05 July 2005

Survivor Guilt

BFAR, or breast feeding after reduction, is going extremely well for Oliver and me. Sometimes I think I did so much research that I willed this to happen, but more the more likely scenario is I just got lucky. Most BFAR moms, based on what I see on the message boards, supply less than 100% of their child's nutrition. Some supply really small amounts. They supplement in various ways. Though Oliver has received a few ounces of formula during his 12 week lifetime, it's not a regular thing and probably only totals about 16 ounces. In no way does that make me a success and them a failure. Any breastmilk is a good thing for baby and there's a lot more to breastfeeding than nutrition.

Oliver isn't a michelin-man baby, but he's not underweight and continues gaining at a solid rate. I don't produce the volume of milk an "intact" mom would, but what I make appears to be enough. Still, I feel like a freak for being BFAR with a full supply. I'm staying away from the BFAR fora. I don't think I have anything to contribute since so many women are struggling and I am, by comparison, experiencing smooth sailing.

To make things "worse," Oliver shows no sensitivities to what I eat. Other women have to give up dairy, chocolate, citrus, onions, other vegetables, wheat, etc., in order to feed their babies. I'm staying away from caffeine (other than what is in chocolate) and alcohol, but nothing else. During some of the especially fussy early days I did try giving up milk, but it made no difference.

On a different breastfeeding topic, I should be pumping up a storm today. After the three-day-weekend of nursing like crazy, possibly in preparation for the 3 month growth spurt, and Oliver getting no bottles, pumping should be going better than ever. Alas, I'm down half an ounce from what I usually get in the morning and in a state of mild panic over it. Perhaps I should go back and re-read that first paragraph. It's all relative.

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