I didn’t hit the Mofo Delurk day too hard yesterday because I knew I had this on tap and I wanted to bribe all my lurkers to come out and play today, so pretend like today is yesterday and delurk for me mmkay? Lovesyah.
I wrote about my sisterfriend here. I’m looking to help her out. She’s 3 weeks into the nursing thing, well into the OMGWTF indoctrination of it (already one trip to the ER b/c they couldn’t figure out why BabyGirl was projectile puking ORANGE – guess what it was – yeah BabyGirl was sucking her blood and yakking it back up).
She asked me to send her a link of somewhere she can get help, advice, support, stories. She needs to not feel alone in this nursing thing.
Will you help her out? I want to be able to direct her to this post. I’m going to add links that I wish I would have had 5 months ago – will you join my think tank of support and give her either your personal story, or a link to something that you would find helpful if you were 3 weeks into the mommy thing, and nursing was kinda sucky, but totally worth it?
For each comment you post with a link or a story, I will put your name into a drawing for a handmade afghan. I made it myself, it’s pink, washable, roughly 24 inches square, and all in garter stitch. If you aren’t in the market for a pink baby afghan, I can always donate to Project Linus in your name. Kaiser will pick a winner next Thursday morning, October 11, after 6am EDT.
I missed Philanthropy Thursday last week, but I’m back on track this week. SlackerMom sent out a call for items to sell for a school auction – I’m sending her a baby afghan (different from this one).
Ok, firstly feel free to take what advice (assvice?) you like and leave the rest.
Don’t be afraid to express and feed bottles of breastmilk. My friend (I’ll call her N because I will probably refer to her a bit) N had severe breastfeeding issues. She was feeding her baby pink expressed milk because of the blood.
Don’t let the doctors convince you that the blood is making your baby puke. According to my midwife the blood doesn’t upset their stomach, it just looks awful in a spew.
Buy and use a nipple guard cream. Anything with lanolin in it is good. Make sure it is unscented.
Don’t use soap on (or even near) your breasts. It makes your nipples dry out.
For engorgement – wet some facewashers (flannels?) and stick them in the freezer. Alternatively wet and freeze a few baby nappies. Wrap a warm/hot facewasher around your boob as you feed to help the milk flow. After the feed use a frozen facewasher to help with the swelling.
Check your boobs regularly for lumpy/hard/sore patches. If you find one (blocked milk duct) use heat and massage as you feed. Even express to empty your boob. It can turn into mastitis which is horrible (I had it for a few days at 3m.o. and suffered with heaps of blocked ducts in the first 6 mths).
Try a nipple guard if it is too painful. N used one for every feed for 12weeks and for 8mths on and off.
Let your nipples (if you can) get some sunlight each day. The UV rays have healing qualities. Also let your breasts air dry, too much moisture can breed infection.
If you have sharp stabbing pains in your breasts as you feed/let down and your baby has milky spots in their mouth and a white tongue, get treated for thrush. Thrush is excruciating and you are at a higher risk if your nipples are broken.
Don’t be afraid to introduce a dummy (pacifier) if you feel the baby is comfort sucking.
My daughter cluster fed for 3 mths. My midwives advice was to feed her, then when she requested a feed 40-60 mins later to feed on the same side. This ensures that the baby gets hindmilk which is apparently more satisfying. Some people disagree with foremilk/hindmilk theory but honestly I believe it.
If your baby continues to spew, don’t let anyone convince you to give them rice cereal. Babies spew because their valve at the bottom of their stomach is immature and doesn’t work. Even if the baby spews heaps, it is nothing to worry about, unless it seems to cause them pain.
Gosh this is long, sorry Dawn. I just want to be helpful lol.
Feel free to take and use (or discard) as much of this as is applicable. Also feel free to email me if you like, I love emails.
Finally, do what works for you. Don’t let anyone talk you into something that doesn’t feel right. Every baby is different and every parent is different. Not wrong, just different.
Oh, your poor friend! Here’s I wish I had known when I started to nurse my daughter, the first-born:
* The first three weeks can hurt. A LOT, and it’s bull$h!t to say that if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. But after the initial stage it gets easier.
* And it keeps getting easier. By three months, it might still hurt a little, but it’s nothing compared to those first few weeks. Hoo.
