breastfeeding hope

I mentioned yesterday that soon I'll be attempting to breastfeed all over again.
Typing that makes me very nervous, because frankly, last time was a nightmare. It was a struggle with low supply, pride, hurtful comments from others, exhaustion, discomfort, and lots of guilt. 

Though generations from my family have had significant troubles breastfeeding (my grandmother could hardly bfeed her first two and couldn't her 3rd - my mom- at all) and I was told I would likely have trouble with supply as I've had breast-reduction surgery, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. Why couldn't I provide for my baby? Why can't I do what mom's are "supposed to do"? Why am I failing at this? Why doesn't anyone understand that the milk just isn't there? You get the idea. 

Through it all, I grew tremendously, as a mom, and a Christian. Learning that God is in charge of all of these things. That he loves me and has given me the skills I need to be a good mom to Lily - namely a heart to LOVE her. Learning that breast-isn't-best but feeding your child is - whether that's from the breast or the bottle. Learning to trust my instincts (we should have actually added formula sooner as Lily was over a month and still UNDER birth weight). And learning to find my identity in Christ, as I'm hid with Him as his daughter, and not La Leche women who tell me "every woman can breastfeed, bar none".

But I still have hope that this time will be different. I have no reason to believe that LG may find more than enough milk in there, though Lily didn't. I have no reason to believe that the exact same problems will face me with my second child. I have been told and read that each child responds to breastfeeding differently, and also each pregnancy and birth prepares your body for the task differently. Women who have never had trouble breastfeeding, sometimes find with their 2nd or 3rd that their supply is not there or their child will not latch. And women like me, who had tremendous trouble have found their 2nd or 3rd babies feeding from the breast easily, and for many months, with no need for formula. I have hope that this will the case for us, but unlike last time, it won't rock my world if that's not how it plays out.

More reasons for hope are literal signs that it could be different. I've read and been told that while you're pregnant you may have small bits of colostrum leaking as the birth approaches. I never had this with Lily, while other friends of mine experienced a lot of this up to 3 months before the birth. Well, I have it with LG! Probably for the last 4 weeks or so I've noticed in the shower (sorry if this is TMI!) or when changing that there are small bits of dried colostrum. Could this be a sign that my body is producing more milk than last time? Maybe. 

I also plan to take the advice from my friend Karen (hi Karen!) to try taking capsules of Fenugreek or Blessed Thistle. There was a medication recommended to me Lily's by old doctor (who we stopped seeing for several reasons, namely we didn't like him or feel he had our child's best interests at heart) but the side effects included "the patient may take on symptoms similar to that of Parkinson's Disease for short or extended periods of time".
Um, no thanks.
Brad and I both felt strongly that it would not be the best road for us to go down.
But natural supplements such as Fenugreek or Blessed Thistle, we're fine with and I'm excited to see how they may help.

Anyway, the point is, I'm hopeful. I'm not counting on being able to breastfeed exclusively. With Lily we had to begin supplementing (though I pumped as well as breastfed for 5 months after she was born) at 4 weeks, and really we should have sooner. But this could be different. It may not be, but we plan on giving breastfeeding the full effort until/unless we see similar signs of low supply and dangerous weight for LG.

And this time, I'll be in a much better place regardless of the outcome :)


  1. oh yea.I've heard that the La Leche people are eccentric..ask Irene Nanninga! and yes I would never take domperidone to increase milk supply!

  2. oh so you've heard of it? haha that makes me feel EVEN better :)

  3. Praying for bountiful milk supply! I know several women who had trouble with their fist and no problem with their seconds +.
    God gave Lily to you, and Lily you as a mom, milk or no milk, c-section or natural, that bond will never change! Keep hoping for the best and then roll with what doesn't go 'as planned!'

  4. thanks Loni :) so encouraging!

  5. Anonymous19.9.11

    I really hope and pray breastfeeding is a more pleasant experience this time, Emily. With Josel I also had problems with milk supply for a while and pain for a long long time. I had clogged milk ducts practically every day, developed mastitis... and the problems just never ended. On the other hand I haven't had any problems at all with Kayla, praise God--- so here's hoping same will be true with LG. I think you have a great attitude about it--- try your best but don't let it get to you if you can't. This is Luljeta, by the way :)