Friday, February 23, 2007

Milk Milk Everywhere!!

I know! I know! You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sick of hearing about the state of my breasts, my milk production, and my daughter's interest in all of that. I promise you that one day you will visit my site and not have to read a post about breastfeeding, but today is not that day.

What is it about my breasts that is so important that I have to post at 12:30 am? I am finally producing enough milk!!!! Woooohoooooooooo!!!!! Unfortunately I have a very forceful let-down reflex which really pisses Aislinn off and usually causes her to have a complete meltdown. I didn't understand what was happening at first. She's always so quiet and when she does cry it's usually this really quiet calm cry, so when she started having these fits I didn't know what was wrong with her. My first thought was that she needed to be burped. When I tried burping her she hungrily sucked her hand in between wails. When I couldn't get her to burp and noticed that she was eating her hand I tried to get her to latch on again which just made her cry more. By the time I gave up on trying to get her to breastfeed she was so distraught that she wouldn't even take a bottle. The only way I could calm her down was to walk her around the house rocking her and patting her back. After a while she'd finally stop crying and then just fall asleep. This has been going on for three days now. On day two I thought that maybe she wasn't getting enough milk. When Howie got home from work I handed her over so that he could feed her a bottle while I pumped. I was surprised to find out that I had more milk than I've ever had, more than enough to satisfy her hunger. When it happened again today I was completely confused so I googled "crying while breastfeeding" and I found that the problem could be a forceful let-down reflex. I looked it up in my breastfeeding book and I feel like a total jackass for not fully paying attention or noticing the cause of her frustration. The book described exactly how she's been acting. I feel like a total idiot for not picking up on the fact that she was gulping, which was followed up by a panicky look, flailing about and then uncontrollable crying. Describing it now I can't understand how it wasn't completely obvious, but I'm so used to not having enough milk that I guess I just never even considered that maybe I had plenty of milk and that it was coming out too fast.

I feel so much better having discovered this. Now I can either pump a bit first, breastfeed more often, or just use a different position so that I'm leaning back and gravity takes care of the rest. Leaning back seemed to help at her last feeding.

Well, I better go. Aislinn needs to be rocked to sleep.


Jennifer said...

I have a forceful letdown too :) And it took me awhile to figure out what the problem was too. I had a few other issues as well but now I've been breastfeeding for almost 10 weeks and it's going fantastic :) You just have to get past those first 6 weeks (it gets easier after 3-4 but becomes really easy around 6).

What I did to help with the letdown was pump at bit at first, but I also just used one breast per feeding and this helped A LOT. What it does is put your milk supply more in tune with your baby's needs.

Anyway, I've turned into a breastfeeding fanatic so if you have other questions or anything go ahead and drop me a line. I talked to other breastfeeding mommies a lot in the beginning and if it wasn't for them I don't know if I would've made it.

I admire how hard you're working to make it work.


MoMo said...

Oh..that is so wonderful. I am so happy for you...maybe you can share some milk!! I thought I was the only one up at midnight!!

Brenda said...

Hey sweetie, so glad to hear things are going well! I can't wait to come visit you and see my beautiful little niece. You're a fantastic mommy and I'm so proud of you!