My name is Tiffeny and I am new to these forums. I had my first son (Liam) on 5/12/11 @ 25 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia. He weighed 1 pound. He is currently in the NICU on a ventilator so, of course, he cannot be breastfed yet. The doctors at the NICU are big pushers of breastfeeding and/or feeding breast milk. They feel that breast milk can be the difference between life and death for a preemie.
I had always dreamed of breastfeeding my baby from the start, but nothing has gone as planned with this pregnancy/delivery. I want to give my baby the best I can, so I am currently pumping so he can be giving my milk through an NG tube. I plan on trying very hard to breast feed him once he is old enough. If it doesn't work to breast feed, then I plan on pumping and feeding breast milk for at least the first year or longer if I can.
So I have a few questions....
1. I am worried about keeping up my supply. This is my current routine. I pump every 3 hours around the clock for about 20 minutes each session. I am currently getting about 3-4 ounces from my left breast and 2-3 ounces from my right breast. I am 3 weeks out from my c-section. I think that my supply seems good right now, but I am worried about it dropping off. Does this seem like a good schedule and a good amount of milk? I am trying to use massage and compression to help empty my breasts. I just want to make sure I am doing all I can to keep up a good supply. I know that when you are only pumping it can be hard to keep up the supply. Plus, it will probably be at least 8 weeks before I can try breast feeding. Oh, I forgot to mention that I am renting a Medela Symphony pump.
2. I have had a few consults with a LC to make sure that I was doing everything correctly. She said I was using the right size cups (sorry I am not sure the real name is) and that everything looked good. However, my nipples are VERY sensitive and a little red and sore. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong? They don't really hurt while pumping, but they do if I rub against something. I am trying to give them air time and I am also using ointment on them. Again, I just want to make sure I am not doing something wrong.
3. Lastly, the last few days I have noticed at random times that my breast kind of "tighten up" and it is almost painful. Then they relax and all is well. This generally happens within an hour of the time to pump. Is this normal?
Sorry for the long winded post and all the questions. I just really want to keep up my supply for my son and I want to make sure I am doing everything correctly. Thank you all so much in advance for your help!