Sunday, October 31, 2010

Breastfeeding SUCCESS!

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.'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!! :)


  1. ALRIGHT!!!!! i was wondering how you'd fared last night! great advice to other mamas, and WAY TO GO, ELLA!

  2. Congrats on the success, I know you were worried from your experience with Olivia on top of the fact that she was sooo premature, but sucess!!!! :) Your last paragraph kills me because at every picture I kept thinking, GOD her boob is 3 times the size of Ella's head, LOL!!!! So happy for you!

  3. Great! This is a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!

  4. melinda, I WISH it was only 3x bigger then her head LOL

  5. hahahaha.........ok, so I downplayed a little!! I never got any bigger with pregnancy or nursing, thank goodness since I'm a DD to start's unusual though, I was able to wear all my normal bras through pregnancy and beyond!

  6. I saw this from a link on Facebook, and I am so touched by this! Such a tiny little person! Its amazing she's nursing so well so early in her little life - God made her so well! She's obviously listening to your body and her own when she's hungry. I'm so prod of this litle baby I've never met before! :) I wish you both the best of luck! And SO GOOD for you for breastfeeding!!!

  7. Congratulations! That's a huge accomplishment for both of you. Yes, it can take quite a while for preemies to be able to breastfeed and your advice about having patience is excellent.

    Preemies mean so much to us. I wanted to let you know that we will be participating in the Bloggers Unite Fight for Preemies event on November 17th, Prematurity Awareness Day. I thought you might be interested in joining us. Here’s a link for more info and to sign up to help us spread the word: Nov. 17th is the day we all fight – because babies shouldn’t have to.