Thursday, February 17, 2011

I will not hear what you have to say...

The backlog on my posts is steadily growing.  I have a system where I write posts with only my blog titles and save them so I can remember what subjects I'm going to talk about in the future.  This one is getting skipped ahead because it happened yesterday and it's so fresh in my mind (therefore the rage I'm feeling is going to make it a more informational more successful more eloquent funnier post.)

Also, since Little Mr. Grunts A Lot's symptoms have resolved, it really does seem like an inappropriate nickname.  He doesn't grunt much at all anymore.  Unless he's well...never mind.  So, my new nickname for him is The Incredible Hulk (TIH for short).  This nickname comes from the fact that he grows out of clothes at an alarming rate, he's a huge baby, and for a baby he also has kind of temper on him.  (Lucky me.)  Also, there's this:

In case you can't tell, that's him in an Exersaucer, pulling THE ENTIRE Jumperoo over to him.  HULK WANT.
So, if you see me reference TIH in the future, you know who I'm talking about.


I had a rare opportunity to visit a local store with a friend, co-worker, and fellow mom on our lunch break.  I mention her so that you know there were witnesses and while I tend to totally lose my shit overreact at times, she was there and can back me up that what happened was a bit ridiculous.  This store is a really unique concept in that it is both a resale shop (clothes, baby gear, etc.) AND a breast feeding resource center (classes, support, library, bras, products, etc.)  They have nursing lounges, couches, a stack of Boppy's - it really is a neat idea and a neat place.  Several people have recommended that I stop in there early on to load up on gear, take advantage of some of their great prices, and get the support I would need to breast feed.  I never ventured out there in the beginning (it's really far away from where we live and TIH fortunately took the path of least resistance when it came to nursing). But, recently, I've had a question on my mind ever since TIH switched babysitters and we've been getting a more detailed report of how he has been eating.

Obviously, since I work outside of the home and chose to keep breast feeding that meant that I'd be pumping at work and sending bottles to daycare, with or without glitter depending on the day.  I was told early on in my pregnancy (I believe at one of my showers from another breast feeding mom) that I would want to stick with slow flow nipples to more closely imitate the let-down response babies experience when nursing.  That seemed easy enough and all of Medela's products came with slow-flow, wide-based nipples to work interchangeably with their bottles.  I really like Medela's products a lot, but recently my husband, the babysitter, and I have noticed that TIH gets really frustrated (HULK ANGRY.) when attempting to drink out of the slowest flow nipples that are available.  This basically has resulted in him drinking 1-2 ounces at a time (usually it was 4-5 ounces per feeding) and then getting extremely fussy, giving up, and refusing to eat.  My husband's original fix was actually using a sippy cup, which the baby took immediately.  But, I still had that little voice in my head shouting "NIPPLE CONFUSION" and scaring the living crap out of me (and my nipples).  I got a few packages of the "Medium flow" nipples which are also manufactured by Medela, but the improvement wasn't great.  Still frustrated.  Still fussy.  Still not eating nearly as much as he used to.  This?  Is the problem.  I'm spelling it out for you, dear reader, because evidently I did not spell out my problem clearly enough to the biotch hag lactation consultant I dealt with yesterday.  What I wanted to know is if I should go up even another step to an even faster flow nipple and if I should be wary of using the sippy cup to solve our problems.  Here's our conversation.  I have not left anything out.  This is exactly how it went.

Me: (begins to explain situation) he went from getting 5 ounces per feeding to less than 3 ounces...
LC: (cuts me off)  Okay, 3 ounces?  Is A LOT.
Me:  No, okay.  5 ounces was normal for him and now he's eating less.
LC: (clearly does everything she can not to roll her eyes at me) Breast fed babies commonly get over fed.  He should not be getting more than 3 ounces per feeding because you will be getting yourself into a dangerous cycle in which you will never be able to keep up with the pumping.
Me: (not usually one to brag about my supply, and certainly not one to be outdone) ACTUALLY, on average, I've been pumping 10 ounces more per day than he needs.
LC: (also not one to be outdone, obviously) How is he being fed when he's getting bottles?
Me: I don't know, you'd have to ask my babysitter.
LC: He is supposed to be fed sitting up straight up with a slow flow nipple.
Me: (seeing that this is not getting anywhere and my original question has still not been answered) Ohhh, okay.  Thank you.
LC:  Can I get you a pamphlet about this?
Me: No.

(a few minutes later, she approached me again)

LC: ALSO, just so you know, unlike formula fed babies, breast fed babies don't increase the volume they drink as they get older.  The amount of formula fed is increased over time to increase the baby's caloric intake, but with breast milk...
Me: (cutting her off because despite the way she was talking to me, I am not a damn moron) ...the breast milk adjusts it's caloric content to fit the baby's need.  I know that.

