Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cakes' Breastfeeding Tips pt.1

I promise I won't turn this into a strictly "Mommy Blog" but several new moms have asked for my breastfeeding wisdom (as if) and so I figured I'd put it down on blog paper. This not your basic info you can get from the books, It's just a bit of real world experience. So, definitely read the books. Please feel free to add your own tips in the comments section. This is part 1. I will add another installment next week that will include my favorite music to breastfeed by.

1.) Always, always, always ask for a lactation consultant in the hospital. This is the fifth baby I have breastfed and it still took us 2 days to perfect latch on. The hard part was that Ladybug was born at 11:42pm. I went to my recovery room around 1am. There are NO LC's around at 1am! I was lucky because I knew the signs of a bad latch (see number 2) but if I was a first time mom, and I was expected to breastfeed through the night, I'd've been screwed. Better yet, get yourself a nice doula/LC to help with delivery and recovery. You'll be amazed at how easy she will make things.

2.) Signs of a bad latch:

  • Dimples. Baby's cheeks should not dimple when she is nursing.
  • Mush mouth. Baby's upper lip should not be all mushy and sucked in.
  • Straw sucky noises. This is hard to explain. Noises from baby should be more "slurpy" sounding than kissy/straw sucking noises.
  • Bottom lip flipped down and out. Baby's bottom lip should be flipped open and under. Like if you just grab your bottom lip and pull it down in a pout.

  • 3.) Lots and lots of lanolin for the first few weeks. I personally prefer the Lansinoh brand over the Medela brand, only because it is more liquified so easier to apply to the nipples. Though that can be easily fixed by rubbing the lanolin between your finger and thumb to warm it up. I also like to just apply a dob of it to my breast pad, especially during the ultra-sensitive time during engorgement when your milk first comes in.

    4.) If it is going to touch your breast, make it cotton. No kidding. Cotton nursing bras and cotton breast pads (see #5). I have been particularly happy with the cotton nursing bras at Target sold under the Liz Lange label, and they are only $11.99 so you can stock up. I recommend 3 nightime bras and at least 3 daytime bras. The thing is, if they get wet from leakage you really need to change it. The dried milk can begin to grow bacteria and if that gets into your milk ducts, you're in trouble sister. I have battled mastitis. It is not at all fun. Very very miserable and painful. Target's nursing "sport bra" makes a nice sleep bra. I don't think it is near enough support to do any real exercising in, but it is very comfy. I would also stay away from underwires at least for the first few months. The underwire can put too much pressure on a milk duct and cause it to clog. Clogged milk ducts are also very uncomfortable.

    5.) Leakage. In the beginning it is inevitable. I have found personally that after a few months when my milk supply evens out, I don't have near the amount of problem with leakage as in the beginning, especially, right after your milk comes in. Again I recommend using cotton nursing pads. I love love these I go through probably 4-5 pairs a day/night in the beginning. So, having 10-12 pairs on hand would be helpful. I wash mine with my baby laundry, but bleach them once a week to be sure to kill bacteria and to wash away some stubborn lanolin. I do use disposable breast pads when I go out, b/c the cotton ones don't fully protect against the early month's let downs, though you can help a bit by pushing the offending breast in and up. I like the Lansinoh ones and it's nice because they come individually wrapped so you can throw a few in your diaper bag and purse. But at home I use only cotton because eventhough the disposables say they are breathable, if they are leak-proof there can't be a whole lot of breathing going on, which can lead to cracked and irritated nipples. To help keep my cotton ones dry, when I nurse at home I undo both sides of my bra and hold a burp cloth up to my free breast. Again, once it gets wet change it.