Before Alex was born, I took the hospital’s breastfeeding class and made sure the pediatrician we selected was supportive of breastfeeding. I read enough baby care books to decide on the My Brest Friend nursing pillow, but I don’t think I even took it to the hospital with me. I also knew that a lot of women have trouble with nursing so I took the advice I read somewhere (Baby Bargains, I think) and bought a good manual pump (the Avent Isis) instead of an electric pump (although I had already decided that if breastfeeding worked out, I would get a Medela Pump In Style Advanced before I went back to work).
Despite my hesitation to invest in an electric pump from the start, I had a feeling breastfeeding would go smoothly. Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong! I’ve chronicled my woes here already, so I won’t go into them all over again. Suffice it to say, I’m not taking breastfeeding for granted this time.
Instead, I’ve already checked in with my lactation consultant, Ellen Steinberg, several times. I know she’ll be out of town on the day of my scheduled surgery (I have opted to have a planned c-section instead of trying for a VBAC), but we have agreed to talk the week before to go over what I should keep in mind while in the hospital. I am particularly concerned about positioning, since it’s been nearly two years since I nursed a newborn (and developed extremely painful tendinitis in my wrists from holding Alex’s head in place). I’ve already discussed my concern about my milk coming in after the surgery with my obstetrician, who assured me that the surgery won’t affect my milk supply because that is controlled by my hormone levels.
I will be bringing my nursing pillow to the hospital this time, and I am already stocked on supplements in case my milk supply is low again. I will also make sure I have replaced the necessary parts of my breast pump so that I can pump when I get home from the hospital if needed, but I also know that I don’t need to bring my own pump to the hospital because they’ll provide me with a Medela Symphony if I need to pump while I’m there.
Hopefully, all of these steps will help the new baby and me get breastfeeding off to a good start. I’m optimistic that things will be different this time and that if breastfeeding goes well, I can avoid another bout of postpartum depression.