Well Being

Breastfeeding Experiences in the Hospital

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Welcome to the November Carnival of Breastfeeding! This month mothers share their experiences of breastfeeding in the hospital. I rather prefer a home birth myself, so this time I'm leaving the job up to two mothers who wrote to me to share their experiences. At the end of these comments, check out the links to the other carnival participants!

Newborn breastfeeding in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Daquella Manera

Newborn breastfeeding in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Daquella Manera

Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis, California

Stephanie Cassidy emailed me the following:

I just wanted to say that my experience at Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis, CA was great! They are pro breast feeding and fully support it. The nurses are encouraging and lactation consultants are available to support and educate you. The thing I liked was that if you chose not to breastfeed, use a pacifier, or supplement you have to sign a waiver. So no one is going to give your baby something you do not want them to have. They encourage breastfeeding on their website: “Breastfeeding allows you and your baby to emotionally bond in a special way that cannot be matched, because breastfeeding meets both the nutritional and nurturing needs.”

I love the use of a waiver! It emphasizes the importance of the decision not to breastfeed.

A Not-So-Good Experience

Kelly wrote to share her less-than-ideal interaction with a hospital lactation consultant:

I had my third daughter one year ago yesterday and I am still breastfeeding. I have now breastfed for a total of 5 1/2 years. I LOVED the hospital she was born at. The only bad experience I had was with the lactation consultant. When I got pregnant with my newest addition I was still nursing my almost 2 1/2 year old. I was slowly weaning her off but once I found out I was pregnant I went ahead and called it quits. I never really dried up completely. When I gave birth to my newest little one I had an emergency C-section (yuck) and I wasn’t able to nurse her until about 5 hours after she was born. They had to keep her in the nursery and as soon as I could feel my legs they let me go down to feed her, she latched on perfectly. I got her in the room that night and was able to feed her with no problem. The next afternoon I was already engorged. The lactation consultant came in and I was very open to her being there. I explained to her that this was my third daughter and I breastfed my oldest for two years and my second for 29 months and that my milk never dried up while I was pregnant. My husband hadn’t brought my pump up yet and that I was so engorged that I wanted the pump for a little relief from the pain, so that I wouldn’t get mastitis and so Chloe could eat more comfortably. She basically told me there was no way that my milk was already in and that I shouldn’t pump the milk out. So I then squirted the milk out across the room. I felt like she thought that I no idea what I was talking about. She basically shrugged off everything I said. At least that’s what I felt. Then she told me how I was holding the baby wrong. I was thinking in my head, You know she is making this very stressful. If I hadn’t been so comfortable with breastfeeding she would possibly be making me not to want to do it at all. Breastfeeding is overwhelming enough to have someone like that making you feel like an idiot. Someone else finally brought the pump to me and I did what I need to with no help from her and everything is still fine today. On a positive note, I was surprised to see the diaper bag for breastfeeding mothers. With my other two daughters there where only the formula bags. It’s nice to see that hospitals are more involved in helping mothers breastfeed. That they even have lactation consultants is wonderful I just happened to get someone that thought she knew everything. All I can say to that is everything isn’t written in black and white, there are other circumstances to what she thought was correct, mine was one of those. I’m not saying that every mother will need to pump like I did. I am now going to school to become a nurse and I will then do what is needed to become a lactation consultant.

Kelly, I laughed out loud at the image of you squirting your breast milk across the room to make a point for that lactation consultant! Good for you! Best wishes for your career training — I can tell that your experience will make you a compassionate and helpful LC!

Other Carnival Participants (Stay tuned as links are posted as they come in!)

The Milk Mama: Newborns, Nursing, and Hospital(ity)
Momma's Angel: My Hospital Experience in Norway
Hobo Mama: Breastfeeding Support: A Tale of Two Hospitals
Whozat: The Nipple Intervention
The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Had a Good or Bad Experience in the Hospital? Tell Them!
BreastfeedingMums: Top Tips for Breastfeeding Success
The Beautiful Letdown: Breastfeeding in the Hospital