4601 Spicewood Springs Rd • Bldg 3 • Ste 200 • Austin, TX

INTERNATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED LACTATION CONSULTANTS

Serving Austin Mothers and Babies for over 20 years

Our Lily was born 4 weeks prematurely.  Luckily, her lungs were already fully developed, so she had no major complications.  However, getting her to breastfeed was another story.  The nurses and lactation specialists at the hospital helped as much as they could, but Lily’s sucking reflex was not quite fully developed and her mouth was so tiny that she could not properly latch on. 
 
Since Lily was not able to get any nutrients while breastfeeding, it then became evident that we needed to begin using the SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) in order to get some calories in her.  We started off trying to tube feed her, but that didn’t work.  So then we went to finger feeding her, and it worked!  At this point, I began pumping and we were able to feed her my expressed milk.  After we left the hospital, I would always attempt breastfeeding her first, but this usually resulted in both her and I getting frustrated and upset.  We continued using the SNS for a few days and then switched to a bottle. 
 
After Cathy’s home visit, she suggested that I start using a nipple shield at every feeding.  This helped Lily to not have to work so hard.  The nipple shield wasn’t a miracle worker, but it was a necessary step.  We also rented a scale from Cathy for a couple of weeks and that was a big help in letting us know if she was gaining weight.  By having support from the hospital’s lactation specialists, friends, family, and especially Cathy, I was successfully able to breastfeed Lily. Breastfeeding was very important to my husband and I.  It was our commitment along with Cathy’s help that made it possible for me to breastfeed Lily. On the day of Lily’s actual due date, she was finally able to breastfeed without any additional aids.  SUCCESS! 
Carrie England
Ben was born on Sunday, October 17 at the North Austin Medical Center. 
 
He weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 ounces and was 21 ¼ inches long. 
 
He was a fierce eater right from the very beginning. 
 
I had always planned on breastfeeding my baby, but must admit I was completely unprepared to discover that it didn’t come as naturally to the both of us as I had always believed that it would. It was clear that we needed some help – and quickly. 
 
Once we got together and started working with Cathy, things started improving.  It was a slowly but surely kind of improvement and it was exactly what we needed to keep us moving forward.  Cathy provided us with an invaluable amount of assistance, encouragement, and support.  All of the must haves for a new nursing mother and baby.  She continues to be there for us whenever we need her to help us through a rough patch. 
 
I have said on more than one occasion that if it weren’t for Cathy, Ben and I would never have made it as far as we have. 
 
Today, Ben is a healthy, happy 9 month old who continues to nurse and is growing like a weed.  I’ve included a picture of the two of us taken in late May. 
  
Kathy Ferguson
 I wish I could say that I had that euphoric bonding experience with my babies immediately after they were born by breastfeeding them, but instead I was requesting a breast pump about an hour after my unplanned Cesarean section at 31 weeks.  I became a pumping Nazi.  I would not allow the NICU nurses to give my twins anything but my milk, but they received the milk through a syringe and eventually a nipple.  The twins were starting to learn the breastfeeding method right before they were discharged from the hospital, but definitely were not pros.  Breastfeeding twins was very stressful and challenging at home.  One of the twins ate so much he vomited after every feeding, and the other didn’t eat enough and cried all the time.  We hired Cathy Clark to visit our house and bring her trusty scales to help us get over the hump.  I was able to provide breast milk for the twins for approximately six months.  I ended up weaning Robert at 5 months because he wasn’t getting enough milk (he was such a happier child) and Andrew nursed to six months.  I must admit that I felt somewhat like a failure because the breastfeeding experience wasn’t what I had hoped it to be, but I am so glad that I experienced the good, the bad and the ugly.
 
My story doesn’t end with the twins.  Our surprise baby Ryan arrived 17 months later.  What a difference having a full term baby.  He breastfed like a champion.  I refused to pump because I had had enough of that with the twins.  Everything was going splendidly or so I thought until his 6-month well-check appointment.  Ryan was diagnosed as “failure to thrive”.  He looked healthy to me, but he had only gained 4 ounces in two months.  I was absolutely shocked that I had been starving my baby for two months and didn’t even know it.  We immediately called Cathy again to help us.  I rented a pump and started that fun all over again.  My milk supply never did increase.  I decided that stress caused my diminishing milk supply.  I finally gave up and weaned my son.  It took me a month because he absolutely refused the bottle.  I had not given him any bottles along the way.  He was not happy about being taken off the breast for a plastic nipple.  I would definitely suggest offering bottles during breastfeeding to make the transition easier at weaning time.  My experience with the twins negates the myth that offering bottles or pacifiers causes nipple confusion while breastfeeding.  
 
Although my breastfeeding experiences were not textbook or mythical, I would do it all over again!
  
Adrienne Seiler