* Lanosil should be applied religiously.
* Stress and fear can inhibit let-down, which just makes everything worse. My lactation consultant said a glass of wine before nursing was fine.
* The first time I was pumping and saw blood spurt through the machine, oh my word, I almost fainted. But the blood doesn’t hurt the kid.
* As tough as it is, if you can hold on and get past this early stage (which is, frankly, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life), you’ll be blessed with a technique that almost always stops the crying.
* I think a lot of us feel like nursing is our first test as a mother, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ve failed. But sometimes, it just doesn’t work out and it’s no one’s fault. You’re still a great mom.
Nursing is HARD. I had a terrible time and ended up pumping a lot during the first year, because she started as a lousy nurser and then because I had to go back to work.
I’ve written a handful of posts about it:
Lots of luck her way.
Oh. . .The advice I wish I had been given a year ago.
1–A washcloth dipped in warm tea is soothing on the nipples as long as it is unsweetened tea and definitely *not* peppermint tea.
2–Ditto to the comment above that *liars* will tell you “it doesn’t hurt if you do it right”
3–Making milk is serious work. Nursing is serious work. And actually, having a baby (whether you’re nursing or not) is SERIOUS work. This means that any other expectations (how clean the house is, what’s for dinner, when is the last time you showered?) should be adjusted accordingly.
4–This is worth working at and it did get easier for me. That said, there is no direct link between breastfeeding and “good mom.” There are all kinds of ways to nurture and nourish your baby.
I don’t know what to say or advice to give on any of this…
Oh, how I wish I had some good advice for this. I think it’s great that you are helping your friend with this. Yay you!!
Just stopping by to say HELLO!! and thanks for your comment yesterday. It means a lot to me. I hope you have a fabulous day!!
First for links:
My story (fraught with drama)
The best place to seek help from your chair from a lactation consultant
The #1 informational source for all things breastfeeding
The one thing I would have known more about early on was oversupply. I’m only mentioning this because the baby is projectile vomitting and this can go along with mom’s oversupply sometimes (if the baby doesn’t have reflux). So here is some great info on that.
It DOES get better. For me it started getting better around 4-6 weeks, and then things improved steadily after that with only a few set-backs (growth spurts are always hard, and you’re about to hit one – read on kellymom about when they happen because knowing is half the battle – they typically end in 3-7 days, though, so hang in there ’cause it’s helping your milk supply).
I found BabyCenter birth club bulletin boards helpful for breastfeeding issues – every time something bad happened (overactive letdown, nursing strikes, etc.) there was always SOMEONE who was going through the same thing and someone else who knew how to fix it.
That said, the whole atmosphere of BabyCenter bulletin boards can be utterly crazy-making … so advance with caution.
Lisa (the girls' moma)
Oh my goodness, I was never so happy as the days I stopped nursing. Hoooo, LORDY! Those were good times. I was in such excruciating pain when I was nursing that I remember banging my heels on the floor, as if stomping my feet would ease the pain. And unlike the others, the DAY my babies started throwing up MY blood? Was the day I ran for the formula. If I was hurting that badly and bleeding too? Not worth it.
All that said, I nursed my first daughter for 6 months and the second for 4 1/2. I seem to do ok until they start sleeping through the night. After that I historically just never get back on track again. I’m fraught with blocked ducts, shooting pains during letdown, cracked nipples. But the first few months were ok.
Use the Lansinoh, the nipple guards, the cold cloths, anything that works for you. And don’t be afraid of following your gut. It worked for me.
I have no personal post to link to…my daughter’s been done nursing for a long time now. But, I did nurse 3 kids, and so I will offer her a little advice.
Dude, relax. Nursing is great and wonderful and sweet and it is amazingly hard sometimes. I nursed my first kid almost 10 years ago, and my last one stopped 11 months ago. The thing with kids is that there are so many huge uphill battles, more than you have any idea of, and this baby time is the quiet time to relax and enjoy and be in awe of. I am all for nursing and I am at the same time totally in support of throwing the towel in at some point. If you and getting nuts about it, if it’s not enjoyable, it’s totally ok to stop. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Enjoy your baby. Enjoy motherhood. LOVE every minute of it.
That’s all I’ve got. Good luck.
