We’re making slow but steady progress with breastfeeding. I’ve finally figured out what was causing all the trouble and it’s my over-productive milk ducts. When my milk came it the forceful let down combined with my overproduction was more than Abel could handle so he pretty much refused to nurse because it caused him pain. I’m producing too much milk which results in him not getting enough of the hind-milk which is the rich, fatty milk that will keep him full and help him grow. Because he was getting too much fore-milk it was causing him to be gassy and have frequent bowel movements.
When I began to pump and give him a bottle he is getting a healthy mixture of both kinds of milk resulting in a happy baby. Now that my milk production has started to even out and I’m learning some tricks to help him adjust he is slowly starting to make progress at the breast.
I’ve been pumping before I feed him to help take the edge off my overactive let down. I’ve also been offering him the same breast for several feeds in a row to ensure he completely drains one side before moving on to the other. I also will adjust his positioning so he is nursing up-hill instead of the flow of milk falling into his mouth. We still utilize bottles to help even out his feedings if needed but since we’ve identified the problem and started to address the issues, things have vastly improved. I’ve noticed that my breasts don’t feel as full between feedings which means they are adjusting to the demand.
I’m hopeful that within the week we will be spending more time nursing and less time pumping. Tomorrow we go to the doctor for a weight check so I’m hoping he’ll show good signs of growth. I can already tell a huge difference in his temperament and sleep habits since we’ve been working on changing our feeding patterns. He actually slept for over 5 hours straight the other night. I woke up before he did because I leaked all over the bed.