My left nipple is still giving me grief. I have a large crater in the center and Lily latching on is excruciating. I called the lactation consultant yesterday and today they fit me in. I did a bit of homework last night and watched a few videos (search for Jack Newman - a canadian doc and good resource for breastfeeding info). I noticed that Lily wasn't sucking like the babies in the video and that got me looking into my letdown.
At my appointment today I learned I was on the right track. What started with my Mastitis and then the resulting pain/stress, has resulted in a huge drop in my supply.
She watched Lily latch on both nipples and on each she really chomped down in frustration when I wasn't letting down for her. It was her level of aggression that contributed to my being put on 'nipple rest'. It isn't the ideal situation when working to build up supply, but what are you going to do? My nipple simply won't heal.
We've got a good game plan that involves pumping, fenugreek, ointment, and a lot of time topless - all for at least the next 48 hours. Here's the plan:
I will feed Lily what I pumped the prior session and supplement whatever is lacking (thankfully I have a friend who has donated us her breast milk, so I no longer have to do formula - which Lily only got at two feedings)
I will then pump again (both breasts) for the next feeding.
After pumping I will apply a mixture of triple antibiotic ointment and lotrimin (anti-fungal) 4x a day
Every hour I will rub my nipples with breastmilk
Fenugreek 3x a day
Tonight will be an interesting, and probably long, night. It's a lot of work to feed her, put her back down, pump, clean up, etc, etc. But, we will do what we have to do until we're healed up and build our supply. Once my nipples have healed we will hopefully be able to ditch the exclusive pump and get back to building supply with nursing.
Tomorrow, even though I cannot nurse her, Lily and I are going to spend the whole day in bed. Her in her diaper, me topless, and we're going to snuggle and rest, drinking tons of fluids.
I am so frustrated. I was so sad to have to give my baby a bottle of formula at the consultants office. But mostly, I feel good about the plan. I am just pissed as hell that nothing can go smoothly. Why must we hit these speed bumps at every turn? I'd like to pass through one thing without hiccups. Getting pregnant, pregnancy, labor, breast feeding... everything has been so damn hard.
But for now, I just need to get through it. And now, it's time to pump. Here we go again...