I have been thinking a lot about this post and decided that I had to do it because reading something like this would have made me feel better in the first few days after Baby R arrived.
Here is the background to the story, I really wanted to breastfeed my little girl. I knew that is was the healthiest method for her, it would be good for me, and it was the most economical choice. The being said I was nervous about the process what if I did not produce enough milk, what if I was bad at breastfeeding, what if she did not take to it? Well some of my fears came true. I tried to breastfeed at the hospital and the first few times she did a great job, then at the end of day 1 she started screaming every time I tried to feed her.
We went to breast feeding class at the hospital and they said this was normal. I felt so much better and thought we would be fine once we got home. Well that first night we did ok, she ate a little more but still screamed during feedings. I was getting so worried about her that by day 3 I had said to Hubby that made we should just give her some of the formula that I had in the basement that my OB gave me as samples (not sure why I saved all the samples I got, but I did!) Finally, Hubby and I gave her a 2 oz bottle of Enfamil formula just to be sure she was ok.
The next day we went to the doctor’s office for her first appt. It turns out she had lost weight (which is normal) but was still in the ok range. The doctor suggested that we try pumping the breast milk and supplementing with formula for the next few days until we came back for a weight check. Since we just wanted to do what was best for her, Hubby and I decided that this was the best method.
Well 2.5 days later, back at the doctor’s office she had gained 8 oz!!! The doctor was so happy she said not to wake her up at night anymore and just let her wake us when she wants to eat. We also meet with the office lactation consultant, who explained to us that we just have a lazy eater. It is hard for her to get enough milk from my breast fast enough so she gives up. Apparently this is not as uncommon as it sounds. I was so relieved to hear that I was not the only one who has this problem. The lactation consultant even told us that she has some mothers that just pump the whole time and feed the baby by a bottle with breast milk.
Hubby and I liked this idea for several reasons. First, it meant he could feed her and feel more connect to her. (I love listening to him talk to her when he feeds her!) Second, it means she was ready for the bottle when we had a wedding only 3 weeks after she was born and would be ready for daycare when I go back to work (something we had worried about). Third, we would know how much she is getting and not have to worry if she is really hungry or not.
All that being said I have had a few times when she has nursed successfully but it does not seem that I am not making enough milk for her (which my doctor warned could have always been a problem because of some breast issues in the past). I feel like I got the chance to have that nursing experience when she has done it a few times, but since I am pumping and getting a lot of her food supply from me, I still feel like I am providing for her the best I can.
I am sure there are some people that will disagree with my choice to pump and supplement with formula, but her doctor, hubby, and I all agree this is working best for all of us. The main thing is that she is healthy and that is all that matters to me. Do I wish she had taken to breastfeeding better? Of course I do, but I have a healthy, happy baby and that is really all that matters to me. The first few days we decided to supplement made me feel like a failure to my baby, but I now realize I am not that much different from a lot of other people and that is ok.
I will say that this would not have all worked out without my awesome breast pump. This is my own thoughts no one is asking me to say this (but I would love if they did!). I have been using the Medela Pump In Style Advanced.
So if you need a pump I would recommend this one highly!