break in breast feed baby
Our first difficulty began on day two. Siddhartha latched on great from the beginning and was sleepy and fairly calm the first day. I had no idea that day two was going to be an all-out non-stop colostrum buffet. Apparently, babies spend their second day in life eating as much as possible to stimulate momma’s milk production. This wouldn’t be so bad if:
there were a decent amount of colostrum so I didn’t feel guilty every time he tried to eat
the nurse hadn’t scared the piss out of me by overracting to his weight loss (10% is normal to lose. 10% of Sidd’s weight was ~6 pounds 7 ounces. He was down to 6 pounds 6 ounces. Big woop!) and
if I hadn’t been on my third night with almost no sleep while trying to recover from surgery.
After reaching a point of desperation, we gave in and supplemented with formula. It’s difficult to remember the course of events because of the fog that saturated my mental state at the time, but I know that within the first couple days of Sidd’s life we had already given up on most of our plan regarding breastfeeding. Besides supplementing with formula, we had also introduced a pacifier, and sent him to the nursery. I am glad that those options were available to us so that we were able to draw ourselves back from teetering on the edge of sanity, but I also think we could have avoided some of it if we had had better information and support at the hospital.
A quick conversation with a nurse or a simple flyer from the lactation consultants about baby’s second night would have been enough to get us through it. If you know anyone having a baby, the article about baby’s second night is essential. Please share it with them. I wish someone had done that for us.
Nevertheless, I was able to keep my milk supply up by pumping every two hours and we were able to do away with the formula after a day or two. We went home on day four thinking the breastfeeding was going great.
Sadly, within an hour of getting home, Sidd refused one breast and then the other. He did accept one again briefly and I wrote a victorious blog post before later realizing that our problems were only just beginning. Due to poor advice at the hospital, Sidd had gotten used to the bottle and it would take intense effort to get him back to the nipple. More about that later.
How were your first few days breastfeeding? Did you have to supplement? Did you receive any very helpful advice you’d like to pass on?
In a callous move to cut costs at the expense of quality patient care, UMMMC management has announced plans to lay off all four of its registered nurse lactation consultants, who have an average of 17 years of experience working in the hospital's once renowned maternity program. The new plan is to outsource the breastfeeding education to non-nurse consultants who work for the company that supplies breastfeeding pumps to the hospital. They plan to implement the change as of Dec. 1, 2011.
The hospital has made this decision when it operates one of the state's busiest maternity programs (with more than 4,000 deliveries per year), which includes a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and an infertility program, serving some of the most vulnerable and fragile mothers and babies in the state. No other hospital in Massachusetts of like size employs non-RN lactation consultants and most community hospitals in the state rely on RNs for this vital service.
For the study - published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood - scientists from the Universities of Oxford, Essex, York and University College London used questionnaires to collect data on more than 10,000 infants born in 2000 and 2001. The researchers found that 16 percent of formula-fed children had developed behavior problems by age five, as compared to six percent of children who had been breast-fed.
What would explain such a big difference? Scientists said one possibility is that breast milk contains fatty acids that aid in brain development, AFP reported. Another possible cause of better behavior may grow out of the strong bond that nursing creates between mother and child.
"We just don't know whether it is because of the constituents in breast milk, or the close interaction with the mum, or whether it is a knock-on effect of reduced illness in breastfed babies," Oxford University's Maria Quigley, told the BBC. "But it does begin to look like we can add fewer behavioral problems as another potential benefit of breastfeeding."
Other benefits of breast-feeding are well established.
In a call to action to support breast-feeding, the U.S. Surgeon General said breast-feeding helps protect children against sudden infant death syndrome and various infections, and that children who are breast-fed are less likely to develop asthma or become obese.
Giving all the benefits that breasts have over the bottle, a woman who chose to bottle-feed would have to be a real boob, right?
Breast-feeding expert Janet Fyle, of the Royal College of Midwives, said "We must not send a negative message to mothers that they have failed, or make them feel guilty because they bottle-feed their babies."
But moms who bottle-feed may get the message in another way - via their kids' bratty behavior.