Whether planning to exclusively pump or eventually latch, mono/mono mamas will begin their breastfeeding journey by pumping for their preemies. This entry will be a guide to set up your breastfeeding journey for success by laying down the foundations to establish your breastmilk supply.
Begin pumping as soon as possible. This will most likely be when you arrive to your room on the mom and baby floor. If you're using a Hospital Grade Medela, you're going to pump on the "expression" mode for 15 minutes.
Pump every 2-3 hours, around the clock.
Ask to see the Lactation Consultant. She will be able to see how you're doing pumping and if you have the correct flange size. You can also ask for help learning how to hand express (colostrum is very thick and is difficult to remove with a pump).
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!!!
Do as much Skin-to-Skin with your babies as possible.
Pump bedside to your babies.
Get your nutrition in line. You should eat a well-balanced diet consisting of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Ensure you're getting enough calories in, too. You need to reserve an extra 500 calories per baby, so a higher-than-usual calorie diet will be necessary to establish a good milk supply.
Be patient! Some women's milk comes in after 3 days, some doesn't come in for a week or more.... Just keep pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock and eventually the milk will come.
Don't be discouraged if you get a good amount of colostrum the first couple of day and then it turns to just "drops." Don't be discouraged if you never get a good amount of colostrum. A small amount of colostrum doesn't mean that you won't have a good milk supply. If you don't have enough colostrum for your babies the first couple of days of life, request to use donor breast milk for your babies until your milk comes in.
Lastly, and most importantly: give yourself some grace. You just went through a major abdominal surgery following a very traumatic pregnancy. Honor your body and all the work it has done and is doing. Stress will inhibit milk supply, so cuddle those babies and do what you can!