Re: Lots of questions! Hope its not overwhelming!!!
Oh my goodness, what terrible advice from the hospital!!!
First, it is absolutely untrue that it takes 2 hours for your milk to replenish. I have absolutely no idea where that idea comes from. Sounds like something someone read on the side of a can of formula. Anyway, milk is ALWAYS being made. The emptier the breast is, the faster milk is being made to replace what has been removed. A breast that has just been emptied very thoroughly by a baby or a pump will still deliver milk to a nursing baby, albeit a little slower than a breast that is really full. A baby who is nursing on an "empty" breast will get a meal, provided she nurses long enough.
Second, schedules are the enemy of breastfeeding success. Supply is created by demand, and when you restrict demand by spacing the baby's feedings out to some artificial interval, supply goes down. So what if you "become the baby's pacifier"? Breasts were invented before pacifiers, and breasts are designed to serve the dual purpose of providing nutrition AND comfort. And if you don't simply trust the baby to nurse at the right level, you're always stuck worrying that the baby hasn't emptied the breast enough, and instead of simply enjoying nursing your baby you are stuck pumping. Why is that better?
Once you are nursing on demand and not using a shield, you can stop worrying so much about emptying yourself and just do what most nursing moms do: watch the baby's diaper output, overall health and happiness, and weight gain. If those three metrics remain normal, then you can just trust the baby to keep your breasts as empty as they need to be.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"