For the past week or so, Cael will eat for 4 minutes. Exactly 4 minutes. After that, he comes off the breast crying and screaming. I chalked it up to teething pain, but now I think it's something else. The amount of milk I'm producing is not enough for Cael. I came to that terrible conclusion tonight. I tried for a half hour (after feeding him on the breast) to desperately put him to sleep, but he just kept screaming. I tried Tylenol. Nothing. Then I decided to see if he was still hungry. I knew there wasn't anything left in my breasts, so I heated up some frozen milk I had from a while ago. Well, he sucked down 3 ounces no problem, and immediately fell asleep. I tried putting my son to sleep hungry, and I feel horribly guilty about it.
Add to that, I managed to only pump .5 ounce (yes, that's half an ounce) COMBINED from both breasts after the last feeding this evening. I didn't even think it was worth saving, but I did. Half an ounce wouldn't satisfy an ant. And now I just got done pumping 2 ounces. So that's a grand (pathetic) total of 4.5 ounces for the entire day. I used to get that amount from both breasts in one pumping session.
The biggest and most important fact is that Cael is supposed to be gaining weight. He has 2 weeks left until his weight check, and I'm dying to know if he's gained anything in these past 2 weeks. How am I supposed to help my son gain weight if I can't produce the milk he needs? It's really affecting me. I'm stressing, and having anxiety over it all. I'm so afraid that he's not going to gain enough in the next 2 weeks, and I'll have to give him formula. Or worse, he'll be labeled "failure to thrive." Nothing against formula fed babies, but I really just wanted Cael to be exclusively breast fed.
The lactation consultant I spoke to for a half hour gave me a lot of good advice. After going over everything that I was experiencing, we concluded that I'm having issues with my supply. The reason Cael comes off after 4 minutes, is because my letdown ends, and he doesn't get as much as he was, and therefore gets frustrated. She suggested doing a few things. Firstly, switch-feeding Cael. This means to immediately give Cael the other side when he comes off the first side, and then switch again. Secondly, pumping both sides right after feeding Cael. This will help trigger my breasts to produce more milk, even if I don't have any milk coming out. And thirdly, taking some herbal supplements, including alfalfa and More Milk Plus. These supplements, as well as Fenugreek, help your body to stimulate more milk production.
Hopefully with all this and determination, I can get my supply back and get Cael to gain some weight. That is my biggest concern, is that he is not gaining. I guess only time will tell. I'm planning on hooking up our Wii fit, and weighing me, and then weighing the both of us, so that I can see how much he weighs. It won't be exact, but it will let me know if he's reached the 14 pound mark yet. :::Fingers crossed:::