My issues with both of these interactions (other than the fact that she was a horrible excuse for a human being to me throughout) is that she knows nothing about me OR my baby nor did she ask the questions necessary to gain such information.  She doesn't know how much he weighs, she doesn't even know how old he is, and even if she did - every. baby. is. different.  There is no magical equation you can fit in the right amount of feeding in for each baby.  With TIH, I just nursed on demand and that became the norm for him.  What I know to be true is that breast feeding is a matter of supply vs. demand.  On the weekends, when I am able to exclusively breast feed - my supply adjusts to TIH's needs.  When I'm at work, my supply continues to reflect this demand and I keep it up with my daily pumping sessions.  So, if I'm pumping enough that he gets 5 ounces per feeding?  That means he NEEDS 5 ounces per feeding.  It does not mean that I am overfeeding my baby, and how dare she insinuate that I am?  More importantly, her formula feeding comment pissed me off more than ever.  I have never formula fed a baby (not that there's anything wrong with that) so I know nothing about doing that.  She assumed that I was basing my feeding patterns on formula feeding, but that could not be further from the truth.  My feeding patterns are based on nothing other than the needs of my child and if she's going to give me advice to do anything other than that, I know her advice is not valuable or needed or anything.  At all.

While I waited for my friend to complete her purchase and while I perused their library of books, I noticed the same hag woman talking to another mother with a baby who could not have been more than a week or two old.  The woman had that familiar glazed over look common among new moms and even more common among new moms who are completely baffled by this method of feeding that is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world, but is really freaking scary when you first start out.  I watched as the mother tried to explain to this woman that breast feeding in public is hard for her and her baby and that they do better at home, so she's not going to be able to "whip it out" in order to get help and that she just wanted some questions answered.  I watched as that hag (no, I'm not striking it out this time, that's what she was being) roll her eyes at this mother and act like a total heinous B as she tried to explain "block feeding" (which, after 7 months, I still don't even know what that is) and kept watching as I could slowly see this new mother's resolve dissolving, her faith in this process diminishing, and her frustration reaching epic levels.  I wanted to punch the hag in the face and hug that mom and her beautiful new baby girl and tell her she's doing great and that she IS. GOING. TO. DO. THIS and that she's awesome for even trying.  I said to my friend as we left, "If that woman talked to me the way she just did when I was first starting out, I can guarantee I would have had a can of formula in my hand before the day was over.  That mom in there was about to cry and that woman was not helping in the least bit.  THIS is why moms give up."

So, if you happen to stumble upon this blog because you're desperate for some help or support when it comes to breast feeding or pumping, or...anything having to do with being a new mom, please feel free to contact me.   Leave it in a comment, send me a tweet or an e-mail.  Don't let the haters get you down. I don't want any of you to have the look on your face like the new mom in that store.  She didn't deserve that.  And neither do you.

Trust your instincts.  You're doing great, mama.  And have I mentioned?  You look fabulous.


  1. Neither of my children breast fed at 7 months old, but my son would take 5 ounces of breast milk as a young infant. He was a big baby too. He would outgrow his clothes in a matter of weeks. We eventually had to switch to formula and when he would get angry because it was too slow, we'd go up to a faster flow. By the time he was 6 months old, we were on the fastest flow. When you say he is fussy when eating, he isn't getting tired is he? If he is tiring while feeding, that can be a serious issue. Good luck!

  2. Being tired isn't completely out of the realm of possibilities - it happens, absolutely. What we've noticed that has made us wonder about the nipple flow is that he will will pull at the nipple with his mouth, try to latch and relatch, and grab the bottle from us to try (unsucessfully) to do it himself. If he is tired or uninterested in eating he will do that mouth-clamped shut, head shaking to get away from the bottle thing. Thanks so much for reading and for becoming a follower! Happy to have you!

  3. I completely agree with you. Well-meaning zealots can totally turn a person off. NOT helpful at all. My three boys were all exclusively breastfed, and I would totally say Do NOT fear the sippy cup! It's not a nipple at all, and mine were never confused by it. Again, they are all different, and there is the possibility that yours may be, but if he's fine going between breast and bottle nipples, then I personally don't think the sippy would be an issue.

    Good luck, and ignore the hags!

  4. I very much appreciate the encouragement. I am moving forward with the silly fearlessly. I'll let you know how it turns out :)

  5. Also, silly=sippy. Serves me right for commenting back using my phone with auto-correct.


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