Nov 15, 2011  •  In Aerin, Baby, Motherhood, Parenting, Personal

The 2-Week Post-Partum Update

Weight Loss:
Like my pregnancy with Claire, I had gained about 50 lbs with this pregnancy. I stepped on the scale for the first time this morning since my last OB appointment, and it looks like I’ve lost 25 lbs in the two weeks since giving birth. That leaves ~25 lbs left to go.

I’m not too worried about the weight loss as I had lost all 50 lbs in 3 months the first time around. I just wish I could speed it up a little, especially with the holidays coming up!

 

Boob Juice:
The first few weeks following the birth of Claire were a blur of marathon pumping sessions to increase my milk supply. In stark contrast, I am having no problems whatsover in the breastmilk department this time around.

In fact, I feel like I’m producing too much. Just one week after birth, I was already pumping more than 12 oz at a time! (And this is on top of nursing.)

Should I not pump as much — right now I’m pumping 2-3x a day — so that my supply will decrease? Or just keep up my current regimen until Aerin’s appetite increases?

 

Boob Size:
On the subject of boobs, this is the one thing that bothers me the most: my humongous, gigantic breasts. Pre-pregnancy I was a large B or a small C — which I believe is already pretty large on my 5’1″ frame — and now that I’m breastfeeding, they have ballooned to DD’s.

None of my clothes fit, none of my bras fit, and I just feel so unattractive and out-of-proportion. My breasts constantly get in the way, and I’m self-conscious all the time. Nevermind the back and shoulder pains from these added weights…

Will my breasts settle down a bit as I continue to breastfeed, or will they remain this size until I quit? (I honestly can’t remember if my breasts decreased in size at all during the 3 months when I exclusively pumped for Claire.) I had been hoping to breastfeed for about 9 months to 1 year, but if they don’t settle down a bit by 6 months I may just reconsider.

And while we’re still talking about boobs, does anyone have recommendations for a good nursing bra for large chests? The ones I used with Claire — the Medela Comfort Nursing Bra — doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore as it seems too constricting. I hate spending more than $30 at a time on undergarments, but I bit the bullet and ordered the popular Bravado Body Silk Nursing Bra and am crossing my fingers that this will work out!

 

Bleeding:
Still bleeding quite a bit down there. Depends — or the drugstore brand equivalents of adult diapers — are my best friends.

 

The Baby:
Aerin continues to do very well. She eats like the world will come to an end tomorrow, she pees and poops regularly (she poops up to 10x a day!), and her scrawny little figure is finally starting to fill out.


She is starting to get a double chin and chubby cheeks!

She has finally started to sleep in 2-3 hour stretches — hallelujah! — but still vastly prefers to be held at all times. As a result, for these first few weeks of her life we have been doing what we had sworn not to do: co-sleep at night.

(We never co-slept with Claire because we fed her from a bottle. But now that I have a baby who loves to nurse and often falls asleep while nursing, co-sleeping is so much easier!)

We’re still not entirely sure what we’ll do when Comang returns from my parents’ house in a couple of weeks, as he likes to sleep on the bed with us. I know that the Arm’s Reach Bassinet is an option, but I am reluctant to get another bassinet when we already have one. I guess that I will just have to do my best to transition her to the bassinet for her nighttime sleep (she sleeps in the bassinet during the day just fine).

It’s funny how Claire and Aerin looked exactly alike when they were first born, because now, comparing their pictures at 2 weeks old, they look vastly different! Claire looks more Korean and Aerin more Chinese…J still doesn’t see the resemblance, but I think she takes a lot after her father.

 

Claire Update:
And now, for a short update on our firstborn. Her fifth word is now official: baby. She will point to Aerin and say, “Beh-bee! Beh-bee!” She will even look for Aerin when she’s not in sight and call out, “Beh-bee? Beh-bee?”

Claire also seems to be a lot more aware of other children and babies now. Before, she would just ignore them…but now, whenever she goes out and sees other mini-humans, she will try to interact with them, and even call out “Beh-bee!” to them too. We can only conclude that this change in behavior comes from having a new little sister. 

25 Responses to “The 2-Week Post-Partum Update”

  1. I love my Bravado nursing bras… I have one in every color and have lived in them these last 10 months of nursing and during the third trimester of my pregnancy. That’s awesome you’re able to pump 12 ounces on top of feedings! Wow. Stock up while you can! I would definitely take advantage of that huge supply.

  2. So sweet! Oh my, she is the cutest little thing. As far as supply, you should get to the point when you stop overproducing and the milk production settles in. For now, I’d keep up with the pumping/nursing routine. I started out pumping 4-6 oz per breast each session for the first few weeks, then around week 4 or 6 it dropped significantly to what Charlie could eat. I also noticed that my boob size decreased, and softened a lot. No more waking up at night to hard, swollen boobies! Though I have to admit, I kind of miss the “fake” look they’d get sometimes if I went too long without pumping ;) Though the biggest mine got were a small C, so I can’t relate to your new honkers! My bet is they’ll go down in a few weeks, though how much, who knows?

