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Our Breastfeeding Journey :: Finding Our Groove

Breastfeeding-Alba

This post has been a long time coming. I last updated over two months ago … It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Since Alba’s birth, we have struggled with breastfeeding issues. I first shared back when she was a month old. We were both still learning the process, and figuring out what physical issues needed to be corrected. I wrote the second post when she was two months old. We had started supplementing with organic formula, but were still dealing with some serious pain issues. We were wondering if a hidden tongue tie was the issue.

Well, it was. 10 weeks of extreme pain … bleeding … cracked, red nipples. It was a tongue tie. Her LC and doctor couldn’t see it. In fact, Dr. Ghaheri said that he wouldn’t have treated her by looking at her mouth. He only treated her based on my symptoms. We are so happy he listened to me, and came to the diagnosis of a tie. We had the laser procedure done, and things started changing within two weeks.

I was really hopeful that the tongue tie was the culprit of my low supply (maybe she wasn’t removing milk efficiently), but sadly, it didn’t change anything. I’ve said I’d rather be in constant pain and have an abundant supply, but really, I am so very thankful to be on the other side of it.

In the 8 weeks since her tongue tie was corrected, I feel like we’ve found our groove. I am no longer pumping throughout the day. Since I’m home with Al, I just breastfeed on demand, and supplement with the formula when she needs something extra. Right now, I can count on her getting about 2-3 ounces of breast milk from each feeding, which means she’s taking about 2-3 ounces of formula a few times per day. Since she’s in bed before us, I pump before we go to bed. I usually yield about 2.5 ounces, which I use with her supplement the next day.¬†Our nanny has started since I last wrote about this experience. On the day’s that Brittany is here, I pump each hour and bring the milk upstairs to put in her bottles.

I guess the biggest change is my emotional outlook of it all. Our daughter is thriving. She’s gaining weight perfectly, and she’s my light. I will always mourn the loss of the breastfeeding relationship I thought we’d have, but I am still so happy that we have any breastfeeding relationship at all. I will also celebrate the amazing team of people who helped us get to this point. I am so thankful for a lactation consultant who made me feel adequate. She convinced me to supplement, and coached us along the way. I am so proud of myself. This has been hard, but it’s also been so rewarding. I will always be an advocate for supporting and normalizing¬†breastfeeding.

I still take an herbal tincture, drink Mother’s Milk Tea, and a little bit of Domperidone each day. I drink a ton of water and ensure I’m getting enough calories. The verdict is low gland tissue, and we’ll work with our LC before our next baby to see if we can set ourselves up for more supply the next time. When Al was much younger, I declared I would never have another baby because this piece was so hard. I listened to several mamas when they told me to not make decisions while in the trenches. It was beautiful advice, and so true.

For anyone in Portland who would like breastfeeding support, I can’t recommend Luna Lactation enough!

This might just be my last post until Alba decides to wean. This piece of our journey hasn’t panned out how I thought it would, but I believe it happened just as the universe meant for it to. No matter how we feed our babies, we are amazing parents … It took me a long time to realize this, but I know it to be true.

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