Supply and Demand.

I met Sandra Bullock tonight.

Well, kind of.

I met a girl who looked like her.

Okay…so maybe I didn’t actually meet her.

The Sandra Bullock impersonator was the checkout girl at Food Lion.

I was THAT close to meeting a celebrity. 14:00.

I wanted to comment on how much she looks like Ms. Bullock but I refrained.

In other news, today was my WIC nutrition education class.

Daphs and I showed up to the clinic half an hour early.

I checked in and looked at the waiting room.

All of the seats were filled save for one next to an older Hispanic woman or one in the very back where I would have to step over a lot of people and carseats.

You know how odd it is to sit in a chair right next to a stranger, right? I mean, if at all possible, you sit down in a chair with one between you and the nearest stranger. That’s generally the rule.

I sat down right next to the older woman. She was playing on her phone and wrangling up a few kiddos running around. I put Daphs at my feet. She was asleep in the carrier.

I could tell that the kids running around were confused and a bit agitated as to why I was sitting right next to the older woman, in THEIR chair. They were speaking Spanish and there was something in the inflection that made me feel that way. I just smiled.

They bent down to look at Daphs in her carrier and then looked up at me. I smiled. The woman spoke harshly to the kiddos and they backed off. I didn’t mind them looking.

Within minutes of me sitting down next to the woman, half of the seats opened up and we both just sat there next to each other still.

It would have been awkward for either of us to shift seats. So we both fiddled around on our phone more. I thought about how interesting people are. I thought about how different cultures can be intimidating for a newbie. I felt a little uneasy when the woman spoke Spanish to another Hispanic lady in the waiting area. It’s definitely a learning environment, being out in public with so many different cultures.

Soon, we were called back for the class.

I walked back and took a seat in a large conference room alongside 4 other mothers. I was one of the three who brought kids. The other two were alone.

The leader of the class asked us if we had any questions. She then asked who was breastfeeding.

Like an utter nerd, I raised my hand, and I was the only one who did.

The other girls in the room spoke up quickly. One woman said that she started breastfeeding but switched to formula after a few weeks because of acid reflux. That problem still persisted and she really regretted quitting. She was hoping to pick up breastfeeding again. The next woman sitting down was quick to correct her and tell the woman of her own troubles.

The next woman told us that she went back to work and her supply was low, that she was having issues with supply and was hoping to rent a pump.

The third woman said she gave up breastfeeding because she thought formula would have been easier. She said that she really regrets that decision and that formula is so much more work.

The fourth woman formula fed and complained about the amount of cans of formula allowed by the WIC program. This same woman has a three month old that weighs 20 pounds.

The nutritionist discussed many issues, discouraging one of the moms in the room from using cereal in her formula, and reprimanding another mother for starting her 3 month old on baby food and water.

I felt like it was such a wonderful coincidence that I attended that specific class. While the other mothers in the room were discussing their issues with feeding, I suddenly became very aware that I have a good thing going for me breastfeeding.

I had cut out formula only after 2 days of using it once or twice daily. I cut out giving her my pumped milk (though I continued to pump immediately after feeding Daphs). I had weighed her on my bathroom scale before I fed her and then afterwards. I know those types of scales can be inaccurate, but she gained 6 ounces in one sitting.

I had thought I had supply issues and ventured into using formula and pumped milk supplements. For the past two days, I have felt the repercussions of my actions.

Daphs has been very fussy at the breast the past two days. She had issues latching. She would turn her head and start crying after only one or two seconds of trying to nurse.

I spent all day yesterday and all of this morning trying to feed Daphs amid her crying and latch issues. She doesn’t have any issues eating for the first meal of the day, but after that, she fusses.

I attribute it to all the bottles I had fed her for a few days.

This afternoon, I could tell she was hungry and tired from all the crying. I attempted to feed her and  she latched on well and fed well. I was so pleased.

While out and about, after feeding her, I received a call from a lactation consultant I had phoned earlier. She asked me multiple questions to discern the situation, like what the problem was, her eating habits, latch issues, her age, and such. She told me to come in tomorrow afternoon for a before/after weight check. I will go in and they will weigh her. I will feed her and they will re-weigh her to see how much food she is getting.

We have our appointment at the doctor tomorrow morning at 930am and then this lactation consultation at 1pm. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

I feel as if my supply is going up. 

I have been maintaining my eating habits, my water consumption, and continued taking fenugreek.

What have I changed?

I cut out all other food supplements for Daphs– I weaned her off of adding pumped milk after each feeding.

I started using an electric pump. The first day, I pumped as much as I could throughout the day, generally for about 15 minutes at a time. For the days to follow, I would pump between feedings. Yesterday, I started pumping immediately after I would feed Daphs, just to keep stimulation going. I did a few power pumping sessions (pump for 5 minutes, take a 10 minute break, repeat for up to an hour).

This is key: I didn’t stop feeding Daphs. I fed until she was full and didn’t want the breast anymore. I kept her near me all throughout the day and fed her when she wanted. I didn’t supplement anything else.

I have been tracking Daphne’s feeding habits on a spreadsheet. I wanted to have something to take to the doctor and lactation consultant.

I am really thankful for purchasing the electric breast pump (The Boob Juicer 9000). I don’t think the hand pump was really helpful. I highly recommend an electric one. It is the MiPump from Walmart (about $90). It is a double electric. Wonderful.

Building supply is like a snowball effect. You’be gotta stay stimulated longer and more than the time before, it seems, for your supply to replenish more. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. If you start supplementing, you won’ t necessarily need  or use all your milk, so the milk won’t be replenished.

I could feel my supply replenishing today. Such an amazing feeling—It’s the feeling of knowing I can feed Daphs and that I’m producing enough. I never thought I’d be so happy to be a milk machine.

I had so many emotions running through me last week when I was so upset about Daphne’s weight and worrying about whether or not I was producing enough and should I switch to formula. I did a lot of research and I am so thankful for every person who encouraged me. Thank you.

I am happy I am sticking with breastfeeding, for now.

I’ll keep ya posted on how tomorrow goes.

If Dr. Doom is not pleased with Daphne’s weight gain, I will suggest that she refer us to a growth specialist for my own peace of mind.

Here’s hoping for a good day tomorrow! It should be. It’s Daphne’s 3 month birthday tomorrow! I can’t believe it!

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