the stereotypical breastfeeding post

I guess since I have a new baby, and I’m a blogger, I’m required to post something about how breastfeeding is going, right? Isn’t it, like, a mommy blogger law or something?

Breastfeeding Catie was awful. My milk never came in, we were both frustrated, and we both cried a hell of a lot. It was definitely not an experience I wanted to repeat.

This time I went into it cautiously optimistic (lots of women who can’t breastfeed the first time find it easier with the second baby, right?), and also with more than my share of skepticism. I made an internal deal with myself before Lucy was born: I would not cry about breastfeeding this time.

And? I haven’t. Cried about it, that is.

For one thing, I went into this knowing a bit more about my own health and medical history. And I armed myself with the resources that I knew could help me: my pediatrician’s office has a lactation consultant on staff, who I can speak to anytime for free (and she’s a good one, unlike the one I had when Catie was born). I also knew to start off with fenugreek and More Milk herbal supplements right away.

But also, I went into it knowing full well that I have milk supply issues, and accepting the fact that supplementing with formula may always be necessary. When I admitted to my (awesome) pediatrician that we had started supplementing by day 5, he shrugged and said, “They found baby bottles in the ruins of ancient Egypt. We don’t worry about it.”

So, rather than a breast versus bottle argument, we’re doing both breast and bottle, and it’s working out really well. Lucy is nursing about 5 or 6 times a day, and even with the supplements, it’s never quite enough to fill up her tummy (although based on the number of times I hear her swallow when she’s nursing, I can tell she’s getting a lot more than Catie ever did). Then we add in formula afterward if she’s still hungry. Which she always is.

I feel good knowing that the breastmilk Lucy gets is boosting her immune system and doing all that other good stuff for both of us. And the formula works because other people (like Dave, or my mom, or whoever) can help out and give her a bottle and allow me to get a little extra rest in between feedings.

So it’s good. It might not be the perfect solution for everyone, but it works for us, and that’s fine by me.

She smiles in her sleep. Love.

It seems to be fine with Lucy too.