Lovee had to be transferred to the NICU where she had to remain in an incubator under the maximum number of blue lights.
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 Anne's turn. Will you read along?
Anne's NurtureGoods experience (Instagram @enjoyansleep)
Breastfeeding, I really enjoy being able to give this to my girl. Already 2 times before I got to give this to my daughters. 15 months and 18 months I fed them. I thought it was a natural choice that I was going to do this again when Lovee was born. Yet this breastfeeding adventure started differently than I had thought.
Unfortunately, Lovee was taken away from me in the hospital an hour after birth.
She had too high a level of bilirubin in her blood, which meant she had to go under the blue lamp to break it down. For the first few hours, she was in a cot next to me in the room. She was only allowed out for 15 minutes to drink from me at the breast. That was the only breastfeeding. I found it enormously stressful. My baby, just out in the world, who had to have a quick drink with me only to be immediately put back in her crib under a blanket of blue light.
Later that evening, blood was drawn again and the bilirubin level was found to have risen even further. This was bad news. Lovee had to be transferred to the NICU where she had to remain in an incubator under the maximum number of blue lights. So this also meant for me that she was no longer allowed out of the incubator to breastfeed from me.
I had to start pumping immediately in the hospital. The day I was discharged we rented the pump from the hospital so we could take the pumped feed with us when we went to the hospital. Twice a day I went to the hospital. Due to stress and fatigue, I only pumped minimally in the first few days. It really took some time for milk production to get going. On day four I was finally allowed to pouch with Lovee, so nice! I finally got to breastfeed her again. She still knew how to do it! The bulbs were tapered off more and more and the end of the hospitalization was in sight.
After six days, she was finally allowed to come home with us! The first two nights at home were tough. From a bottle eight times a day to unlimited breastfeeding. She liked that! The nurses at the hospital called her a breast child, because she often had moments of restlessness and really seemed to miss the breast.
She now suddenly had the breast at her disposal 24/7. That took some getting used to. For her tummy, which was having a hard time, but also for my nipples. Because they were not used to having a baby at the breast so often. Also her drinking technique was not yet optimal. Because she was used to a bottle, she did not latch on well. So after 2 days I had very sensitive nipples. Fortunately I had a good maternity care provider who saved me from even more damage. Right away I started using nipple ointment and nipple caps. This helped! Slowly but surely the sensitivity during feeding decreased and Lovee seemed to get a better and better drinking technique.
I also started pumping once a day by default. Because my other two daughters were bottle refusers and I was very stressed by the time I knew I had to go to work, I wanted to avoid this with Lovee. And she was already used to drinking from a bottle from the hospital, so this was something I wanted to continue with! Pumping away!
For this I use the double-sided electric breast pump from NurtureGoods. What a fine pump this is! Pumping is not necessarily something I like to do and make time for. So for me, pumping has to be especially quick and easy. This pump makes that possible. The timer on the pump allows me to keep track of exactly how long I pump. Often 10 minutes is enough to fill 2 bottles and I have enough for a feeding. This is due to the pressure pulse massage technology that the breast pump possesses which increases your production by 20%! The included teat cap allows me to immediately pour the pumped milk together and give the bottle to Lovee after pumping.
Meanwhile, I also get out of the house more and more. Playing sports, going to girlfriends, shopping, working. I find it very important to keep doing my own things. I am a mom, but also just Anne. My other daughter really only wanted the breast and refused to drink from the bottle. So I could go out so little and when I was out, I would check my phone every so often to see if I would be "called back" yet. So stressful.
Fortunately, this time is so different and Lovee is drinking fine from her bottle. Because I pump daily, there is enough milk supply in the freezer so Dad can give a bottle too. This way she still gets my milk without me being there, a nice idea!