As soon as I was able, Chris and I got up every 2 hours to go see Adley in the NICU. We’d set an alarm and try to nap in between. It was important to us for me to breast feed her, and if we didn’t show up to feed her, the nurses would feed her a bottle. That wasn’t a bad thing at all, I came to find out.
I really wanted to exclusively breast feed Adley, but I think, because I was induced and I didn’t go into labor naturally, it took longer for my milk to come in. As a matter of fact, it came in a day or two AFTER we got home from the hospital! So, initially, with every feeding, we had to supplement with a bottle of formula. Also, because Adley had latching problems, I had to wear a nipple shield. It’s a super thin, silicone funnel-shaped apparatus that you fix over your nipple and it gives the baby’s mouth something to hold onto. I had never heard of such a thing nor had I ever heard of anyone else using one before. One of the nurses that had helped take us to our recovery room just happened to bring me one. Didn’t explain how to use it, but I had it.
This is what a nipple shield looks like. They make a small, medium and large for different sized breasts. Mine is a small. So, you have to kinda stretch it over your nipple and kinda squeeze the silicone nipple part so it kinda sucks your nipple up into it…kinda! Tee Hee! It took some practice, but I finally got it. Without it, Adley wouldn’t have breast fed at all. Eventually (after 3 months or so) I didn’t need it anymore. She’d finally figured out how to latch on. I found out the hard way. We had gone to a friend’s house for dinner and I had forgotten the nipple shield at home. I thought I’d just try and see if she’d take my nipple, and if not, I’d have to just give her a bottle. But, it worked! She latched!
Another friend if mine had given me a breast pump she got as a shower gift a few years back. She was never able to use it and had just bottle fed her baby. I tried and tried to get it to work for me. I was in a lot of pain!! I could stand in a really warm shower and hand express milk better from my breasts than what this pump could do. I figured it was just old. So, sadly, we had to buy an expensive one. It was some of the best money we spent! There was such a difference between the two pumps. So, ladies, when you’re shopping for breast pumps, I’m sorry to say, but go on and spend the money on a good one. You’ll be glad you did because you really get what you pay for!! I think, and this is just my opinion, that my milk production was hindered because I didn’t have a good pump from the beginning. I really feel like if I’d had the good pump from the get go, I’d have breast fed a lot longer, or been able to have built up a bigger supply.
But, that’s all part of the fun of figuring out how your new life is gonna work out! Chris and I both really enjoyed those first couple of weeks where everything was new, and different. Deciding how we were going to handle things and figuring out out new routine!
- Affordable Care Act offers support for breast-feeding moms (yakimaherald.com)