I was one of those newly pregnant women that knew exactly how I was going to raise my baby. I was only going to breastfeed my sweet little boy. At least that was the plan. The reality was much different. I found that my body did not agree with my plan as much as my brain did.
Early into motherhood (while still in the hospital in fact) I discovered that I was not producing enough milk to satisfy my baby’s needs. I had been told that I would know when my milk came in. I would feel it rushing to be dispensed. I never experienced this sensation.
Luckily for me I have almost always been a practical problem solver. I didn’t feel sad or guilty. I knew that I would find other ways to bond with my child. I sang to him, held him constantly, and always let him know he was loved. A year later I can’t get him to let go of me, so I must have succeeded to some degree there.
As for the milk portion of breastfeeding I was thankful to live in a day and age where there are other alternatives.
While I was unable to fully breast feed my baby, I was able to produce some milk and every drop of that went to him. Since I found strait breastfeeding to be problematic I would pump to make sure I retained as much milk as I could. I knew that I wasn’t making enough milk for even one whole feeding, but I figured that the nutrients that I did produce for him were better than none at all.
A Change of Diet
I started to eat a large amount of almonds, drink almond milk, and inhale dark green leafy vegetables. I had read that these would help me to produce more milk. I do not know if it worked, but I was able to produce milk for at least six weeks for my little one.
A bulk of my child’s nutritional needs were met by formula. We found it to be expensive and often problematic, but we were in the process of moving across the country and felt it was the best option for that life change. We discovered that our son was lactose intolerant. We also discovered (through the help of a wonderful realtor) that it was important to pick a colic reducing bottle.
The Milk Bank
Later I discovered the milk bank ( http://www.nationalmilkbank.org/ ) was also an option. This system allows women to donate breast milk to those that are having simmular issues to mine. This way they could still give their child breast milk even if it isn’t their own.
Currently I am expecting our second child. I am hoping to be able to breast feed her, but if not I have both options and a plan B.