  3. Wendy:

    I liked Bravado too! I love that their bras fit a range of sizes. My boob size correlated to how much milk my daughter was drinking. Now that she’s eating solids, they are back to pre-pregnancy size again but it did take several months.

  4. Kit:

    Yes your boobs will “calm down” as soon as Aerin tapers off from all her marathon cluster nursing sessions. I believe mine calmed down at about… Hmm… The 4th month mark? (i remember if my daughter slept long at night- my boobs would be so engorged they were rock hard. Or this one obnoxious time when i slept on my side, leaning on my boob… I blocked the milk ducts and wound up with about three large painful lumps that took a full weekend of ursing my baby in different positions/massaging my boob/warm compress & showers to get the lumps to go away…..

    There is information on the web about how in the begining your brain/hormones generate feedback to your boobs to produce milk- and then it transitions to your mammory glands adjusting. I think i also read somewhere women can feed twins (even if they have a singleton!) the first few weeks of their childs birth because the brain just sends massive signals. Interesting read.

    The bras i LOVE for nursing were purchased from Motherhood Maternity. http://www.motherhood.com/maternity/nursing-bras.asp

    They are SO COMFORTABLE! I bought the wireless full coverage ones like this one http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?Product_Id=978490361&MasterCategory_Id=MC29

  5. Meredith:

    I went to visit friends this weekend. They have a 6 week old and a dog that’s of similar size to Comang. All 4 have been co sleeping on occasion just fine and their pediatrician told them that it’s not possible to create bad habits until after 3 months. Glad everything is going so well. I’m so happy that Clair has taken to her baby sister. :-)

  6. Tiffany:

    it’s so cute how claire is calling out “beh-bee!” i do agree with you that claire looks more korean and aerin more chinese. now both of you have a mini-me :)

  7. Sara D:

    Your boobs will be smaller if you pump less, but that kind of pumping is pretty amazing. I would do it more, but I’m already at an E cup, and pumping very much take me to an F. Do you have to pump? You could just bank the stash you already have and then do it less.

    • For now, I’m pumping so that others can help out while I get some rest (or if I need to go out). Now that I have a decent supply in the fridge, I don’t need to pump as much, but I do it when I get painfully engorged.

  8. Kim:

    Aerin is absolutely adorable! Glad to hear Claire is adjusting!

  9. Christine:

    Aerin is beautiful and Claire is so sweet!

    As for the pumping, my son has been on breastmilk for 11 months now, but I stopped pumping at just past the 6 month mark. I pumped between 10-16 oz. per session, eight times a day. I put all of my milk into the deep freezer I bought just for the breastmilk. I stopped just past the 6 month mark because that’s when my milk started to taper off from 10-16 oz per session X 8 sessions a day to a mere 8 oz. per session only 5 times a day. I was also forcing myself to get engorged so I could stop nursing and pump/storing (I ran out of space in my deep freezer).

    My breasts also ballooned to DDs. I had 12 nursing bras I got from Wal-mart (2 for $15) that had no underwire and conveniently snapped to my freestyle breast pump (no need for a nursing bra). It was fine for me. Unfortunately, when I stopped pumping, my breasts changed completely. One ended up larger than the other and they are smaller than what I had before (I’ve dropped down to a full A cup). The way they feel are also very, very different. As someone mentioned above, they become very soft vs. more firm. That also means they sag.

    Keep up the great work with the pumping! Aerin’s appetite will catch up with the supply.

  10. Awwww Aerin is soooooo cute!!!!!!!!!

    Good luck with the boobs, I can’t imagine how heavy they must be on your small frame!!! (Well, I kind of can since I remember what they were like w/Claire) but good luck with recovery and I miss you!!!

  11. Aerin keeps getting cuter :)

    re: breastfedding, i’m open to being corrected but as far as I know you really shouldn’t need to be pumping at all (unless you’re building up a backup supply for other people to feed her if you go out or whatever). Your body naturally adjusts its milk production to your babies needs so if you’re pumping regularly on top of feeding, it will think she’s feeding more than she is and you’ll end up with oversupply which leads to engorgement, blocked ducts and all that fun stuff. As long as she’s feeding regularly (and sounds like she is!) your supply will catch up quickly. I never pumped with my daughter except on the odd occassion when I wanted to go out and leave her with someone else.

    And yes the boobs will settle down! I hated mine being big too but they did go down after a few months and then gradually decreased in size as I lost weight. I can’t remember exactly when they were back to pre-pregnancy size, maybe around the 6 month mark? but then i got pregnant again, ha!

    So cute about claire saying baby! is she starting to get used to her sister? i’ve trained maya to kiss my belly when i say “kiss the baby” so she’s going to think that baby is the word for belly :p

    • I’m pumping so that others can help out if I want some rest, or if I need to go out. That being said, we now have a pretty decent supply in the fridge and freezer so I may try to cut back some.

