Friday, December 10, 2010
Breast Milk Anyone?
Each boy nurses twice a day for about 10min, which 5 of those minutes they are fast asleep. Sometimes Phil hands me a boy to nurse and on his way to my arms I see his little eyes rolling back into his head ready for some deep sleep, aren't you hungry you little rascals!?! They can generally drink about half a feed. So for them to get enough to eat they would each have to nurse 16 times a day. Times three boys that's 48 ten minute nursing sessions a day! Most airplane crashes happen at take off and landing, it's most painful when the boys latch on and off. I think my nipples would fall off, so I need them to be more efficient. We don't have too much time for comfort nursing so "lets get with the program boys, it's a food source not a pillow."
I've come to accept or I maybe understand that my boys are perfectly normal. I've been trying to find something wrong with the way they nurse so I can fix it. But that is just it there is nothing wrong! They latch and suck like pro's. The thing that frustrates me is that they fall asleep after about 5min of active nursing but when I offer them a bottle they gulp it down like they haven't eaten in years. Why this is? I don't know. Research shows that it doesn't take any extra energy to nurse so the theories are a)it's a different skill set, c)they are only comfort sucking or c)who knows. But I'm sure they are acting like normal newborns, it's what my lactation nurse has been telling me all along but I've been stubborn to believe. If you have one newborn, he'll nurse a ton through out the day on demand. There is not enough time in the day to do that with triplets so I just have to wait till they mature enough and can stay awake for a full feeding. I learned in the NICU that you can't push a baby to do what it's not ready to do, you can only encourage them. They couldn't come home till they were taking all their feeds through a bottle and not through a feeding tube. They did this when they were good and ready and no amount of practice or pushing made this happen any sooner. So with breast feeding as well, I have to be patient.
I'm so close that I now think it's within the realm of possibility, I'm pumping 2/3rds of what the boys eat and that doesn't include whatever the boys take in while nursing (I would so rock twins). Increasing my milk supply is taking longer than I had hoped for but there is no secret recipe for this. I've tried everything, pumping more, eating more, drinking more(H2O that is), eating oatmeal everyday. I've taken Reglan and Domperidone, two drugs that are meant to treat GI issues but have the side effect of increasing breast milk in nursing women. I'm also taking 12 capsules of Fenugreek a day and a nice array of vitamins (prenatal, fish oil, vit D).
I had the idealistic goal of breastfeeding exclusively at one point but I now have to reassess my goals. I've gotten to 2/3rds breastfed and am satisfied with that. Anything better will just be icing on the cake.
Some think I'm crazy for even trying but I owe it to my boys to at least try. It's not their fault they were born triplets. Whether a singleton or triplets they deserve the best. I recognize that the breast is best, but do I think formula is the devil as many people think? No. Science has broken down breast milk to were they know all the components and formula now nourishes baby pretty well. Unfortunately formula does not offer immunity as breast milk does and it makes their poo really stinky.
I don't want to pump forever so if they don't learn to nurse efficiently within a reasonable amount of time I'm saying bye bye to my little contraption. I would go crazy pumping for a long time around the clock as I am now. And in reality pumping takes time and that's time I'd rather be spending with my babies. I don't think it will come to this though.
Let's think positive, when the boys learn to nurse efficiently I will throw out the schedule and feed on demand. Each boy will nurse once, twice and then get a bottle through out the day (if I can get to 100% then no bottle). I may just pump once or twice at night so Phil can wrestle the boys for a while and I can get some continuous sleep. Although the boys may be sleeping longer through the night by then.
Any moms of multiples out there? Any advice would be more than welcomed!
Posted by Janet Pittsenbarger