Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The 3 month breastfeeding hurdle…

I have come to notice something rather odd. A lot of women seem to have a major drop in breastmilk around three months. My baby lost a whole pound, and is still catching up. We are supplementing, I am trying to pump, and taking fenugreek, drinking mothers milk tea, and eating oatmeal. It just seems like a lot to go through seeing as how mothers did this for many years before now. Ever since man walked the earth, babies were nursing from their mothers. So why would your milk supply suddenly drop? Is it something we eat? Is it our birth control? The environment? All of the above?

I got back on the Depo shot at about 6 weeks post partum. And my doctor didn’t tell me anything about it possibly making my supply dip. I didn’t think it would. But sometime between the end of November and Christmas week, my baby lost a whole pound. Mid-November was her 2 month appointment, and she was 8lbs 11oz. But Christmas Eve I had to take her to urgent care (she had a cough, freaked out about RSV, and she got breathing treatments. We had to do them at home too for 2 days), her weight was only 7lbs 11oz. She was born 7lbs 1oz! I was concerned, and worried. So that following Friday we followed up with her doctor, and he said I needed to supplement. So I started to, and tried to pump. But nothing came out! It made sense now. I understand that sometimes if you don’t regularly pump that it can seem as if there isn’t anything there, but I’m telling you, something would have came out. I feel it would have, had there been anything there. So I figured out the reason. In the past 3 weeks since then, she has gained 3lbs! She (as of 1/16/2013) weighs 10lbs 2oz!

However, when I went to my OBGYN to get the next Depo shot, I said I wanted to try something else because I feel like it is the cause of my milk dropping. She said it would not cause that… I felt like I wanted to argue because I have heard from other breastfeeding moms, other doctors and even nurses that it can cause this! So why was my OBGYN saying it wouldn’t? I love my doctor, and I had a great pregnancy because of her, but I was confused.

Either way, I am on the “mini-pill” hoping that helps some. If it does, then I know that it was the shot! If it does not help, then it may not have been the shot.

At first, I was really upset that I had to possibly stop breastfeeding. But then I realized that I breastfeed her exclusively (with a few rare occasions) for 3 1/2 months! That’s much longer than my son, who only got to day two.  My daughter got a lot from me, and I am proud of that. I also am torn between the two. I want to continue to a minimum of 6 months, but hoping for a year. But at the same time, formula feeding offers a freedom that I had wanted. It allows me to easily leave my baby with my husband and to go spend time with friends, or my sister, or just by myself. It allows me to work out and not worry about pumping or being home before she wakes again. It offers a freedom that I hadn’t remembered from when I had my son.

But breastfeeding is best, right? Breastfeeding is something I should strive for. I don’t understand why those who breastfeed exclusively do not understand that not everyone can continue. Not everyone can do it for as long. Not everyone can do it at all. Not everyone wants to. I want to, but if I don’t, I shouldn’t be thought less of. I shouldn’t be “shamed” by some other breastfeeding mamas. However, some breastfeeding moms are so consumed with it that they don’t think of those who have issues, or who have medical problems and need to take medications that may harm the baby if they breastfeed while taking it.

I think that those who advocate breastfeeding should understand that many want to, but can’t. And that we should be applauded for trying. And if someone choses not to breastfeed at all, they shouldn’t be shunned, shamed or looked down at.

Back to the reason for the post… Why does everyone's milk seem to go down at about 3 months? I even heard Snooki (yea, that one) stopped breastfeeding at about 2-3 months because it went away. So why does this happen?

If you have any advise, please feel free to comment and let me know! If you have an article or proof for why, then please share!

---Jennifer

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