Although the nursing staff tried to help us on all sides, our daughter would not drink for the first 24 hours.
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 Christel's turn. Will you read along?
Christel's NurtureGoods experience (Instagram @christel.verhagen).
My wish for breastfeeding
From the start of my pregnancy, I knew very clearly that I wanted to breastfeed. I myself was raised on breast milk for the first few months and my mother told me about the bond you build with your baby when you feed him/her yourself. Online I read about the other benefits of breastfeeding; antibodies you give to your baby and protection against infections, breast milk is perfectly matched to your baby's needs at all times, etc. I was realistic though, of course there was a chance that breastfeeding might not work out and I didn't want to make it a 'fight with myself'. In short; I go for breastfeeding and if I succeed, I would love it. If I don't succeed, fortunately there are alternatives. This mindset gave me peace of mind during my pregnancy.
The birth of our daughter
Our little girl was finally born at 41+1 weeks. How impatiently we waited. In the end she sensed very well that she should not come at 40 weeks, our little miracle is dysmature and would have been much smaller at 40 weeks than she was now. Because our daughter was so small and because I was rushed into surgery after delivery due to a severe fluxus, we had to stay in the hospital overnight after delivery. Although the nursing staff tried to help us in every way, our daughter would not drink for the first 24 hours. She was so nauseated from labor and all that was involved, the poor dear. Eventually I was able to feed a little bit with a nipple cap, but far from enough. When we finally got to go home with our little girl, she had already lost 10% of her weight.
Fortunately, we were finally allowed to go home after 1.5 days and the maternity nurse was waiting for us to give the necessary explanations for the first night at home. She was shocked when she weighed the little girl. Quickly we set up a plan for feeding. Because latching on hadn't really worked out yet, we started pumping.
How happy I was with the pump from Nurture Goods that I had received a few weeks earlier. I had already practiced pumping once so I already knew exactly how everything worked. Pumping was fast and painless. The breast shells are very soft and therefore comfortable to use. Because the pump is cordless, I was able to pump sitting up on my bed while our little girl was lying next to me. How nice that was! Even though I did not dare to feed her fully at the breast yet, this allowed us to have our intimate moment together. It gave me confidence to see that I quickly had enough feed for our girl and that she also drank enough from her bottle. My production increased incredibly quickly and the first 2 nights I was able to breastfeed our girl on pumped milk.
From day three
From the third day, I dared to fully breastfeed the baby. I feed on demand and she comes for a feed every +/- 3 hours. However, because my production had increased so quickly, I noticed that it had become a bit too high. To take the stress off my breasts and make sure our girl was also getting the fatter milk from the back of my breasts, I started pumping once a day. An additional advantage; by now there are bags of pumped milk in both the freezer and the refrigerator. Ideal when I am not able to feed live.
The end of the maternity week
When the maternity nurse weighed our baby on the last day of maternity week, she was already nicely above her birth weight. The 10% she had lost she had nicely gained back. It was so nice to see our little girl doing so well on my breastfeeding. The combination of "live" breastfeeding and pumping is paying off and that gives me a lot of confidence as a mother.
After the maternity week
I was able to continue on the adrenaline for a long time but at some point the broken nights really broke me. When our little girl started crying at night I started dreading going back to feed and change her. During breastfeeding she often falls asleep and I have to wake her up, so it's not like she's back in bed fairly quickly at night with a filled tummy and clean diaper either. How nice it was that at one point my boyfriend could heat up a bottle of pumped milk from the fridge at night when I just couldn't take it anymore. He was so eager to relieve me at night and this allowed him to do so perfectly. We are fortunate so far that our girl is drinking well both at the breast and from the bottle. Barring spit ups and cries, we are very happy with how we are able to provide nutrition for her.
In the coming weeks and months, I plan to keep the combination between 'live' breastfeeding and pumping. It is nice to have a supply of milk for the days when I am back at work or cannot feed 'live' for other reasons. It also gives me great peace of mind to know that should breastfeeding unexpectedly fail, I can always fall back on pumped milk from the freezer.