I have an unofficial Mama Hall of Fame; among the members are a Canadian friend who has the most impressive poop-removal/soak/double-launder cloth diapering routine I’ve ever witnessed, and a local pal who – at about 79 lbs. soaking wet – nursed her first child for 26 months, her twins for 16 months, and is at 16 months and counting with her 4th baby.
This week there’s a new inductee on the block. The son of a dear friend unfortunately had latch on problems right off the bat. Continued efforts and extra time in the hospital were unsuccessful. My girlfriend, who experienced a long labor and lots of pushing, a C-section when things didn't progress, and manual expression of colostrum from her breasts by the nursing staff (ouch), was in dire need of a break.
Instead, she spent the next month pumping every three hours around the clock between continuing latch on efforts with her babe and seeing lactation consultants. Anyone who has pumped once will appreciate what an unbelievable feat this is. I have related this story to several pro-breastfeeding mamas and all of us – having experienced the world of pumping – think we probably would have given up, or thrown ourselves and our pumps out the nearest window.
At long last, my friend finally caught a break. Her umpteenth lactation consultant suggested using the Medela nipple shield (available in sizes suitable for full-term and premature babies; $7.95 at BabyCenter) and she has been pump free for a week! If you are experiencing latch on problems, consult a lactation professional, but keep the nipple shield in mind for suggestion. While grateful that she and her son are finally getting into a nursing groove, my friend is appalled that the nipple shield wasn’t suggested earlier.