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!
Monday, March 14, 2011
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.