As a general rule, "A sucky baby is a hungry baby."
George is a sucky baby. From day one, he's been pretty fussy. Always nursing, never satisfied. And I've been exhausted!! We supplemented with formula (GASP! - don't tell LLLI), which I'm sure has 1) reduced his patience for nursing and 2) reduced my milk supply. Vicious cycle, I know. But my baby is hungry and momma's gonna fill that belly!
Originally, I blamed myself; I didn't nurse often enough early on, I wasn't getting him latched on right, I wasn't producing an adequate supply of milk because of a surgery I had 10 years ago, I just plain suck...
So I started to research what might be causing his inefficient feeding behaviors....
- falling asleep after only a couple minutes of nursing
- not releasing his latch even though he's asleep
- not emptying the breast (I HATE that word, by the way. They may say 'breast is best,' but I say 'boob is better.')
- rooting and fussing immediately after being taken off the....boob
In addition - VERY sore nipples. VERY. Cringe worthy. That kind of pain that makes you get dizzy and vomit...or at least feel like you're going to vomit. Where other mothers might experience a surge of feel-good hormones when nursing their babies, I was experiencing an adrenaline rush. An honest-to-goodness fight-or-flight response. And sweat. It was making me sweat profusely...which I do when I'm nervous. I do, however, refrain from sticking my hands in my armpits and smelling them, like thisssssss...
What did I find? Low milk flow.
Ok, why is it low, and how do I fix it. Then I remembered:
I said it shortly after he was born, but never actually thought that it might be related, "I think George is tongue-tied." And why wouldn't he be? His father is. George's tongue looks just like David's. I forgot to mention it to Dr. Loghry at his 2-week well-check. I didn't think it was causing any problems. Now that I've looked in to it, it's likely causing ALL of the problems!!
It's fitting this is my first post-partum post; it's the first time I'm not stuck in the recliner with a hungry baby nuzzled in my bosom!
No clippy. The ENT said he's not tongue-tied. Which...sucks....pun intended. No quick fix. I am historically better with quick fixes than long processes. I didn't even stick with physical therapy after I broke my elbow. I'd love to learn Spanish, but it would require long-term effort. You see what I'm getting at.
Anyway, next up: herbal supplements to boost milk supply and a lactation consult on Friday. A chat with the local LLL leader, of course, resulted in the suggestion that giving a bottle has made for an apathetic nurser. But that doesn't really concern me, since 1) he started getting a bottle AFTER becoming 'apathetic' about nursing and 2) I'm going back to work in 1.5 weeks, after which he'll have to take a bottle regularly anyway. I just want to have milk to put in it! (And I would prefer that he can drink directly from the source when I'm home so that we don't have to plan ahead and pack and keep milk on hand when we're not at home.
I'm sure I'll return to this topic again...