I have never been one of those women who love nursing, I've always done it only because it's what's best for my babies. However, sweet Amelia Rose has given me a whole new perspective! When she was born it never occurred to me that nursing might ever be a problem. She latched on right away, without too much difficulty, and I felt sure that things were going well. She was such a sleepy little newborn, I did struggle to keep her awake to eat and her suck was gentle (due to the low muscle tone often associated with Down Syndrome). Certainly not the same hoover-like suction that my other babies have had. In spite of this, my milk came in and all seemed to be going well. She lost a bit of weight as all babies do, but gained it back right way.
At two weeks she began to lose weight again. I began pumping and feeding her at least a few of her meals through a bottle hoping that would make it easier for her to get more into her tiny belly before falling back asleep. I thought we were doing OK but when I weighed her again the following week she had lost even more weight. I was scared! All my other babies have been big babies with huge appetites who nursed passionately around the clock.
Not willing to give her a commercial baby formula, I ordered the supplies I needed to make a homemade formula made from wholesome whole food ingredients. I'm so grateful that I knew about this formula before she was born so I could quickly get what I needed for her! I had hoped to only supplement a feeding or two a day with this, but as Amelia has grown, my milk supply has not. I was up to giving her four or five bottles a day and I felt my milk supply decreasing. I decided the best course of action would be to order a Lact-Aid nursing system. Besides wanting her to have more breast milk, I wanted her nursing more in order to work the muscles in her mouth that are so crucial for speech development. My midwife suggested that this may also help my milk supply due to the additional suckling being better stimulation for my milk glands than the pump. It's going well so far and my milk supply has increased some. I'm hoping that eventually with the help of the Lact-Aid, herbs and homeopathics I may have enough milk to nurse her exclusively. In the mean time I feel very good about the nutrition she is getting from the formula and I'm continuing to do all I can to make my milk as nutrient dense as possible. To do this I am eating a nutrient rich diet of bone broths, organ meats and fermented foods (veggies as well as dairy). I'm taking fermented cod liver oil, probiotics (that are part of the GAPS protocol), a supplement called Krill IQ , liver pills , and a zinc supplement. I also rub additional fermented cod liver oil on her skin daily so her body can absorb all the Vitamin A and D she needs.
I am infinitely grateful that in spite of the struggles we've had nursing, Amelia is thriving!! At the time of this writing, by God's grace, Amelia is getting stronger and less "floppy" by the day and is a happy, healthy, radiant, alert, interactive, almost four month old baby.
It's ironic to me that all the supplements I'm taking for Amelia are the very supplements that I myself should be taking for my adrenal health. God knew I would never spend so much money on supplements just for me. Additionally, the GAPS diet is the ideal diet to address all the health concerns commonly associated with Down Syndrome. God is literally using Amelia and I both to keep each other healthy.... Isn't He AMAZING!!
Phi 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.