My Broken Boobs: Insufficient Glandular Tissue
No matter what I tried, I could not produce enough breast milk. I pumped after every feeding day and night.
I was drinking fenugreek like it was going out of style. I tried my best to stay hydrated.
I went to La Leche League meetings and was part of breastfeeding groups on Facebook. I was drinking mother's milk tea, that tasted absolutely terrible, but nothing seemed to help.
My doula was coming over often to help with my breastfeeding, she is also a certified lactation consultant. We had weighted feedings but my daughter wasn't getting enough from me.
I was super frustrated and fed up. It felt like I was feeding her nonstop.
By the time I put her to the breast, bottle fed formula to supplement, pumped, then cleaned my pump for the next session, she was hungry again. ALL I DID WAS FEED HER! 24/7.
There were days I wouldn't eat until someone came over or my husband got home from work. I would have to go to the bathroom sometimes so bad it would hurt.
As soon as I put my daughter down she would scream bloody murder. If she was sleeping I would try to put her down, but she would wake up and want to start the feeding process all over again.
I felt trapped. I couldn't get ahead of this losing battle.
Every time we tried to nurse, she would stay for only a short while then start to fuss, then flail her arms, and eventually cry and scream. The longest she nursed for for 5 minutes!
Feeding my daughter shouldn't feel like a battle. I shouldn't feel anxiety when she needs to eat!
I was in over my head and felt more alone than I thought was humanly possible. When friends, family, or my doulas came to visit, it felt like I could finally breathe.
If i knew someone was coming over, I would unlock the door when I could and watch out the window until I saw them. The couch is right by the window luckily so I could still feed, pump, or hold my sleeping girl.
After several weeks of troubleshooting with my doula, she suggested seeing an IBCLC. Of course I didn't go right away, I wanted to talk to my midwife first before I spent the money to see one.
Well, she too thought it was a good idea to see one. recognizing that I needed more help than I thought necessary, because breastfeeding is easy right? Ha.
I had an appointment to see one the following week. And thank god I got an appointment when I did.
What a relief it was seeing her. We talked for a while and I showed her how we did our routine. After assessing me for around an hour or two, she explained what insufficient glandular tissue was.
Apparently my body didn't have enough tissue to produce enough milk to exclusively feed my daughter. My boobs were broken.
Although I was super disappointed, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It wasn't for lack of trying on my part.
I just physically could not make enough. So I could be done with the agonizing feeling over feeding her.
The mom guilt slowly tapered off. The disappointment followed soon after.
But I was free! I still had to bottle feed her formula, but I felt elated. I suddenly had more time to enjoy my daughter.
Instead of cleaning my pump and trying to get her to breastfeed, we could play and learn and grow together. For me, it meant more time to bond, shower, and eat a meal that was actually hot!
Yes my boobs are broken, but for me, I'm ok with it!
If you are suffering from IGT feel free to reach out or comment below. For La Leche League meetings near you check out their website at www.llli.org.