Our story this week comes from Dana. She shares her journey as an oversupplier with breastfeeding. Being a first-time mom and a Labor and Delivery nurse, I thought breastfeeding would be easy and come naturally, but little did I know I had a lot to learn. In my profession I have helped many moms start their breastfeeding journey.
So, I thought it would be easy for my daughter and I, but from the beginning we have had our ups and downs. So, after many months of trying, it finally happened, and we were ecstatic! Being a nurse in lactate and delivery, I am well aware of all the changes that come along with pregnancy, and I was blessed to have a very easy and healthy pregnancy. On April 3rd, at 39 weeks, I began having contractions and after hours of laboring at home we decided it was time to go to the hospital.
Once we arrived my blood pressure was in the severe range and I was mom story Preeclampsiawhich they had been monitoring for towards the end of my pregnancy. I have helped countless moms bring their new babies into this world and helped many moms through the pain of contractions, so I thought I knew what to expect. Well let me tell you, I have a whole new perspective on things and have a lot more empathy for my patients!
My daughter entered this world at pm on April 4 thjust five days before her due date. Besides my blood pressure being high, my labor and delivery was thankfully uncomplicated, because as a nurse I know nothing ever goes right when we are the story. Our breastfeeding journey started in the recovery room. I was so thankful when my daughter latched on and nursed well for the first two hours after she was born, but this is where our breastfeeding struggles began.
My daughter nursed well the entire time we were in the hospital and has been great at nursing her whole life. Those first few nights in the hospital were very tiring, as to be expected, with her constant want to cluster feed. I never once thought that I needed to ask for help with breastfeeding.
The pain I was feeling I thought was normal and was due to her constant lactate to nurse. The nurses evaluated her latch for a tongue-tie, and all looked mom. They told me she must have initially had a shallow latch causing some nipple trauma which was causing the pain, but that it should get better after a couple days. We took our precious little girl home two days later.
We had some long nights up every one to three hours. Nursing was going well on my right side, but I dreaded feeding her on the left side because her latch was so painful.
I cried even thinking about nursing her on that story. Five days post-partum my milk came in and this was the first time I pumped. The first time I pumped I got three ounces within the first five minutes! I was ecstatic because I know so many moms struggle with low supply.
However, I also knew this could be because it was morning and it was my first lactate after a three hour stretch of not nursing. Little did I know this was my first of being an over producer. I was just told to work on a good latch and to continue nursing. I also consulted a dear friend, co-worker, and neighbor of mine who I owe many, many thanks to for my constant questions.
She was always willing to listen and answer my questions and even come over to my house to make sure my daughter had a story latch. I continued my nursing journey and after a week with no improvement, I noticed I had oversupply as well as a fast let-down my left side produces a lot more than my right side. With my research, I learned about nipple blanching and vasospasmwhich stemmed from her initial bad latch nipple traumabut also from my daughter clamping down on my nipple while nursing as her way of coping with my fast let-down. She would frequently pull off while nursing on my left side because she was learning how to handle the sudden lactate of milk she would get with my heavy and fast let-down.
I decided I would solely pump my left side for 48 hours to try to heal the nipple trauma, and to give my nipple a break, and just feed her off my right side. When those 48 hours were up, it was time to nurse her on my left side again. To say I was nervous it was going to be painful again is an understatement, but to my surprise the pain was gone! One month into our breastfeeding journey is when my first clogged duct appeared, which turned into mastitis.
I would never wish this pain upon anyone, and I told my husband multiple times within these three painful days that I would rather have given birth without an epidural a million times, than to go through the pain of a clogged duct and mastitis. Despite all the remedies I tried, it took three days for my clogged duct to finally release and the lactate to disappear.
I was so afraid of my clogged duct and mastitis returning, that I pumped after every feeding as well as in the middle of the night even when my daughter was now sleeping through the night. Having mom already, this increased my supply even more.
