When I was preggo with my third babe I knew without a doubt that I would be breastfeeding. I breastfed both of my girls for about six months. I had no problems with milk production and they both latched just fine. Emily was the easiest because she went straight to nursing right from birth! She knew exactly what to do and how to do it! Baby Max was an entirely story.
Right after Max was born he had no desire to eat, much less latch. He had swallowed a lot of fluid while coming out and had a full tummy. At first, the doctors were ok with that. But as time went on he still had no desire to latch, instead he would just rather sleep.
After 24 hours of a baby content without eating, a midwife came in to “help” him latch and noticed what I already knew: he could latch IF he wanted to, but he, in her words, “Didn’t want to work for it” He would rather have slept all day than put in the effort it took for him to eat from the breast. Crazy right? So in order for us to leave the hospital we had to get food in his tummy and get his weight up. To do that I started pumping and syringe feeding him as much as I could. I figured I would work on getting him to eat from the breast once I got home to my comfort zone.
Before we left the hospital my insurance provided me with a great pump and all the accessories to go with it. When we got home I put it into action and started pumping to get my milk in so I would be able to fill the syringes. I began putting the milk in bottles and Max was just eating away. I was also getting help feeding him because the hubs had some time off from work, so it wasn’t the usual one woman job.
I started doing my research and found that pumping exclusively is something that I had honestly never really heard of before. It’s not for everyone and everyone that does it, does it for different reasons. My reason was that it just seemed easier! Yes, it is one more “chore” I have to do during the day, and sometimes night, but then once I’ve got the milk pumped I can just give the bottle to anyone that wants to help feed babe, or just toss it in my bag and bring out the bottle anywhere and anytime he needs to eat. No matter how normal it is, I have never been comfortable nursing in public, it always made me feel awkward. Now with two older kids in school and after school activities, we leave the house a lot more only making it more difficult to find the right time and place to breast feed.
Like I mentioned, Max likes his sleep, but for me, that first month was sleepless. While Max and the rest of the family were fast asleep, I was getting up all through the night and pumping to avoid engorgement. Doing that and pumping during the day created a huge reserve of milk. The hubs had to buy me a deep freezer because I produced so much!
Now that I do have such a big supply in the freezer I’m debating on letting myself start to dry up. He now has plenty to last until he is at least six months old, or maybe I’ll donate it, who knows. I do know that I’m happy with the decision I made because it allowed me to not worry about, or be stressed out, trying to get my newborn to nurse in the beginning, and even worse, possibly giving up and not being able to provide mom’s milk to my little dude.