05 September 2009


(Remember that trick you do with the calculator, where you end up with "5318008", and get the person holding the calculator to turn it upside down and read it, and it's a rude word?! This is my oh so clever way of avoiding spam....)

So, 5318008.

This will be my last ever post on the matter, promise! You may remember me mentioning* this last time I had a baby. I had a bit of trouble with breastfeeding. Main trouble was my baby didn't latch on properly for 9 weeks or so, and I couldn't produce enough milk, had to top up with formula, express milk, take pills of various kinds etc etc. There was also some possibility that my 8008's just didn't produce much milk. Something to do with boob shape - the midwives have been a lot more honest with me about it this time (last time they were frustratingly sketchy about it).

Well this time, with all other issues not an issue (ie Astrid feeds well, and like last time, I've done everything possible** to increase my supply), we still find we produce a woeful amount of milk. Plateauing at about 1/2 to 2/3 of what she needs. So it seems that yes, I do have the type of 8008's that don't produce much milk.

Non-mothers out there probably accept this without much question. But I find there are some breastfeeding advocates who don't accept this. They read in baby books sentences like "Only a small proportion of mothers will not have enough milk for their baby..." and for some reason interpret it as if everyone should have enough, when in fact a small proportion don't, and I'm one of them! I tell them I'd have to feed hourly around the clock or more often to satisfy my baby's needs, and maybe still not have enough, and their response is "well I had to feed every 2 hours for a while..." as if having to do that for a few weeks in the late afternoon while establishing supply or during a growth spurt is the same as having a baby that doesn't gain weight and has no energy. Anyway, enough of my whinging. I'm going to talk to the lactation nurse to find out the official medical term for someone like me, and have it ready to throw at the next "breastfeeding nazi" I come across! Also, people accept that some women have "fast flow" of milk without judgement, so why not slow flow too?

So what about the shape of my 8008's? See picture above. I found this courtesy of the Post Secret site, and was excited, as I rarely ever, in this silicone age, see breasts in images that look like mine! But they exist! Mine aren't tatooed, unfortunately, and are a little more rounded as I am breastfeeding. But they are kind of like the image above. I'm at peace with them now - they are how they are, even though poorly equipt with milk ducts. My husband likes them. And they produce roughly half of what my baby needs. Fortunately I also live in a 1st world country with adequate hygiene for formula feeding, formulas are a lot better these days, and I can co-bottle feed, and I don't have to hire a wet-nurse to feed my baby (or much, much worse...). So we're doing the unusual feeding method of breastfeeding at each feed, and topping up with a bottle. I'd love to just breastfeed, but can't. I'm not lazy, and nor am I ignorant about what needs to be done to maximize milk supply. So there!
All is going well! She's lovely, and we love her to bits. Nuff said.
* just a bit.
** believe me