Helping mothers and babies grow together

It Takes A Village: Cross-Nursing

By on Jul 26, 2013 in Uncategorized |

When my daughter, Annica, was 3 months old I got acute appendicitis.  Annica was exclusively fed at the breast, she never had a bottle or pacifier.   When it came time for my surgery I was sobbing, the nurses reassured me my surgery would be fine, they didn’t realize I wasn’t worried about myself, I was worried about my baby. I was out of surgery around mid-night, I pumped and dumped to keep up my supply, while my husband tried to bottle feed her milk I had pumped ahead of time. Anybody who tells you if a baby gets hungry enough they will eat probably has never tried that out.   At 2 am my daughter was tired and angry, she didn’t want that strange, slick bottle nipple, and didn’t have any idea what to do with it; we were all desperate.  In my desperation I called my aunt, she had had a baby just a few months before I did, and was also breastfeeding.  What an amazing woman, that when I called her at 2 am she answered her phone and was more than willing to nurse my baby.  My husband drove my daughter to my aunt’s and my aunt fed her anytime she needed it for the next ten hours while I was still in the hospital. I know many moms are turned off by the idea of wet nursing because they don’t want their baby to have that special bond with another women.  I love my aunt so much for taking care of my baby in that special way, but Annica did not create any special or lasting bond with her that night, and certainly not one that would be a threat to me in anyway.  At only 3 months old, Annica knew that there was something different, she nursed and nursed well from my aunt.   But her feedings were different.  Instead of the long, leisurely feedings she enjoyed with me, her feedings were short and efficient.  She would nurse to sleep, but unlatch rather than continue to dream feed. When I nursed her again for the first time, she nursed well for just a few minutes, but wasn’t very hungry.  Once she had her fill she stopped...

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A Pumping Mom’s Journey

By on Jul 26, 2013 in Uncategorized |

When I was pregnant with my first child I just knew I would breastfeed.  As far as I knew it was just what you did with babies.  I wasn’t expecting to give birth at 29 weeks.  I wasn’t expecting my son, Robbie, to have birth defects that would make breastfeeding even more difficult. When I went into labor at 29 weeks I remember being terrified about a million different things, and one was breastfeeding. Crying I asked the doctor if I would still be able to, and he told me it was even more important that I make breastfeeding work with a preemie.  After a day of trying to stop labor with no success the doctor decided it was time for an emergency C-section, since Robbie was transverse.  Robbie was born July 22.  I was put all the way under, and when I woke up there was a pump and pump kit in my room. That was the beginning of my pumping journey.  I started pumping right away, 8 times a day, around the clock.  I got plenty of colostrum, and on day three my milk came in.   I always had more than enough milk, the nurses would marvel that with my tiny frame and small breasts, I was pumping enough to feed triplets.  Pumping was all I could do for a long time.  With a baby born under 3 pounds, I had a lot of waiting before the two of us could attempt breastfeeding.  Robbie always had a strong rooting reflex, but we waited until he was 32 weeks to start our nursing attempts.  Robbie did pretty well, but things still were hard and slow.  After all, he wasn’t even supposed to be born yet. Unfortunately, he didn’t get stronger as we got closer to his guess date like preemies usually do.  Instead he started throwing up, violently, everything he got from nursing or from his feeding tube.   By 37 weeks we had stopped all oral feeds and he was being fed by a tube that constantly dripped my pumped milk in at only 21 mls per hour. I continued to pump.  Robbie’s doctors kept looking for answers to his condition and Robbie got weaker and weaker.   Where...

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