Hey, first thank you for your sweet comment on my blog today…it meant a lot. Second tell your friend it will get better. My nipples cracked and bled too, it was really hard the first several weeks. You hurt, you’re exhausted, it is not easy at all….but all women do survive, no one that I know of has actually died from it…a lot of tears, and blood and sweat…and some ground off teeth…but no death. So, please tell her to be kind to herself. Relax, get all the sleep she can and when people ask what they can do to help…put them to work. Allow people to bring a meal, or mop the floor, or do some laundry. Her job should be nourishing and nurturing herself and her baby…let everyone else handle the rest for a while.
Nursing is not natural, it is in fact, quite a challenge at first. But oh the joy and the health of it is so worth it! It is the perfect, PERFECT most digestible food in the world. I hope she sticks with it and kudos for your little incentive!
I agree with Ewokmama – tell your friend to check out Kellymom. Everything I ever needed to know about nursing I found there.
I was only able to BF my son for 2 months b/c of his milk protein allergy (even the proteins in my Breast milk!), but we definitely had struggles, and I definitely learned a lot.
The very first comment made here (made by Veronica) contains much very good advice.
Instead of washcloths, I used a product made by Gerber (gel packs) designed to use on the breasts. They can be tossed in microwave shortly to use as a warming pack to encourage flow before/during feeding (there are holes for your nipples!) and also tossed in the freezer for a few minutes to help with swelling afterwards. They helped me cope A LOT.
No soap in the shower on your hoohas. Lots of warm water and massaging.
Braden puked a lot, even after he was on his special formula. This is most likely due to a weak pyloric valve (muscle keeping the stomach shut), and will change over time. It just has to be dealt with – ie: don’t lay the baby down right after a feed, try to feed ‘semi-upright,’ don’t push tummy-time too much, etc.
I agree about not letting anyone convince you to give cereal. It won’t help any, and the baby’s digestive system isn’t ready.
Do whatever it takes to relax you. A glass of wine is fine before nursing. Chammomile tea is great. If you dig taking a warm bath, soft music, etc. Try it. I even breastfed my son IN the warm bath, and it was awesome.
Remember that your body is working so hard, on top of being tired from everything else, to produce milk. Help it out by eating a sufficient diet of healthy, balanced foods, drinking LOTS of water, and getting as much sleep as you possibly can. (I KNOW it’s hard to get as much sleep as you WANT… but try to enlist help from others so you can really do this. It will help you more than almost anything else to have enough sleep!!!)
If you pump (and it can really help in lots of ways, from alleviating pressure, to keeping up supply, to creating a meal that someone else can feed so you can REST.) make sure you don’t stress about it and all the same relaxation rules apply. Often, holding the baby (it’s hard, yeah) or at least being in site of him/her helps with let-down. Massage your breasts while pumping.
Very important: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Mothers tend to ignore this advice. Take it if at all possible!
You will make the right choices. If you make mistakes, you will learn from them. Your baby will love you anyway.
I think I’ve written a book so far. Heh. I hope some of this was helpful.
I’m definitely not the ultimate authority on BF, but, like I said, even in 2 months, I learned an asshload. Feel free to contact me with ANY questions.
This is fabulous:
I wrote a big long thing on my own blog and then found all of these wise thoughts right here.
You can see my thoughts at:
OK, so I nursed two beautiful boys without incident — and then came my daughter. Within a week I had bleeding, cracked nipples and pain like I had never felt before. I saw the lactation consultant (who was great, btw) three times before she finally said “pump”. It was a godsend. I went to the pharmacy and rented a double pump. For an entire month (so until she was about 6 weeks old) I pumped everytime I would have breastfed and then fed her from the bottle — straight from the pump to her tummy. It was still warm! Then, about 6 weeks along I decided the pumping was a pain in the neck and went straight back to nursing. The nipples had healed, her mouth was a little bigger and her sucking more mature. I nursed until she was a year.
You will make it through this. There are a million moms out there with you. Reach out.
Just for a laugh:
Alex Year One » Blog Archive » Blog Housekeeping
[…] provided I wake up alive, I’m taking the Kaiser and we’re going to go see Sisterfriend – I’ll be back Friday. I have Wednesday and Thursday’s post ready to go, but I’m […]
The Other Dawn
Alex Year One » Blog Archive » That contest…
[…] Remember the one? […]