasts!! That would make exercising and other things hard. I’m sure you don’t look vulgar though. OH, and that is sooo interesting that you don’t see people nurse publicly. Haa.. I probably have freaked a lot of people out not knowing it while nursing kids out east visiting my sister :)
I sincerely do love nursing, but I definitely have bittersweet moments. On the one hand, I love that nursing is nature’s way of tying you to your baby, but there are times when I wish I could get a little ore of a break :).

adrienne w - June 27, 2011 - 8:36 am

I have a love/hate relationship with nursing. I am one of those mommies who STRUGGLED like crazy! With Macartney, it was horrible. We had bad advice from the start and I could not get her to latch nicely. The only problem I didn’t have was milk production, which was a problem in itself. I produce enough to feed small villages! Send me to Africa and I’ll make a dent in the world hunger problem! Because of that, my newborn babies have a hard time latching on (too firm), they choke and sputter when I letdown (which upsets them a lot), I’ve had mastitis with 3 of my 4 babies (and several times with 2 of them), I can’t do anything while I nurse except sit down and try and contain the spray! With number 1, I saw so many lactation consultants and finally a doctor who ran a breastfeeding clinic, but I still had problems until she was about 7 months old. Then we hit a groove. It still wasn’t easy, but I was no longer suffering. We made it to at least a year with each baby (and longer with each one) and that was enough, considering what I’d been through. I have permanent damage from the bad latch and it’s always my baby’s least favorite side. I think that women need to know that it can be HARD WORK and it’s not always convenient!! I feel like it has been one of the most selfless things I’ve ever done, because it was so hard for me. I feel really good about what I’ve sacrificed to do it. But I totally understand why some women give up after really trying. It is such a tough thing emotionally when it isn’t working. It doesn’t feel like a bonding experience when you’re baby is screaming from hunger and frustration and you’re crying because it’s painful. But I feel the bonding now. Once we got past those first few months with each baby, I do enjoy it more. With number 4, it’s great. She loves it and I love to just sit and enjoy the quiet time with her. The other kids know that I won’t do anything for them when I’m feeding the baby.
On a side note, breastfeeding also makes me keep weight on. As soon as they are weaned, I start losing weight quicker, but until then, it’s hopeless. I guess it just makes me comfier to cuddle with!
I’d say up here in Alberta where I live, most women breastfeed at least for a little while. I’m surprised though, by how many women stop by 6 months. Most of my friends who have stopped had problems with milk production.

adrienne w - June 27, 2011 - 8:36 am

Oh my gosh, was that ever long! I guess I feel strongly about it as well! Sorry! :)

Elisa - June 27, 2011 - 9:06 am

Wow! I really appreciate what Adrienne had to say…for me it has been extremely physically demanding, although I haven’t had any problems with any latching on. One thing that really gets me is how many people doubt my milk production….IF the baby is upset…it’s because he/she is hungry, right? Wrong…there are so many other reasons as to a fussy baby…gas, tired, attention. Here in Peru, the higher socio-economic class you are, the less likely you are to nurse…although this is changing and more and more moms are nursing at least three months. I feel self conscience nursing in public here.

Sunny - June 27, 2011 - 9:31 am

Currently nursing my 3rd and I really like not having to plan my baby’s meals because the milk is always there ready to go. With ALL three the first 2-3 weeks were very painful. With #1 and #2 I thought we were doing it wrong, but with #3 I had a great lactation nurse. She told me that pain is normal at first and that you should wait 30 seconds before deciding to change the baby’s latch. If it hurts more: change, if it hurts less you’re good to go. I have lots of milk for my baby and very little for the pump. My let down is INSANE, even at 6months and I could give a good milk shower with it. I can NEVER get more than a few ounces at a time with the pump and it is really uncomfortable for me. I think there is a mindset for it that I can’t ever get into. I can’t bond with the pump. It doesn’t matter right now since baby won’t take a bottle. Looks like he and I will be attached for awhile!

Jasmin - June 27, 2011 - 10:04 am

Lopsided, oh yes! It does bother me sometimes. I have always been flat chested so the opportunity to gain some boobs with babies was exciting! I wasn’t expecting the lopsided, sagginess though. I honestly thought sagginess came with age, or as my mom always told me in high school, from not wearing a bra. I didn’t know it came with nursing. So now that I have boobs, they are much more interesting than I had expected :)
I am now nursing my 3rd child as well and I find it interesting how different each of my children have nursed. Frequency, duration, the way they latch on and the way my milk has, in turn, responded to each of them.

