Breast Feeding, In the beginning…

It’s soooo much information circulating in regards to breastfeeding, honestly, I don’t know where to start!  I figure I’ll go off  of with some simple do’s and don’ts and go from there.

Zander at the breast nursing…didn’t want to show too much!

MY EXPERIENCE: First off, I did not breastfeed (bf) all of my children.  My first, I made a last attempt effort to nurse him, but by then my milk was just about gone, and I was too young to really care and he was bottle fed.  My second child was born at 31 weeks and had to be tube fed.  However, I did pump milk for him him, so much so, the hospital told me to stop bringing milk for he had too much there!  When he did develop a sucking reflex and was able to be put to the breast, he just would not latch on thus he too was bottle fed.  Although, he had an awesome supply of milk to last him for a couple months before switching to formula.  My princess, was exclusively bf for 11 months, and I just delivered my 3rd prince (8/17/13) and he too is being exclusively bf.

DO’S

  • Place baby to breast as soon as possible after delivery
  • Use a Boppy Pillow or bedroom pillow for supporting the baby while nursing to save your back
  • Drink Plenty of Fluids before, during, and after nursing
  • Alternate Breast, use a rubber band or bracelet to keep track; Similac offers an Awesome App to help keep track of this and sooo much more
  • Pay attention to your baby cues for hunger (rooting, sucking, hands to mouth, clenched body); while he/she may be new, this little one know best when he or she is hungry or NOT!
  • Invest in a good breast pump (most insurance providers will provide a Medela or Ameda) if you plan on returning to work, or having family members assist with feedings
  • Pump excess milk (after feedings especially in early days) for storage to use with bottles
  • Invest in breast pads (only if you leak, I never needed these)
  • Invest in nursing bras, covers, and tops for public nursing (if you’re comfortable) I hear this can be taboo
  • Invest in bottles similar to breast or pacifier in case of emergency for supplemental feedings, you never know what life will throw you
  • Remain relaxed and calm during feedings; baby can pick up on anxiety and stress and can make feeding times difficult
  • ENJOY this time to bond with your newborn, talk to him, caress his face, play in her hair, hold his hand, sing a song; these moments will be gone before you know it
  • Eat a balanced diet, consisting of 2200 calories
  • Get plenty of rest; nap when baby naps 
  • Keep napkins or a diaper cloth nearby for leaks from the other breast while feeding

    DON’TS
    • Give baby a pacifier/or bottle until bf is established; make sure your healthcare team is aware of this preference (many babies come back from the nursery with a pacifier in tow)
    • Give into the nurses request postpartum to give baby a bottle, the first night is by far the worst; along with the first few weeks! Yes they are trying to be helpful, but in the end it can cause set-backs
    • Skip feedings without pumping the milk; if a bottle is used in lieu of bf, pump to keep your supply up
    • Be afraid to ask for help; the hospitals have lactation consultants and there are resources available in the community for when you go home
    • Be embarrassed of nursing in public; it’s the way mother nature intended our babies be fed
    • Don’t wipe your nipples or dry them after feeding; allow residual breast milk to air dry (helps prevents cracked/sore nipples)
    • Be afraid of the “PAIN” associated with bf; if your baby is latched on correctly, the pain is minimal, and once bf is established, you’ll be able to sleep through it (promise)
    • Give up, the first week or so postpartum will be VERY TRYING AND TIRING; in the end it will be for the greater you good.
    With such a postpartum brain, this is all I can think of for now, but there is more to come…any questions or suggestions please feel free to comment!

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