I feel stuck communicating with our MD. I just need lots of supports going forward with BFing Penga.
GOOD news is: My little Penga UNOFFICIALLY started BF yesterday.
During Kangaroo-care, she started to root for my breast, latched on it, and gave stronger sucks than before. Yesterday was the first day she managed to cause milk let-down. But yesterday she desat and needed oxygen support (BTW, Penga is off nasal cannula as of yesterday!!). Today, however, she paused frequently after sucking and managed to have a little amount of milk without having desat. Nevertheles, it is a slow process and I know she was getting frustrated that her tummy was not fillilng fast. I was hoping I could work with LC to find the way so Penga will be able to associate BF with filling tummy.
BAD news is: that MD does not approve of Penga (officially) starting BF nor finger-feeding (which was a suggestion from our LC) and instead ordered bottle-feeding.
He thinks finger-feeding is too dangerous to my little Penga (now 3lb 12oz and 36 weeks gestational, born at 25 weeks) for the fear of her aspiring BM into lung. He said all the 5 main MDs in our NICU agree with him. Basically what I have found out is that alternative way of supplementation (rather than bottle-feeding) is hardly used in this NICU for the same reason.
He also said they do not allow BF first then supplement with bottle-feeding method, because Penga won't have energy to complete feeding.
There was a director of the care in the unit at the scene, and she told me that there is no nipple-confusion - 99% of moms are fine transitioning from bottle-feeding to direct BF w/o problems. However, when I talk with the outpatient LC of the hospital (this breastfeeding -riendly NICU does not even have an inpatient LC,) they laugh at the myth, confirming they do work with NICU graduates' moms to correct nipple-confusion and other problems.
The MD also downgraded the importance of the Kangaroo-care, saying "it is OK for you to Kangaroo your daughter for bonding." It clearly shows his ignorance about medical benefit of Kangaroo care.
I have been talking with my allies in the NICU - some nurses and social worker. They agree that our MDs have very narrow scope in what the patient care is about.
So what came out of all this is that Penga will receive bottle-feeding so they can assess her readiness for nipple-feeding. Once they think she is ready, she can BF gradually, but only after she gains more weight.
I accepted the above, because Penga is learning to BF on her own. Plus my LC was feeling "in-between" and pulled herself out of the scene today. I have a feeling that she was threatened by the MD for interferring their "medical" care. Without her support, I don't think I can continue the way I envisioned.
Oh my head hurts and I feel so emotional about not speaking the same language with MD. I am just hoping Penga will not forget what she has learned during the last 4 weeks - that mommy's breast is a welcoming place with a special food for her.