I attended my first Le Leche League meeting this past Tuesday in Hanford, California. I was a little hesitant to go, because I was pretty sure I’d be the only mom there with non-operable boobs. But I was determined to attend and break through my discomfort because in just two months there’s going to be a tiny human being trying to get nourishment from me, and I need to know how to go about getting milk into her. Any and all support I can get in this venture is greatly appreciated. So I dragged my mom along to the meeting and made sure my friend Bree would be attending – as a breastfeeding mom of four, she has been to a meeting or two!
When I arrived, I was surprised to see a number of gals from the Natural Parenting for Non-Hippies and the Visalia Birth Network groups. It looks like the people reaching out to other mommas in the Central Valley tend to run in the same circles. I was able to introduce myself and share my story, and then I sat through a very informal, informative and largely irrelevant (to me) meeting on the intricacies of breastfeeding. The meeting was more of a “Hi, how are you? Nice to meet you” and less of a getting all of my questions answered, but I feel a little bit more comfortable coming to the next meeting and asking specific questions.
Since I am unable to produce milk and will be feeding Tessa solely on donor milk, I am left with few feeding options. Option 1: All bottles all the way. Option 2: Nursing aids / at the breast supplementers. I’m trying to opt for number 2, with number 1 being reserved for special daddy and baby bonding / feeding times.
Because I was dragging my feet on researching the best feeding methods for Tessa, and whether I should opt for the SNS or the Lact-Aid, my mom made up my mind for me a couple weeks ago and bought me a Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer System that I’m going to try to use for the bulk of Tessa’s feeding times. From what everyone tells me, this was the best choice to make. For the sake of expediency, here are the facts on the Lact-Aid from their website:
“Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer System is a tube feeding system created to aid breastfeeding by supplementing Baby at the breast while nursing. Basically, it consists of a container to hold supplemental liquid. A nursing tube reaches from the container to the nipple of the breast. Baby suckles the breast nipple and tube together.
It assures adequate nutrition & helps maintain or re-establish the special bond of breastfeeding!
It trains & stimulates baby’s nutritive suckling reflexes…for improved coordination & skill.
It avoids overtiring Baby & is often prescribed for oral physical therapy!”
I’ve been so woefully underprepared for this whole “being a parent” thing, that I didn’t crack open the Lact-Aid kit till I was AT the Le Leche League meeting. But all this talk of booby milk and suckling and whatnot has got me in the mood to get my act together and finalize my research on the topic of nursing and bottle feeding my baby girl. I have two months left! It’s crunch time!
Since I’m stuck reading instructions and staring at strange objects in a box, I can’t personally comment on the Lact-Aid just yet. But for those of you interested in the topic, here is a fantastically thorough blog post with personal opinions, experiences, and a video tutorial on the Lact-Aid at Doul-la-la: Lact-Aid Demo: In which I take one for the team and bare it all for the greater good.
And here is another really great blog post with a breakdown of how to use the Lact-Aid, along with various tips and tricks for use, storage, cleaning and so on from Padded Tush Stats: Using a Lact-Aid System for Low Milk Supply.
If you have used the Lact-Aid System, I would love to hear from you! I have yet to start out on my breastfeeding journey, and I am aching for personal stories, tips and advice!