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|Mon, 03-25-2013 - 5:25pm|
I have a 7 week old preemie little girl. She was born at 33 weeks and I got really lucky in a lot of ways: she only stayed in the hospital 2 weeks and I have never had a problem with milk supply. However, her little preemie muscles just don't have the strength or endurance to nurse well. The nurses told me that by my due date she should be exclusively nursing and not needing to bottle feed at all. She has only gotten my breast milk, sometimes fortified with a little formula, but never just formula. Her due date just passed, and I've seen no improvement on nursing. She rarely nurses, maybe only twice in 24 hours, and when she does it takes at least an hour just to empty one breast. By that time we're both exhausted, and I still have to pump, and then she's hungry again. Neither of us is getting much rest and feeding is just a frustrating time for both of us. Because of all this I'm considering exclusively pumping. I know I'm lucky that I don't have a supply problem, yet, so I think EPing would be a good option for us. She feeds great from a bottle, and I have even figured out how to pump and bottle feed her at the same time thanks to the hands free bra. I guess my question is, how did you know this was the right decision? Most of me thinks this is the right feeding path for my girl and me, but I also have that nagging little voice that says I should try harder to nurse and keep at it. Maybe I'm just being selfish, wanting to take an easier route? I think a lot of that guilty thinking comes from my family - huge breastfeeding advocates who have subtlely, and not so subtlely, inferred that my giving her a bottle wasn't a good thing, even though she's needed it or she'd go hungry. I can't imagine what I'd hear if I went just to a bottle. How do you deal with the guilt and/or judgement from other people, especially other women in your family?
Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!