Let me start out by saying, FED IS BEST. I have no problem with anyone who chooses to formula feed. I formula fed Adylee and she is totally healthy and happy.
After I had her, I was seriously interested in breastfeeding and told myself that I would breastfeed my next baby. These are some tips that I have picked up along the way and I thought I would share them with you all.
Latch is everything! If you are struggling with pain while the baby is latched or cracked/bleeding nipples then the latch is probably shallow. It has happened to me before and it can be so painful that you just wanna throw in the towel and quit. A correct latch is both the top and bottom lip curled outward almost like “fish lips.” If they are in it’s going to hurt like crazy but a trick my lactation consultant taught me was to gently pull their lip out with your finger until it’s curled outwards. Also, check for lip and tongue ties as this can be a cause of a shallow latch.
Here’s how my two went my first time feeding:
With Gracelyn, I almost forgot how to latch a baby and we ended up with such a shallow latch that I was bleeding and it was like razors every time she wanted to eat. I dreaded feeding because it hurt so bad that I would cry the entire time.
With Giovanni, I had gestational diabetes so his sugar was checked every hour right after he was born. He failed it a total of two times and ended up having to be given a formula bottle in the hospital. When we got home, he wouldn’t latch and ended up being bottle fed breastmilk with one formula bottle. I ended up using a nipple shield to get him to latch. It was rough trying to get that on my nipple and then latch him to that so I went to see the lactation consultant to try and get him off of it. She taught me the “sandwich” your boob in your hand technique and to rub my nipple on his lip till he opened up his mouth. It worked and we were off the nipple shield by the end of the day!
“I don’t produce enough” is something that lots of new moms say. I always ask someone who says that to me, “how do you know that” and their reply is usually along the lines of that they cry every hour for a feeding or they nurse all day long.
As long as baby is producing 6-8 wet diapers and 3-4 bowel movements you ARE producing enough. Eating every hour during the newborn stage is fairly normal as they are cluster feeding. They are getting their nutrients that they need to roll over in a couple months or to fight off cold/flu season. Another way to measure if your baby is truly “getting enough” is their weight gain. Are they gaining enough weight? If the answer is yes then you are doing more than enough for them momma. Your milk does truly wonderous things. Try not to doubt it!
Cluster feeding can make anyone think they aren’t producing enough because it’s basically round the clock nursing. Trust me, I know! Giovanni did at 3 months to the point where I felt like a human cow. Gracelyn is doing it now at 6 months and even I questioned myself on whether or not I was producing enough. But I counted her diaper output and she was doing great so I know that I’m giving her what she needs.
What you pump is not necessarily what you are feeding them when they nurse at the breast.
I am living proof of this and I’ll tell you why… Giovanni went to a daycare where I worked until he was 8 months old. I pumped every 4-5 hours as much as I could at work, only getting 3 oz total from both breasts. I actually had to end up getting milk from a milk bank for him to be able to have enough milk for whenever we would have to leave him with someone and for school. I never got more than 3 oz EVER!
He nursed till he was 13 months old.
I’ll say it again, what you get in a pumping session is not an indicator of what they are actually getting. An oversupply does not equal better mom. If you talk to anyone who has one, they will tell you it is absolute hell most of the time.
Giovanni nursing at 1 year old