Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometimes Less is more

okay so I found something that really irks me. I feel a rant coming on.

I LOVE Facebook. I think its so great to keep in touch with people and keep up with their lives. I have made alot of "friends" on there through my interests and I am so thankful for that because there are some really wonderful ladies that are so wise.

But I also HATE Facebook because sometimes I read things that is such CRAP and so many people lending BS advice to people they don't even know!!!

The big one for me right now is breastfeeding. I love the fact that there is so much support for breastfeeding moms on there, but I also hate when I am reading advice telling women to go to such extremes to increase their milk when they may not truly have a problem.

I have recently seen one person post suggesting the use of Domperidone. Like really pushing the issue and telling women that it is the best option to increase their milk supply when it is low without even posting anything about any risks. Domperidone was actually first prescribed as an anti-emetic drug (for nausea and vomiting) and was found to increase the levels of prolactin therefore causing lactation. In 2004 the FDA sent letters to pharmacies warning them of the dangers of "offlabel use" including cardiac arrest and arrythmia and said that all offlabel prescriptions should be seized.
Now, that said, I do know women who have used it to breastfeed their adopted babies- ok, am not judging, but I think it would be just as well to use donor milk and a SNS system but whatever. I have also known women who truly could not make milk that have used it and it worked for them- again I am not judging. BUT for someone to use it when they absolutely DO make milk just because their supply is low and then suggesting it to other moms saying "theres no risk" is just flat out uneducated and ridiculous. Why would you go to such extreme before trying things less aggressive?

I also see so many mom's advising new moms to pump their breasts to see how much milk they are getting and to pump for 20 minutes after baby eats and so on and so forth. I am so thankful pumps are available. I wouldn't have been able to nurse my 2nd daughter without one because I had to go back to school at 3 weeks postpartum or lose all my student loans. BUT there is risk with pumps too! For new moms breastfeeding can be hard and tiresome and even painful. Using a pump puts alot of "wear and tear" on your breasts and for someone who is dealing with soreness, a pump is not going to help!!!! Part of the problem that new mom's have is relaxing enough to let their milk let down, when you add sore nipples to the equation, how are they supposed to relax?? To me, it just seems like adding insult to injury and making the problem worse. Why is it so important to know how many ounces our babies are getting? One mom may have the same nutritional value in 2 oz that another mom may get in 6 oz!!! You really can't gage "how much milk" you are getting by using a pump because they don't empty your breast the way a baby does, so I really feel like it can either cause false security, or unneeded uproar in a household, therefore causing more stress and feelings of inadequecy, which spirals down to cause MORE LOW MILK ISSUES!!!!
Besides that, it is stressful to schedule pumping sessions in between nursing. How are you supposed to nurse your baby, change diapers, pump for 20 minutes, nurse your baby, pump for 20 minutes, possibly be taking care of other children, nurse, pump, change....... and still have time to eat and keep yourself hydrated and not get stressed out? Don't any of these moms make the connection between stress and milk supply??? add to that sore nipples, and HELL!! I WOULD QUIT TOO!!!

I also see alot of women say that "you NEED to take fenugreek". Why? Why do you need to take fenugreek as a first option? yes Fenugreek is safe but it is adding something else to worry about. Also, what alot of women don't know or don't tell, is that using herbal remedies takes time. You don't just take one dose and VOILA! You make tons o' milk! It just doesn't work that way, so I have seen some moms take the herbs and then go "well I guess this isn't working either.. I guess I just can't make milk" I think there is a time and place for all medications including herbs. Nothing goes without warning or repercussion.

Want my advice?? well I could care less if you WANT it or not, if you chose to read this blog, you are getting it.

Before advising or resorting to such measures listed above, start with caring for yourself!! There is alot to say about the connection of self care, nutrition values in your diet, and DRINKING ENOUGH WATER!!!! and when I say that, I don't mean taking in enough fluid because fluid could be anything from coffee to soda,liquor or whatever. Unfortunately, the way that "special drinks" are so marketed and consumed, alot of people are unaware that it really does put more stress on our bodies to process these caffeinated and sugary drinks which gives our body something else to focus on rather than focusing on making milk.

Start with making sure you are getting enough calories. If you don't take in enough calories, you will not make milk. I believe that when you are dealing with a milk supply issue, you need to be taking in anywhere from 2800- 3100 calories per day, depending on what your normal caloric intake is. stop worrying about losing the baby weight. It will come off eventually, right now it is more important to nourish your baby than to lose weight. SO GET OVER IT!!!
You can also add foods to your diet that increase milk, like Garlic and oats. You can google "Galactagogue Foods" and find out which foods will naturally help increase your milk.

Back to the water- DRINK MORE WATER!!! To maintain your current health status, you need to be taking in at least half of your body weight in ounces of water- for example: if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be getting 75 oz a day of water. FOR NON BREASTFEEDING PEOPLE> when you are nursing, you need more than that. So if you aren't even getting what your body requires daily function at an optimal level, you definitely aren't getting enough to make more milk. Find ways that you will drink more. I got a huge thermal cup that I keep ice cold water in and I try to drink 2-3 of those a day. I don't like room temp water and I won't drink enough if I don't have ice. It may irritate my hubby to have to make midnight runs to the gas station for a bag of ice, but if it helps me drink more, then he will do it for me because he knows how important it is.

MOST IMPORTANT!!! NURSE ON DEMAND!!! throw schedules out the window. Let the house go to hell in a handbasket if you have to. If your baby wants to nurse, then sit down and feed that baby! You make milk on what is demanded by your breasts and baby. If you supplement with formula, that takes the demand off your body and you will be in the same situation you were in to start with. It should only take about 24 hours for your body to catch up with your baby. It takes afew months to really get to a regulated point because your baby is rapidly growing those first 3 months, therefore creating more and more demand with every day that passes. It may seem like your baby wants to nurse every 45 minutes, and they probably do sometimes. So what, that's what you are there for. Just because you are not pregnant anymore, does not necessarily mean that you "get your body back" right away. Let that notion go or you will be irritated and disappointed

Nurture yourself when you can. Get lots of sleep with your baby, take hot baths when you can and relax, call on friends and family to help around the house and with meals, I promise, If you ask- they will come, because what you didn't know is that they are all secretly waiting for you to call so they can feel useful and helpful to you. People actually need to be needed and will usually do SOMETHING to help with much love and gratification.

Now, with all that said- I do believe there are times for more agressive measures such as pumping and herbs and even domperidone, BUT WHY START WITH THAT??? It doesn't have to be that hard all the time! Our bodies were made to do this, and yes sometimes our bodies fail, but usually they don't! we are a master design and truly incredible beings. Take a step back and relax, it's not as confusing as you think! There are Lactation consultants out there to help you if you really have a problem. Listen to them when you have a problem- because alot of women have truly made themselves suffer in their own quest to increase their milk in so many unneccessary ways and I hate to see other women do the same upon "advice".

Sometimes less is more!!

1 comment:

  1. You are right on with your comments. The most important of which is to breastfeed on demand. Our culture has led people to believe that nursing should look like bottle feeding. It doesn't. Newborn stomachs are amazingly small and small frequent "meals" are the norm. Not several ounces at once and then wait 3-4 hours! We don't follow our baby's cues, instead we look at the clock. My easiest bf babies were my homebirths because they were never separated and could nurse whenever (and then whereever too!)