Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lactation Specialist

My last post from yesterday was quite long so I decided to make a separate post about our feeding issues. As I mentioned in my post on 03/18/2010, since we left the hospital I had been able to give the girls 100% breastmilk, either from the breast or the bottle. About a week and a half ago, I noticed that my supply was decreasing and I was barely pumping enough for a single feeding {insert panic and despair}. I decided to contact the lactation specialist at the hospital for some guidance. She indicated that there could be a few issues at play: the fact that my immune system was weakened and the fact that I was taking steroids and an antiviral medication for my Bell's Palsy. I guess both of these issues can cause a drop in your milk supply. She suggested that I contact my physician and request a prescription for Reglan (I believe it is an anti-nausea medication). Reglan is believed to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. The doctor called in the prescription for the medication and I started taking it on 03/28/2010. Within two days my supply was back and I felt a HUGE sense of relief!

In an effort to prevent my supply from dropping again, I scheduled an appointment to meet in person with the lactation specialist. I scheduled our appointment with the WONDERFUL lactation specialist we met in the hospital, Kristin. One of the reasons I had not been solely breastfeeding the girls was the fact that they were inefficient nursers after birth and we weren't sure how my milk supply would do, given my previous breast surgery for fibroidadnoma's. At our postpartum appointment (two days after discharge from the hospital), both girls nursed for 30 minutes - Morgan only took in 5mL and Sydney took in 30mL. Because of these numbers, they suggested that I continue to offer them bottles of breastmilk to ensure their intake was adequate and they continued to gain weight. At our appointment with Kristin on 04/02/2010 both girls nursed for 20 minutes. This time, Morgan took in 90mL and Sydney took in 78mL. Essentially both girls were taking in their recommended amounts - they officially graduated to EFFICIENT nursers!! With this information the lactation specialist assured me that I can nurse them without hesitation and even start working towards tandem nursing (two at a time)! I'm still a little nervous to tandem nurse, but when I have someone around to help, I give it a shot. For the most part, I try when I can during the day to nurse them and then give them bottles at night. There are two reasons for the bottles at night: 1) I know how much they are getting and hope that means they will sleep for at least 4 hours and 2) I'm not yet confident at nursing and when I'm tired and sleep deprived, I get frustrated and then the girls get frustrated. So, for the time being we continue to bottle feed the girls breastmilk and I nurse them when I can. For the most part, both girls will take between 90-100mL at each feeding and they are feeding every 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Mommy really couldn't be happier!! Our girls truly are VERY GOOD babies, Steve and I truly feel blessed. God is Good!!


  1. Wow wow wow momma! Way to go! I pumped at night (for the same reasons) until 3 months. But our girls did not latch without nipple shields until about that time too, and we weren't dealing with physical issues. Wow! You and your girlies are officially breastfeeding superstars!

  2. Lexi,
    You are doing a fantastic job with nursing Sydney and Morgan. I agree with your decision to give them bottles of breastmilk at night. When Makaio was an infant, I did the same thing. I made sure I left Elijah a bottle for Makaio and he did the 2 a.m. feeding. IT was so nice because then I could usually sleep from 10 -6. We had opposite schedules at the time so it worked well. Keep up the good work

  3. Lexi,

    I love reading your blog, your girls are so sweet! I tried to sign up for email updates but wasn't able to find where/how to do that?!

  4. I pumped at night as well in the beginning. It was faster to pump and each take a baby than to try to breastfeed them. You'll get the hang of tandem feeding before you know it. I used an EZ2 Nurse pillow when I first started tandem feeding. It was great in the beginning, but I quickly packed it away and feed without it.