Pivacy in the NICU is impossible to come by. Sure there are curtains that you can draw, but anyone can walk right in at any time - and they do!
I bought a twin nursing pillow when I was still pregnant. I had heard it was a "must have" for breastfeeding twins. When I was told that I would finally be able to start breastfeeding, I got it out of storage and hauled it proudly up to the NICU. It is covered in a fabric with a ton of twin sayings on it like "Double Trouble", "Twice the Fun", "Two Peas in a Pod", etc. It was like some banner yelling to passersby, "Hey, I have twins! Do you see this? I HAVE TWINS!" I haven't been able to push them in their double stroller and there has been no need to set up two of everything in my house when they have been living in the NICU for months. It seemed that this pillow was my only sign to the outside world that I had just had two babies. This pillow has manifested itself into a tangible indicator of my twins' birth, so I couldn't wait to try it out. After breastfeeding both babies separately for a while now, I thought I would give tandem breastfeeding a try. I took out the prized pillow, lined the babies up, and attempted to feed them. Of course, I couldn't take on this formidable task alone. True to the NICU invasion of privacy order, a nurse and her student nurse had to stop in to check on the babies. Instead of checking and then leaving, they just stood there. I'm not sure if they thought I was crazy to try so early, were waiting to see if I needed help, or were just interested in seeing if it would work. Whatever they were, they were not welcome. Can we get a little privacy around here?
After sharing this story with a fellow NICU mom, she told me she too had experienced the invasion of privacy. When breastfeeding her daughter, her nurse told her she had "good nipples". She was shocked and didn't know how to respond. What makes a nipple good?
I know the nurses probably see breastfeeding several times a day, so it is nothing out of the ordinary, but we aren't accustomed to having people stare at our boobs all day. And, we are especially not used to people making comments about our nipples. I feel like I may as well walk around the NICU topless and be on display for any nurses who have not yet seen my boobs. Who knows, maybe they have some comments to offer up.
P.S. The 100 days post somehow got out of order. You can click on it to the right to read it. July 13th was our 100th day to be in the NICU.