Nursing and Supplementing with Donor Milk, part seven billion

The most difficult part of nursing and supplementing with donor milk is that supplementing with donor milk cuts into actual nursing time. One of the best things about nursing is the ease of it (after the first few weeks, at least). To quote Chris Evert in the early 1990s, “I love breastfeeding. Just whip off your bra.”(Psht, I don’t even bother wearing a bra, half the time.)

Bottle-feeding, on the other hand, requires bottles, nipples, rings, drop-ins (I use that playtex drop-in system), donor milk in bags that leak more often than not which is REALLY annoying, and then warming the whole thing up. Porcelain likes her donor nursies warm, thanks. I’ve scalded my hand a few times and I’ve nearly cried over spilled milk many times. I have to put my baby down in order to get everything together in order to feed her. (I still wear her regularly, but she now officially has octopus arms, and has already knocked over donor milk.)

I have to remember to bring bags of milk in from the deep-freezer to the regular freezer, from the regular freezer to the fridge, and keep them defrosting in their own glasses or tupperware because of leaking issues.

I am not complaining. I am more grateful to Porcelain’s milk mamas than I can even say. The fact that my baby is on breastmilk only is such a gift to her, and to me. Thank you all, again.

When I nurse Porcelain, I usually know that I’m going to follow it up with a bottle. This means that rather than sit contentedly on the couch or in My Chemical Romance’s “battery charger,” I have to sit and nurse her and then get up and make a bottle. And knowing that I have to get up and make a bottle, and knowing that even if I sit there and nurse her for 25 minutes she’ll still take two or three ounces of donor milk, sometimes I’m tempted not to nurse her at a certain time, just to make a bottle. Because it’s a little frustrating to think that I’m making milk and nursing — and then watch as she drinks four ounces in two minutes and acts like she wants more. Oh, it’s frustrating.

I don’t really have a routine with nursing and supplementing. Sometimes I follow up a long nursing session with food now, or sometimes I wait a half hour before I give her the bottle. I never make bottles at night; if she wakes up in the night she gets nursies directly from me. She averages three or four four-ounce bottles per day. If Mary F. Poppins is around, one nursing session with her is the equivalent of a bottle. Sometimes it’s the usual, boob then bottle routine and I try to make it as seamless as possible. But it’s still difficult. My Chemical Romance can feed her, my mom can feed her, The Informant and My Masterpiece and even Animal and Mineral can feed her — which is what bottle-feeders always tout as the epitome of convenience! — but the hardest part is that I can’t always feed her.


2 Responses

  1. My daughter is on donor milk and it is awesome that someone does that for her, glad you have it, too.

    • Yes! I’m so grateful to her donors. They are amazing women. Also, just today I looked in the freezer and realized I only had about 20 oz. I freaked out and put it on Facebook and my local mommies group that I needed milk, and several people replied. If I had extra milk, I’d donate.

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