Ok, it looks like I'm going to have to pump at least twice a day to keep up my supply for LO. I know this sounds backwards, but here's the deal. Since birth, my LO has had a hard time with nursing. He just can't seem to nurse effectively. My milk didn't come in until day 5 or 6, he was severely jaundiced, I never experienced engorgement (until weeks and weeks later), and my breasts didn't even feel very full, he always acted hungry, wanted to nurse constantly, plus he only poops 1 - 2 times a week (from birth), and he isn't gaining weight very well. All signs that he wasn't getting enough milk. He's also suffered from gassiness and fussiness, so I'm thinking since he can't nurse effectively that he has a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. For the first weeks and weeks, I thought it was my body, that I just could NOT make enough milk, since I do have thyroid/pituitary issues that I take meds for. But, after all these weeks (LO is now 13 1/2 weeks old) and lots of visits to the Pediatrician, an ENT doc, and several LC's, we found out that he had tongue tie, lip tie and a high "bubble" palate. We had his tongue tie and lip tie clipped a few days ago, but so far I've not noticed any difference. It's still extremely painful for me to nurse, and since I haven't pumped any the last few days, he's acting starving again, wanting to constantly eat... I've been dealing with cracked/bleeding nipples, blisters for 3 months now. I'm currently on my 2nd round of antibiotics for mastitis, and the only way I can even manage to nurse is to stay on Ibuprofen. I don't even know how I've managed to make it this long. It's just love for my LO, I want to do what's best for him, and do not want him to have to have formula. (I did have to supplement with some formula in the beginning because of his severe jaundice. He had to go back in the hospital to go under the lights, and when he was 5 - 6 days old, my milk had still not come in. I was pumping, and even if he hadn't nursed in 2 hours, I was literally only getting a couple of drops. So it was absolutely necessary for him to have formula for a little while.)(Don't know why I feel the need to defend that, but some people are so against formula that they don't even recognize that sometimes it IS necessary for the well being of the baby)
Anywho, I'm still gonna work with the LLL LC that has helped me the most, and see if she has anymore suggestions. But, I've pretty much resigned myself that I'm gonna have to pump to make sure that LO is getting enough hindmilk. I'm hoping to be able to pump 2 - 3 times a day, then nurse the rest of the time.
I just read in a breastfeeding book at the library that nothing can be done about a high palate. That pumping may be necessary to keep up milk supply. The theory behind this is that baby can't nurse effectively to stimulate milk production, so if you pump, then the milk supply is there for baby to get. It really seems to hold true in my case, because I was pumping several times a day, and LO was doing better. The last few days, I haven't pumped because I was hoping the tongue/lip clipping was going to do the trick. But, the last day or two, I've noticed a definite drop in my milk supply. Before, when LO one nursed, I would do breast compressions to help him get the hindmilk, and I could hear him swallowing. Now, when I do the breast compressions, I'm not hearing that, plus, he's just acting like he's not getting satisfied at the breast.
I hope that this makes sense. I'm sorry I've made this post so long, and I haven't even gotten to the point yet. Guess I needed a little support too....
So, to the pump issue. I need to buy a pump, and we'll figure out the money to get what I need, but of course, i don't want to spend anymore than is needed. I'm looking at the Freestyle, for several reasons.
First, the portability of the hands free option. I homeschool my two older kids, and was thinking that I could use my nursing poncho, and pump while still doing other things.... helping them with schoolwork, dishes, etc.... Plus, there are lots of times when I'm away from home all day. When we take the kids on field trips, or when we run errands (we're out in the boonies, so we do everything in one day and it takes ALL day), that I'd need to pump, so I'd need something portable.
2nd. The options for different speeds, the letdown feature and the programability (spelling?). (Because of my thyroid/pituitary issues, I really need a pump that maximizes what I can output) I used the Medela handpump from the hospital one time, and it had the little letdown feature, then of course, I could pump at different speeds, and I noticed a big difference in how fast and efficient I could pump. Of course, the hand pump isn't an option for frequent use.
Right now, I've been using a borrowed Medela Lactina from the WIC department. But the only option it has it to adjust the suction. There is no speed option, no letdown feature, and it isn't portable at all. I was thinking that I read somewhere that the WIC dept gave some people a pump. Does anyone know anything about that ??? I should call them tomorrow and ask. Although, I think the ones that they gave were PIS's. Of course, If I got one of those for free, and it least had the speed and letdown features, I could definitely work with that.
Just wondering what experiences others have had with the Freestyle??? Is it easy to keep the battery charged? Or should I get an extra battery?
Or is there another pump that would serve my needs for less money?