Re: HELP! breast feeding and bottle feeding at same time?
Definitely avoid early bottle introduction. It can cause major latching problems (baby refusing to latch onto the breast, or baby developing a latch that is painful or ineffective), and you want to make sure baby is a proficient breastfeeder before you introduce a bottle into the middle of your nursing relationship! I know all your family is SO EXCITED to meet your baby and bond with him/her, and for a lot of people nothing tops the fun of feeding the baby. But for the first 4-6 weeks, feeding the baby is YOUR job. Not your husband's, not your mom's, not your mother-in-law's. That doesn't mean they don't have a very important role to play in supporting you (bringing you snacks and water when you're pinned down by a nursing baby, doing your laundry, cooking/purchasing meals, cleaning your house, walking your dog, etc.) and doing the aspects of baby care (like changing diapers, giving baths, cuddling, baby-wearing, rocking, etc.) that can be handled by anyone. So don't let anyone pressure you into doing bottles early on.
You also do not want to start pumping very early on because a) you can provoke a troublesome oversupply, b) there's plenty of time to start building your stash, so you don't need to start on day one, and c) if you have bottles of milk there is a real temptation to use them!
Since you're a first-time mom, here are some random tips that may help you get breastfeeding off to the best possible start:
- Avoid induction of labor for non-medical reasons. Induced labors tend to be more difficult and more painful than spontaneous ones, and are more likely to necessitate additional interventions up to and including c-section. They also are more likely to culminate in babies who are slightly premature. All those things can make it more difficult to nurse. (Non-medical reasons to induce labor include: you want to be sure that "your" doctor will catch your baby, you're tired of being pregnant, your mom is going to be in town, your husband has that week off from work, a holiday is coming up, baby is "already term". Medically dubious reasons to induce include: baby is suspected to be large, baby is suspected to be small, well-controlled gestational diabetes, normal pregnancy <42 weeks gestation.)
- Choose your pain relief during labor with care. All medications used to releive pain during labor have potential negatives to them- sedatives canake a baby sleep, epidurals can cause debilitating headaches and maternal fever which usually results in baby taking a trip to the NICU. That's not to say that you should not take pain relief if you need it- just know the risks of what you're offered and choose carefully.
- Assuming both you and baby are strong and well after birth, have baby immediately delivered onto your bare chest to warm up, bond, and nurse. All routine newborn procedures (weight, measurement, eye ointment, footprints, bath, etc.) can be safely delayed until you and your baby have had a chance to get to know each other.
- Room in with your baby. There's no reason for a healthy newborn to spend any time in a nursery setting. When babies room in, there is no risk of baby being slipped formula by a "helpful" nurse (yes, it happens!), and moms can nurse at the first sign of hunger instead of having a frantic baby who has been crying for 10 minutes brought to them by a too-busy nurse.
- If you choose to send your baby to the nursery, make a sign for his/her bassinet that says "I am a breastfed baby. No bottles or pacifiers, please! Bring me to my mom every time I cry, or every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night if I don't."
- Do not supplement with formula "just until your milk comes in". Newborn stomachs are tiny and are designed to need only the small amount of colostrum that you produce prior to your mature milk coming in (something that typically happens 2-5 days after birth).
- Do not take the "gift bag" if your hospital offers them. Even if someone tells you that it's a "breastfeeding bag". They generally contain nothing but some cheap lanolin, a pamphlet full of erroneous information about nursing, and a container of formula. Women who take the bags are statistically less likely to achieve their breastfeeding goals, no matter how short-term those goals are. The formula companies give out the bags because they know that women who take the can of formula, even if they just take it "in case of an emergency", are more liley to end p using their product.
- If you run into trouble, make sure you have the number of a good lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, on hand, and call her immediately. Nothing beats hands-on help when you have issues with a newborn!
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"