Breastfeeding is hard.
Sure, it’s natural and it’s best for baby, but oh my heavens is it hard.
A couple years ago, I posted a rather humorous account of my adventures in breastfeeding (you can read that here). I breastfed Nick for a full year, but it wasn’t exactly by choice. By the time I was ready to be done, he was refusing formula, and that required me to continue to breastfeed him until he turned one.
I’ll be honest, I don’t really love breastfeeding. Not even a little bit. There are a lot of reasons that I don’t like it, and there are basically only two reasons that I breastfeed. One, it reduces a baby’s chance of having food allergies. When Jack was diagnosed with his numerous food allergies, I vowed to breastfeed any future babies so that they wouldn’t have to go through what he went through. Two, it’s a lot cheaper than formula feeding. There are other benefits to breastfeeding, but the two I listed are the main reasons that I choose to breastfeed.
I didn’t have too many issues breastfeeding Nick, aside from the initial pain. This time around, we keep running into complications. Those complications are making an already stressful and hard process even more difficult.
I’ve mentioned Luke’s stomach issues already. What I haven’t mentioned is that all indications point to breastfeeding as the issue. First of all, we think he might have a dairy sensitivity. Because of that, I’ve had to cut out major sources of dairy from my diet. No cheese, no yogurt, no milk. While I haven’t cut out the hidden dairy (for example, I still eat lunch meat, bread, etc.), I’m really frustrated with not being able to eat dairy. I am seriously craving pizza and cheese. So many things that I eat include cheese. At this point, I’m really not happy.
Second of all, there’s a good likelihood that I have an oversupply issue and that’s contributing to Luke’s stomach issues. He might be getting more fore milk than hind milk, leaving him gassy and in pain. Who would have ever thought that having a good milk supply could cause problems?? I certainly didn’t.
Next week, Luke and I are going to see a lactation consultant and a pediatrician that specializes in braestfeeding issues. I’m really, really hoping that we can get some answers so that we can figure out the best plan of action. I hate seeing him in so much pain.
In addition to all of those issues, it also seems as though I have excess lipase. Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down the fats in breast milk. When you have excess lipase, it breaks down the fats quicker, and the milk takes on a bad flavor and smell. This only really affects pumped breast milk. Fresh milk doesn’t have a taste or smell. For me, the bad flavor and smell starts after 3 days. What this means is that if I’m going to be storing or freezing any milk, I need to scald it on the stove to stop the process before I freeze it. Can you say “total pain in the ass?”
I’m really discouraged and almost ready to give up. However, it we really are dealing with a dairy sensitivity, transitioning Luke to formula probably won’t help. Even soy formula has some dairy in it…and babies that are sensitive enough to dairy to make breastfeeding difficult, will often have sensitivities to soy as well. That means the only formula option would be the super expensive, specialty formulas.
I just don’t understand how something that is supposedly so natural, can be so hard.