Something I’ve learned in the last 6 days is that infertility can affect breastfeeding. Little did I know infertility would still play a role in how I raise my little one!
Walt was 7lbs 14 oz at birth and 7lbs 7oz when we were discharged from the hospital on Monday. I took him for his first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday and he weighed in at 6lbs 15oz. This was more than 10% of his body weight which was just too much.
The pediatrician immediately gave us formula to supplement what he wasn’t getting from me. The pediatrician also made me an appointment with their lactation consultant and arranged for me to rent a hospital grade breast pump.
My session with the lactation consultant was great! She explained that women who have experienced infertility may have hormonal imbalances that cause a delay in breastmilk coming in, which was the case with me. I also have a low supply and inverted nipples which overall makes breastfeeding difficult. My little man just can’t get what he needs.
So to solve the problem I’m pumping and giving him expressed breastmilk in a bottle. I’m able to give him enough from me I only supplement 4-6oz of formula a day. I like being able to visually confirm how much he’s eating but it’s far from an easy process. I’m tied to a breast pump every two hours which is difficult with my husband already back out of town for work. When I took Walt to the pediatrician yesterday he weighed 7lbs 15oz, which is fantastic!
I’ve noticed I’m feeling very similar to how I felt trying to conceive. No matter how hard I try or how much I want to breastfeed, my body just isn’t cooperating. I feel betrayed by my body. I feel less than as a woman. I feel guilty as a mom who isn’t able to give her baby what he needs.
I know I’m the only person judging myself and I’m entirely too hard on myself. As long as Walt is healthy and happy I’m doing my job. There is so much societal pressure to breastfeed but like getting pregnant, there are a lot of struggles not always talked about.