Breastfeeding – the second journey
|October 7, 2011||Posted by Mabel under Breastfeeding, Parenthood|
Yes, I am breastfeeding again.
But unlike the first time where I was latching on Eva, this time I have been pumping out my milk as Noah was too young to latch on at birth. Every three hours, for twenty minutes per breast – that’s how long and frequent my pump sessions were. Over time, as my milk came in, the time was cut short but the frequency was still the same. Around the clock, mind you. This means waking up in the wee hours of the morning while everyone is fast and sound asleep.
This journey of mine, I’ll be honest, is harder than before. My journey with Eva spoilt me royally. With exclusive pumping, I have to wake up every three hours, sterilize pump parts and well, sit in front of a pump for ten to fifteen minutes – thankgoodness for double breast pumps! It is depressing, to say the least, and hard to stay motivated especially when breastfeeding friends around me are breastfeeding their babies. In my case, I’m breastfeeding my pump. *sigh*
At the moment, my biggest concern is not so much my milk supply. My supply is doing fine as I’m hitting 850 to 900 ml, which is more than enough for Noah as he only drinks 30 ml every three hours. You see, prior to this week, Noah has been getting most of his feeds via a gavage tube. The nurses only started bottle feeding seriously this week. While I have been trying to make myself clear – I hate the fact that no one here speaks or understands English – I keep getting reassured that it’s normal for preemies to suckle weakly at the breast and that for now, latching on is more to get him used to the breast.
Today, when I latched him on and watch him suckle for a couple of minutes, I began to realize that the suckling motion he adopted was a mix of the right suckle for breastfeeding (for breasts, one suckles with their jaw going up and down) and the wrong kind (for bottles, one suckles as if they are sucking from a straw – cheeks are depressed). And that got me to thinking – what if he gets nipple confusion? Am I going to be stuck with bottle feeds? The constant pumping, sterilizing, warming bottles and so forth?
A Malaysian lactation consultant suggested that I leave a note somewhere in Noah’s room telling the nurses to stop the bottle feeds and just stick to cup feeding. That would help minimise the possibility of nipple confusion. Trouble is that I don’t know how things work here and while I have mentioned to many people that I really want to do only direct feed, the shift changes make it really hard for the message to stick. I got Nil to speak to his sister as she gave birth to both her two children prematurely and I know she breastfed them.
Perhaps my emotions and postpartum blues are making things more problematic than it really is. Maybe I am just being paranoid over nothing. I do hope that I’ll be able to latch him on more successfully so now the goal is to try and me there for at least one feed a day and then increase the frequency. What doesn’t help is that the bus to the hospital comes once every hour, I have to spend some time with Eva, cook dinner and I am car-less. *sigh*
Still, I’m determined to breastfeed him…and directly too…no matter what it takes! Even if it means re-training him again. Do pray for the both of us as we tackle this rough road ahead, ya?