  12. Michelle:

    Oooo, your boob juice supply is so awesome!! How often did you,pump in the beginning? I am pumping 6x a day with herbal supplements since Day 1 and am only getting 17oz per day ….. It will not be enough for my twins but I am ok with supplementing.

    Haha, if it makes you feel any better, I’m 5’3″ with DD boobs pre-pregnancy, I don’t want to know what they are now :P. I used Medela nursing bras the first time around too but am now loving the Bravado body silk. It’s comfier, less constricting, doesn’t give a ‘uniboob’ look and support is decent. However, it can be a hassle to hook back after you are done – somehow the bra straps with the ‘latch’ tends to ride up to my shoulders so I have to search & pull it back down.

  13. Michelle:

    Thanks Jenny! My twins were too little to nurse and even now @ 35 weeks, they are still not very keen on boobie, with or without nipple shield.

    I’ve been taking More Milk Plus capsules since Day 1 (milk came in on Day 4) and added fenugreek capsules and Herblore nursing tea 1 week ago and it seems to have helped.

  14. I would slowly drop the pumping… very very slowly so you don’t end up with mastitis. Although if you want you can continue to try and pump once a day just so you have a stash of milk for the times you may want to leave the house one of these days. The reason you want to decrease the pumping is you could end up with a serious case of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. This is something I had and it caused explosive, green diarreah poop for my son and you could tell it hurt him. I was like you, pumping approx 20 ounces of milk a day on top of nursing. The one thing to keep in mind is when you decrease your supply, sometimes it decreases the speed at which milk comes out. Sometimes babies can get really fussy when they suddenly have to work at breastfeeding, whereas the first few weeks it was like getting sprayed in the face with a firehose. So if that happens to you, you may have to tough it out until she gets used to having to work at breastfeeding, but she will at least be getting a beter balance of foremilk/hindmilk.

    I’m attaching a few links just in case you end up needing them. I’m glad to hear you guys are doing so well! She’s so cute!

    http://breastfeeding.hypermart.net/toomuchmilk.html
    http://www.llli.org/faq/foremilk.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussybaby.html

  15. Oh meant to add – my boobs are back to the same size they were pre-pregnancy and I’m still nursing! But they do still get full, not engorged, but like when I wake up in the morning they are bigger. As soon as my son nurses they deflate down and everything fits. When your supply regulates and your body is back to normal (which omg 50 lbs in 3 months?! I thought I did well by losing 30 in 5; that is really fantastic) your boobs don’t stay big.

  16. aerin is soo adorable! congrats~~! that’s so awesome that you already lost 25 lbs in such a short amount of time. i’m sure the rest will come off quickly too~ especially since you’re breastfeeding. ooh~ my kiddos are half korean/half chinese too! =P

  17. Sherrie:

    Haha you’re right! I don’t know what Korean baby’s look like, but Aerin definitely looks a lot like a chinese baby!

  18. JMeg:

    A thought: My lactation consultant always told me: “You just tell your body what you want it to do, and it’ll do it.” So if you’re feeding, say….4 times a day and pumping another 4, your body is assuming that your baby is eating 8 times and will continue to produce that much as long as you continue that schedule. You are very lucky that you can get so much out—I’d freeze those suckers (in good containers they can last 4-6 months?)

    Congrats, bebe is BEAUTIFUL. :)

  19. I haven’t read all the responses so forgive me is this is duplicate info.

    But:

    1. My boobs settled down significantly. Mostly by 4-6 months pp, and by 9 months pp, they were just as itty bitty as they had ever been.

    2. The way I understand bf’ing and the transition that happens around 6 weeks (and I ran it by our hospital’s pp nurse/lc who agreed): for about the first six weeks, your body is doing the supply and demand thing, but basically your hormones keep the milk spigot “always on.” So, you remove milk, it makes more, no problem. Around six months, hormones change and your body goes to supply and demand where it makes the amount of milk that is being removed by your baby but the “always on” button is off. It’s harder (but *certainly* not impossible) to bump up supply because your body is making X amount of ounces per day instead of just continuous replacement of milk as needed. I, personally, freaked out around 6 weeks because I thought I was losing my milk supply. I ended up pumping like mad to get it back up and ended up with oversupply problems for a few weeks until I figured things out. So, just keep doing whatever you plan to do in the long-term – just nursing, pumping on top of it, whatever – and be prepared for the change that’ll happen in about a month. It’ll be okay. It’ll work out. :) Maybe you’ll see a boobie reduction around then too!

    3. I’m impressed you’re still bf’ing Aerin. I think it’s probably harder when you’ve already had a tough experience with the first one, to turn it around for the second. The good news is, you’ve seen that formula is just fine if bf’ing doesn’t work out. That said, I’m still bf’ing my 13-month-old (just once a day!) and it’s positively lovely. It can also be worth it to hang in there through the rough spots.

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