It’s been a while since I’ve posted about adoptive breastfeeding, but I’ve gotten some emailed questions recently and thought maybe it was time.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been thrilled to do.
It took about 6 weeks to get really comfortable with the SNS. Now we use it without tape, and about a month ago I started using it to breastfeed at night – we were exclusively bottle feeding at night because the SNS was too difficult. Now that he’s down to one middle-of-the-night feeding I only breastfeed him at night, and if I can get up before he does in the morning and clean the SNS I breastfeed him for the first feeding in the morning. (We just got a second one so that will be easier).
The drugs are fine. I take a lot – a LOT – of pills: six capsules of fenugreek plus 9 dom, and the usual assortment of vitamins. But I’ve hardly had any side effects from them – just a little nausea when I take too many at once, and rarely for more than 10 minutes.
I try to pump every time I miss a feeding to keep my supply up. I don’t always make it, but I think it’s important because I haven’t been doing it all that long – if I’d been breastfeeding him for 6 months or more it would be less of an issue, I think.
I don’t get that much when I pump, usually – a good session is usually an ounce and a half (total) for me. But recently I had a converstaion with a co-worker whose son is a month older than Roo and she mentioned that she was having trouble with her milk supply and started drinking Mother’s Milk tea, which worked great. So I pulled out the tea I had gotten months ago but never drank because I was too stubborn to get past the fennel smell. After one cup, I pumped THREE OUNCES this morning – whoo! I had to get up and do the breastmilk dance. (Trust me, I looked like an idiot). It may or may not have been about the tea, but now I’m mainlining it in hopes that it’s my magic bullet.
Anything I pump during the day (usually twice during the day plus once before work) I give Roo in the SNS when I feed him at night, so that at least one feeding a day he gets exclusively breastmilk. On the weekends I try to pump to freeze, but since I usually pump so little I don’t have more than 8 or 10 stored bags at any given time. We’re saving them for when he’s sick, or exposed to someone who is sick – or an occasion like this weekend, since he just got his first vaccine (which is a post by itself, but for another day).
Since all you breastfeeding experts reassured me, I’m pretty sure he gets more breastmilk when he breastfeeds than when I pump. He’s taking about 5 ounces out of the bottle now but never more than 2 1/2 or 3 on the breast. And also the bonding… I try to feed him as soon as I get him at night, and he just smacks away: Look at me! I’m nursing! Look at me! When I’ve been missing him all day it’s so nice to have him just snuggled in like that with that cute little hand holding onto my collar.
I don’t know if this is actually true, but I suspect the regular protocol is more effective than the accelerated protocol. I’m sorry I didn’t get it together to do it, and I’m sorry I was stubborn about not wanting birth control pills and the uncertainty of pumping and taking pills without a due date – I think it would have been worth it.
But I’m so glad I’m doing it.
What else? Other things you want to know? Advice for me?