mastitis

Back home alone

We're back at home after visiting my parents, and sitting on their couch and nursing for a week. Now we're on our "own". It's been a busy week of appointments and getting laundry done and dealing with life (and brutal cold here which isn't usual).

My back and my hand have been very sore and that's lead to not as much babywearing as I'd hoped. She's also 12lbs now! Babies coping with OAM often gain fast and lots! But it means that they sometimes don't get what they need -- lots of time on mommy's chest so they can nurse often on the one side. Unilateral nursing sets you up for mastitis because you're purposefully not draining the breast, I've had it almost every time I've been really stressed, so nursing has to be often and comfortable for baby. And as K gets more irritated by the flow she needs to be comforted more, and it's so easy to just hand her off rather than keeping her on my chest. I did this more with my first, because it was frustrating that he was so sad all the time. But what he needed was to stay at the breast and nurse more often. This is especially important later when they get "colic" at a few months old and spend time with a hurting gut. They need to know that mommy is with them and stay comforted at the breast.

This week has been all about figuring out the "flow" of my day switching back and forth. If we nurse all evening on one side so she gets a good long cluster nurse, then I have to think about whether I should switch the "last" nurse of the day, and potential get her annoyed and not fall asleep, or do it earlier and not nurse as long in the evening on one side and have more milk supply over night. It's work, and when she sleeps extra long in the car, sometimes both breast get "too full" and then I have to figure out where and when to nurse next.

Luckily my left is lower supply, so it seems to drain faster even from "full". So I keep that in mind when switching at night, if I switch on to it, it's likely to be easier for her to handle. The right is still the real issue, but we're going longer on each side to see if it will settle and it hasn't become truly engorged for a few nights. When it gets bad, the breast is so heavy and full that I actually get a sore chest wall -- but I am a 38G! So there's a lot of breast tissue to get engorged. Though don't think that you need large breasts to have oversupply or overactive flow, I've seen it in women of every size!