October 30, 2010
Yesterday, we were speaking with one of Ella's doctors and I asked when we would start introducing breastfeeding. After determining how old Ella was gestationally (33w2d), Dr. Bendel-Stenzel (whom, by the way, I call Gods right hand..) said we could start breastfeeding...RIGHT AWAY. I was so flustered and excited! Ella had just eaten so we decided we'd come back for her 8:00 PM feeding.
That evening, we came back at 7:30 PM and I pumped so that if Ella did manage to latch on again this time (she'd latched on once before), she wouldn't have any issues with choking or aspirating or anything. I got comfy on the chair, with a pillow on my lap and the nurse handed Ella to me. I wasn't sure the best position on how to hold her because she's so darn small! Holding a 3 lb 5 oz baby is much, much different then holding a 15 lb baby to your breast! The nurse asked me how I'd nursed Olivia and I told her that Olivia's favorite way to nurse had always been draped across my body with her belly against mine. So, that's how she told me to hold Ella. Ummm...it's that simple?? Guess so!
See those smiles? Those are the smiles of pure amazement
at a 3 lb baby that latched on and started sucking without any help at all!!!!
I don't have any fancy words of advice to other moms of preemies except it simply can come down to patience and knowing that babies just know what to do sometimes! With Olivia, that wasn't the case, but with Ella, it was. She latched on with not a single issue. She's obviously not taking any full feedings or anything like that and she latches and pulls off but she latched and breastfed from my left breast (both times we've breast fed funnily enough). You can see in the above picture how I held her and that worked out really well except the arm I was using to hold my breast got really sore so I think I need a pillow or something to go underneath it.
It was so amazing though. I can't even tell you. Just to have her latch and suck but when she actually caused a let down and started nursing for several minutes...I swear, a choir of angels started singing!! It was the most beautiful, natural thing ever. All the fears I had about breastfeeding such a tiny baby completely flew out the window and it was like we fit together like two puzzle pieces. I had worked myself up so much being so worried about having such a tiny little baby at such a ginormous boobie but when she latched on and we relaxed, it all fit together. My advice to new breastfeeding moms, whether or not you're breastfeeding a preemie is to relax and trust your body. And DON'T GIVE UP!! :)