Pumping in the hospital
Jonathan is now six weeks old. He was born 4 weeks premature and breastfeeding, at first, was challenging. He was just too tired to latch on and suck for very long. The first couple days at the hospital, we supplemented my colostrum with formula.
On day 2, I started expressing using an electric pump. Each time, I would get more and more colustrum. At each feeding, I would put him on the breast for as long as he could take it, usually trying to keep him awake, and then supplement with a bottle of my expressed milk.
My milk came in the day we left the hospital, and we continued the routine at home -- feed on breast, bottle of expressed milk, then I would pump to empty the breast (I have a manual pump at home). As time went on, he started spending more and more time at the breast. Once his jaundice was gone, he became an eating machine -- spending 10 - 30 minutes at each breast! He was getting his fill at each feeding from the breast and we no longer had to supplement.
Jonathan was 6 pounds 2 ounces at birth and lost about 7% of his birth weight. He had regained his birth weight when he was about 2½ weeks old. I had him weighed yesterday, and he was 9 pounds 9 ounces! The nurse said she could tell he was being breastfed because of the pads on his lips.
When I told her his birth weight, she said "Wow! What have you been feeding him?" I told her my breast milk only. She said "Well, it's obviously working!"
I must admit, that made me feel really good. It makes it all worthwhile knowing that I am doing what's best for him. My story has become somewhat long-winded, but its main point is to let new moms know that the struggle those first 6 weeks is all worth it.
Often you get conflicting advice. Find what works for you and your baby. It is so worth it in the end. This board has been a big help as well, for advice as well as support. I think it is so important to have a support network.
Read more success stories on the bulletin board.
Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.