Monday, July 28, 2008

Figuring out the breastmilk issue

So, a little research and some looking back over the TrixieTracker logs, and I think we've got it figured out. For the last month or so JJ has been really distracted while nursing. So, to keep him interested, I'd let him do a few minutes on each side and kept switching him back and forth from side to side. In theory, it seems like a good idea. However, breast milk actually changes composition during the course of a feeding, going from a very thin fore milk (think of it like skim) to a fatty hind milk (think heavy whipping cream). And let me just say, isn't that the wierdest thing ever? I mean, what an amazingly cool and freaky thing that the composition of your milk changes during the feeding? But, I digress. Since he was going back and forth, getting just a few minutes on each at a time, he wasn't ever getting the hind milk, so basically he was filling up on skim but never getting the yummy cream! Which explains why a) he wasn't gaining weight even though he was eating for a long time and b) I kept getting knots (the hind milk was never draining out). In fact, it turns out that what I was doing (continually switching back and forth) is a technique for increasing your milk production!

To fix the problem, now I only feed JJ on one side at each feeding. We're also supplementing with formula during the day (and I'm pumping to keep the supply up). Hopefully, we'll be able to keep the formula to a minimum and eventually get him back on breast milk only. We'd like to get him back to breast milk only because a) formula is freakin' expensive! b) formula stains when he spits it up (ewwww) c) JJ likes the breast milk better (so would I - the formula smells funny to me).

Let's hope this works.

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