First, I need to say a huge THANK YOU to the response I got on my last breast feeding post. I am so so blessed to have met some really great women through blogging and even though I don’t know the majority of you, I love knowing that I have your support! Thank you for your encouraging words, your support, and your advice. It was just what I needed to hear!
I have some good boob news…I’m breast feeding! Not exclusively, as I’m still trying to heal these nipples up, but I’m getting there! I’m currently pumping once in the morning, breast feeding once or twice a day, and hand expressing whenever my boobs start to feel uncomfortable. Why you ask? Well here’s what happened.
I met with my lactation doctor again last Wednesday…I told her I had had enough and I just needed to get comfortably breast feeding, however that may be, because I couldn’t handle pumping around the clock. During our discussion, I had mentioned that I had over 20 bags with 4 ounces of breast milk each stored in my freezer. Well apparently that’s a lot? How was I supposed to know?! Turns out, I have “hyperlactation”….meaning I OVERproduce milk (I probably did too good of a job pumping which boosted my supply). This overproduction also resulted in a really fast let down, which was causing Landon to pinch down on my nipple to slow the flow. And the pump was irritating my already irritated nipples even more!
We’ve come up with a plan to help lower my milk supply and allow my nipples to heal. So I’m drinking peppermint tea 4x/day for a few days (mint tea slows production), minimizing pumping to once or twice a day (I’m only choosing to pump once because it’s easier to hand express), hand expressing when my boobs start to feel uncomfortably full, nursing once or twice a day in the afternoon or evening when my supply is naturally lower (and bottle feeding the other times), and tapping into my freezer supply if needed. Let’s say a HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders when she said I don’t have to pump around the clock.
Praise Jesus, hallelujah.
I’m also applying ointment to the nips (I did get some all-purpose nipple ointment from a relative…my lactation doctor doesn’t agree with it, but I figure hey it’s worth a shot! The doctor prescribed Triamcinolone instead, but I’ve tried both.) to helps them heal. So far, it only hurts a little at times with nursing…and usually a position change does the trick. Baby boy is latching perfectly, and seems to be happier to be back on the boob. 😉 Hopefully correcting my supply will also allow him more access to my hind milk which will help him stay fuller longer and get him sleeping through the night (we’re almost there!) With hyperlactation, your body produces more foremilk, which is like a low fat milk, which limits the hind milk (or fattier milk) the baby receives. Foremilk is digested quicker, and therefore the baby seems to be hungry constantly. Interesting, right? Hopefully someone learned something new with that!
I tried my best to answer all of your wonderful comments individually, but here’s a quick review in a nutshell:
– I did try nipple shields, but it was also when Landon was 2 weeks old. If I didn’t already see improvement with what I’m currently doing, I would definitely try again.
– I did try a larger flange for the pump, which helped a little but not enough to heal my nipples.
– Landon has been checked for thrush, tongue tie, and everything else like that. All negative!
– I do not have vasospasm…we ruled that out within the first couple of visits I had with this lactation doctor.
– I tried lanolin creams and really…they suck.
– Landon’s latch has been checked by THREE different medical professionals. All saying he’s just fine.
– I do have a good quality Medela breast pump.
Thank you all again for your encouraging comments and support. Virtual hugs to you all! This isn’t over yet, so I’ll be updating you still as I go. Hopefully the next update is I’m back to exclusively breast feeding pain-free!