Last Thursday, I took the advice of calling a lactation consultant to see what their recommendation was for chunking Kieran up.
The lactation consultant asked a few questions and ultimately suggested that we supplement with formula since starting solid food can "mess with his gut" (I'm assuming she meant the bacteria?) She also suggested that I get him to feed at least every 2 hours to increase my supply (which he already is.) I've started using Fenugreek again and am looking into Mother's Milk Tea (anyone use this?)
Over the weekend, we started supplementing with formula. We were sent samples of both Similac and Enfamil formulas while I was pregnant, so we started using the Similac formula since that is what he was on when he was a newborn in the hospital to regulate his blood sugar. We'll probably go through the Enfamil formula as well before deciding which one to buy. He doesn't seem to mind the formula, in fact, he gets really excited when he sees the bottle coming towards him. I have noticed that he is spitting up a lot more than normal (before starting formula, he had only spit up once in his life.) I'm not sure if his stomach isn't used to the volume of liquid, or if it's messing with him in some way, so I make sure to stop and burp him often to get any air out.
I'm still trying to process the emotions I have about giving him formula. I know, logically, that this is what he needs. The lactation consultant reminded me that this ultimately, this isn't about making him fatter, but insuring he's getting the nutrients he needs to grow, especially his brain. But, I'm still dealing with the guilt of my body not producing enough for him. If I'm honest with myself, I'm also scared about feeding him formula out in public. I'm afraid someone is going to come up to me and scold me for not doing what is best for my son since "breast is best."
There are some positives to formula feeding. Keegan is able to feed him and I love seeing them interact while Kieran is eating. Grandparents and family, as well as friends, are able to feed him now as well, and I know they'll enjoy that. If last night is any indication, his sleeping is also improving. For almost a month, Kieran has been waking up every 45 minutes to hour and a half during the night, wanting to eat every time. I'm exhausted, he's tired, and Keegan wasn't much better. It was getting so bad that Keegan was going to sleep in our guest bedroom last night, when we decided to try Kieran in the crib one last time. We put him to bed around 8, he woke up at 11:30, and 3, and then slept until 8:20 when I had to wake him up. I think he would have slept longer if I let him! I wanted to keep him in our room until he was a bit older, but if the crib is what he needs, then that's where he'll sleep. I'm nervous about putting him back in the pack n' play for our upcoming trip home, but we'll see what happens. Of course, his good night sleep could be a coincidence, but I'm hoping giving him formula is keeping him fuller, longer.
Our supplementing schedule currently looks like this:
- Wake up between 7 and 8, breastfeed
- Drive to work, breastfeed between 9 and 10
- Bottle of formula between 10 and noon, Kieran takes his first nap
- Wakes up from nap, breastfeeds
- Bottle of formula between 1 and 3
- Kieran naps between 3 and 5
- Breastfeed around 4:45 before leaving from work
- Kieran will normally fall asleep in the car on the drive home
- Breastfeed when we get home
- Get ready for bed, breastfeed, and bottle
- Bed between 7 and 8.
- He will get a bottle or two of formula overnight, but I try and breastfeed him as often as possible
We have a weight check up on the 30th, so we'll see if the formula helps. If so, I have a feeling he'll be on it until he's weaned.