Re: Prepare for successful breastfeeding
Welcome and congratulations on the baby to come! I'm sorry you had such a difficult time with your first. That must have been heartbreaking! The good news is that every breastfeeding journey is different. The problems you had the first time round may not repeat. Also, a lot of moms notice that they have more milk with their second child than they did with the first.
If you'd care to share the details of what happened with hour first breastfeeding experience, maybe we can figure out what caused things to derail. If you had a lot of pain when nursing, if your baby was particularly sleepy at the breast, if you were required to supplement from very early on- those things could point to potential explanations for the problems you faced.
Here are some things you can do to increase your chances of nursing your new baby successfully:
- Have a happy, healthy, enjoyable pregnancy!
- Aim for a good, safe birth. Breastfeeding gets off to the best start when mama and baby are both well after birth. This doesn't necessarily mean that you must have the idealized all-natural experience, but the fewer interventions you have the better. In particular, you want to avoid things like induction of labor (which can make birth more painful and increases your risk of having other interventions, including a c-section), and use of heavy-duty painkillers (which can make baby sleepy and unwilling to nurse after birth).
- After baby is born, have him/her immediately delivered up onto your bare chest. Healthy babies warm up well when skin to skin with mom, and they have a chance to nurse and bond.
- Delay routine newborn procedures (weighing, measuring, footprints, eye ointment, trip to the baby warmer, bath, etc.) for at least an hour after birth. It's much more important for baby to get a chance to nurse.
- Room in with your baby. You will learn baby's hunger cues faster, and there will be less chance of a "helpful" nurse slipping your baby a bottle of formula just so you can sleep.
- If you decide to send your baby to the nursery, make a sign for his/her bassinet that says "I am a breastfed baby. No pacifiers or formula bottles, please! Bring me to my mom every time I cry, or every 2 hours if I don't."
- Feed your baby on demand. If baby is particularly sleepy, feed him/ her more often than he/she demands, at least every 2-3 hours.
- Make sure you have a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician, someone who is familiar with the normal feeding and weight gain patterns of a breastfed baby. (Your local LLL is probably a good resource for a referral, if your current pediatrician doesn't fit the bill.)
- Have the phone number of a good lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, on hand, and set up a meeting for soon after baby is born. If you run into trouble, see the LC ASAP.
- If you are having a boy and plan on having him circumcised, delay the procedure until he is nursing well. Pain from circumcision can interfere with breastfeeding.
- Avoid artificial nipples. Pacifier use should be delayed 3-4 weeks, and bottles should not be introduced until 4-6 weeks (ideally). You want all the baby's sucking needs to be met at the breast in the first few weeks.
Last edited by @llli*mommal; January 21st, 2012 at 09:24 PM.
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