Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nipple Shields Save the Day!

Before I fell pregnant I never knew breastfeeding was so hectic. So hectic women actually give up. I honestly thought baby opens mouth, mom pops boob in and ta-da! Baby is sucking away on breakfast, lunch or dinner. More like midnight snack, afternoon tea, etc. If only breastfeeding was that easy. There are positions you need to learn. The one your baby liked 3 hours ago, may not work now. She latched then, why doesn't she want to latch now? Did she eat enough? It is really so hectically frustrating.

Earlier this week I was headed for a mental break down. Maybe it was more postpartum then I like to admit or maybe it wasn't even that bad. Whatever it was, I felt like a huge failure. She's not even two weeks old and I already failed her as a mother?

When my milk came in, it came in with a vengeance. My boobs were huge and hard. A pain that actually feels as if they are going to pop, they are so full. So I decided to pump. And I pumped one full bottle in less than 15 minutes. That's about 3 feedings. Later that day when I went to feed Ava she wouldn't latch. She sat there screaming her head off. As any new mother would do, I freaked out. My child is starving and I can't feed her! Quick, grab the bottle. And there it began. If she didn't latch within the first 5 minutes I would grab a bottle. Feeding from the breast takes about 45 minutes, the bottle about 10. In a world full of conveniences, I definitely prefer the bottle over breast. But what about all the articles on the benefits of breastfeeding? I wasn't going to switch to formula, just pump and bottle feed. Then where is the bonding? I have lots of friends that bottle fed their kids formula (how dare I say it?) and they seem normal. I don't think their kids feel any less loved then the breast fed ones. But my plan was to breastfeed and I was determined to so. And now she doesn't want my breast? I spoiled her with the bottle and now she won't drink from me. Way to go, mom.

The other fail, I gave her a pacifier. Starting in the hospital, she had a pacifier. Then I read in What to Expect, The First Year, "Pacifier use can interfere with long term breastfeeding..." The long and the short is, it makes them less interested in sucking on the breast.

I shot my plan to breastfeed right out the window. I've failed her and me. So I thought. I spoke to my sister and my sister in law and they encouraged me to hang in there. But how could I? I can't stand to hear her screaming. Especially not at 3 in the morning.

With a shaky voice and tears in my eyes I called the lactation consultant at the hospital and told her how I had already failed as a mother. She informed me that I had not failed, yet. What is best for baby and mother, is best. If feeding from the breast works, then it works. But if pumping and giving her the breast milk in a bottle works. Then do that. Why force her to eat from the breast if she doesn't want to? Then she mentioned nipple shields. It could be that my little baby likes a bigger nipple. When my breast aren't full, she latches. But when they are full of milk my nipple isn't as big and she won't latch. Makes perfect sense. So we bought the nipple shields and now baby opens mouth, mom pops boob in and ta-da! Baby is sucking away on breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Nipple shields 15 - bottle 0!

I use Avent Nipple Protectors. Life changing.
Avent - Nipple Protector

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