Our breastfeeding journey so far… A first time mom learns the ropes.
Immediately following birth Everly and I laid skin to skin for about 20 min. The skin to skin contact is said to improve breastfeeding outcome and facilitate bonding between mother and child. While we waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating and the placenta to deliver Everly and I just laid there in all our messy glory enjoying each other’s company.
Once the umbilical cord stopped pulsating N cut it and she began to nurse right away. Nursing within the first 30 min or so following birth is highly recommended by lactation consultants when it is possible so we held off on taking her weight and length measurements so I could nurse awhile.
When the time came to inspect the damages Everly and I went our separate ways, she got her measurements taken and I had my tear inspected. It was eventually determined I needed to make a trip to the emergency room since the midwives have never stitched a 4th degree tear back together.
Everly rode with us to the hospital in her new car seat
that N’s family unexpectedly bought for us and she slept the whole time. Once we arrived at the hospital I resumed nursing her.
I’d read that frequent nursing was the best way to guarantee my milk supply and to nourish Everly especially since my milk was not yet in and the small amounts of colostrum she was getting was her only source of nutrition and antibodies.
Unfortunately getting her latched on and feeding properly following my repair work was hard! Since I was unable to sit up the only position I could feed her in was the side-lying hold which isn’t that easy. You only have one hand to position baby and it’s pretty hard to see if you are position baby properly.
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. I got that memo crystal clear from all the reading I did. My breastfeeding was hurting though and one nipple was starting to scab and bleed so I knew things weren’t going as they should. We saw a lactation consultant about three days after Everly was born because I was worried about her not latching on properly.
This breastfeeding malfunction was stressing me out and making me pretty worried, this is why I was so eager to see a consultant and get some hands on guidance.
When mothers have trouble getting the hang of breastfeeding it is very emotional. Baby cries more and is fussy because it is hungry. Then factor in how feeding hurts mom, frustrates her and makes her feel like she is a failure. It is no wonder so many moms give up on breastfeeding!
Luckily for us there was a lady living right there at The Farm who was a lactation consultant that came out to see us. She showed us how to really jam baby on the breast and how N could assist in breastfeeding. The hands on session really did help me and now I feel like we’ve got a handle on getting Everly latched.
The first day and a half following birth Everly had black meconium poop. By day 2 Everly showed signs of adequate colostrum intake with her first greenish poop. We were stoked and relieved to see her poop changing. We also watched her urinating closely.
The lactation consultant informed us that a wet diaper at lease every 24 hours is an important indicator of her heath and food intake. By day 3 my milk changed from colostrum to actual milk and her poop turned orange and “seedy” and has been that way since.
Feeding is no longer hurting. Things are going well if you overlook Everly’s napping during feedings which is a minor inconvenience for me.
We are planning on not using a pacifier. Actually we have several and even tried offering one once but she spit it right out and wouldn’t have anything to do with it. We were advised that allowing baby to suck our finger was a better option.
Also, for feeding she suggested syringe feeding, cups, etc. as opposed to using a bottle when other people are watching/ feeding her. In the early breastfeeding days nipple confusion is a big concern, this is why bottles and pacifiers are avoided until breastfeeding is well established.
What did you learn during your breastfeeding experiences?