Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nursing Lessons

I found a lot of the ideas I had collected were about nursing, so I've put them all together here.

♥Your baby can move up your stomach to your chest, choose a breast, and suckle with very little assistance within minutes of birth!  Search YouTube for breast crawl videos. 

♥Your milk will come in and there will be no mistaking it when it does! It took me until the sixth morning, even though we were doing everything the lactation consulted suggested.

♥Your nipples will stop hurting. The pain is usually sharpest when the baby first latches on. As the suckle continues, the pain should lessen. If it does not, seek out advice about if your baby's latch is correct. Our lactation consultant gave me these gel circles to freeze and then put against my nipples. They were the most soothing.

♥Try out various holds. In the hospital, side laying and football hold worked well for me. But after a while, I switched to the cross cradle hold and used that for the duration of our nursing time. Don't let what others use sway you from what is comfortable for you, but also give a new hold a try if things aren't going well.

♥Only buy one or two nursing bras at the start. You'll want to see what feels comfortable once your milk comes in. Avoid under wire bras; they are more apt to press down on a duct and cause infection and are generally less comfortable. For a long time, I used the type of bra where you pull the cup across towards you armpit. Later, I found a comfortable bra with snaps on the strap. But, in the beginning, I wasted a lot of money on bras I never wore.

♥The natural rhythm of our bodies make breast milk supply the lowest during the late afternoon / early evening - or right around dinner time. This is also when newborns tend to be most fussy.

♥Breast feeding is about supply and demand. When baby starts to need more milk, he or she might cluster feed (which is feeding several times much closer together than usual) to stimulate your body to make more milk. Its tiring and a little frustrating, but it should only last a day or so.

♥Your breasts will adjust to the volume of milk, so if you stop feeling as full (or engorged) or stop leaking, it doesn't mean that your supply has dropped.

♥You really will get so used to nursing that you can do it anywhere. We've nursed parked in the car, at the beach, and in a safety deposit box room at the bank! Not to mention all sorts of different houses using different beds and chairs.  With William, I learned to nurse in public without a support pillow.  When he was a newborn, I once kept him at the breast as I strapped up Natalie's shoes at play group. 

♥As your child gets older, he might get distracted at the breast.  Try moving to a quiet, slightly dark room if you are confident your child is hungry, but too wound up to eat. 

♥Being bitten while nursing isn't pleasant, but its not as bad as you may think. Even with baby teeth. Usually, babies bite when they are all done eating and just sucking for comfort. So, try to avoid a big reaction (like yelling "ow!"), slip your finger in to unlatch, and end the session. If your child is old enough, you can say sternly, "no biting." You want to avoid a big production or the baby might repeat just to see it again. Sometimes, babies bit early in a feeding because the milk isn't coming fast enough. If that becomes a frequent problem for you, you could try a little manual expression before starting.

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