Before I had my daughter, I knew I wanted to try breastfeeding. I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself to absolutely breastfeed because I didn't want to be stressed out if it didn't work. I knew I couldn't be a good mom if I felt like my baby wasn't getting nourished. But I wanted to give it my best shot. And so far it is working out great, and I've got a chunky little baby sleeping next to me for proof.
The first time I tried to feed her was in the mini recovery room following my surgery. She was tired and sleepy after just being born, and I was tired and groggy from the anesthesia. So she didn't latch on very well, but it was at least an attempt. She stayed in the nursery her first night and had some formula to feed her something and to make sure her blood sugar didn't drop (it did slightly, so they had to supplement with sugar water but she bounced back immediately). The morning after her birthday, we requested that she be brought to our room as soon as they could bring her. She was brought to our room around 6:30 am, and she stayed with us the rest of the time in the hospital.
The first 12 hours after her birth, breastfeeding was challenging because newborns tend to go into a deep sleep following birth (it's a rough day, after all). But around lunch time the next day, she and I finally got the hang of it and she fed for a good 20 minutes. Coincidentally, this was the same time that we started receiving visitors, so anyone that came into our room had to be OK with a slight boob shot or give me time to put on my nursing cover. They checked her blood sugar every few hours for her first day, but once we got the hang of feeding, her numbers were stellar and they stopped checking.
The day that we were released to go home was the same day that my milk came in. And holy frijoles it felt like I was carrying softballs in my chest! Pumping or feeding seemed to help the engorgement issue, but those first few days were rock solid (pun!). She continued to be a great nurser, though. However, she tended to favor my left side. For the next 2 weeks, she only wanted to be on that side, so I would pump the right side so I wouldn't look lopsided. The hospital lactation consultant contacted me a week after she was born to see how things were going, and when I told her about her one-sidedness, she said to keep offering her the right side and she would eventually take it. So I would feed her on my left side, pump the right, and keep offering the right side to her at various times. It took awhile, but she will finally take both sides.
Diabetes wise, I've had to run a more conservative basal rate because she eats so much that my overall insulin needs have decreased. The one thing with feeding her breastmilk is that it is digested more quickly, so she eats every 2 hours or less. So it is not an unusual site to see me feeding her while chugging a glass of juice. Things seemed to have settled out now, but I have no idea if my basal rates or bolus ratios are accurate but they are keeping me from going low.
I am very happy that breastfeeding is working out for us, and I hope to continue it as long as we can. The problem we face now is that she like breastfeeding, literally, too much. We've only had a few successes with a pumped bottle, she much prefers the boob. This makes things a little awkward when we're at someone's house and she gets fussy. "Excuse me, do you have a room I could borrow?" I'm not the most outgoing person, but my daughter needs to be fed. The true test comes when I will have to nurse her in public. I just hope she's better at taking the bottle by then.