I'm not going to lie, experiencing undersupply with Little Kid took me by surprise! I had set myself up for challenges that might lay ahead, but this was not one. With Big Kid I joked I could feed a whole village, that is how much milk I made. I learned A LOT while breastfeeding Little Kid and hope to pass along some of it to women who might be in the same situation now or later in life.
1.) You can do everything "right" and still have undersupply.
I fed on demand, didn't introduce bottle early, had skin to skin in the delivery room, support of an amazing IBCLC and breastfeeding support group. I drowned myself in water, ate oats 3x's a day and took all the supplements. And for me, it didn't increase my supply. In the beginning there was a mixture of things that lead to my supply issues- PCOS, a sever lip/tongue tie, extreme nipple (bottle/pacifier) preference & inefficient suck.
2.) Each baby is different.
With my 1st daughter I had a CRAZY amount of milk and oversupply. I walked into my breastfeeding journey with my 2nd daughter with lots of preconceived notions. From the 1st latch in the delivery room, I knew things were going to be different this time around- and they were, in almost every scene of the word. Little Kid had a lip and tongue tie that I had corrected at 4 days old, no interested in camping out at my boob and a very "take it or leave it" attitude regarding breastfeeding. I worked incredibly hard to distinguish the difference and treat Little Kid as her own person, with her own experiences.
3.) I have an amazing community of women around me.
Even being a "seasoned" mom, I reached out to my breastfeeding community regularly. When it came time to talk about supplementation they were the 1st people I went to. In minutes I had the breastmilk Little Kid would need for supplementing. Thanks to this amazing group of women, I only supplemented with donor breastmilk. I always preach- find your tribe! And I was so thankful I had them to lean on.
4.) Breastfeeding looks differently for everyone.
With Big Kid, breastfeeding was my boobs & feeding every 45 minutes or so for about the 1st 6 months. With Little Kid it was use of a supplement system, lip and tongue tie corrections (yes multiple), nipple shield, weighed feedings, extra IBCLC support, donor milk, pumping and encouraging feedings every 3 hours or so. No 2 experiences will be the same. Everyone will have their own stories to tell.
5.) It's okay to grieve the loss of exclusively breastfeeding.
I find myself at still working through emotions at nearly 15 months postpartum. When I choose to supplement or exclusively pump, I felt a loss. I talked A LOT to my community and support system about it and allowed myself to feel sad by not being able to easily breastfeed like I did Big Kid. I had to learn to LET GO of expectations and except the challenges that were placed in front of us.
What breastfeeding challenges have you gone through? Did you have a community of people you could learn on? I can not stress the importance of finding a community you can go to for help, that could be online or in person. Also finding an IBCLC that supports you and can help. If one group or IBCLC don't work for you, don't let that effect you- keep searching. The right fit is out there for you! You can also reach out to me as well, send me an email or a facebook message. Whether you need resources or a listening ear, I am here.
Mama to 2 beautiful girls, married to my high school sweetheart, I live in a zoo with 2 dogs, a cat, fish, lizard and soon pony and chickens. love my Hudson Valley life, you can find me in the garden, hiking or with my family.
Hi I am Danielle. I am a doula, childbirth educator, placenta encapsulation specialist, mother, wife & passionate about birth in the Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland & Orange County, NY area.
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Danielle Bianco (She/Her)
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