My lo was born extremely fragile all I was worried at that point of time was when will she look healthy?! To make things worse her jaundice was not getting cured, she would not latch and hence feeding her was a task, during our hospital stay my mom and the nurse helped me to feed my lo with palladai.
The LC visited us and told me that I have flat nipples and hence the baby is struggling to feed, the paed told me you cannot let the baby cry because she will waste her energy and don't focus on latching right now just focus on feeding!
So on day 3 I bought my best friend, yes my Medela manual pump is my best friend, I asked my hubby to buy manual pump because I knew this pumping thing will last only for week or 10 days and then we will be back to direct feeding.
But 10 days became a month, since my daughter's jaundice wasn't getting cured my doctor asked me to just focus on feed and pee cycle but he also advised me not to start bottle feeding otherwise she could develop nipple preference.. so from palladai we moved to wati and spoon.
My MIL was strictly against this arrangement, as per her I was doing too much.. by the time pihu was month old I had a pumping schedule, I would pump after every 2 hours, feed pihu and then would make her latch, because with pumping my nipples were no longer flat.
After Pihu's 45 day injection shot, I decided that I will not pump at all and feed her directly, I saw a drastic decrease in her pee count which meant she was not feeding properly, since she still had mild jaundice I rejected this idea of direct feeding and moved back to pumping.
By now I had only 2 aims - cure jaundice and increase weight and both of these were possible only by regular feeding.
By this time I had to move back to my in-laws home and then with zero support I had to bottle feed her. By this time pihu was 2.5kgs (her lowest weight was 1.85kgs)
Then I again tried direct feeding but it only led to intense crying bouts. So I gave up completely to this idea of direct feeding. Since I had a schedule in place I would never run out of my BM and since it was winters in North India storing bm at room temp for 4-6 hours wasn't troublesome too.
But some days when we would run out of my BM and with no stash ready I started Similac IQ plus for her. So then she was combination fed.
My daughter has trippled her birth weight now, she is 6 kgs at 5 months, and all this was possible only due to regular feeding. Trust me direct feeding is a boon, all you need is mother and baby, and exclusive pumping needs lot of energy.
Some pointers that might help you:
- always ensure you have a schedule, the more milk you pump the more your body will make. I pump after every 2-3 hours
- cleanliness is very important, always sterlize pump parts, and clean your hands before you start pumping
- invest in a good pump, I use medela manual pump and luvlap electric pump
- ensure that the vacuum is proper while you are pumping, else you won't be able to pump out enough milk
- pace feed your baby, when I told my paed about Pihu's nipple preference, he told me to used paced feeding technique. In this I make pihu sit with support of my left hand and use my right hand to hold the bottle in such a way that minimum milk goes in the nipple and that ways pihu is neither over feed nor she gets lot of milk in her mouth which is difficult to gulp.
- Don't let the baby starve, if my BM was not available, I would prepare 30 ml top feed and give it to pihu to satisfy her immediate hunger pang and then pump milk for her
- always and always remember you are like any lactating mother and it is just that your baby is being fed indirectly, so keep an eye on your diet too, have enough water and rich diet.
I have tried to create a stash but I don't have excess milk supply so whatever I pump even that sometimes is less for Pihu, but I never gave up, because I knew whatever bm I give her will only help her.
I have also put a collection of Pihu's pictures, when I see her now all I can think of is gratitude. I owe it a lot to Babychakra family too because they told me that she will be fine, and strong. Thank you for always being with us. Special shout out to Richa Kaushik and asha chaudhry, you will forever be my favorites 😘
For any other questions pls feel free to ask me