I have low milk supply. How do I know? Through long and laborious efforts, ultimately unfruitful (or at least, with very limited fruitfulness), with my first two infants. Knowing that ‘breast is best’ and striving – in classic type A fashion – to be the best mom possible to my tiny bundles of joy, I poured untold hours into making breastfeeding “work” with my babies. I pumped round the clock. I took Fenugreek. I used the supplemental nursing system through which extra food could be fed to the baby while I nursed. I met repeatedly with the lactation consultant. I went weekly to the breast feeding clinic for weigh-ins to track weight gain (or, often, lack thereof). All these efforts eventually revealed that in our particular case – my babies’ and mine – breast was simply not best. My babies failed to thrive. Once they were bottle-fed, they did great.
When our newest baby entered the world two weeks ago, I brought all this knowledge into the scenario and knew that breastfeeding would almost certainly be a limited venture. My plan was to start off on the breast for the first few weeks, see how things went, then start supplementing as soon as it was clear the baby needed it. When we met with the pediatrician on Friday for her two-week appointment and I learned she hadn’t gained any weight in a week – well, that was that. Cut and dried, right? Start supplementing the breast with the bottle. So I did. (more…)