Thursday, September 10, 2009

what you may want to know about breastfeeding before the baby comes

you may have heard the breastfeeding stories about cracked nipples and mothers having troubles in the first weeks after baby comes.   never fear, everything can go perfectly well too.    on day one, you do not know how it will all go, so i HIGHLY recommend that before you give birth, you have a lactation specialist’s phone number at your bedside.  you will very likely need it.  even if you are a world champion breastfeeder…..the first week as a new mom can be is blurry and challenging.   you will have one less thing to worry about later if a specialist comes right away to check on you.  you will presumably receive minimal breastfeeding support in the hospital, so an additional outside source is ideal.   your ob, baby’s pediatrician, a local midwife, or doula can probably help or at least refer you to someone who can.  it’s common that the specialist would come to you---like the amazing jennifer goodson (818.400.9525) out of dr. jay gordon’s office in los angeles.   there is also la leche league---a non-profit worldwide breastfeeding support group with counselors all over the world.

your first week, you might need a little bit of help from a soothing nipple cream.   there is a great organic one called earth mama angel baby natural nipple butter .   it costs around $15---google it or grab some at whole foods...even has it.   just rub a little on after each feeding to soothe sore or cracked nipples.   it is totally safe for baby.   you will probably only need it the first week or two.

in the first few days after baby comes, your breasts will produce colostrum (some call it liquid gold!).   next, your milk will come in, and as it does, your breasts may become engorged.   you will have hard pamela anderson boobs until baby drinks the milk and calibrates your flow---your milk flow will look to baby for leadership.   engorgement only lasts about a day, but i highly recommend using organic green cabbage leaves fresh out of the fridge on your breasts.   this was the best natural technique to soothe my rock hard breasts.   just tear off a few leaves and make a little cabbage jacket over your boobs.....leave room for your nipples (probably bathed in cream) to peek out and feed baby. i used a soft bra to hold the leaves in place.

if you have extreme breast pains, cracked/bleeding nipples, or other concerns, please seek help immediately.  these need to be resolved asap, so that you can continue to nurse.  breastfeeding was painful for me from about day 3 to day 7, but not unbearable—just sort of toe-curling when my son first would latch on.   eventually, you hardly feel anything.

please stay tuned for an upcoming post on important information about breast infections including thrush (aka yeast infection) and mastitis---and how to avoid them.   nearly every mother i know, and i, has gotten these and was not familiar with them prior to baby.....

No comments:

Post a Comment