Monday, November 24, 2008

Sadie's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding-Part 2

You can read Part 1 here.

I know some women who never really get into the Boppy thing. They are more than fine just settling in Boppy-less and feeding their babies. But me? I found it nearly impossible to feed Norah if I wasn't comfortable myself, and regular pillows, no matter the number or configuration, never felt right. The Boppy? A velvety soft God send.

I have this particular one, because it matches Norah's room decorations, but they are all the same thing regardless of the cover. Plus it doubles as a place for Norah to hang out.


I know I mentioned in the last post that I was going to discuss my breastpump, but really, there isn't much to discuss. I use the Medela Pump in Style, and it works fabulously, but because I have never used a different one I don't have any comparisons. I would suggest, however, that if you are planning on using the pump regularly for storage purposes or to help build up a low supply, get an electric pump. The manual ones just don't work as well.


Now here's the real meat of the post. Soon after Norah was born I tried to nurse for the first time, with no success. She sniffed around and latched on a few times, but didn't stay there. My mom was there helping me, and she didn't seem worried so I wasn't worried, and tried again later, but still with no success. That first night she didn't nurse at all. The next day, same story. She would sniff, try to latch on, but never really got to eat. The nurses asked me how things were going, but I was determined to do it myself. The day continued, still no eating, still not accepting help from the nurses, and it's pretty likely that breastfeeding would have ended up being a serious source of frustration and failure for me if it hadn't been for the timely arrival of one, Jasmine Brown.

She walked in, told the nurses we needed a nipple shield, and helped me nurse for the very first time. It was an incredible feeling, Norah all nestled in and content, and we owed it to the fact that Jasmine is one of those friends who can see your boobs and not make you feel awkward about it later on.

I had never heard of a nipple shield in my entire life, so when I got home (and after I laid on the couch for a few days) I started researching them and was confronted with a thousand different warnings. Nipple shields are bad! Your baby will never latch on without one! You'll never really nurse! Burn all nipple shields!

So I promptly freaked out. But Norah, stubborn from the day she was conceived, was all about the shield. She wouldn't eat without it. So I made excuses for a while, and if anyone asked how breastfeeding was going I reluctantly admitted the dependence on the shield, and vowed to myself that I was going to stop using it at 6 weeks.

We used that thing for 6 months. Eventually I just stopped caring about it. Norah was eating, she was healthy and happy and that was most important. If Norah needed a piece of silicone to help her eat, then fine.

In Part 1 I mentioned that I was going to be trying out the LilyPadz breastpads. I did try them, and was not impressed. I felt like they were more visible than I wanted them to be, didn't really stop the flow like they were supposed to and just ended up being messy. I could see, however, using them on occasion, for very specific outfits.

For now, that's all I have. I am about to start using some vitamins that increase your supply, so I may update on how effective they are later on. Until then, happy nursing!


wendy said...

ooo! the honeybees are super cute.

I'm slightly terrified of the idea of a human being eating from me. I'm going to have to get over that one real quick.

Aidan and Zachary said...

I love reading your blog. I am still breastfeeding Zachary, too. The medela pump is great. I did have a problem with the suction and thought it was the pump (almost bought a new one) but called a consultant and found out i just needed a new valve and membrane for $6.99! The pads are annoying to me, but feel I need them sometimes just for the look. I have a "hooter hider" as my cover up is called and have only used it once, but I think it is great, regardless! I don't know anything about nipple shields.