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Thread: Balancing dog time and breastfeeding?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Balancing dog time and breastfeeding?

    I raise horses, not dogs, but the time commitment is very similar.

    At first, I had to have someone else do all the horse chores. My midwife makes the new moms do nothing but nurse and rest for the first two weeks, and she won't clear anyone for exercise (even walking) until 6 weeks. After that, I carried the baby in a sling while mucking stalls, leading horses to and from the field, and doing a little grooming on the quieter horses. I even stacked hay wearing him one day (I can't really recommend that!). When it was cold, I wore a very big coat I could zip up over him. There is also a really cool poncho for sling-wearing moms called the Aiska poncho. It's pricey, but well worth it.

    Hubby or a friend or family member should walk the dog during the day at first (and you should have some help around the house for that time frame anyway! Then, see how you feel from there. You may have to adjust the dog's schedule a bit and take the dog out when someone is around to watch the baby for a few minutes, and hubby may have to take over longer walks.

    A three year old dog should be able to adjust well. A few things to keep in mind (I'm sure you know this already, but here's my standard tale to clients expecting a new baby):

    --NEVER leave a baby or child alone with a dog or cat, even if they seem to get along. The baby could make a sudden movement or sound and scare the pet into doing something harmful or dangerous. Once the kid is walking, the kid could hurt the pet on accident. [My mom left my sister alone with my grandmother's dog, who licked the baby, and the baby had a bad allergic reaction right there, at 2 months old. So it's not just for bite prevention.]

    --Introduce them slowly and carefully, and expect the pet to have some degree of anxiety. [our four cats freaked out -- we didn't see two of them for 2-3 days, and I was getting very worried about them, as cats that don't eat are at risk for liver failure.]

    --Work on a dog's leash training before the baby comes. You may need that dog to be very responsive to you, in case you drop the leash or need the dog to stay.

    --Let a pet smell something from the baby, if possible, before bringing the baby home.

    --Come inside the house first, especially if you were at the hospital for a few days, and greet your pet for a few minutes before hubby brings the baby in so the pet can get the excitement over with.

    --Ask your vet for any information on introducing a baby to the family they might have. [I used to give out a packet of information when I had my own clinic, but not every vet does. The clinic I work at right now doesn't.]

    Good luck!
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Balancing dog time and breastfeeding?

    I too have a 3 year old dog and was worried how I would handle walks. My daughter is 5 weeks today and we have been able to take the dog out on quite a few walks. One thing that really helped and was suggested by a trainer is a harness for the dog (it's called a sensible harness and I'm sure if you googled it you could find the website for it). With the harness my dog cannot pull as much which makes walking him while pushing the stroller much easier. He has gotten used to walking by the stroller too, it only took a few times of him running into it before he understood to stay on the side of it. It also helped to have some one else walk the dog while I pushed the stroller until the dog got used to the whole set up.

    As for finding time for breastfeeding and walking the dog all I can say is that you will find the time. It may take a few weeks to figure it out, but it will happen. I find that the best time is when my little one has been awake for awhile after a feeding and is starting to get fussy and needs a nap. A walk always puts her to sleep for a little while before the next feeding. Good luck!

  3. #13

    Default Re: Balancing dog time and breastfeeding?

    We have a black lab and I worried about the same thing. I got a harness for Fisher and wore Emily in a sling and it ended up being my favoritetime of the day those first few weeks. With the harness on Fish couldn't yank me down the street (I never did figure out how to do the stroller and dog on the leash combo) and Emily in the sling I got some peace and quiet. Emily zonked out and Fisher and I got some much needed exercise. And I got OUT OF MY HOUSE! We walked around the neigborhood for hours those first few months.

    When Em was sleeping and Fish needed to get out I could throw the tennis ball from the back door for a half an hour or so. Sometimes that would satisfy him.

    Now that Emily is older (10.5 months) and we seem to be busy, busy I have a new method for wearing out the dog. I put Emily in the jogging stroller and wear my roller skates. I leave Fisher off the leash and we make two quick laps around the neighborhood. Fisher can run at full speed and Emily squeals with delight when we go fast! Important to note that we live on the flattest, slowest street in all of the world and that despite my relative lack of coordination in many areas I can still roller skate like nobody's business, stop on a dime, I can!

    I have met a few people from the neighborhood that later have said, "Oooohhh, you're that lady that rollerskates with your dog and your baby." It's funny because Emily waves at everyone these days so we're like our own weird parade.
    Mother to Emily June, b. Sept 18, 2005 and Lucy Quinn, b. 1/20/2012

    “Buy the ticket, take the ride."
    Hunter S. Thompson

    Excitement on the Side: Who doesn't love a confident woman with long boobs...

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