Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Feeding Woes

This morning Eon took 6 ounces of thickened milk instead of his usual 4. I've noticed him wanting more in the last two days, but I'm not sure if it's a growth spurt or he's just needing more calories because he's getting older and bigger. I've never had a bottle-fed baby before, so I feel like I'm floundering here.

The problem is that I am not making enough milk for him. I've been exclusively pumping since he was 3 weeks old and had the swallow study. I know other EPers who pump and have freezers full of milk. At first, I probably could've done that, but it didn't make sense to me to continue pumping every two hours and store up milk that I'd never use, so I settled into a routine that allowed me to pump just enough to keep up with his needs. Until now.

I need to pump more frequently, but who has the time to do that? It was easier to pump every two hours when he was tiny, because no one expected me to do much. Now, however, our lives have returned to the "new normal" and everyone is involved in their various activities. I'm expected to feed them all, and keep up with everything else...you know...little things like the education of my children, laundry, bookkeeping for the business, baths, housekeeping, etc.

I don't want to transition him to formula. I'm still hopeful that he will one day be able to nurse (although that hope is waning). I also know that breastmilk is the best to help him stay healthy. And, last but not least, formula doesn't seem to agree with him. He's spit up and struggled more with constipation when he's had it. (He rarely spits up.)

I guess I just need to suck it up (or out, as the case may be) and increase my pumping sessions. Yet more television and fast food for my littles won't kill them, will it?


  1. A season in life. You are doing a fabulous job, Tara.. letting go of the "new normal" and creating a "newer new normal" for your family and Eon's health is perfectly okay!!! I'll be praying for you as you find that balance for your family!

  2. You're doing the best you can, Tara. That's tough duty to have to pump every 2 or 3 hours. Been there, done that. Except I didn't have other kiddos to care for. Hats off to you! As for spitting up on formula, maybe you can ask your pediatrician about trying a different formula (if you have to go that route)? When I started supplementing with formula, I found that Similac and Enfamil got Matthew constipated. Nestle Good Start (for 0-12 months old) worked the best. Then later on, Good Start's older baby formula (for 9 - 24 months old) caused constipation so we switched back to Enfamil Next Step. It's been working out for us so far. Not saying that he doesn't get constipated at all, just that it's more manageable now that he's on Enfamil Next Step. My friend's babies seem to be doing alright on Similac. So it seems like not all formulas are created equal. I hope this helps.

  3. Tara, there are things you can do to increase your milk output. Eating oatmeal every day is supposed to help, as is taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. I've exclusively nursed all of my babies and never had any milk supply issues until Finn, and I did do the herbal remedies for a while and finally resorted to ordering some domperidone from an international pharmacy. I've been taking it since October and I still take it to maintain my supply, and it has made a huge difference. Email me if you want more info.

  4. oh, and I left you a blog award on my blog yesterday :)

  5. I had to express all Samara's feeds the first few months, and she was tube-fed. She is now on a combination of solids (she is 6 months corrected), 1 bottle of formula, and breastfeeding. I was told she would never breastfeed properly, so I think that getting to 3 feeds out of 4 a day is pretty good.
    My gp gave me a script for Motilium (which may be called something else in the states - if so try googling it). It is increasing my milk supply, so hopefully we will get to the point where we can drop the formula altogether.
    BTW, Samara had MAJOR issues with aspirating, where her oxygen saturations would drop into the 40's. Yet now she is feeding unthickened milk with no problems. We truly thought this day would never come. So there is hope. Just keep trying him at the breast often enough that he doesn't forget how. (I didn't do this every day, but when I did, I expressed first to slow down the flow, then fed laying down on my bed). Hope this helps :)