So I am now on my third yeast infection in as many months. Azure has not once shown signs of thrush, but, it seems I continue to get it over and over again. It hurts, my supply is shit. (1-1/2oz this morning when I used to get 8-12oz first of the morning pump). I spent the weekend trying to come up with a way to pose the question to T about whether I should continue to pump or not. Azure is not allowed to exclusively breastfeed. She requires extra calories and nutrients so she is getting breastmilk fortified with formula. That is to say the formula powder is mixed into the breastmilk. (Some people have confused the fortification with thinking that she is getting some breast milk and some formula, this is not the case.) The Ped told me specifically not to nurse her exclusively yet and at this point, with the yeast infection again I have not been nursing her at all the past few days.
Here is my issue. I know that for a preemie with a heart defect she needs all the immune boosting help she can get. I know it is better for her and for me to breastfeed for the first year. While she was in the hospital and I was running out of freezer space for all the uber lactating I was doing this did not seem like a difficult task at all. However, now that she is home and drinking as much fresh squeezed boob juice as I can muster and I am still raiding the freezer on a regular basis and my supply is dwindling... I am entertaining thoughts of giving up.
Following is my thought process:
1) I just ordered a one month supply of Domperidone. Our Ped/LC was not only un-opposed to my taking it, she is very interested to see how it works for me as I will be her first patient to try it. So, I have decided to commit myself to at least one month on Dom to see how it goes. If things improve, then I may continue with no other concerns...except these blasted yeast infections. (Yes, I sterilize my pump equipment and change my bra every day.)
2) If I were to quit pumping at the end of my Domperidone trial period the question of how to go about feeding Azure comes into play. Do I feed her out of the freezer stash until it is gone so that she gets exclusively breastmilk (fortified) as long as possible and then switch over to formula?
Do I feed her some breastmilk and some formula every day to make the freezer stash last longer and therefore stretch out the time period of nutritional benefit from breastmilk? (Did I read somewhere that freezing the milk kills off some of the antibodies in the breastmilk so it might not matter anyway? I can't remember and am too lazy at this point to look it up.)
So, where does that leave us? I will pump for at least the next month and a half (7-10 days shipping then 30 days on the pills) and see where we stand then. That would put us into August when I plan on returning to work, adding more stress to our busy schedule. Also, she would be almost 6 months old.
If it looks like I will need to stop (for my own health and sanity) then I will take up the nutritional questions with our dietitian assigned by the county health department and our Ped.
NOTE: I am drinking lots of water and pumping about 4 times per day, (although the minute I turn on the damn pump is Azure's cue to start crying/coughing/alarming/etc.) and rest is something I heard about once in another life but I think it is actually just a rumor. My boobs have gone soft where once they were full and firm and it takes so much breast compression to get the milk out T is afraid I will actually hurt myself.
I find myself looking for that bar with the mechanical bull.