Monday, December 22, 2008

Justus' Quirks

Well, I'm sure you are all just dying to know more about my milk supply issues since I haven't already talked about it enough. =) Okay, so this post is for Lesley, and any others who I know really do want to know....

Justus is exhibiting some weird quirks over this feeding thing.

I thought if I ever did supplement one of my babies it would be at night, in order to get something called sleep that I haven't experienced in a couple of months.

However, Justus has decided that he will only take Mama's milk from 7 pm until 8am. He wants to eat every 2 hours on average and he won't take a bottle during that time. He nurses for a long time and nurses on both sides. I can tell he's getting a lot, which is a relief.

Here's the odd thing: He WON'T nurse much during the daytime hours. My supply is starting to come back with the help of pumping (thanks to my friend Shiloh for loaning me a really nice pump) and trying to nurse him frequently before and after a bottle feeding. Yet, he won't nurse much, and ONLY ON ONE SIDE! He seems to prefer a bottle during the day. He absolutely will not nurse on one side and bites me continually very hard and turns his face away. I thought maybe it was something wrong with my body since this has been a pattern for over a week. But then I tried feeding him a bottle laying him on that arm and he would NOT take it even though he was hungry! So, is this just a baby's weird preference thing or does he have some ear trouble on that side that makes it hurt to swallow in that position? He's not fussy and doesn't seem sick. He's definitely able to communicate, even as a tiny 4-month old, what he wants and doesn't want. He is crystal clear that he doesn't want that side during daytime hours but when he's mostly asleep and nursing in the night he will gladly nurse off of BOTH sides!

In order to remedy these quirks I will have to pump more even though it is a big time committment and bottle feed him breastmilk all day since he won't nurse well and won't nurse at all on that one side (thus making less milk, which makes him even LESS likely to take that side, an on goes the crazy cycle). Hopefully he will outgrow that quirk or we will have to figure out what is causing it.

So far our little guy is guzzling about 14 oz. of formula a day and nursing at least 8 times in a 24 hour period. He is getting a lot of breastmilk in the wee hours, so I feel good about that. He must have his daddy's metabolism! This guy just never stops eating! I have noticed he is even easier to deal with since we've been supplementing. He was always such a good baby but he hardly cries at all now. He's getting closer to growing out of the outfits he's been wearing for 3 months.

Someone in my family saw Justus drinking a bottle the other day and said, "So you decided to stop starving the kid now, huh?" Way to encourage a breastfeeding mom! Ironically, one day a couple of years ago I overheard this same person and a friend eating lunch and discussing how they would both be even smarter if their moms had breastfed them back when they were babies. Go figure!

So, this is our ongoing milk supply saga. I have totally lost the guilt over using formula and though I'm working at eliminating it, if I have to use it to keep him fed, I will continue doing the half-mama's-milk and half-formula thing and am fine with that. There are perks to using both, one being that we got to go on a double date with our friends this weekend since Fireproof came to town (FINALLY!) and got to leave our 4 energetic and wild little ones and Justus with one very courageous babysitter! (Funny thing is, this babysitter was a young lady whom I used to babysit all the time when I was a teen! ) And you all probably know this already but the movie was really, really good and should be seen by every couple!


Nicole said...

Pumping is good to increase your supply but pumping is not as efficient as nursing so by giving him a bottle during the day your supply will likely continue to be on the lower side.

It's also possible that you don't let down as quickly on one side as you do on the other which might be why he prefers one side. A lot of babies do this. A bottle lets down immediately which is why a lot of babies will start preferring a bottle. To the point where they'll quit nursing all together because it's much faster using a bottle.

Marcy M said...

Tammy has the problem with Violet preferring one side and brought her into the chiropractor and Violet had a pinch nerve that inflicted pain when she turned one way.Adding to what Nicole said, pumping actually only draws out 80%of your milk so when you pump you are not getting the hindmilk that has the rich good fat in it. Have you tried different positions to get him to take that side?The reverse football hold might trick him.I would think about taking him in though to the Chiroprator.

Thia said...

I've been terrible about commenting lately. I hope things are still improving with J. I hope you are getting some sleep! Have a very Merry Christmas!

Rebecca said...

My daughter went through a "nursing strike" at 18 months. It was very sudden, and she was miserable. She wouldn't nurse at all during the day (or would start to nurse and then chomp down), but wanted to nurse fairly often in the middle of the night, while she was still really sleepy. As she was 18 months, and able to take cow's milk, I wasn't particularly trying to keep up my supply, but I needed to pump or nurse every so often just because I'd get so engorged otherwise.

I found that if I got hr down for a nap, and then lay down beside her to nurse right when she first woke up but was still very groggy, she'd nurse without biting on either side, and often drift back off to sleep for a little while longer. Maybe if you can incorporate a couple of nap-time nursings it'll help your son get a little more breastmilk and keep up your supply?

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