Breastfeeding has been the most stressful part of motherhood. Don't get me wrong, for the most part it's going pretty well, but we definitely have our moments. Cole has always latched on very well, and despite several people's comments, it is never painful, but I just hate not knowing exactly how much he's getting at each feeding.
Cole seems to be a pretty efficient eater. On average he only spends about 10-15 minutes at the breast...both sides. He'll spend about 4-5 minutes eating and then he lets out this squeal. At times it's a high pitched, painful squeal. At that moment I always wonder- what is the problem? Does he need to burp? Is he gassy? Is it burning him? Is he done? Does he want the other side?
It doesn't seem like a very long time on one side, so of course it makes me worry...is he getting enough food? I have been keeping track of his feedings since birth and he does this about half of the time. He was also beginning to spit up and get really stiff during feedings. I spoke to Dr. Pikna and we wondered if it was gas and/or acid reflux.
Last week Cole started taking an acid reflux medicine. Although he still squeals at about the same time frame he seems more content after feedings. He doesn't typically cry anymore when he's done eating. I don't know if the meds are really working- although the doctor said it can take up to two weeks to really see a difference, but I'm happy knowing I'm trying them. It's not that I want to keep him on meds, I just didn't want to ignore something that could be extremely painful for him.
I've also started pumping about once/day. It's really hard to find time to pump since I'm not replacing a breastfeeding session with a bottle session. Many women have their husbands feed the baby a bottle while they pump, but I've been stockpiling my milk instead. I keep thinking I should let Jim feed a bottle before bed so I know he's getting a specific amount of milk each night to encourage him to sleep longer, but I haven't gone there yet. Cole's had two bottles so far and both times he's taken them pretty well...I just worry that he'll find the bottle easier than the breast and give up. Would that be the worse? Probably not, but I keep thinking I should be feeding him at the breast longer...bottles would be a hell of a lot easier, although I feel like I'd be pumping all day to keep him fed by a bottle. Plus the breast is a lot easier...no heating, no cleaning...
Anywho- I try to keep telling myself not to stress or worry about the feedings. He's been steadily putting on weight and he is filling out nicely. It is just in my nature to worry...I'm a mom, aren't I?