Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SIDS. And anxiety. And some milk.

I read an interesting, helpful suggestion in one of my Today's Parent magazine issues, which I appreciate because it is very breastfeeding friendly and generally quite accurate wrt breastfeeding advice and information. Following this trend, many of the articles are attachment focused, if not specifically associated with the term Attachment Parenting. The interesting and helpful suggestion I read was that a recent research study found that infants who sleep with a fan on in their sleeping area have a 72% decreased risk of SIDS. Disclaimer: this is ONE study, which will now need to be replicated and hashed out and gone over with a fine toothed comb. But I figure, 72% is a pretty good reduction rate. It seems to fit general theories as to one of the contributing factors in SIDS, namely a lack of adequate oxygen levels in the air around an infant's face and an increase in the amount of exhaled, lower oxygen saturated air re-breathed by the infant. A fan would help move air around and decrease the chances of less oxygen rich air being rebreathed by the infant. But the best characteristic of the suggestion to have a fan in the area an infant sleeps is that it really doesn't hurt anyone, and it just may help. So I thought I'd pass it along.

Further to my post about my intolerance of noise, I find the noise of a fan in my bedroom to be difficult to ignore. But I'm managing to work out an angle and a proximity and an allowable turn off time (if it wakes me up after 6 a.m. I turn it off because that last hour or two of sleep is more valuable to me than my baby's life. Joking, obviously. But we must be flexible. And one of my anxiety triggers is the possibility of SIDS so I have a healthy need to challenge my crazy lady fears every once in awhile.)

Another one of my anxiety triggers is the potential of my milk supply disappearing. If you know me well you will be laughing right now, because this fear is SO ridiculous. I'm a superproducer. I have to be careful not to make TOO MUCH milk, because it causes all manner of problems for boobs and babies. I have been known to walk around town unaware of (or simply unable to fix) the fact that I have wet milk circles on my shirt right over my nipple area. Once it dries, there is still a water mark. BTW. In case you were ever wondering if you could simply 'give it time to dry.' Nuh-uh. With Ayden, I pumped 100s of mLs of extra milk and froze it and donated it to the BC Women's milk bank (modern day wet nurse, remember?). Now, I pump 100s of mLs of extra milk and sneak it into my adopted son's cow's milk at breakfasts or suppers or snacks~once or twice a day. My letdown is so forceful it hurts, and it shoots out across the room. You get the point. My fear surrounding my milk supply is utterly ridiculous.

My Breastfeeding Education Day at Douglas College with my mom in early March was hugely helpful in reducing this fear, because I learned that, while stimulation of the nipple stimulates letdown, barometric pressure receptors in the breast are what stimulate milk production. I'd been stressing for months over accurately remembering which breast I fed on last time, because if I feed on the same breast twice too many times in a row my other breast won't get stimulated, and this led to some too frequent breast switching in hopes that I could 'trick' my breasts into making lots of milk. Then I went to this education day and learned that there's no tricking my breasts. They make as much as my baby asks for, period. Once I learned this I trusted my body a bit more and listened to my fear a LOT less.

But my fear is gearing up again, with regards to my milk. I think because I'm gearing up to go back to work, and because I'm approaching the point at which my milk dried up with Ayden (14 months~I didn't say approaching it SOON, just, cause for a month of celebration and two years of mourning. Also because Riley hasn't been drinking 'enough' lately...but then I talked to my mom about it and she said, "What you are describing sounds exactly like older baby breastfeeding behaviour. How many times does he breastfeed in a day?" And I counted. He breastfeeds 7 or 8 times in each 24 hour period. And both my mom and I laughed. That's plenty! No need to worrywart. Which has helped me relax, which has reduced the number of times I have been whipping out my breast and trying to interest him in feeding (every 2 hours is no longer necessary for a 9 month old, apparantly!! Lol!!), and have instead returned to my firmly held belief in FOLLOWING YOUR BABY, listening to his cues, and determined that he likes to breastfeed about every 4 hours these days. He can go 5 hours, and has gone as long as 7 hours between feeds before (his choice), though he will then make up for it later.
The crazy lady has left the building. At least for today.

In furtherance to my back to work news, I dropped by the EI office today and learned that they are set up to pay me until mid August, since my early start to mat leave was deemed medical leave by EI, and the idea is that moms who are unable to work the last weeks of pregnancy should not have to sacrifice any weeks at the end of their year of maternity leave. Here I was thinking I'd have to return to work the end of June, and that EI payments would have stopped last week so the months of May and June would be financially tight. Hello! Great news! The government of Canada has deemed me eligible to receive maternity benefits until August, so I don't have to return to work in June. My employer is a slightly different story, but if I decide to return in August instead of June I will lose 2 months of seniority but not much else. My seniority has capped out its usefulness for me at this point, particularly if I'm thinking of leaving within the next 5 years or so. So, happily relinquishing two months' worth of seniority, I have decided not to return to Chilliwack Ambulance Station until August. I am SO down with this plan. I love my baby. I am not ready to leave him behind. Thank heaven for maternity benefits, is all I can say.

that's it for your daily dose of crazy.


Dana said...

Awesome about the unexpectedly delayed return to work!!!! Sweeeet. Good job on conquering the milk anxiety. Praying it stays conquered.

melissa said...

weeeeelllllllllll, not conquered. Just somewhat better! :)

Louise and Gary Chapman said...

Two things:
1. Are you going back part time or full time?
2. I also worry about milk supply although I also have an abundance (except for one week where I used fenugreek and got it all back). I think especially at this stage because there is no other way to nourish my baby as he doesn't take any other form of nourishment. I even told Gary that if I died, the first thing he needed to do was contact a breast milk bank but maybe he should just contact you:)