Mommy Milk Scare
Today for about 2 hours I thought I lost my milk supply. I was kind of freaking out. While I have always had enough, I don’t have excess, which is mostly on purpose. With Jenson I had to pump because I went back to work, and I ended up with a giant oversupply because I responded to the pump so well. I ended up donating hundreds of ounces of milk – mostly to one baby who had lost her mother. While is was nice to be able to donate, since I’m home this time, I don’t have time to pump AND nurse a baby. So I’ve tried to pump as infrequently as possible, and since Marlowe nurses every 2-3 hours around the clock, I haven’t even had much time or need to pump. I have about 20 bottles worth of milk in the fridge, and since I rarely leave her, I haven’t been worried about storing more.
Today she wasn’t wanting to nurse on the left side, but it didn’t seem to be due to positioning as usual. She would just suck for a few minutes and stop and fuss. Sometimes she’s impatient waiting for let down, so I’d switch her to the right and then try to get her to nurse on the left after – which was hit or miss. While Jenson was eating lunch, I decided to pump a little on the left since she wasn’t nursing much. I got nothing. I knew she hadn’t nursed much on that side for several hours, so I was really worried and assumed she was fussing on the left because she wasn’t getting anything. After Jenson finished lunch, I tried to nurse on the right and she wasn’t getting anything – she’d suck a few times and pull off and fuss. Sometimes she does that when she’s tired or not hungry, so we took Jenson up for nap. I was so sick to my stomach with worry that I’d “allowed” my milk to dry up. I know supply goes up and down, but I was sure it was over and I felt like I’d failed. Obviously I was already running everything through my head of what I could do to bring it back – Mother’s Milk tea, oatmeal, fenugreek, tons of pumping, etc. But I had several friends who went through this at some point during nursing and couldn’t “fix” it. I also know there’s nothing wrong with having to supplement or switch to formula, but I would be devastated.
After his nap routine, I tried to pump on the right and got drops. It was such an awful feeling. I tried to feed her again and she was fussing and just seemed sleepy, so I laid down on the couch with her, and she snuggled up to my chest and fell asleep. She woke about 45 minutes later – barely – and I nursed her laying there. She got some milk from each side and fell back asleep. I was so relieved that she got some. But those hours of worry made me want to boost my supply and at least get a little stock in the freezer. She slept for over 2 hours off and on -which is kind of a record for her, and she nursed a little more again. She was able to get milk when she wanted, and was mostly happy through the day, so it’s safe to assume she’s not hungry.
But out came the double pump again, which I’d been hoping to avoid this time around. I had just been using a hand pump because it’s easier, but it’s not as efficient or powerful. I pumped for 15-20 minutes about an hour after Marlowe went to bed and got 3 ounces, which is perfectly acceptable. Phew. So this milk scare was just that I think…a scare.