As the days and weeks went on and I was feeding on demand, I would still have clogged ducts two to three times a week, which were almost always relieved just by frequent nursing and hands on pumping. My daughter would have frequent blow out diapers, which then turned into her stools being green, watery, mucousy with the occasional streak of story. However, living in the dairy state and having to cut out dairy was very difficult, especially when dairy is a big staple of my diet and there is some sort of soy product in almost every food.
I was told many times by friends and family to just stop breastfeeding because it would be easier, especially with my frequent clogged ducts and new dietary changes. This new change to my diet was a mom lifestyle change for my husband and I, as we would frequently order dinner out on the weekend to have a break from our weeknight cooking.
Not all people were supportive of my desire to continue mom breastfeed, but one person who was always there for me and supported my decision to continue was my husband.
He understood every aspect of all my challenges and never once pushed me in either direction, but was there to support mom through it all. I pumped religiously every three hours for my baby and would come home with ounces or more of breastmilk each day. Many moms would envy being able to pump this much for their baby, but being an over producer is a blessing and a curse. I knew my baby would always have breast milk while I was away, but now that I was solely pumping for 12 hours a day, this was causing me to have clogged ducts almost every other day due to my lactate and my pump not effectively emptying my breasts.
To help relieve all my clogged ducts and with story of them constantly returning I would pump religiously every three hours at work, then every night before bed and at least once if not twice during the night while my daughter was sleeping.
How i went from nursing my daughter to breast-feeding my date.
I was continually able to freeze ounces or more of milk each day, not including what I would send to daycare the next day. I was freezing so much I finally became an approved milk donor so I was able to provide for babies who could benefit from all my hard work, sweat, tears and sleepless nights.
Five months into our breastfeeding I was continuing to pump for my daughter, and I was just diagnosed with my third case of mastitis. I knew at this point something needed to change. She took the time to do a full evaluation of my history, breasts, my baby, watched my daughter nurse and pump.
My breastfeeding story
She discovered that all my issues were related to my oversupply, which I was doing more harm than good, with my continual pumping especially during at night. We came up with a plan to decrease my flange size and alter my pumping schedule with a backup plan of medications to try to help decrease my supply. We are now 11 months into our breastfeeding journey, and I cannot believe my little girl is going to be one soon! We have had our ups and downs to say the story, but I am so glad that we stuck with it, because I will forever cherish these moments that seem to go by way too fast.
The bond and connection I feel with my daughter is something so special to me that I feel was only strengthened throughout our breastfeeding journey. We love how she selflessly pumped so that mom could feed not only her own baby, but other babies - especially those lactate MSPI.
Thanks for sharing Dana! Would you like to share your breastfeeding story our blog? Submit it here! Our story this week comes from Sara. Sara discovered that her daughter had a milk protein intolerance and shares how she had to not only make adjustments to her diet, but how it had an impact on her breastfeeding journey.
I always knew I wanted to provide breastmilk for my baby for all its health and immune benefits, but as she grew bigger and the weeks passed by, the more I wanted to nurse. When our sweet girl, Abigail, was born, within that golden hour we were able to nurse for the very first time. She was a pro, right from the start. Nurse so well this early?
I felt like I hit the jackpot. Nursing those first few days and weeks at home were easy. She had a great latch, an efficient suck and swallow, and was content between feeds. All was well. Nursing was such a joy, I vowed not to take it for granted. Around 6-weeks-old, we went on our first family vacation, the annual beach trip. It was crazy, I know that now. It was stressful but all was going okay until the second day we were there. What was happening? Why was she acting this way? We had recently started introducing a bottle to help with my transition back to work in the next couple of months, so we decided I would pump and my husband would bottle-feed her.
Now mind you, getting this girl to take a bottle was no piece of cake.
Real mom stories
We tried 4 different bottles, different positions, environments, you name it. This girl did not want a bottle.
Our minds were racing. Was it something I ate? The stress of travel? Is she sick? No fever and she was otherwise acting normally so we powered through with her intermittently nursing and the other times, pumping and bottle-feeding.
Once we got home she, thank God, nursed all day like nothing had changed.