It’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride lately, especially when I have been struggling with breastmilk production. I didn’t think it would come to the day where it would drastically decrease. I was trying to figure out the reasons why it was happening.
- My food has been the same except I have been eating more to keep up with the calories I have been losing during breastfeeding.
- There was the factor of incorporating exercise 5x a week, which I have put it down to 2-3x a week. To add to that, I was also losing more calories.
- Not enough sleep? Although, I would get 6-8 hrs per night.
- Dehydration? Maybe I’m not drinking enough water even though I feel like I am.
All these factors ran through my mind every single moment.
To be honest, I cried. I cried because there were times where Oliver was getting frustrated because he couldn’t get any milk. I could tell because he would suck on my nipple and become fussy. He would pull away his head and cry like he was in a lot of pain. It was probably because he was so darn hungry. My heart just kept breaking.
At first, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. I was going through my checklist in my head:
- Did I change his diaper? Yes I did.
- Did he get some playtime today? Yes.
- Did I clean his body and change his onesie? Yes.
- Did I give him loving and words of encouragement? Yes.
- Maybe he feels dirty? No, because I just gave him a bath.
- How about feeding? Is he full? Hmm. It seems that he is fussy when he is nursing.
And usually, he would fall right asleep after having a bath and going through our bedtime routine of reading a book & nursing him till he goes to his light-sleep stage. I was just not sure what was going on.
One thing that really stood out to me on how I knew my breastmilk was decreasing was when I would pump. I was only getting 1/2 ounce or ZERO. Before this occurred, I would pump 3-5 ounces per boob. It really took a toll on me. It hurt me a lot, and I was seeing the dark end of the tunnel rather than the light on most days. I was doing everything I could to make sure my baby was very happy. I was praying to God so hard, just hoping He could help me and begged for my breasts to produce milk again.
That’s when I just cried out to my hubby, Rufo and God bless his heart. He is such a wonderful husband. He just comforted me, gave me encouragement and words of affirmation. Rufo told me that it will come back, and to just keep trying. Don’t give up.
My smart hubby mentioned it could possibly be the birth control pills that I was taking. I was so focused on the other stuff, I forgot that could have been a factor and from there, I did some research and spoke with my doctors. The brand I was using actually had a side effect of a decrease in milk production! When I saw that, I definitely stopped taking them. Side note: I started taking them because I wanted to take all the necessary precautions from getting pregnant again (at least for now), especially when after birth, women tend to be most fertile.
Since then, my milk production has increased, slowly but surely. This is my main focus right now is to make sure I have that milk for him. I do my regular Traditional Medicine Mother’s Milk Tea every night along with taking Fenugreek capsules (2 capsules, 3-4 times a day). I also mix whole ground flaxseed with oatmeal and eggs (it tastes like grits) LOL. It made me a happy little camper again with a happy little baby!
It was a difficult time for me though. I am so happy I know what to do now. I just couldn’t bear the thought of Oliver going through that again either. Poor baby. He is such a trooper to be honest. He held out. When I couldn’t feed him, I had to replace it with a bottle of breastmilk but we all know, that isn’t the same feeling as nursing and being held close to their mommy. I do thank God I had breastmilk in storage at that time. Whew.
I truly love the bond and the feeling that I feel when I nurse Oliver.
Nothing against mothers who formula-feed their babies, but for me, for my preference, I want to give my baby the best of the best, which is my breastmilk.
I can’t just give up on him, not knowing I didn’t give it my all.
Prayer is powerful.