Re: Don't know if I can breastfeed?
Excellent advice from the PPs. I strogly agree that seeing an IBCLC and knowing what is normal in the first few days/weeks of breastfeeding could really help you understand why things derailed with your first baby and help you get off to a good start the second time around.
Here are some common "booby traps" that often cause problems:
- Early mama-baby separation. Often when babies are born, they are immediately whisked away to the nursery, and often spend a lot of their first few days there. Breastfeeding gets off to the best possible start when mama and baby room in together andlearn each other's cues.
- Early introduction of artificial nipples (bottles and pacifiers). Babies latch onto and suck on artificial nipples differently from the way they latch onto and suck on the breast, and this can make it difficult for them to nurse. Also, when a baby is fed formula or given a pacifier to suck, he doesn't nurse as often as he should, and the lowered level of stimulation means that it takes longer for milk production to begin.
- Unnecessary supplementation. As lllMeg said, it is normal for babies to lose weight after birth. There's no need to supplement "just until your milk comes in". Routine supplementation is also not necessary for babies who are unusually large or small, or babies whose mothers have gestational diabetes (particularly well-controlled GD). If supplementation is necessary, it should be discussed with the pediatrician, and not just suggested by a nurse.
- Unrealistic expectations. New babies feed all the time, and it is normal for them to want to nurse every hour or even more frequently. You never want to stretch out the time between feedings with a new baby, even if someone is trying to convince you that babies "should" feed only every 3 hours or something bizarre like that.
- Not seeking help. Many moms try to tough it out on their own, and don't call the LC when they should. If you find yourself in pain, or with a baby who resists latching, or with a sleepy baby who is having trouble staying awake to nurse, or if you have nipple damage, call the LC immediately!
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