I had an inkling before but it’s becoming even more clear now as a new parent that the pressure to grow your kid is real! Thankfully when they’re this little, the solution to majority of problems is always nursing.
Your baby is crying and fussy? Nurse him
Your baby won’t go to sleep? Nurse him
Your baby’s got the hiccups? Nurse him
Your baby’s got gas? Nurse him
Your baby is not peeing enough? Nurse him
Your baby is underweight? Nurse him
Your baby is getting a cold? Nurse him
Your baby is jaundiced? Nurse him more
What works for the baby also works for the mom.
Your milk is not in yet? Nurse your baby
Your breasts are engorged? Nurse your baby
Your breasts are hard, sore or tender? Nurse your baby
Your milk duct is clogged? Nurse your baby
Your recovery is going slow? Nurse your baby
Your mood needs a boost? Nurse your baby
Your supply is not enough? Nurse your baby
Like all babies, Owen was a little jaundiced and lost about 8% of his birth weight when we left the hospital. At our one week home visit two days later, Owen weighed exactly the same as he did at the hospital, which prompted the question, is he gaining enough weight/getting enough milk? Of course, I wanted to make sure Owen is growing and that I was supplying enough for him to do so. However, I was quick to point out that he output of pee diapers is on track for where he should be. Peter has bee diligently logging it on his phone. I also questioned whether his weight had stayed the same for two days or if it had dipped down farther and is now on the rebound. We can’t know for sure unless we had a daily record of things, which we don’t. The midwife made it clear that from one week onward, Owen needs to grow an ounce a day.
We had our two week visit from the midwife this morning. The pressure was on. Did I nurse him enough? I thought for sure I would get a lecture on how I am not feeding him enough, whether it’s due to inadequate supply or poor latch or some other combination of different failures. Yet when the scale went up, Owen came at seven pounds and seven ounces, exactly six ounces more than a week ago. Hallelujah! I felt as if I just passed the first test. Now I just have to continue to feed him constantly because whatever the issue may be, for now, nursing is always the answer.
There are five resources I found to be particularly helpful when it comes to breastfeeding:
- Attend a breastfeeding class
- Join a local La Leche League group: http://www.lllusa.org/
- Read Kellymom online: http://kellymom.com/category/bf/
- Watch videos from Stanford Medicine: https://med.stanford.edu/newborns/professional-education/breastfeeding.html
- Make friends with new moms who breastfeeds
Like all things in life, there is no guarantee on how breastfeeding will go and things can and will change overtime. The best we can do is to be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible ahead of time because when the baby gets here it is go time! The little thing literally depends on you for its life and it is critical to start things the right way for a strong foundation for successful long term breastfeeding.