… let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be; let’s talk about BREAST
milk, that is.
If you haven’t heard, I’ve had my sixth baby. She’s about to be six months old in a few weeks.
Well, I’m ashamed to say that with my sixth, I’ve finally learned the ins and outs of breastfeeding.
How can that be, you ask? Well, no one ever told me some of the things one would need to know in order to successfully feed from the breast.
That’s right! I took lamaze, and child care classes with my first; they didn’t tell me.
I had a lactation consultant in the hospital and they didn’t tell me.
Obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses, midwives… no one told me!!!!
They were all so concerned with the latch and supply at birth (two things I thankfully never had any issues with), not what happens 4-6 months down the road.
Finally with my sixth, I was determined to make breastfeeding past 6 months successful (it wasn’t with the others) and so when I registered for my insurance they asked,
“Are you expecting?”
“Yes!” I replied.
“Would you like a free breast-pump?”
I figured if feeding the baby myself wasn’t going to last, maybe pumping would at least keep her drinking my milk, so I accepted.
A few days after my baby was born, with an abundance of milk, I tried out the pump.
I read the manual cover to cover and learned something that probably would have kept my first five daughters on the breast a lot longer.
You have to prime the nipple!!!!!!
I never knew that the baby needed to suckle for up to two minutes before the milk would flow, all of my babies would reach the four-five month mark and fuss every time I tried to nurse them. Only a few seconds of getting them to the breast and they would wriggle and squirm and cry, cry, cry.
Apparently, I assumed the milk would flow like it did for the first few months…just pour out of me with or without the baby, but, girl was I wrong!
Your body and hormones change. The milk supply regulates according to the baby’s needs. If the baby doesn’t eat it, it won’t come. (the opposite of the field of dreams)
So, learning this vital tidbit of nursing information, I know to have patience with my little one right now. Instead of giving in to her fussiness and handing her a bottle like I did five times before, I soothe her and sing to her and stroke her bald head while she fusses for two minutes, the time it takes for the milk to flow, and then I hear it; the soft sound of swallowing; she’s got milk.
***This is a hot-button topic among moms nowadays getting into the #mommywars but just to be clear on my position:
FED IS BEST no matter bottle or breast!
It’s just my personal preference to nurse my babies.
Maybe in another post I’ll go into all the reasons behind my preference but today is not that day.