Time flew especially fast because of the first 10 days in the NICU, but really it also seems to fly because I don't want to have to go to work, so thinking that the first 1/3 of my leave is over is also what is getting to me.
This past week, we worked very hard on breastfeeding. After I met with the La Leche League leader, I vowed to exclusively breastfeed E without the use of bottles. She recommended the use of the nipple shield due to flat nipples and poor latch. She checked his lips and tongue and said he was doing well. Also, she did not feel that I had an overactive letdown as I had suspected. She gave me a few tips and we were on our way. Also, there was a LLL meeting last Monday that I went to and I had the chance to talk to a few other moms still breastfeeding older children. I got a few extra tips there as well.
I knew we had a pediatrician visit this Monday which gave me exactly 10 days to try it out and see how much weight he could gain. We have to use the nipple shield or he will not latch, and I have to pump at least 3 times a day but we are doing well.
After a previous post, there was a comment about why I was pumping in addition to feeding. Basically, because I pumped for the first several weeks. Therefore, my supply was established by the pump, not by my child. I suffer from a massive oversupply that results in engorgement and mastitis. Initially, I could feed him and still feel way overly full and then proceed to double pump a total of between 8-10 oz after each feeding. Much more than he could ever eat. It was painful and causing me true headaches in addition to loss of sleep. I couldn't lay on my stomach, back nor sides and be comfortable. I have tapered down slowly for the purposes of my comfort to pumping after feeding E a total of 3 times a day (morning, noon, and just before bed) getting a total of around 6 oz each time. I pump just for comfort and relief of pressure, not until my breasts are truly empty. He still eats every 2-3 hours around the clock. I should be able to taper off completely over the next few weeks, however, I may continue to pump once a day to continue to stock up my freezer for my return to work. I will pump at work, but don't know how often I will have the ability to do so relative to my schedule.
We went yesterday Monday 10/21 to the pediatrician and E is now up to 6 lbs 6 oz. That is a gain of 1 lb 3 oz in 2 weeks, or just over an oz a day! He said that he is doing fantastic and at the upper end of how much they would want him to gain each day. They did recommend a daily vitamin with iron for him and I wanted some opinions. If I am on a daily multivitamin and he is gaining weight and has not been diagnosed as anemic, is there really any reason for the vitamin? I can't see why he should have to take it. It was recommended and encouraged by the nurse/medical assistant at the same time she gave me dosing for acetaminophen and ibuprofen, but the doctor said nothing about it. Do you think it is necessary? Did any of you use a vitamin?
E is now in newborn clothes, they are still large, but he doesn't swim in them. He has outgrown his preemie stuff due to length mostly, but really weight-wise, he is large enough for newborn stuff. We are also out of preemie (less than 6 lbs) diapers too. It seems odd that we are now in newborn diapers where the diaper is cut down for the umbilical stump which he lost 3 weeks ago! We tried cloth diapers for a few days but E has gotten a rash. The rash is not from the cloth diapers, but until we find a cloth diaper friendly diaper rash cream, I don't want to ruin my cloth diapers. Washes with a cloth and soapy water during diaper changes seem to help. The doctor also recommended sitz baths for the baby daily, basically I dunk his butt in a sink full of plain water once a day in addition to his every other day daily baths. The rash is minor, but I'd like to keep it that way and not let it get worse.
Here are a few other photos that I wanted to share.
|taken a week or two ago|
|taken last week|