Not enough milk… and then far too much

angry person

In addition to my nipple trauma, I had been swinging wildly between having a screaming infant and nothing to offer but (seemingly) empty breasts, and ending up with a couple of beach balls whenever C went more than three hours between feeds. I heard this was quite normal, and that my supply would ‘settle down’ soon, but it ended up adding yet another major stress to my day.

For at least a couple of weeks, the problem was particularly horrendous. C was wanting to feed almost every hour (including all through the night), making me feel as if she wasn’t getting anything out of me at all. I put this prolonged period of frenzied feeding down to a growth spurt, despite the fact that the books claim these only last 24 hours (not my experience at all – C’s last at least a week, it seems!) Eventually her ravenous hunger ceased, and she managed a four hour sleep overnight. At the moment, four hours to me is virtually sleeping through, so in theory I should have had a reasonable night. Unfortunately, I awoke two hours after her last feed with my breasts buzzing, and proceeded to lie awake watching her and almost willing her to wake up, while I swelled to watermelon proportions…

In theory I could express a bit in these situations to relieve the pressure, but I’m terrified to do this in case C then wakes up and I don’t have anything left (which is silly, because I know it doesn’t work like that, but I’m awash with paranoia). Of course, when C does then want feeding, the milk shoots out of me like an industrial water gun, leaving her gagging and gulping down significant amounts of air. Arrgh! I was almost reduced to rocking in the foetal position, repeating, ‘my supply will settle down soon, my supply will settle down soon…’

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