Growing up I always assumed that I would breastfeed my children - in my mind it was that natural thing that all Momma's do. Not only that, but the benefits of breastfeeding are numerous. I was excited when our Little Guy came along, I had plans to feed him all summer and then to pump when I returned to work so he could have the best milk around.
After Little Guy was born he was brought to me in the recovery room so I could feed him, he was less than an hour old at this time and seemed to latch on without a problem. Over the next few days we woke him every 3 hours so he could eat; I felt that something wasn't right but since I had never done this before I listened when the nurses reassured me that this was breastfeeding. It hurt like crazy (I was bleeding before we left) and he kept falling asleep; I know that these are both normal but something just wasn't right! Be we were released I asked to see a lactation consultant (I had seen them throughout my stay but never during a feeding)but she was busy. Yes, we could have waited but after 4 nights we were ready to go home! Instead, one of the nursery nurses walked me though it again and gave me a few pointers - this time I felt good about it. My other concern was that Little Guy hadn't had a wet or dirty diaper in over 24 hours; the nurses were a little concerned but said that since he had so many in the 1st day he was probably okay.
The next afternoon the lactation consultant called to see how we were doing and I mentioned that he still had only had one wet but no dirty diapers. She told us to bring him in and we weighed him, then fed him before weighing him again. Besides the fact that it hurt and he wasn't latching on well, he only gained 0.1 ounce!!! I felt that I was neglecting my son because I wasn't feeding him enough.... Since he really needed to eat more but we wanted to breastfeed she suggested that we feed him for 10 minutes on each breast and then use a syringe and tube to give him more. The tubing would be tucked into the corner of his mouth and he would suck it out- this would improve his sucking (immediate reward) as well as help me produce more milk. While this was quite a production it was definitely worth it to help our little one grow!! She also suggested that we start pumping and giving him my milk and supplementing with formula as needed.
We did this for 3 days before going in for our next appointment with the lactation consultant...
These were 3 very long days...the feedings took over an hour and then we had to turn around and start over again three hours from the start time. This left no time to enjoy our family that was visiting, no time to sleep, and we were VERY stressed!! We went in ready to just bottle feed and while the lactation consultant wanted to help us out I was almost in tears so she suggested that we simply bottle feed and I continue to pump.
The pumping is going okay. It is definitely tough to make time for it while I am home alone with the Little Guy but I know how much better my milk is for him. Do we get enough for him to live solely on breastmilk? No way!! In fact I have tried many different things including fenugreek, blessed thistle, eating oatmeal, homemade oatmeal lactation cookies, etc.
Do you have any suggestions to increase milk production? I would love to hear them!