Nursing Working Mama’s Conundrum: Part II
Betsy's a working nursing mama, and her supply is dwindling. Did you read that? Her supply is dwindling! Ack. She writes:
I need a friendly chorus. My nursling is 9 months old, and I'm working full time out of the house - I've been pumping as regularly as I can, but my supply is just dwindling and she's barely growing. Here's what I'm doing, which covers just about every wives tale remedy I've ever heard:
- - daily oatmeal
- - fenugreek, 3 caps, 3x/day
- - nursing tea, 1x/day
- - pumping 3-4 times/day at work
- - drinking liquids like they're going out of style (only one caffeinated beverage per day)
- - eating like mad - this week, I started a dark beer per day.
My supply has dropped from 16 + ounces in an 8 hour period when I started, to far less than 12 now.
Meanwhile, the baby has gained only 4 ounces since her six month checkup, and my husband who is caring for her at home this summer (with our 3-year-old) reports herculean efforts to get her to eat. She is a social, alert, active baby who is meeting all her developmental milestones. She's just not growing much, and I want to fix that before three more months have gone by with such low weight gain; she's still on the growth charts, but just barely -and she was above the 50th percentile for size at birth. Gauging from what a let-down consists of throughout the day, and comparing that with what she *should* be eating (over 700 calories per day at 16 pounds) is rather alarming; I just don't think she's getting that much, but she doesn't seem to want more.
I want to nurse her as long as I can, but it is brutal to pump so much for so little return. Every session is an exercise in fighting off feeling like a failure (irrational, I know, but it's there). We've begun supplementing with formula, and I'm fine with that, but I don't want my husband to spend all his time trying to jam food into her gob (not that we can force her to eat, anyway).
Mostly I'm writing to whine, but if anyone can look at my tale and say "Aha - that happened to me, and I just did X and fixed it!" or "I understand. My body just quit making milk, too. It's hard."