Monday, March 14, 2011

Marketing for lactation consultants

If I had had a full-term baby I would have tried to breast feed, but if it hadn't worked, I would have switched to formula. However, for my little preemie, breast milk is essential and thus I am giving it a heroic effort, including taking prescription meds to increase my milk flow. I'm certainly producing enough to feed my son right now, but as he gets bigger, I won't be able to keep up with his appetite, especially not when he comes home and there is no more feeding tube!

I'm not sure what I would have done with a full-term baby who needed mega-milk right away. I have talked with several friends who had faced that very issue. I have had six weeks now to work on my milk supply, but since my son started with needing 1ml of milk every two hours, it wasn't as stressful. We all dealt with lactation consultants. I didn't mind mine because I so wanted help to breastfeed and quite frankly, as my son isn't home with me, pumping is about the only thing I can do to take care of him.

On the other hand, my friends who were equally hormonal/sleep-deprived/trying to produce milk also had infants at home who needed to be bathed, changed, etc., around the clock. With not enough milk getting into their tummies, the infants would also cry more. As such, the mums I knew wanted a solution STAT and were ready to kill lactation consultations who basically told them that at all costs they must avoid formula feeding (both my friends immediately switched to bottle-feeding and their kids are fine).

It's well meant, but it's horrible all the pressure to breast feed. Yes, 'breast [may be] best', but by pushing breast feeding so much, so many women are meant to feel like bad mothers. OF COURSE we all want what's best for our babies. Which brings me to the decision that my friend and I came to - instead of guilting mothers into feeling like they are not focussing on their child, instead focus on the other aspect of breast feeding - it helps the mother lose weight and gives her big boobs.

OF COURSE I would do anything for Finn, first and foremost, but hey, let's face it, I'm ecstatic that I fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes but still need a larger bra (although my milk hasn't yet come in fully). It's a given that a child will still do fine on formula but the weight loss and boobage? Oh yeah, that's directly related to breast feeding. Now there's a motivation to pump.

Sadly any lactation consultation that tried that message would no doubt be fired for insensitivity about the mother's weight, etc., but personally, it's a huge motivator for me.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Last requests

Just before I went into surgery, I began to think that I might not survive. As such, I was telling my parents to look after TM and make sure he was provided for as I hadn't gotten around to changing my will. At one point after, I was alone with my sister and I had a request for her as well.

Me: If I don't make it...

Her: Oh god... don't say that.

Me: No but listen if I don't, I need you to do something for me.

Her: Anything.

Me: In my downstairs closet there is a box of books. In that box is my Bible.

Her: Okay...

Me: And in that Bible is hidden my home porn of me and my ex. Please destroy it. I don't want TM to find that. I just never got around to destroying it. I love TM so much.

Her: No problem. I'll take care of it.

Needless to say, I did survive and after all the trauma/drama was over and both my son and I were deemed safe, my sister admitted that she wondered where on earth I was going with the Bible bit. We are not a religious family at all so she was wondering, "Do we have a family Bible? What is this about?" We got a good laugh over my last request. Still, do others have plans for their porn/online personalites (including blogs) and sex toys?

Saturday, March 05, 2011


My son is doing well. He's now 2 and a half pounds, which oddly seems huge to me. He was also moved to a new hospital where they have a nursery which is a step down in medical care - this is good - it means he doesn't need as much supervision. He is doing well but still needs a CPAP to help his breathe which isn't unexpected for premature babies.

I am pumping away, hooked up like a heifer to an electric breast milk pump. I have to pump 8 times a day which works out to every three hours. I usually sleep at some point though for 5 hours straight and so have to make up pumping time. It's exhausting. Also, given that I have to shower with my arms crossed over my chest, I was dreading it. It's actually been okay although the pump they have at the new hospital makes me feel like my nipples are about to be sucked into a void. Sweet Mary - I sit there holding the cups to my chest trying not to scream and doubled over in pain and around me are women sitting calmly milking away. The pain goes away after a couple of minutes, but I don't get these other women. Also, I'm always near some woman who seems to produce enough milk for snack time at a kindergarten class whereas I produce about a cup of milk per day. That's enough for my son right now, but as he gets bigger I will need more. As such, I am on a prescription drug to increase milk flow. So far it is not doing too much.

Finally, we gave our son a name which has been in my family for centuries. In fact you can see the name on the tombstones in the town where my Mum comes from in Scotland. Much to my horror the short form - Finn - is shared by a character on Glee. I had no idea as I don't like the show and never followed it, and neither did TM. However, Finn is the trendy name of this year. There are bound to be five or six Finns in his class. Ah well, I still like the name.

And did I mention we're getting our place ready to sell? Yes, my life is a blur of pumping, packing, and visiting my son in hospital. But it's all good.