What do you mean I have big phalanges?

A couple of weeks ago I attended a baby shower. There were a gaggle of first time pregnant moms-to-be and a couple of us experienced moms. The subject of nursing came up in our conversation. The first time moms were confident that nursing would be a breeze because it’s a natural process, the pregnancy books had a small section on nursing and some had even had a nursing class at their birthing center. An experienced mom in the group said “pfft!”, then proceeded with what most nursing consultants will tell you when leave the hospital, “just keep on pumping.” She then told a story of late night pumping, no milk and exhausted cries from mom and babe. The new moms looked a little shocked and worried of nights to come.
I of course have a big mouth and decided to tell my Tale of Two Titties, so to speak. The first time I became a mom I did what everyone told me, didn’t worry about nursing, it would come naturally, but buy bottles just in case. My sons were born early and both had jaundice. This is very common, but can cause the babies to fall asleep easily and make feeding them a real issue. Nursing a sleeping baby is futile. So nurses asked me to pump to keep my milk. I pumped, and pumped and cried. I called for help and a lovely lactation consultant told me to relax and pump some more. Let me just say I was not relaxed, I was worried and blistered. The milk was not coming, the baby was sleeping and I was tired. I tried different positions, creams, teas, yoga positions, pumps, pillows, everything I could think of and eventually gave up and only nursed to give the baby comfort.
The next time I would be ready.
Baby two…
Nursed five minutes into life. Success…then jaundice set in again. Here comes the dreaded pump. I started pumping and same thing happened, pump, pump and no milk, just sore missle tits. I contacted the lactation consultant, she took one look at me and said, “oh no honey, you have big nipples.” WTF? Excuse me, I thought. She told me that the cups or phalanges that come with the pumps come in more than one size and I was using a small size. I needed extra large. She brought some big phalanges and Ta Da! Milk. I wish I knew about the different sizes when I had my first child. Why don’t they tell you these things?? I didn’t see this info in books, from other nurses or on the racks baby stores. We are not all one size fits all. Suprise, but you knew that.
Luckily, the second baby took to nursing so well that i didn’t have to pump that much. I wanted to pass along the information that could have saved me lots and lots of lanisol. The pumps have different sized phalanges ask. The nurses van get them or you can order them from the pharmacy where you get your pump. Buyer beware 😉

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