Friday, November 2, 2007

Nursing Basics

Nursing Basics

Got breastfeeding issues? Get advice from the experts -- moms who got it right. Paid pros, like lactation consultants, are great, but sometimes mom-to-mom tips ("this worked for me") are the ones that really click.

Avoid comparisons. I think the biggest mistake nursing mamas make (I did this too) is compare themselves to what other nursing mamas are doing. Each nursing relationship is unique. I expected my nursing experience to be like my sister's and we are worlds apart: she had too much milk, I had too little.

Trust yourself. Before you quit, give yourself time (6 to 8 weeks) to adjust to breastfeeding.

Keep well hydrated. Get a water bottle with a straw (my hospital gave me one), and keep it filled to the brim. You never know when you'll get thirsty, and it might not be a convenient time [like while you're nursing] to get more water.

Get a Boppy. I love my Boppy. I still use it for my 9-month-old. To me, it just makes it easier to have one hand free while you nurse.

Your pump can help with problems. If you have inverted nipples, I found that pumping a few minutes to draw them out helped.

Keep at it even if you have a cold. Your breast milk will [help] keep your child from catching your cold. I learned this from my midwife and after trying it during the winter months when I got sick. And even when my baby did get a cold, I found it was very short lasting.

If you need to, supplement. You can do both -- breast feed and formula feed. It doesn't have to be only breast milk, but every drop your child gets is beneficial.

Don't worry if your baby looks tiny. My doctor told me babies don't start looking chubby until they're into their 8th pound. It took us 6 weeks to get there.

Practice nursing in public. I feel uncomfortable about nursing in public, so my plan is to buy a nursing camisole to cover my tummy and practice in front of a mirror so that I know what people can and can't see. As for other people giving me unpleasant looks, I don't plan on looking up! I will just look lovingly at my daughter.

Diaper Check

The scoop on poop. My pediatrician said after one month, breastfed babies may go up to 10 days without a poop and that is normal. However, in the first month you should see dirty diapers more often. Obviously, they don't magically hit one month and start going longer stretches, but those are the general guidelines. My daughter is 3 months old and usually goes every day, but occasionally goes 36 hours and then has a massive blowout!

Seedy is good. If her poopy diaper [looks like it has] seeds in it, that's leftover hind milk that her body doesn't need. Be happy. Your baby is well fed.

Don't worry if the poop comes in different colors. When I called the pediatrician about my son's stool having different colors, I was told that anything in the yellow, brown, or green hues is not a problem.

How wet is wet? To tell if my daughter's diaper was wet enough, I used to pour 4 tablespoons of water into a clean diaper. That's how I was told I could tell what a wet diaper felt like.


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