Sunday, April 6, 2014

Breast milk envy

I am making myself unhappy looking at other women in the NICU who pump a full 120 ml on the third day post partum, and certainly lots more on the eighth day post partum.  I am only making 30 ml per pumping session, and if I pump more often than every 3 hours, then I sometimes just get 10 ml.  Daniel is the only baby in that nursery that will soon need to be on formula, as we are going to run out of the donor milk that I was able to buy prior to his transfer from BC Children's hospital.  It is the only thing that hurts me a lot, again, not being able to feed my baby the way he deserves, the way I would like to.  It breaks my heart to see this little being latching on and actually working at sucking, and then not getting much out when I don't have milk.  Today he latched on even better than yesterday, but I had no milk, so he only transferred 2 g, and it was not for lack of sucking well, it was simply because you can't get milk out of a stone no matter how hard you try.

I have to realize time and time again that it is my thinking that is making me miserable, not the situation.  The same situation could be rephrased by realizing that hey, there is this wonderful product out there called formula, it is well researched and has been improved over the years, and is very good at keeping my baby alive and well fed and growing normally.  100 years ago I would have had to give him sugar water and boiled strained oats, along with goat's milk and who knows what else, if I could not afford or find a wet nurse.  And watching another woman breastfeed my baby that I cannot breastfeed myself?  That would have been torture for me.  As it is, I am feeding him about half of his feeds right now, and I have every reason to hope that this will improve with time and continued pumping.

Ha!  my psychologist would have been proud of me.  Cognitive reframing is the name of the game.


  1. True, but you know, I can understand your sadness about not being able to provide all he needs. You really are trying and this is not the first time it happens either. But you hang in there, and you will manage in the innovative way you did with Emma. All the best.

  2. Relax, be patient and try to rest. Your body had been through an awful lot and needs to recover. I suggest that you keep him sucking, even if you have to use formula - it is both the comfort of being on the beast as well as the nutrition that makes breastfeeding good. Let him feel your comfort and love. And recover. Thinking of you all.
    Ps. Try eating cookies - it helped me long ago. :)