Using the pump for the first time was a breath of fresh air.
Every other week we ask a Real Mom if they would like the NurtureGoods experience. These moms use a breast pump from NurtureGoods in order to describe and share their experiences. In this way, we hope to raise awareness of the NurtureGoods experience and help you make a choice. This week it's mom Ilona's turn. Will you read along?
Breastfeeding or artificial feeding?
You have to think about it early on. Do I go for breastfeeding or artificial feeding after all? When we applied for maternity care, this question was already asked. And there this question was not only asked, because family and friends also asked what we were going to do. And quite honestly, I had no idea yet. Because what if I really want to breastfeed, but it doesn't work out. Then I would be very frustrated that it didn't work out. If I started right away with only breastfeeding, I would regret not having tried. So I left all options open and saw the moment itself. That gave me such peace of mind.
The first night
Late in the afternoon, our little girl was born. After a while we tried to put her to the breast for the first time, to get the production going. But she was not fast enough or nothing came out yet. Together with the maternity nurse we tried various positions to get her to drink. Wondering what the night was going to bring us. Fortunately, we had also gotten small bags of formula in the house so we could give her something to eat if necessary. But we were also reassured with the idea that she still got enough nutrition from the placenta so she could get through the first 24 hours.
The following days
With the help of the maternity nurse, we tried to get my production going with the help of a hand pump, latching on and breastfeeding tea. After two days the production got going and we were able to feed our baby girl with just breastfeeding. Even though she was a bit restless at times, because hungry and it was not going fast enough. But it worked, how nice.
After those few days, I also received the fine electric breast pump. My engorgement was well underway and my breasts were about to pop, so the pump came at the right time.
Using the pump for the first time was a relief. How unpleasant and sensitive the hand pump was on the breasts then. First of all, this went much faster, but also felt so much nicer. The vibration made your breasts feel like they were being gently massaged, so you didn't realize you were pumping. And immediately a nice amount of milk came out. That still felt like a relief, because that way she was getting enough food.
The 2nd week
In the 2nd week I occasionally pumped after to be able to take the tension off my breasts. Unfortunately, at the end of the week I noticed that the little one was getting very restless at the breast again. Several questions arose in my mind, for surely you are getting enough nutrition, you have a clean diaper, what is going on. Sometimes you wish you could get a manual from your baby right at birth so you know what to do.
Two weeks old
Today they came by from the health office to see if you are back to birth weight. You are exactly two weeks today, so you "should" be. Unfortunately, you lost quite a bit of weight last week. We agree to feed you extra. That pump will come in very handy now, because after every feeding during the day I would start pumping to give that after. Hopefully she will gain enough weight from this.
For a few more days we struggle with a restless baby. She does not want to drink well at the breast, because hungry and it is not fast enough. After the breast she gets about 30cc of pumped milk after, as agreed. Unfortunately, she remains unsatisfied. Later that week she is weighed again and appears to have gained the minimum amount.
What are we going to do next?
Now we are faced with the next question. Do we continue how we did last week and still not know if she is getting enough food now or do we change course. I decided on the latter. Because with a crying restless baby, pumping after each feeding was becoming more and more of a challenge. It was taking a lot of energy out of both of us. Is this what we want? And furthermore, I was very curious about what she was getting out of my breasts per feeding.
By now it was Friday and she would be weighed again on Tuesday. Both of us hoped that she had really gained weight by then. Something we think is most important for now. We decided to start feeding her from now on, so we knew what she was getting. I started pumping every feed during the day to see if we could feed her completely after a few days.
Unfortunately, I find out after a few days that she is never going to have enough of this. I would have to pump for a few days to feed her for a day. That's no way to go. We also tried a combination of breastfeeding and artificial feeding, but her intestines don't like that.
We tried breastfeeding, in different ways, but unfortunately it was not for us. I am happy that I can feed her with artificial milk and she is growing well from this. That is what I think is most important. This decision has created peace for both of us. No more frustration at feedings, but happy and relaxed eating.