Mother's Little Helper

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I am not a good cow.
I first realized this after my first baby was born.
When he began to lose weight he had to go onto the bottle at 7 weeks old, supplemented by breast milk.
He was weaned at 9 months.
It was a disappointment.
I come from a long line of good milkers.
I felt like the black sheep among the women in my family.
By george, my grandmother had so much milk she was asked to be a wet nurse during the war years!

So when my second baby was expected I paid money to go to a lactation consultant.
It helped a bit. I managed to exclusively breast feed for the first 3 months.
Then I had to introduce formula.
She was weaned at 10 months.

When my third baby came along, I felt more confident, but resigned to the fact that it wouldn't last.
It didn't.
He was weaned at 10 months too and supplemented with formula since 3 months old.

I did ask myself why I couldn't enjoy this stage of my life and my babies? Why, when it seemed to come so naturally to so many other women, couldn't it come naturally for me? For me, the poor milk cow, breastfeeding was a chore. It was uncomfortable for me, and long - in that the poor babies had to really work hard to get the milk down.

Then I gave birth to my fourth baby. I was expecting the same thing to happen.
But it didn't.
It was completely different. The exact opposite of what I had become accustomed to.
Several reasons really.
First off, I had a great - and I mean a great obstetrician. Joy Dixon (of Christchurch) who is expensive, but worth it. And a wonderful midwife, Marg Tappin.
When Alice was born, I told them about my difficulty with milk.
The whole issue was solved when they said to me,
"Get yourself some Complan".

Well, I thought it probably wouldn't help, but I'd try it anyway. So every morning for breakfast since the day after Alice was born, I have a glass of this:

To cut a long story short, here I am with my 18 month old toddler, and I'm amazed and very, very grateful to still be breastfeeding twice a day, and now I'm wondering when it's going to stop (as you might remember me blogging about here).

What's more - some of my girlfriends have seen it in my kitchen, or heard me talking about it, and they themselves have said how much they rely on it after a baby is born.

How come I didn't know about it with baby #1, 2 and 3?
Well, at least #4 has had the benefit of it.

It's mother's little helper for me, that's for sure!


Clara said...

I've never heard of that before! I had trouble breast-feeding too, and my milk disappeared at about 8 months. What a blessing to have resolved your problem. I wonder if we have that product here (if the Lord ever blesses us with more little ones, I'll have to try to get hold of it!)??

Cate said...

Glad that you were able to solve the "problem". Breastfeeding feels like an entire lifetime ago for me!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never heard of that either! Good to pick up these little tips along the way though. I'm very lucky and have never had any problems feeding my boys (still feeding my 7 month old on demand, after solids) but I can appreciate the struggle so many mums go through to breastfeed their babies. It's not easy, so kudos to you for sticking with it for four little darlings! =)

Heather L. said...

I have never heard of that!!! I wonder what the equivalent is here???Breastfeeding goes well for me but my babies are always tiny.

Little Kiwi Chick said...

Wow, that's interesting! I am so happy for you that you have been able to breastfeed little Alice for so long! Thankfully things have been going really well for Abbey & me as far as breastfeeding goes and it is a real joy! I never took it for granted that it would happen easily, though, because I realise it doesn't for everyone. I was visited by a 'Lactation Consultant' at the hospital and she was extremely helpful.

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