I need your help.
Here is my dilemma:
As we know, Hailey was in the NICU for 2 weeks. For those two weeks, I pumped. Because I pumped, I was able to get my supply up to quite a bit - about 5-6 ounces a session. To be honest, I am very proud of my supply. I love having the excess milk to store in the freezer for when I have to go back to work.
The lactation consultant at the hospital said that when I start breastfeeding Hailey, I would have to pump afterward every time because Hailey obviously doesn't drink 5-6 ounces yet and I need to empty out my breasts each time. For me, that just drags out each feeding session - nursing and then pumping. It didn't sound appealing to me.
So I decided that I would just skip the nursing and just pump only. Hailey was already used to a bottle, so I figured it would be the easiest.
And it has been. I mean, we've only had her home for, what, 5 days? But still, I would love to just go to straight breastfeeding so I wouldn't have to sit there for 20 minutes and pump and hope that Hailey doesn't decide she wants to start crying while I am indisposed.
But here's the deal, and this is where I need your help. If I go back to breastfeeding (Hailey is already really good at latching and eating her fill, at least the few times we have tried it), and if I don't pump afterward, I know that is going to reduce my supply just down to what she needs. Question is, will my supply come back up as she grows and needs more? I know mothers have a really good supply for the first 3 months and then it drops off, so I am really afraid that if I go to breastfeeding and reduce my supply to just what Hailey needs and not what 20 minutes at the pump gets, I won't be able to get my supply back up. I really do need that extra milk storage for when I go back to work.
Question number two, because I can get 3 oz per side, Hailey only needs to eat at one side and be good. Should I still pump out the other breast or just leave it until Hailey is hungry again and use that side? Will this cause any clogged ducts, engorgement, mastitis? I don't want that, nobody does.
I really am afraid of screwing myself up. I know this is sort of like a TMI for everyone, but it really is legit that I just want to know what I should do, want to know what you have done, want to know the facts, want to know what will make it easiest (ha) for my sanity and for Hailey's. But mostly mine.
So, any advice you have would be great. Leave a comment here, or message me on Facebook, or text me or call me. Don't be offended it I don't take your advice, but I sure would love to listen to what you have to say anyway because frankly, I just want to know what's out there.