Last night we met with a Lactation Consultant in our home. I had gotten her name from my pediatrician, who said that mothers had said to her (the pediatrician) that this LC was great. I’m glad I took that recommendation because she was WONDERFUL.
I had kept Elanor a little hungry so that she would be up for feeding when the LC arrived. NOT starving-just giving her enough food that she wasn’t crying but eager for food.
We had already briefly discussed E’s history and how we got to the place we’re at in our breastfeeding journey. I let her know that I had tried to put E to breast a few times in this past week and she had refused to even latch.
The LC undressed the baby, weighed her, and asked me to undress from the waist up. We did some skin to skin and Elanor began to edge to one side. I had always thought this was Elanor having some trouble with staying upright because while she has improved head control, it’s not perfect. The LC explained that E was going for my breast. She let Elanor edge down and E began trying to get on the breast unsuccessfully before E got very upset.
We popped the pacifier into E’s mouth and the LC told me she was doing all the right things and asked if I had considered using nipple shields. I actually own a nipple shield, but when I tried to follow the included directions I had had NO success so I had just put it to the side. The LC showed me how to use it, and E went to the breast. Then the other.
She successfully took 1.3 ounces total between both breasts!
Of course that’s not actually enough for a single feed, but it’s a HUGE success. The LC said that Elanor was doing an awesome job and helped us come up with a plan of attack.
Firstly my goal is to raise my supply a bit. At most I can make about 18 ounces a day and Elanor is eating in the neighborhood of 22-25 ounces a day. I’m doing the pump equivalent of a “nurse in” where I am pumping hourly as much as I can with a few longer breaks-trying to fool my breasts into thinking that there is a baby hungrily trying to get fed.
Secondly, we are to try to get her on the breast with the nipple shields. When possible I am to feed her for as long as is comfortable (until she gets upset and dribbling expressed milk on the shield doesn’t help) and then finish her off with her bottle, and then pump (what’s called triple feeding). I will be focusing more on this after the nurse in, although I plan to try and nurse a few times over the next few days.
Finally, we are to do as much skin to skin as we can.
I also bought the book she recommended, entitled “The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk.”
I’ll report back on how things are going.