When I was pregnant, I knew I was going to breastfeed. I researched all about it and I was determined to do it for at least a year. I even took a breastfeeding class to learn all the best tips and I bought all the necessities to breastfeed; breastfeeding bras and tanks, nipple creams, nipple shields, breast pads and a breast pump. I made sure to get my Medela breast pump before I gave birth in case I went into labor early. I wanted only the best and from all the reviews I read, it is.
My assumption with buying a breast pump is that I would rarely use it. I thought It was for mom’s that had to go back to work and use it during the day so their breast did not engorge. I didn’t think it was going to be something I really needed because I work from home, and my daughter would have all access to my breasts all the time. What did I need a breast pump for unless I was needing to give her a bottle of breastmilk here or there?
Then I had a baby, and everything I thought I knew was thrown out the window. I was induced on a Monday, and didn’t have my daughter until Thursday. Needless to say, I had a few complications. On day three, my blood pressure skyrocketed so high that the medical staff was literally running around panicking that I would have a seizure or a stroke. I ended up getting a lot of fluids and medications over the next few days. I also had some other medications, antibiotics because I got an infection, pitocin to get the labor going and of course, an epidural. I had a lot of stuff flowing through me for quite a few days.
I was lucky unlike most and my baby took to breastfeeding like a champ. She latched right away and it was wonderful. I had no problems breastfeeding whatsoever and I thought I knew it came so easily for us because of all the research I had done to make it easy as possible for me and for her.
Then I went to the pediatrician four days later and was hit in the face with a ton of bricks. It turned out that my baby had lost a considerable amount of weight and was not technically getting any milk. I figured that my milk had just not come in yet. It had only been four days right? So, I just needed to supplement until my milk came in.
Day 6. My milk had still not come in. I had an appointment to see an OBGYN (even though I had a midwife) because of all the complications I had through labor. He stated that he was not surprised that my milk had not come in yet because of all the fluids and medications that I had received for so many days. The type of medications I was on really affected my hormones and body. He said to keep trying and not give up on breastfeeding. He also ordered a blood test for my thyroid. He said he suspected I had postpartum Hypothyroidism. He was right. That affects your milk coming in because your hormones are all messed up.
That same day I hired a lactation consultant to come to my home. She asked if I had a breast pump. I told her yes, but it was up in the closet because I didn’t think I needed it. Boy, was I wrong. My lactation consultant helped me get everything I could for my baby even if my milk never fully came in. Which it didn’t. I am heartbroken to write that. I am part of the small percentage where I have a low milk production. I tried everything I could to get my milk to come in.
Every supplement, tea, or wives tale. I must say, that the only thing that truly helps me get some milk is my breast pump. My baby is now 16-weeks-old. I have to supplement a lot, but I haven’t given up breastfeeding. I know that she is not getting enough for a full feed from me, but I know every bit counts. I am able to continue breastfeeding even the little that I can because of my Medela breast pump. I pump multiple times a day, and that is what keeps me from completely drying up for this long. I think if I didn’t have a pump, or such a good pump, I would not be able to give her even the little I am able to now.
I will keep pumping and give her what I can for as long as I can. I wish that I could solely breastfeed her without supplementing, but it was not my choice, and some medical problems did not allow me to do that. But I am utterly thankful to my Medela breast pump for allowing me to give her as much as I can.
Breast pumps are super important for any breastfeeding mother, whether they have a full supply or not. And you want to have a good pump. I went with the Medela pump because of all the great reviews I read about it. I haven’t been disappointed.
Now Medela has a free app that you can download which includes personalized dashboards, assessments to help you meet your goals and understanding your strengths and expert guidance for your breastfeeding questions.
Here are some tips I have learned to help you succeed in breastfeeding:
- While you are pregnant, talk to your midwife or ONGYN about any questions or concerns about breastfeeding.
- Find a lactation consultant before you give birth. Meet with them beforehand to make sure you feel comfortable with her. You don’t want to be scrambling to find one if you are struggling to breast feed and your baby is hungry and screaming.
- Get a good breast pump like Medela. You will use it even if you are not going back to work. I promise you.
- Talk to your friends or family who have breastfed to get any advice or support. A good support system is crucial at this time.
- Just keep trying. It can be stressful, and hard, but worth it. Even if you’re only getting your baby a few drops a day, every drop of breast milk is a gift.
If you’re a working mom, and breast pumping, be sure to check out www.medelaatwork.com to help you prepare.
Do you have a breastfeeding or breast pump story? I would love to see in the comments!
This post was sponsored by Medela through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While we were compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Medela, all opinions are our own.