[DISCLAIMER: I owe a post about GH and his meeting with his oncologist. It's coming. Condensed version: new treatment starting next week. We're not out of options yet.]
I'm having an economic problem that's going nothing to do with money. No, no, this problem has to do with the good ol' principle behind modern capitalism: supply and demand.
The issue at hand is that my babies' demand for breastmilk has outstripped my supply since they started daycare. Here's how the numbers work out:
• I send 24oz. of milk with them to daycare each day, divided into six bottles of four ounces each.
• They eat three times at daycare (at intervals of three hours, roughly 10:00, 1:00, 4:00). In theory, each baby takes a four-ouncer at each feeding.
• I pump around 20 ounces total over three pumping sessions at work.
TOTAL: net loss of four ounces/day, if things go according to plan
But it's worse than that because things aren't going according to plan. To wit:
• Maddie eats more than 12 ounces/day, and Riley slightly less. But Riley is getting accustomed to the bottle and is catching up. Soon each will need more than 12 ounces/day.
• Maddie had been getting a four ounce bottle at night before bed because if I just breastfeed her she and Riley both wake up STARVING just a couple of hours after I put them down for the night. So before bed, GH now gives Maddie a bottle and I feed Riley off both breasts. This holds them for about five hours.
RECALCULATED TOTAL: net loss of eight ounces/day, with loss growing.
We are burning through our frozen milk supply. I think the babies are having a growth spurt--they used to sleep much longer, and when they are waking now it's clearly to eat, not just for sport. Also, they have real trouble going three hours between feedings during the day whereas they used to make it for three-four hours easily. But maybe it's not a growth spurt and I'm just not making enough food for them?
I'm doing everything I can to up my supply. I'm taking fenugreek supplements and drinking fenugreek tea (which might make me and the babies smell like maple syrup! Yum! Maple babies!) and I'm either pumping or letting the babies eat basically all the time to signal my body to up the supply.
I feel like my body is failing me. I feel like I'm starving our children. While I acknowledge formula supplements as a totally legitimate choice, I still feel like I'm failing for not being able to do this.
I'm going to call our pediatrician on Monday and see what she says. For now, do any of you moms out there have tips for increasing supply?