Kelly - June 27, 2011 - 10:46 am

For all you soon-to-be working moms, pumping is hard work! I did it part time for 3 months and then exclusively for another 3 when my LO decided the bottle was better after I went on a work trip. But, if the pump you have doesn’t work for you, try another one. I had the Pump-in-Style which is supposed to be the best but it always hurt me and was never very productive. For travel, I eventually bought the relatively inexpensive, single Swing and found that even though it wasn’t a double pump, I got 3 or 4 times as much milk in the same amount of pumping time as the mechanism of the pump is so much different, it just worked better for me. That was against all the advice I’d received as the PIS is supposed to be the most effective. But, the Swing never hurt and worked a lot better for me so keep trying. Good luck!

Amanda - June 27, 2011 - 10:54 am

Lopsidedness – OMG – hilariously and ridiculously so! I suffered a clogged and then abscessed milk duct on the right side in the first month of nursing, and that side never really got going very well. While lefty got way bigger to try to compensate, I still couldn’t keep up with Naomi’s demand, which seems constant! After weeks of struggling and suffering, we finally got a prescription for Domperidone to help with production, supplemented with breast milk from friends (I call it “guest milk”), and lastly with some initial reluctance, organic formula. Anyone who has seen Naomi knows that she isn’t missing any meals, and this girl LOVES to nurse. I love it, too. It is worth all of the many struggles, pain, and tears in the first few weeks.

About pumping: keep trying it! I used to get almost nothing, an ounce or less when I first started. But, if you pump every day (and try around the same time), your body WILL start to respond. I pump every day at work and get 5-6 ounces combined. For me, that’s great, but I think most mamas would get more (righty still hardly produces). I use an electric double pump most of the time with one of those awesome bustier things to hold the bottles in place while I work (lovely visual, eh?). I use a manual pump when I only want to do one side. Try both if you can because some women respond better to one or the other. Also, my insurance covered 80% of the electric pump – check with your provider!

Ang - June 27, 2011 - 11:24 am

I worry a bit that I’ve gotten TOO comfortable nursing in public here in Corvallis, but honestly, with my hands full with the other kids, if we’ve actually gotten out of the house, I’m not leaving just because James gets hungry/fussy. And he’s never really gone for a bottle, so I don’t have too many options.
For me the lopsidedness is always in a state of flux, but usually balances out. I loved the lactation consultants I had with my first – they were so informative and helpful, and while it took me 6+ weeks of pain and four months before things really went smoothly, my babies always more-than thrived and I felt confident that, as long as we kept working at it, there was a way to get through the difficulties. I secretly don’t understand supplementing with formula – don’t you just breastfeeding more frequently until your supply increases?

EmmaJ - June 27, 2011 - 11:36 am

This has been a most interesting discussion. I am loving hearing how nursing is going from all over the country and world. Thank you all for sharing and to Kara for starting the conversation.

Margaret - June 27, 2011 - 1:08 pm

I’ve nursed both my children and was so glad and grateful I was able to. With #1 it was horrendous. It was so painful, had mastitis, not to mention crashing horomones, recovering from labor, etc. People kept saying, “you don’t have to nurse you know” but it was something I was determined to see through and I’m so glad I did. It took numerous appointments with lactation specialists but it finally started working. BUT…it was hard and I dont think any woman should ever feel guilty for not being able to nurse. If it is driving a mom bonkers, then that is good for no one. You just do your best. Living in Seattle, it is a very nursing friendly area, so I’m grateful for that. I love that I don’t get weird looks nursing in public. But some of my friends have been made to feel that they are less because they don’t nurse. Which I think is wrong too.
With #2 it was much easier, thank goodness!! But still a challenge. And I started losing milk around 4 months. I pumped between feedings and tried everything out there I could find to increase milk production, but at 9 months, my baby was done and I was sad to have her weaned so early, but grateful I could nurse her a little.
And as for the resulting factor that is your chest….well, we will see what I look like when I’m completely done with having children. Funny I was telling my husband the other day that I can’t remember what my body looked like before I had kids. It’s like I’ve only ever had sagginess and a pouch! As for surgery…to each his own, it doesn’t bother me or matter to me either way if people decide to do that or not. :)

Elisabeth@SimpleGreenishLiving - June 27, 2011 - 2:30 pm

I haven’t noticed much lopsidedness but definitely a change in overall appearance…not something I gave much thought too until we started waterbabies last week and I had to get into a swimsuit for the first time. Yikes. It’s definitely safe to say my days of swimsuits with plunging necklines are over!

