No pressure (to pump)

Last month, we started noticing that the baby would have a bit of mucus in her nose, and it would accumulate as the night went on. We could actually hear her breathing loudly while sleeping, and at times, it actually sounded like she was struggling to breathe. This was when I started clearing out her boogers and mucus before bed every night as well as each morning before her mid morning feed. It was actually crazy to think how much mucus this tiny little human had in both of her little nostrils. It made me so sad, and my heart hurt to think about how she could be struggling to breathe.  

We talked about it with our Night Nurse, and she suggested that her nighttime feeds only be breast milk if I could produce enough. Luckily, I had gotten my supply up to a level where I could provide all of her nighttime feeds with breast milk. So during the day, even if I was producing and pacing well with my breast milk output, I would try to save breastmilk for all of her feeds overnight. Even if I did have enough to give her 100% breast milk for an entire 24 hour period, we would still give her one bottle of formula just to make sure that we had enough and then some. It’s almost like my own way of “saving” for the next day, which may be a “rainy day“ in terms of my breastmilk production… Because I had no idea when I might get a clogged milk duct or if my supply would just randomly tank because I still had not regulated my milk supply at that point in time.

On top of this, when Chris would do her bottle feeds, he noticed that she always seemed more satisfied when she had breastmilk. She could have less breastmilk than formula and still be more satiated. This makes sense when you think about breastmilk consumption versus formula consumption in babies: every time you read guidelines on how much babies should eat a different ages by week as well as by month, you can see that many babies from month 2 onward can gain a healthy amount of weight but still consume the exact same amount of breastmilk in a day, Which is approximately 90 to 150 mL per feed. That is a big range, but that depends on the number of feeds in a day. Formula fed babies are not like this, though. As formula fed babies get older and bigger, the amount of formula they need steadily increases. They will eventually need massive bottles of formula to drink. In the one feed a day when she would have Bobbie formula, she would kind of grimace after taking a sip from the nipple of a bottle and look at Chris, like, “what the heck is this? You’re making me drink this?”

Chris told me this, and he told me that she very clearly prefers drinking breastmilk. And I looked at him and said, “great! No pressure to produce more!“ He gave me this exasperated look and retorted back, “why do you have to be so negative? I’m telling you that she prefers your milk over formula! That’s supposed to be a compliment! All of the hard work you are doing to pump milk is paying off! She clearly enjoys it!”

He’s right. I am being negative. I see this as additional pressure to find ways to increase my output to get to as close as 100% as possible even when I originally set a goal of getting to 75 to 80%. But doesn’t it make sense that once you have set a goal in terms of quantity that once you hit it, you keep on reaching higher and higher? So not only does my baby have a clear preference for breastmilk, but she also gets more mucus when she has formula, which is not good. If you knew that your baby was more susceptible to mucus because of an increase in formula consumption, wouldn’t that be pressure for yourself to try to produce more breast milk?

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