Saturday, November 29, 2008
Long Nights, Diminishing Milk Supply, A Fussy Baby and Guilt-Ridden Mama
Nights are really hard for me right now. My baby is 10 months old and still breastfeeding. She loves food, so during the day she eats lots of solid foods and doesn't need to nurse much. At night however, she nurses several times for comfort. She's small for her age and I know how important breastfeeding is, so I've indulged her feedings at night. Last night she woke up several times and I couldn't comfort her. I tried to nurse her, but there just seemed to be no milk for her to get. She got even more mad and worked herself up into a full-blown fit. I could not figure out what to do for her, so I handed her to my husband while I went to the kitchen and filled a sippy cup with water for her. My husband got her calmed down and she drank the water in a hurry. She must have been so thirsty! I also realized that my mouth was so dry I didn't have any saliva. I got back up and drank a full glass of refreshing water. By morning I had enough milk to nurse her.
With four babies I have never had a problem with diminished milk supply. I've been blessed to always have enough milk to meed my baby's needs, and sometimes I seem to even have an over-abundance of milk. I read that during pregnancy the milk supply generally diminishes around the 4th to 5th month. I'm just about 8 weeks along in my pregnancy, so this is very frustrating. I don't know if my milk supply is less right now because of the pregnancy, or if it has to do with something else like nutrition. I'm sure I need to drink more water, so I will definitely pay more attention to that, and that should help. It's hard too because I can't take my multivitamin in the morning without feeling sick, and I have a hard time remembering to take it later in the day if I miss it in the morning. I know I need the nutritional support, but I'm struggling to get it right now. I'm also so tired every day that I need a nap in the afternoon, and I know the extra nutrition can help give me more energy. I've heard that Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is excellent during pregnancy, so I have been drinking that, but I'm not sure if it has any impact on milk supply.
My goal has always been to nurse each of my babies for at least 12 months. The shortest I've breastfed a baby is 13 months, and the longest is 16 months. I have never struggled to meet my goal until now, but I've also never breastfed during pregnancy before now. I still have that goal in mind, and we have less than 2 months before my baby will be 12 months old. I'm determined to hang in there and put more focus on giving my body what it needs so I can provide my babies with what they need. I'll start by drinking more water! I may also need to keep a full sippy cup for the baby near the bed each night just in case.