After Quinn was born, I put her at my breast within one hour from her birth. She had a very strong suck, and for me it was very painful. I think that is the reason why I was unable to continue breast-feeding. Quinn was only 5 pounds and 2 ounces when she was born at 37 weeks and four days. We stayed three nights in the hospital, and during that time I continued to breast-feed her but she continued to lose weight during our hospital stay. She also developed jaundice. At my nurse's suggestion, we began to supplement my feedings with prepared formula. We used to a syringe and my finger to give Quinn the milk. Because Quinn was so tiny, I decided that I would supplement her only while we were at the hospital. When we brought Quinn home, the stress of me being unable to tolerate the pain and my fear that she was losing weight while she was already tiny played a part in my giving into bottle feeding her with my breastmilk. After one day of feeding her by bottle she was hooked, and had a difficult time feeding from me. I was determined to have my child only be nourished by my breast milk, so I began to pump exclusively. I did this for one year and stopped at one year because I was pregnant with my son. Pumping exclusively comes with its own set of problems. You have to deal with double the work I think. You will have to spend time pumping and then afterwards feed your baby by bottle. You have to wash pump parts and bottles which you don't have to deal with when you were feeding just from the breast.
When I thought of breast-feeding, I saw images of a loving, nurturing, calm, and peaceful experience. Everything that I've heard from coworker moms and seen from pro breastfeeding advertising has only portrayed the positives. No one ever tells you about the pain, the cracked and sore, bleeding nipples. Because of this, I though I was doing everything wrong, but after many stress filled nights and tears, and a lot of research online, I found I wasn't alone. For me, I think the pain of breast-feeding was worse than delivering the babies themselves. I like to describe the pain as intense, curl your toes, 10 out of ten pain. Because exclusive pumping was very time-consuming and difficult as a working mother, I decided to power through the pain and being nipples with my son, and am glad that I did. After a few weeks, I began to tolerate the pain, and even feel relief when he would empty my breast.In just a few weeks, I will return to working long hours as a nurse. My job makes it difficult to pump at scheduled times, I just pump when ever I have a chance, which is when I finish medicating my patients, before I chart my assessments or after, and during my downtime. Often I'd go several hours without pumping and leak!
The benefits of nurturing your child with your own breastmilk far outweighs the downfalls. I don't think Quinn ever got sick more than once, except for a fever that may or may have not been associated with teething, and she is almost 2 years old.
I own three breast pumps, two electric and one manual. The Medela Pump in Style.http://www.diapers.com/p/medela-pump-in-style-advanced-the-metro-bag-309340 is portable, and is the one that I take with me to the hospital when I am working. The pump itself is pretty loud, and you can only adjust the intensity of the pumping. It's a good pump though and has lasted me through the one year of pumping for Quinn, and it is now being used for building my supply for Hugh when I return back to work.
The Spectra Baby USA S1 Double/Single Pump is hospital grade and whisper quiet. It is also a portable and has a rechargeable battery, however, I find it too bulky to take to the hospital. This is pump I generally have at my bedside to use when I pump at home. You can adjust the speed and the rhythm of pumping with this unit. The pump begins in shallow mode which stimulates the body's letdown reflex and then goes into a deeper mode which mimics baby's sucking. This pump makes me confident that I am expressing as much milk as I can from my breasts.
Lastly, I own two of the Medela Harmony pump, which is a manual pump. I find that using this pump is helpful especially when I'm engorged and need to remove a small amount of milk so that baby can latch. It is also small enough to keep in a diaper bag for pumping on the go.Other items that I have found have contributed to my success at breast-feeding include:
1. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream to protect the skin of your nipples. Lanolin comes from sheep's wool, so it is not vegetarian. The cream is thick and at first i found it difficult to spread on my skin, but if you use the directed pea sized amount between two fingers, the heat from your fingers softens the cream which makes it easier to spread. I applied a thin layer before I nursed and after I nursed. The cream helps to keep the skin soft and helps to ease the pain of cracked and sore nipples.
4. Basics Stella Maternity
5. BebeAu Lait
6. Aden and Anais
Munchkin7. Rubbermaid Commercial Stainless Steel Refrigerator/Freezer Monitoring Thermometer
8. Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags
Lastly, some websites that I found were helpful La Leche League
Dr. Jack Newman