I am SO thankful nursing came “easy” for me. I say “easy” because of course there were the days at the beginning where it was pretty painful (but those days were few). There were lots of moments as a new mother when I worried endlessly that I wasn’t producing enough, and that wasn’t fun either. My little guy has a mouth FULL of teeth (and got them pretty early on) so I have dealt with my fair share of painful biting, but that too seems to be over with. Overall, though, I’d say it came easy. We are almost through our first year of nursing now and we’re looking forward to continuing!

I feel mostly comfortable nursing in Corvallis (and Oregon in general). Not the case in Nashville where my BFF lives. We visited there when our little guy was 3 months old and at one point I had to nurse him in a HOT car because I got the impression that it would be inappropriate for me to nurse him anywhere in public. My BFF also told me that besides me she knew ONE other mother who was nursing…WHAT!!?? My BFF has a TON of friends who are mamas so this was just mind boggling for me! I’d be interested to know what the statistics are for other states (and if this is common all over the South or just in Tennessee).

Shannon - June 27, 2011 - 2:43 pm

Breastfeeding has had it’s ups and downs for me. The beginning was really challenging and had a lot of tears, but I was determined not to give up on exclusive breastfeeding no matter how much it sucked. Part of it was that I wasn’t educated enough and a lot of the advice I received was inaccurate. The best source for me was, she saved my sanity many times at 2am. There were several “turning points” for me and each made it easier to continue on, but the big thing after nailing down the fundamentals was to just trust my body and to relax. I went back to work at 12 weeks and have been pumping at work ever since (we are coming up on a year next week!). I’ve never had lopsided issues, but I’ve also never figured out how to nurse in bed. Maybe it is a trade off? I’ve always had to get up and go to a chair.

Here are my tips for working moms who are going to pump:
- Your supply will go up and down, don’t freak out about this, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are drying up. Tons of things can impact milk supply. Stress is a big milk decreaser; so close your eyes, breath, think about your baby and chill.
- Practice at home where you are comfortable and usually nurse. Try to build up a small freezer stash to fall back on as needed to ease the daily pressure.
- Bring pictures/video of your baby to help you “get in the mood”. Phones these days are great for this and I still occasionally watch a video of my babe before or during nursing.
- Stop staring at the volume you’ve pumped. Find something else to do. Reading books on my phone helps me get my mind off of it and my production is always better when I’m distracted.
- Be patient. You can get multiple let-downs if you continue pumping past the first one. Also, your body will adapt to the pump and over time your volume will go up and for me the letdowns come closer together now. Pumps aren’t as efficient as babies so it can take longer to get the same amount out with a pump that your baby would normally get. Also, give yourself a little boob massage mid-pumping session. Massage can stimulate additional let downs.
- Build pumping into your daily schedule at about the same intervals your baby normally eats. Don’t be too lax about timing. If you don’t pump often enough your supply can drop, so block the time on your calendar if needed as even a short pumping session is better than nothing (though longer sessions are best since the hind milk is higher in fat). The best way to stimulate your body to make more milk is to empty your breasts as thoroughly as possible more often.
- Stay hydrated! It is so easy to get busy and forget to drink water and that is a sure fire milk killer.
- Be aware that since you are no longer nursing on demand, your menstrual cycle can return at any time and you might not be safe from pregnancy anymore. So unless you want another little surprise to nurse, be careful. :)
- Know that if you are using a licensed daycare center, Oregon law says they have to toss the milk after an hour after heating and first offering. So it is best to provide more small bottles vs. a couple large ones. I found 4 once bottles to work great for my son, but play around with it and be sure you understand your caregiver’s rules. It is killer to go through all the work of pumping and then learn they dumped it out.

Breastfeeding has definitely been a journey for me, but so worth it. Even through the pain, stress, panic over supply, having a cold for nearly 5 months straight, and the inconvenience of stopping work and hauling around fresh milk… the bonding with my son is something I wouldn’t give up. Plus it is total magic when it comes to getting him to sleep and that is priceless.

