Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk?? ANXIETY!!!

You know the saying........Don't cry over spilled milk?

I understand this to a degree - why is there a point in getting upset about a trivial occurrence such as spilling milk?

But (especially to all those nursing moms) what if that is YOUR milk? Your liquid gold?

This post is not about actually spilling that milk (even though I've done that and it turned my stomach upside down!) is about the concept......when your milk is not enough to suffice.

Noah STILL does not sleep well......and everyone has advice to give.............everything from swaddling him at night to letting him cry it out. In addition, he seems to be hungry - A LOT! I was wondering if my almost 5 month old - 17 lb. little man was ready for solid foods.

So, I did what every first time mom would do - call the pediatrician.

In talking to the pediatrician via the nurse, they came to a couple of conclusions:

1) No - He is not to have solid food until 6 months - stick with milk and cereal

2) I do not produce enough milk in one sitting to fill him up - he needs AT LEAST 3-4 oz of milk at each sitting - I can only produce - maybe 2 oz. ----- and that is with extra pumping and Fenugreek!

3) He is eating WAY too frequently. He wants to eat about every 2 hours - 24/7........I've now become aware that its a combination of hunger and comfort.

SO - this was our solution.....

* Noah is supposed to eat cereal 3 times a day now. Mind you he eats about 6 oz. of cereal/milk.

* When he nurses, I have to have a bottle ready. Feed and then supplement.

So, in a nutshell. I have to use everything that I can pump out, what I have frozen..........and then I have to start formula, because I won't be able to produce enough for him.... :(

I must tell you that I was in tears in Jonathan's arms last night. Each to their own - breast or bottle, but I was adamant in solely breastfeeding. No formula. God's funny sense of humor, right? First I want a natural delivery - then Noah comes a month early - then I have to have a this!

Granted - I went 5 months solely breast milk.....I did well......AND I intend on continuing to nurse as much as possible.

OK - Point number two......

* Starting this weekend, he is moving to his own room! OMG. Talk about Mommy Anxiety!

* Once in his room, I have to go to the "cry it out" for 15 minutes throughout the night.

Oh! I am not ready for this.


The Alpert Fam said…
Hey Melanie, I would send you this in an email but can't find your address right now. First let me say you are doing an amazing job Noah is healthy and striving!! I want you to know that we went through a period was Cason was doing the same thing and not only him but another little boy I keep who is also exclusivley breast feed. I want to suggest to you not to give up. I still to the day can't pump more than two oz unless it is first thing in the morning. Noah is doing great he is already 17lbs!!! I really don't think that your milk is the issue. Allen (the little boy I keep) still only sleeps for a few hours at a time at night and his mom has tried everythin that you have. Her ped told her that it is a learning process and to stop feeding at night. Allen is big enough and growing just fine and he doesn't need the extra milk he just wants it. I don't know if this will help you but know that your milk does satisfy him and that for some babies they just enjoy eating. There are days where Cason would nurse every hour if I let him :) Don't give up and also call a consulten they can give you somthing even better than fenugreek!
Dustin & Kate said…
Hi Melanie! I am so sorry you're having to deal with all this stress! Noah is very blessed to have a mommy who clearly loves him SO much!
I totally agree with the other person who commented on this post. Although Noah will be 100% fine if you do decide to start giving him some formula, and you have my complete support if you do that, I wan to also encourage you that I think there's a good chance you make PLENTY of milk and that you CAN still exclusively breast feed! My lactation consultant told me that pediatricians are VERY under-trained in the area of breastfeeding, so your doc might not be giving you the best advice. Nora was exclusively breastfed up until 6 months, and she was like Noah in that she wanted to eat more often than formula fed babies. She ate about every 2 hours. She also didn't sleep through the night until 10 months old. Now, maybe all of this was because I wasn't producing "enough" milk, I don't know. But she was healthy, happy, and gaining weight, so I was more than happy to feed her more often than a bottle-fed baby! Anyway, I'm not trying to tell you what to do. But since you're obviously upset about this, I just wanted to offer my opinion that I really really think your precious boy will be fine if he continues to only get breast milk. If you have to feed him more often, so be it! :)
Dustin & Kate said…
Okay, so so sorry if I'm driving you crazy, but I just thought of 2 more things I wanna add!
-By saying Nora was exclusively breast fed until 6 months I mean just boob milk, no rice cereal, nothing else. And I continued breast feeding her until 13 months without a drop of formula. Soooo, if Noah is getting 3 servings of rice cereal per day on top of breast milk every 2 hours or so, I don't see how that could possibly not be enough!
-Secondly, I want to encourage you that you probably produce more milk when Noah nurses than you do when you pump. I know for me, pumping never came easily. I never got more than a couple of ounces at a time, and towards the end I couldn't pump at all. So, I bet he's getting more than 2 ounces when he eats!
HANG IN THERE! No matter what you do, he'll be fine. :) And if you wanna try to wean him off night time nursing, he'll be fine with that too. But just remember, it doesn't make you a bad mommy just because he's not sleeping through the night yet! It's OKAY to feed him during the night! It just makes him feel loved. (Although I know you are probably SO tired!)
Sarah said…
I couldn't produce very much through pumping either. The boys got more when I was actually nursing them. I had to start supplementing Lucas at 8 months...I really was not producing enough then. (With Adrian, I stopped at 7 months, but I don't really count that because I got pregnant so of course my milk production slowed.) I know what you mean, that it feels sad to switch from breast to the bottle, but it is a little "liberating" at the same time. The worst part, however, is the cost...breast milk is free, whereas formula ends up costing an arm and a leg!

However...I do not agree without the crying it out method so I cannot give you any advice on that part. Lucas starting sleeping through the night earlier than Adrian did, because I learned with him to put him down for bed while he was drowsy but before he was actually asleep, right from the time he was a newborn. Wow, that works wonders! That way, they teach themselves from a very, very early age how to fall asleep on their own without the crutch of nursing. I wish I had done that with Adrian! But I think with your first one, it's hard NOT to keep cuddling them until they fall asleep (and then for a while after they do, as well). I know that doesn't help you now...but it's something to keep in mind for your next one ;)
MollyMcB said…
I feel for you. I'm not going to offer any advise, because I'm sure you are getting enough of that out the yohoo already. Just do what works for you and you might be surprised at the results.

With my first child, he was immediately put on formula as a supplement b/c he was so big at birth and it just about killed my husband - he had such grand plans for me and my boobs and I bought into all of it. Well, the feeding didn't go well - actually, it was horrible. He got thrush which he shared with my boobs, it was bad all around. And I spent all of my time feeling guilty about not being able to provide him with what he needed and having to give him formula too.

Then one day a friend (with two kids of his own) called to check in at just the right time and I just unloaded all of my stories of guilt and pain etc.. To this day, his response were the most comforting words I got through both pregnancies and since and to this day, he has no idea why. His response? "If you give him formula, it doesn't mean you love him any less. You're still giving him everything he needs to grow and strive. So what's the problem?"

I have to tell you - those words, as seemingly simple as they were - threw everything into a new perspective for me. After that I was less stressed and I gave myself permission to supplement with formula and believe that it was OK. I was finally much calmer and within about a week, my milk came FLYING in (with some help from Fenugreek and Nursing Tea I had been taking) and we no longer needed the formula supplement. And I always knew, that even if we did need to go back to formula supplements - it would be ok.

Good luck! No matter what you do - it's OK.

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