Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Second Week - breast feeding

7 1/2 years ago I had a breast reduction. It was medically necessary or I'd have to have back surgery. At 19 years old it was something that I had to do. Unfortunately it would mean that I would drastically reduce the chances of breast feeding with a full supply or at all.

I struggled in the hospital with breast feeding and spoke to several consultants. My post partum nurse, Alison, suggested seeing Dr. Laurie Jones who is a pediatrician who specializes in lactation. After a week of struggling and having very traumatized nipples and an angry newborn I decided to call for an appointment.

Josh took the day off from work to take me to the appointment. I was very thankful that he came with us. Dr. Jones was very interested in my situation and listened to me as I cried and opened my heart to her.

Breast feeding was not the experience I had hoped it would be. The milk was not flowing from my breast and my baby was not happy. Every time I'd put Silas to the breast he would latch on and suck with earnest. We had been using an SNS and I was pumping frequently to give him breast milk through the SNS and then also using formula as much as I didn't want to.

Dr. Jones weighed Silas and he was up from his pediatrician appointment. He came in at 8 lbs 1oz, which was 7oz more than at his appointment. Dr. Jones watched as I nursed Silas and she helped me see that my breast were working against us. They are soft, the nipples are flat and smooth, and pointed upwards. And from the week of improper latch they were scabbed over and there was some scaring on the areola.

To get Silas to latch properly he had to be elevated. She provided me with a special nursing pillow call My Brest Friend and rolled a towel under his head. This helped the latch stop hurting. She gave us a lot of information to look through including a website called BFAR and a book to begin reading called Defining Your Own Success.

After the feeding Dr. Jones weighed Silas again and he had taken in about 20cc. She suggested taking fenugreek for milk production, which I already was, but she wanted me to increase the amount.

We spent about 2 hours with Dr. Jones. Afterwards we went to a store she recommended called Healthy Baby Happy Earth and bought the brest friend pillow and a few other things she had suggested.

It made breast feeding much easier and a lot less painful. We made an appointment for the next week, which I'll write about in another entry.

1 thoughts:

Adria said...

Oh Victoria. I feel so bad that you had to go through that, and are still going through it. I'm so proud of you for trying so hard even though this is extremely difficult for you. Silas has the most wonderful mother!
Although sore nipples at first is normal, bleedings ones are not, and I was actually was wondering if he was latching on incorrectly when you said that you had bled. That is one thing that I actually didn't have to go through because my sister had showed my how to latch him on before he was born. I used the lactation consultant at Happy Baby Healthy Earth. It's a good store, and they were VERY helpful to me. Going there made TONS of difference for Henry. I went mostly because although I got him to latch on and feed well a couple times on my right breast, my left one is slightly inverted and I wondered if it would ever work on that one. She totally helped me and I haven't had problems with it since. And bless the person that ever invented Lanolin cream. I still use it now and again, although I don't need it so often now.
Also, did they show you different positions to nurse him? The football hold was the best for me at first. Not I just use the cradle since he is too big for the other one (he pushes off the back of the couch :)
I'm rootin' for yah! I hope this gets easier for you two soon. It is different for you because of the breast surgery and the medicine you are taking to help with teh c-section. But if it will work, it will be worth it-for Silas and for you. If it won't in the end, you've sacrificed so much and done your best for your little baby and you should be so proud of yourself. I know that God (Heavenly Father) is proud of you. He is so happy that He sent Silas to such a strong, determined, and caring woman.
Love yah,