Life with my now four-week-old daughter has been pretty swell! I have enjoyed caring for her each day: soothing her, rocking her to sleep, and spending quality time with her during feedings. Taylor Miriam has certainly been a blessing to both my husband and me.
One of the things that has been a challenge during this time has been breastfeeding. Let me preface this by saying, I am 100-percent committed to making breastfeeding work. The benefits far outweigh any challenges that I have faced, and for that reason giving up on breastfeeding is not an option.
With that said, getting Taylor Miriam to the point that she was a Breastfeeding Olympian took a lot of work. Taylor’s first week of life was devoted to making sure she latched properly. She often covered her little mouth with her little hands and squirmed while I tried to latch her. It took a little over a week to improve her latch and get her to the point that she opened up widely for a good latch.
Enter week two, this week was pure breastfeeding bliss. Taylor’s latch was perfect and she had the perfect number of dirty and wet diapers. I bragged about my daughter’s feeding achievement! At this point she received a gold medal for her breastfeeding achievement.
Now by week three, things had changed. I believe the change was caused by my excessive pumping and storing. At this time, I started to over-lactate. There was a little leak here, a little leak there, here a leak, there a leak, everywhere a leak leak! My breasts were always heavy and could not seem to contain the deluge of milk that was forming for my daughter. This overflow caused Taylor’s latch to digress; at this point she wasn’t even a bronze medalist, more of an honorable mention when it came to breastfeeding. She began to clamp down on my nipple to stop the fast flow of milk. She would even pull back while sucking and sometimes choke on her milk. I also noticed that she had heavier wet diapers and fewer dirty diapers. I did a little online research and discovered the cause was over lactation. Now I recognize my fast milk flow was the cause of her digression, needless to say we are now training twice as hard to get her back to her Breastfeeding Olympian status.
After speaking to the lactation consultant at Ochsner Hospital, a few suggestions were offered. The consultant recommended I feed Taylor in the side lying or reclining football clutch position. (I found the football clutch position to be the best because I’m better able to see Taylor’s latch in this position.) The consultant also suggested that I feed Taylor from one breast two to three times and then switch to the other for feeding. The breast that was not being used to feed Taylor was being pumped for storing milk.
It has been this regimen for four days and I have already noticed that Taylor is no longer choking on gushes of milk and clamping down on my nipple. She has less heavy wet diapers and more dirty diapers. My body is still producing large quantities of milk, but the perk is that I have a decent supply of milk stored for when she goes to daycare. Taylor is now at a bronze medalist status regarding her latch, but I am confident my little Olympian will be a gold medalist by the end of this week.