Shannon - June 27, 2011 - 2:50 pm

Oh and I guess I should have said how much I get from pumping… I generally get 12 ounces, with 16 on a really good day and 10 on a bad day. I currently pump twice a day, though in the beginning I was sure to do it every 3 hours. But now that my son is eating increasing amounts of solids I don’t worry as much about losing a bit of my supply so I’ve pushed out to 5 hours or so between feedings.

kara - June 27, 2011 - 5:19 pm

I love your lengthy and well thought out comments. After talking to you and hearing how hard nursing has been, I agree that it has been very selfless for you to keep going with it! I like the idea of going to Africa to become a wet nurse with your large milk supply.
That is so interesting that the upper class in Peru doesn’t nurse as often. You can let loose and nurse freely in public when you come to visit!
Maybe we should have a pump bonding party. Haa.. it can be part of playgroup :).
My kids have all nursed differently as well. Gabe was a huge snacker and nursed often.
Kelly, Amanda, and Shannon,
Thank you for the detail of what goes into pumping and working. Wow, you gals have a wealth of knowledge, and I’m sure a lot of moms will find that info helpful. Amanda, that is so nice that you were able to receive guest milk :)!
I have the same question about formula. Question for you all. If you supplement with formula, wouldn’t that decrease the milk production overall, because the breasts aren’t getting enough stimulation to keep up supply?
I agree that if a mom is losing her mind being unsuccessful with nursing, that stress is good for no one. Hopefully most moms have good resources for help, and if ultimately a mom does not nurse, it is not my place to judge. I imagine that this would be a hard area for a mom to live in if she is not nursing. We all have situations and backgrounds. I was also thinking about how my own mom nursing and my sisters influenced my decision to nurse as well. Not everyone has that background.
I would like to hear more people from the south weigh in on that. My sis-in law was asked to move somewhere else to nurse while nursing in a restaraunt in San Antonio. That would never happen here and if it did, I would tell the waitress thanks so much for her concern, but I am fine where I am.
I am going to use some of your tips to try pumping again. I would love to have the option of Miriam taking a bottle ocassionaly.

Lorien - June 27, 2011 - 6:14 pm

What a great discussion! I wish nursing had gone easily for me, but I am proud that I was able to endure nursing either of my children as long as I did. (3 & 4 months) I had supply and pain issues the whole time. I was able to breastfeed my second child exclusively for three months before I broke down and started giving him formula, while my first child I supplemented with formula from day 5, since she had lost too much weight and my milk was not in.
And yes when I started giving formula, my milk supply definitely went down. My son just caught on quickly that he was getting more milk more quickly from the bottle and soon preferred it. So then he was at the breast less and my supply went down. And it was such a relief to not breastfeed him, that it was just too tempting to give him just one more bottle.
It is hard to not breastfeed in Corvallis. I remember taking Kara’s baby class with my daughter and seeing every mom but me breastfeeding. I just wanted to cry as I mixed up my formula in the corner. No one has ever said anything negative to me, but I put a lot of guilt on myself. But now I proudly shake that bottle up! Both of my babies have thrived on formula and not had any of the negative side effects that I was so worried about. I know I did everything I could to make it work and I just focus on how easy I have it now that I’m not struggling every hour to feed my baby.

kara - June 27, 2011 - 6:48 pm

Ahhh Lorien,
It breaks my heart thinking of you feeling bad in my class, but I totally get that it would be hard to feel like you are the only one. You are such a good mama, and it is amazing how when the second baby comes, you care less about what other people think!! You are too busy chasing two kids to spend as much energy worrying :)

Sonia - June 27, 2011 - 6:49 pm

Major lopsided sisters here! My little nursling decided she vastly prefered one side over the other and slowly stopped nursing from the blighted breast altogether after she turned 16 months or so. I recently went bra shopping and had to work hard to find a style that evened the girls out! Nursing was not easy for me during the first couple of months, after that it was a lot easier. I was living on the East Coast at the time and never saw anyone nursing out in public, save for my breastfeeding group. Imagine my relief after moving to Corvallis–people nursing everywhere!

