Sunday, August 17, 2008

On Breastfeeding

Brittany asked why pumping was better at this point, so I though it would be easier to answer in a post of its own instead of in the comments.

It all started with Abby. I thought breastfeeding was going well those first days until we met with a lactation consultant who told us she wasn't latching well at all so she was eating like she should. She wasn't gaining weight and looked awfully yellow. She ended up jaundiced to the point that she needed to spend the night at the hospital under the "tanning bed" lights to get her bilirubin down. It scared me so badly that I ended up pumping for almost 9 months instead of working with her and a lactation consultant to try to breastfeed. When I pumped, it made me feel better to be able to see exactly how much she was eating. I tried breastfeeding her a few times after that, but I was too intimidated to really put any effort into it.

Fast forward to the twins. A lactation consultant came by almost every day to work with us. Cora has the same latch issues that Abby had, so she's been mostly bottlefed. I have tried a few times to breastfeed her, but I'm more of a chew toy than a feeding source to her although she has been able to get some milk. We'll definitely keep trying this time. Emma has a great latch, but she was so small they told us not to push her too hard to breastfeed. Then she kept losing weight in the hospital, so our pediatrician told us to hold off altogether for at least a few days until she put some weight back on. So I was relieved when they kept telling us that at 37 weeks, their sucking reflex might need some work so not to worry too much about breastfeeding until their closer to their actual due date. I know pumping. It's so hard, particularly in the middle of the night when everyone's asleep, but I've done it once so I can do it again.

A few days ago, however, Emma decided she prefered nursing to the bottle! I'd been seriously considering contacting the local breastfeeding store to hire a lactation consultant to come to the house a few times to help me out. We still have to supplement feedings because she tends to fall asleep while nursing, but it's been a big accomplishment for me to be able to actually breastfeed one of my kids! Cora eats like crazy, so we still have to supplement them with formula on top of my pumped breastmilk because I'm just not making enough for both of them.

I did try to tandem feed a couple days ago which was hilarious! Emma spent most of her time looking over at Cora (who was actually doing pretty well!) like "what is she doing here while I eat?" She looked so confused by what was going on!


Anonymous said...

Are you planning to change Cornelia & Ethel to Cora & Emma?

Maureen said...

It sounds like you are doing awesome in the breastfeeding/pumping arena! And with twins! I remember with Connor how intimidating it was not knowing if he was getting anything, etc. Pumping gave me the confidence to finally be able to breastfeed him effectively after 3 months of trying/pumping/supplementing. I also know how hard it is to try to breastfeed unsuccessfully over and over (that was the case with Audrey). So keep up the good work and don't let it stress you.