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Posts tagged ‘Breastmilk’

Baby Feeding – Nursing

This is another ones of those I wrote months ago and never published…

This post is for any pregnant woman looking for odd tips on breastfeeding or anyone who is struggling with a newborn and feeding. If anyone else wants to read about my odd trials and tribulations, feel free!

When I was pregnant, I was certain I wanted to give the nursing thing a real shot. I knew it would be hard (thanks to friends and BabyCenter.com) and I think that really helped going into it. However, I thought it would be hard because everything was painful (and it was) but I didn’t realize that the hardest part would be that the baby wouldn’t know what she was doing. I thought at least one of us would have a clue on what was going on. Nope! Not the case. She was just as lost as I was.

My wonderful boyfriend came up with some clever ideas to convince the baby to latch and I want to share them with anyone else who might be struggling. First though, I feel that I should mention a few things:

  • The baby was perfectly healthy without any issues (she wasn’t tongue-tied, she wasn’t preemie, etc.)
  • I had no physical issues (i.e. my nipples were big enough and I didn’t need a shield or anything like that)
  • We have a doula in the family and she HATED our technique. She would tell you not to listen to me. She feared our technique would lead to the dreaded “nipple confusion!” (Note, it never did… but maybe we were just lucky. Or maybe you’re like us and right now you’re so desperate you don’t care and you’re willing to try anything.)
  • Also, I’m not a doctor or a lactation consultant, so this is just anecdotal advice from some an amateur. ūüôā

The baby came home with us from the hospital on a Thursday. In the hospital, with the lactation consultants around, feeding her seemed possible. Being at home was another story. By Friday night, with no substantial luck in feeding her, the baby was losing her mind. She was frantic and inconsolable. She was sobbing from hunger and frustration and I was also crying from frustration. It all seemed so hard for something that is supposedly natural! Meanwhile, my wonderful boyfriend, T, was constantly by our sides, trying to remain patient and put us together like puzzle pieces.

Eventually he talked me into trying to pump (luckily my health insurance had covered a Medela breast pump and it had come home with us from the hospital as well). I pumped maybe an ounce (which now seems paltry but it felt like a gallon back then). We fed the baby with the bottle – problem solved! She was a happy baby!

On Saturday: I would pump and then we would feed her a little bit with the bottle until she was calm (really just a few sips). Once she was calm, we’d get her to nurse. (swapping the bottle out for me)

On Sunday: We’d offer her both the bottle and me, at the same time, side by side. She’d get the idea and we’d slip the bottle out of her mouth before she’d start eating.

On Monday (she was one week old): We would drop some of the pumped milk on my nipple, and she would take to nursing right away.

On Tuesday: We were no longer pumping and using that milk to convince her. We were just nursing and getting better at it day by day.

This makes it all sound so easy, but it still wasn’t perfect. I would say it took us until she was about 10 days old to really get into the swing of things and even then her latches weren’t perfect. But it really helped me to stick with it when I knew she was eating and wasn’t maniacal from hunger pains. Now she’s almost 8 months old and nursing is a breeze! (She’s over a year now and I’m trying to wean her! She won’t give it up! Funny how things have changed.)

10 days old and passed out with a full tummy!!! Also, I LOVED "My Brest Friend" - the green pillow in the picture.

10 days old and passed out with a full tummy!!! Also, I LOVED “My Brest Friend” – the green pillow in the picture.

Good luck!!!!

If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer anything I can.

 

Baby Weight

Yesterday, I talked about my thoughts when it came to my own weight. Today, I’m going to talk about the baby’s weight.

I knew that when babies were born, they immediately lost a little bit of weight. I didn’t know however that the hospital would only let¬†the baby¬†lose 10% of her body weight and still be discharged. For my little girl, born 7 lbs 14 oz,¬†we were told that equalled 10 ounces. We were also told that she would probably have about 1 BM diaper per day and she actually had 5 BM diapers per day! If there was anything that I could say with certainty about my newborn, it was that her¬†waste removal¬†system seemed to work well.

On the day we were to be discharged, they weighed the baby (honestly, they weighed her every day) – she had lost 11 ounces! Too much!!!! The hospital pediatrician thought that Baby Girl looked fine though, not dehydrated or sick. So on their suggestion,¬†I fed her and they weighed her immediately after – success! She was only down the allowed 10 ounces! The doctor could release her with a clear conscience. To be on the safe side though, she had to see her pediatrician 2 days later – and every 2 days after that for 2 weeks (seriously, we went on a Sunday!) It felt like we were living at the doctor’s office.

6 days old, but she has too few fat rolls!

6 days old, but she has too few fat rolls!

If I remember correctly, babies are supposed to be back to their birth weight within 3 weeks of birth. It took Baby Girl 4 weeks. She always seemed healthy, but was always underweight. Those first few weeks felt like such a struggle to avoid the label “failure to thrive.” And out of complete stubbornness, we were determined that she would be exclusively breastfed. I have no idea why I was so freaking stubborn about it… it was almost like I was determined to get it right! (And I may have had a weird fear of her developing allergies to formula ingredients)¬†Luckily, the doctor was 100% fine with my stubbornness and supported my choice, which was probably why we were there so often. If she could prove that¬†Baby Girl¬†was staying healthy – “breast was best.”

And then one day the doctor said something that I really loved her for: “Some women make skim milk and some women make whole milk.”

5 days old

5 days old

I mentioned to her that I was a vegetarian and it felt as though there was instantly a reason for Baby Girl to be so skinny. I guess I live a low-fat lifestyle and I have a low-fat baby. Suddenly, we could stop visiting the doctor every other day, I just needed to increase my fat intake. Done!

Immediately following that visit, we went to the grocery store. When we checked out, it seriously looked like we were single-handedly supporting the Dairy Farmers of America! I wish I had taken a picture, but our cart was filled with:

  • a gallon of whole milk
  • 2 gallons of ice cream
  • full-fat greek yogurt (which is so hard to find!!! Why is yogurt suddenly a low-fat, no-fat diet food? Thank goodness for the¬†handful of¬†full-fat flavors of Oikos!)
  • practically my weight in cheese
  • 2 avocados
  • and some bread to slather¬†with all the peanut butter I already had at home

The baby just had her 4 month check up and she’s only in the 11th percentile for weight… but at least the doctor seems ok with it.¬†Baby Girl¬†doesn’t have very many fat rolls (which really are cute on a baby) but she has tons of energy and is always wiggling, dancing, rolling over, trying to crawl away, so I’m going to guess she’s not failing to thrive. ūüėČ

2 months old. She wiggles and kicks so much in her sleep that she completely manages to break out of her swaddles...

2 months old. She wiggles and kicks so much in her sleep that she completely manages to break out of her swaddles… (she was velcro’d into that!)

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