Sunday, December 28, 2008

Breastfeeding Support Post

Today we didn't have quite the nursing success we had yesterday, but Anna Grace did nurse four times. The other times I used a medicine dropper, just in case the tube system was causing nipple confusion. We suspected it was, because sometimes when Anna latches she seems unsure of what to do next.

I read that lazy sucking is actually a form of nipple confusion. However, feeding a full two ounces of pumped milk with a medicine dropper is hell, to put it mildly. I definitely think the tube system is better than using a bottle.

As I searched the Internet for information on lazy sucking, I actually found my own blog. LOL I had used the term "lazy sucking" in a previous post. It made me realize that informative Mommy-blog posts containing accurate information can be a real public service, perhaps bringing comfort to some anxious, hurting parent who is searching for answers. Since my heart really goes out to any mom struggling with breastfeeding, I've decided that when my personal nursing drama is over, I will do a public service post and list survival tips for the first six weeks of breastfeeding. Here is a little preview.

The first tip is to try really hard to visualize how things will be later, after six weeks have passed. Imagine all the cozy nursing sessions you'll have over the course of a year or more, with you and your precious baby looking into each other's eyes, providing mutual comfort, love and relaxation. The first six weeks can be the hardest weeks of your life, and it's hard not to feel like quitting.

The second tip is to surround yourself with support, both verbal and physical. If you have people in your life (MIL maybe) who parented in the sixties, it's possible that person won't be able to provide the support you'll need. Formula companies really pushed formula during those years, making parents feel as though it was the best choice. A parent from that era might not have current breastfeeding knowledge, or any interest in acquiring it.

Most importantly, realize that sixties parents quickly jump to the conclusion that many mothers don't have enough milk. Unfortunately, this myth was peddled by formula companies. The truth is that very, very few women have problems with supply, unless their babies sleep through the night too soon, their babies have a ineffective suck or latch and they don't use a pump to compensate, or they supplement with formula without pumping their own milk every four or fewer hours. Temporary supply dips may occur because of some medicines or illnesses. Growth spurts will cause a baby to want to nurse more frequently, and this is to be expected, and does not indicate a low milk supply. Nor does fussiness, unless it is accompanied by a slow weight gain or too few wet or soiled diapers.

More later, when life is sane again. For now, back to the prayer, because God is in control.

1 comment:

Evenspor said...

Yes, support is so important! And you are right that our parents' generation, and sometimes their parents too, had some "conventional wisdom" going around from "experts" that can make it difficult for them to understand decisions we make now based on new information and/or going back to the way things were for hundreds of years.

I am so proud of you for not giving up and proud of your family for their patience with the situation. I hope things turn around soon.