One of the 8,000 things I suddenly have less time for these days is the boob machine, formerly known as the breast pump. Despite that, I’m still moving forward with inducing lactation.
I started trying to induce lactation at the beginning of July. After a few weeks with a hand pump and a whole lot of fenugreek, I started getting about 3 drops at a time – not bad for someone who has never been pregnant, but still – 3 drops after 6 pills a day and 30 minutes a day with a hand pump?
I broke down and got myself a double electric pump (paid for by Bl*e Cr*ss, thank you very much) and domperidone.
I took 40 mg a day of the dom to start. My only side effect was a weird feeling in the back of my throat – more just general grossness than nausea. My homeopath gave me something to take when I felt that grossness and it knocked it right out. I did see my milk supply increase, but we’re still talking a VERY small amount – I was pumping without bothering to attach the bottles.
Two days after we got Roo, we had a home visit from a lactation consultant. She suggested upping the Dom to 60 mg/day for a week or so, then going to 80, and recommended nursing Roo with the SNS and using the pump 8-12 a combined times a day. It’s definitely hard to get up to that number, since we’re bottle-feeding at night to preserve my sanity, but I’m trying to put him on without the SNS for at least a couple of minutes each time before we give him a bottle. (Though we have to really pay attention to how much time we let him go between feedings or else the wheels come off the cart).
Well. The SNS is a pain in the ass. I’ve got the hang of using it, and had some help with the actual mechanics of breastfeeding, but I do occasionally still attach the tubing at a weird angle and then wonder why Roo is either complaining because he’s not getting any milk or coughing because the tube got him in the back of the throat. Plus, the tubes need to be flushed between every use, which is tedious – and WHO KNEW that when they say “newborns eat every 2 hours” they meant “newborns take 45 minutes or so to eat and then need to eat again 2 hours from when they STARTED eating”? And I wonder why I’m not doing anything else…
All that said, though, I’m definitely producing more. I went up to 80 mg of Dom about 4 days ago and have this to say: I had no idea that it was possible for breasts to have growing pains, but OH MY GOD.
I’ve reattached the bottles to the pump and at this point am pumping about 1/2 an ounce each time. It’s not much, but it’s enough that I’ve started adding it to Roo’s feedings along with the formula. He’s eating about 2 1/2 – 3 ounces 8-10 times a day, so I think my goal by next weekend is to produce enough by pumping over the course of the day to bottle-feed him with only breast milk at least once a day. (That sounds ass-backwards, doesn’t it? But go with me here).
The other good news is that my midwife sister-in-law informs me that babies are way more efficient than breast pumps, so he’s probably getting a lot more from me than I’m pumping. Today I couldn’t get the stupid SNS to stop leaking, so I just put him on without it. It took him a good 45 minutes, but then he burped like an old man as milk dribbled down that cute little chin, and when I offered him a bottle he only took an ounce. Whoo!