Liz Graziani - June 27, 2011 - 8:09 pm

When I had my first baby I thought breastfeeding was easy. She latched quickly, it didn’t hurt and she seemed content. Then I went to get her weighed and realized she had only gained 2 oz in 1.5 weeks. I found out that I was not a milk producer. I tried EVERYTHING. I did the feed, pump, feed, supplement formula routine which took 1.5 hrs to do. And I had to feed every 2 hours. So I was lucky to get a full 30 min of sleep in a row. I did it for 2 weeks with the herbal teas etc. but I only got it up to about half of what she needed. After 8 weeks and having to go back to work I had to stop. With the second one I produced more but again only made it to 8 weeks because of his demand and me not being able to do what I did before because I had an 18 month old running around who pulled out the pump tubes if I tried pumping when she was awake.

I definitely felt GUILTY for having to use formula. And still feel like i have to explain why I didn’t breastfeed my babies longer. When we moved to Corvallis I definitely felt like the odd ball but I also felt the same in San Luis Obispo where my daughter was born. The moms group I did while in SLO was led by a woman who very much looked down on the use of formula and the woman who used it. So it was really nice to be in your class Kara where it was a more accepting environment. Now we live in Sonoma County and the majority of woman breastfeed.

As for my boobs. With my first pregnancy they went from an A to a D. And the right one was MUCH bigger. And the ironic thing is my left was a better milk producer. Same thing with my second pregnancy. Now that I have lost the baby weight my right is still bigger but with smaller breasts its less noticable. :)

Anita - June 27, 2011 - 8:37 pm

It’s the lefty for me too! haha! Sagginess just runs in the fam:) This has been a fun post! I LOVE nursing my babies. The hardest part about nursing was to stop nursing Pax right before I had Aila. Pax just yesterday asked me if he could have some milk after Aila was done, he’s always trying to barter with me and says, ” can I have the other one?” :)

I know for many people it is not so easy breezy, but I wonder how much of that has to do with not enough confidence about nursing in the first place. I am grateful to you Kara when you let me full on watch you nurse Sofia, because I had really never seen it before and I was so curious. Seeing you nurse and Kelsey too, and than knowing my mom nursed all of us past a year gave me the confidence and helped me feel really comfortable about nursing.

Unfortunately I am the only person I have seen nursing a baby in public here in good ol’ San Antonio. But I don’t let it bother me anymore, and I found a natural parenting group where the women let it all hang out when we are together:) haha. I do have a good amount of friends now who are passionate about nursing and it is great to have that support system. I always get looks if people notice I am nursing when in public, but for the most part now I have become such a sneeky nurser that people don’t really notice anymore.

Boob job? I’d rather buy a good bra and and take a vacation to france :) But like was said before , to each his own.

Anita - June 27, 2011 - 8:49 pm


My heart goes out to all those mamma’s that can’t nurse their babies, it just goes to show you how important it is not to judge other’s for what they are or not doing with their kids because you never know the full story.

Amanda - June 27, 2011 - 10:01 pm

RE: supplementing with formula. If you ordinarily make enough breastmilk to feed your babe and you introduce formula as a supplement, yes, your supply will go down as your body adjusts to having to produce less. In my case, even at full steam ahead I could not produce enough to feed my baby. This is very rare. Normally a woman could pump in between feedings and get her supply up. I nearly drove myself insane trying to pump in between her constant nursing (because she was hungry), to no avail. My midwife and Ped. were both at a loss as to why. The Domperidone helped me boost my production, but with one lazy boob I just can’t make enough. Like I said, it is rare but it does happen. I would love to eliminate the formula if I could, and it will be the first thing to go when she starts eating more solids. For now, I nurse her as much as I can and I don’t worry about the rest.

kara - June 27, 2011 - 10:26 pm

Wow Amanda,
I had no idea some people went through this much to nurse. Domperidone… I had never even heard of that. I think with all of that work you deserve the Noble Peace Prize or at at the very least validation to not feel guilty at all for supplementing :). You are one determined mama.

Kelly - June 28, 2011 - 2:29 pm

Re: Getting judged
I never got comfortable nursing in public, even here in Corvallis and my little one was always too distracted to focus with other people around so I chose to feed pumped milk in a bottle when out and about. I got more than a few looks and several comments about how much better breast milk is than formula either too my face or loudly near me. I responded with “yes, that’s why I go through so much trouble to pump milk for my little one” but it was horrible to feel so judged. Besides, why is it someone else’s business if my choice/need was to give my little one formula? Let’s just be good to each other as mothering is hard enough without beating up on each other too!