Re: Newborns And Colic! Help!
Don't borrow trouble! Your second nursing experience could be the complete opposite of your first. I know mine was, at least with respect to the early weeks.
It's normal for babies to be fairly groggy on their first day. Within about an hour of birth, most babies fall into a deep sleep. It looks very contented. On day 2, they start to wake up to their new surroundings, which are extremely loud, cold, uncomfortable, and dry compared to the womb. That can result in a lot of fussing! Anyway, here are some tips for getting nursing off to a good start with the very youngest of newborns:
- Assuming both you and baby are well after birth, have the baby delivered immediately onto your bare chest to warm up skin-to-skin, nurse, and bond. This can happen before the cord is cut or the placenta has been born- and in fact, nursing will speed the delivery of the placenta.
- Delay all the routine newborn procedures- weighing, measuring, footprints, little ID bracelet, eye ointment, trip to the baby warmer, etc., until after the baby has had a chance to nurse. There's no medical necessity to do them immediately, and all baby requires in order to stay warm is a little hat on his/her head, a blanket, and skin-to-skin contact with mom.
- Room in with your baby. When moms and babies share a room, the mom will have a chance to nurse the baby before his/her early hunger cues (rooting, hand-sucking, small noises) escalate into frustration and crying. Babies are more difficult to latch when they're frustrated, so you want to start trying to nurse before the baby is in a frantic state.
- If your baby is frantic and having difficulty latching, try offering a clean pinky finger to suck, with nail held down towards the tongue rather than up towards the delicate soft palate. A few seconds of sucking on mom's finger can calm a baby enough to enable a repeat latch attempt.
- Take advantage of whatever breastfeeding resources the hospital can offer. If they have a LC on staff, make sure you see her.
- If there is an IBCLC in your area, make sure you have her number. Often hospital LCs are nurses with just a small amount of additional training. If you run into trouble that the hospital LCs can't help you with, you want to call in the IBCLC.
- Avoid artificial nipples for the first 3-4 weeks (pacifiers) or 4-6 weeks (bottles), or longer if you are having difficulties with nursing. Babies suck differently on bottles/pacis than on the breast, and introducing them early can screw up a baby's latch.
- Don't supplement with formula "just until your milk comes in". Formula supplements result in decreased nursing, delayed milk production, and poor supply, and should be used only when medically necessary.
- Feed on demand, or at least 10-12 times a day if baby does not spontaneously nurse that often.
- Go to an IRL La Leche League meeting before baby is born. Ask about breastfeeding-friendly pediatricians, get the Leader's number, ask about local LCs and IBCLCs, etc.
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!"