Any kind of life is pretty difficult these days, even if one is single and childless, not needing to care for so much as a housepet. But when you add in another human life, the responsibilities multiply rapidly. That cat, a spouse, all these things enrich life, but not free.
And it probably does not get a lot tougher under the best conditions than when one has a newborn baby to look after, unless one has a toddler who can amble freely about the house to get into all forms of mischief. But that toddler doesn’t need to breastfeed anymore.
Out of the hundred problems and complications in breastfeeding, one of the more pernicious ones would have to be simply getting the baby to drink: no simple matter. If your baby happens to be more of the picky variety, there are a few methods you might yet try for that.
Breast compressions help in multiple ways. For one, a single session of feeding can get far more milk into the baby when they are employed, which is big if it’s not easy getting the baby to the point of drinking in the first place and it is important to make the most of it when it happens. Secondarily, thoroughly emptying the breast sends a clear signal that more milk needs to be produced, which is something to consider if production is or has been a problem.
As well, the skin to skin contact of the compression process helps to stimulate milk ejection: something you may find less efficient during times of low supply or weak flow. All in all, it’s a technique that does much to get more milk into a less than hungry baby.
If your baby is slow to gain weight during this process, you may look to what you are being guided by to let you know it’s time to feed. If you have been feeding strictly according to a schedule, it may be insufficiently frequent. Instead, try feeding the baby more in line with when he or she communicates need. You will still want to be sure you are feeding at least every two hours during the day and once at night, but should feel no qualms about exceeding that frequency if the baby wishes it.
Additionally, make sure that the mechanics of your baby’s positioning cannot also be partly the cause. A baby may also naturally struggle to gain weight if positioned inadequately or not correctly latched onto the breast. Any of that may help.
Many more options are available, including switch nursing, which is simply to switch the baby between breasts more frequently in order to keep him or her alert enough to feed vigorously and also to promote more generation per breast. Or, administering a few massages of your baby has been shown to promote better weight gain. And then there’s supplementing, wherein the baby receives both expressed milk and milk from a bottle thereafter.
With these methods and more that may be suggested by your physician, the sometimes maddening process of breastfeeding a capricious infant may become more easily negotiated, thus allowing the difficulties of the past to be set aside until needed to remind the then-grown child of the imposition they made in their youth. But until them, do what you must to nourish that baby!