Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the breastfeeding post

So here it is - the breastfeeding post.  For other moms and moms-to-be who are interested in hearing about it, please feel free to read on.  For those who are not so interested (that would be you, Dad and Grandpa), feel free to skip this one.  No hard feelings.

Throughout my pregnancy, I was really looking forward to breastfeeding.  Once my breasts began leaking at about seven months along, I figured that I would have no problems.  I even received an awesome breast pump from a family friend but figured I wouldn't really ever need it - I would hold onto it just in case.

Enter: Justin Case.

I was so worried after I had Evelyn via c-section because I've read that the sooner you get your baby to your breast, the better bond you'll have (both emotionally and physically).  So I was scared - by the time they took the baby out, cleaned her up, took her away (I didn't even get to hold her, my arms were strapped down), sewed me back up, sent me to the recovery room all alone, finally sent me back to my room, and then sent Evelyn in from the nursery, it had been a couple hours.  Felt like 5, probably was more like two.

We began noticing problems the very first time I tried to nurse Evelyn.  I had the colostrum - it was leaking out and everything - but my nipples weren't hard at all.  We tried making the room colder, but that didn't change them.  And Evelyn would open her mouth, but wouldn't suck.  I tried to feed her every hour or two but nothing changed. 

The nurses said that the lactation specialist was on her way to help us.  We weren't offered any formula or anything, just told to wait for the lactation specialist.  She didn't show up until 36 hours after my baby was born.  By that time Evelyn was so hungry she couldn't sleep and had dropped 8 or 9 ounces since birth.  I was not a happy Mama Bear.

Through working with the lactation specialist, we discovered that the problem lay with both Evelyn and myself.  Evelyn wouldn't move her tongue to the bottom of her mouth like babies are supposed to do when they eat.  She kept hers at the roof of her mouth.  Normally, mama's nipples are supposed to be hard enough to move the tongue down if need be, but mine were too soft.  That may even be one of the symptoms of my PCOS (as well as not having enough milk come in). 

So off Kevin went to get the just-in-case-pump from home, while I stayed in the hospital and cried and prayed.  When I was able to pump, I only got about a half ounce, so we supplemented that with formula.  Then we used a bottle to feed Evelyn for the very first time.  The nipple on the bottle was able to force her tongue to move, and she drained that bottle faster than I've ever seen a baby drink.  Finally satisfied, she was able to sleep comfortably.

So that has remained the plan: feed her what I can by pumping breastmilk and then supplement with formula.  It's frustrating that it takes me twice as long to feed my baby as it should - first pump and then actually feed her.  But it's better than nothing.  And now I'm able to pump about 4 ounces per sitting, which is what Evelyn eats, so she's only getting maybe one or two bottles of formula per day.  Kevin feeds her more than I do.  Oftentimes we'll sit together and I'll pump 4 ounces while he feeds Evelyn the bottle I pumped at the last sitting.  Feeding her is probably more of a family affair for us than for most couples.

So there you go - the breastfeeding post. 

No comments:

Post a Comment