When Cordy was born, I was determined to breastfeed. My daughter, however, wasn’t so interested in the idea. Our first two days in the hospital were filled with frustration, as I would try to get her to eat and she would resist. She would latch on at first, then realize she wasn’t getting much (it was still colostrum at that point), let go and scream. Repeat every half hour. Even the lactation consultant was no help.
Our third night in the hospital, the staff checked her blood sugar levels and told me her levels were low. Whether I wanted it or not, she was getting a bottle. The look on her little newborn face when offered the bottle was one of surprise and glee. After all, this was easy! The liquid just flowed into her mouth without any effort! It was at that point, I realized we had lost the battle, as my lazy child decided that the easy way was the way to go.
I continued to fight with breastfeeding for the next four months before giving up entirely. She would make a half-hearted attempt at breastfeeding, and then I would follow up with a bottle of formula or pumped milk afterwards. By the time I was back at work, she was mostly on formula.
With Mira, I hoped things would be different, and in many ways, they are. Thanks to the VBAC, she was able to breastfeed minutes after birth, and I was thrilled that she latched on like a pro. But when we got home, her appetite seemed to be endless, and I couldn’t keep up with her. We had to supplement, an act that gave me flashbacks of Cordy and her lazy eating. However, Mira doesn’t seem to care where it’s coming from, as long as there is food. She has no problem going back and forth between bottle and breast.
But I didn’t want to go down the formula route again. It’s expensive, it stinks, and it’s a pain to prepare. So after consulting with my doula and pediatrician (Mira isn’t gaining weight like she should, so the ped is involved now), I’m now trying to increase my milk supply to satisfy my bottomless pit.
What’s involved in this? Well, my pediatrician suggested beer to help with supply issues. I always thought that to be an old-wives tale, but she said she’s seen it work. OK, I can drink a beer. No problem.
Then there’s the herbal solution. An herb called Fenugreek can help increase supply. This is the herb used to flavor artificial maple syrup. Much like garlic, when you take large amounts of it, it has the not-so-pleasant side-effect of scenting your sweat and urine. Which means that my sweat now smells like maple syrup. And my breath smells like beer. All I need at this point is some cigarette smoke and you could have a truck stop IHOP sensory experience in my presence.
It seems to be working so far. I hope that my supply will catch up to her demand soon, because after dealing with a baby who wanted nothing to do with my breasts, it’s frustrating to see her so eager to breastfeed and worry I don’t have enough for her.