Saturday, June 23, 2012

Breastfeeding with experience

I read this article about breastfeeding the second time around when I was pregnant with R. The list of tips really jumped out at me. My first breastfeeding experience with E taught me so much and there were a lot of lessons learned. I am also not only experienced this time but a heck of a lot more educated and I've even recently received my certificate as a trained Ottawa Breastfeeding Buddy.

WOW! pretty much sums up my experience this time. R has been an amazing nurser since he latched on for the first time and he hasn't looked back. I can not believe how much of a difference and how much more enjoyable these first few weeks have been. With E I had cracked and sore nipples from a poor latch and he had very little weight gain in the first few weeks. These issues led to low supply which I had to build back up again and it made him a weak, sleepy eater. I think a lot of things factored into my issues with nursing for the first time including:
  • Looking at the clock too much. I was too concerned with timing his feedings rather than following his cues. Everything I read about breastfeeding mentioned that magic three hour window. Ignore that number or any number!
  • This ties into the first point, but because of sore nipples I would subconsciously seek out other reasons for his crying rather than putting E to the breast first and foremost. Looking at the clock and telling myself , "But he just ate an hour ago!" was just an excuse for not having to deal with the pain. I remember telling my SIL this little lesson learned after I discovered it and she later told me it was one of the best pieces of breastfeeding advice. When they squirm, root or cry - put them on the boob!
  • Immediately after E was born I had little skin-to-skin time with him and it took too long to initiate breastfeeding in the hospital. I've written about this and other lessons learned from my first birth experience. Silly hospital protocol!  Sure he looked super cute all bundle up, but little did I know I was being booby trapped!
 Some of the reasons why I believe nursing started off much easier this time:
  • I haven't noticed the clock once. R has been fed on demand from the beginning.
  • I gave birth at home in a calm environment and I had immediate and plenty of skin-to-skin time with him from the start.
  • Breastfeeding was initiated within the first 15-30 minutes.
  • I am much more confident.
  • My milk came in much quicker (1 1/2 days rather than 3)
  • And I actually know what I good latch is supposed to feel like :)
Accessories like the nursing cover and pillow haven't been touched. Nursing in public has been a breeze due to my new comfort level. R weighed 8lbs at birth and this week, at 3 1/2 weeks old, he weighed in at 10lbs and 4.5oz. Is it not a mother's dream to see that scale rise in the first few weeks? While E's weight was a constant stress for me in the beginning, I  am currently jumping for joy. That's almost a pound a week! Mama's milk does the body good!

Milk drunk :)


  1. Hooray for success! My first BF experience was like your second and my second like your first...go figure! The third had been tough but I'm glad it's happening with my third because I have the experience and patience to deal with it