Thursday, August 14, 2008

Breastfeeding: It's natural!

Breastfeedng: It's natural. I loath when people say that. Not that there is anything unnatural about breastfeeding but that statement makes it seem like "oh it will be a walk in the park, you and your baby will know exactly what do to and it'll be just this wonderful super great bonding experience for everybody." What a crock of shit. Thankfully I already knew before Sadie was born that breastfeeding could be difficult and was somewhat prepared for a rough ride although I don't think I could have ever prepared for it to be this rough.

She hasn't latched on to the breast in well over a week. In fact when I even get her in any sort of position to lacth on she is already pissed off and screaming as if I am feeding her razor blades. This makes feeding time less than fun and a bit stressful for both mommy and baby.

Finally I was able to get into see a Lactation Consltant. Let me tell you, she was so helpful. I wish I would have known to make an appointment from the first time we started having problems. It would have helped us tons more than the midwife and kraamzorg (in home nurse type person) ever could have. It ends up both the midwife and kraamzorg were getting us all worked up and upset over nothing, jumping the panic gun for just simple, typical latch problems.

The L.C. said my breasts are fine (the other two, midwife and kraamzorg, said my nipples were't "right" one was inverted or flat, blaming that for Sadie not latching) and she also said there is no problem with Sadie's pallet or tongue. The other two also said it was probably her tongue that was causing the latch problems.

She also said that it was rediculous for us to be waking Sadie through the night for feedings as they had us waking her every 3 hours no matter what with only one 5 hour stretch allowed per night. As you can imagine that was tiring and it just made the baby mad. Her weight is fine and actually she gained 2 oz in 4 days which is above the average and she is weighing perfectly fine for her age. The midwife and kramzorg had us on a strict schedule of feeing every 3 hours no matter what and very specific amounts. Really, sometimes it felt like we were force feeding her trying to make sure to make the "quota" they wanted. As soon as those two women left Marco and I decided we should go with our guts We stopped this "schedule" as soon as they left because we know she will wake when she's hungry, it's what babies do!

The L.C. also told me to stop pumping every two hours. Fine with me!. She suggested I spread it out to three hours during the day and not to wake up through the night to pump. For the last 4 or 5 days I had been pumping every 2 hours around the clock which of course takes its toll on you after a while.

She was impressed that I pumped enough to not have to give Sadie any formula, which was important to me. Not the formula is the devil but I would just rather not give it if I could help it. If Sadie would have ever been in "danger" or losing weight of course I would have fed her formula.

The L.C. suggested I only try having Sadie latch on two or three times a day as currently we are trying every single time she feeds which is making feeding awful and stressful for both her and I. She also said it was perfectly fine for me to feed her from the bottle where as the other two said only Marco should be giving her the bottle, so I haven't even gotten to feed her days.

She really made me feel comfortable and Marco really liked her too. She gave me confidence that my motherly instincts were pretty much on target but you know, when you have two "professionals" telling you to do things this way or that way, it's really hard to say "you know, thanks for your input and I know you have 30+ years expereince but my 14 day stint in motherhood tells me I should do it this way."

She said Sadie has a mind of her own and is strong willed which is what is probably causing the problems with her latching onto the breast. She's impatient if she doesn't "get it right" the first time. We just have to keep trying every day until we get it, which is no problem. I will continue to pump and feed her expressed breat milk until we get it down. I already feel so much more relaxed with the schedule she set up for us which is a huge load off. I'm managing to get some sleep. Marco is sleeping. Sadie is content and healthy. Let's hope in the next few days or weeks she will start latching and I can put my pump on the shelf for the time being.


Jelena and Mark said...

Hi! Great that you got to see a LC and that she was so helpful. I too had a not so great experience with my kraamzorg nurse re breastfeeding. I didn't have latch problems but she told me to feed 10min on one side, 10 on the other and I did for a couple of days. Una did not appreciate it (I will not go into details of how we knew this :)) and when we switched to one feed one breast (like we were thought at the childbirth class) she was way happier.
I hope Sadie latches on properly soon, pumping is not fun! And when she does it will be great! Hang in there!

Janine said...

I am so glad that the LC was able to help you. BF is natural, but I don't think it comes naturally. If you have time look up biological nurturing, its really interesting. It tells us how babies reflexes that they are born with help them to latch them selves and us as adults don't always follow this, there is even a step by step on how to do it.
Good Luck, I am sure it will get easier soon. You are doing such a great job already!

Kandi said...

I am glad that the LC was so helpful. My daughter had latch problems too. It was so frustrating! I ended up just pumping and giving it to her in a bottle, it was so much less stressful and I think as long as mom and baby are happy, nothing else matters. Good luck with continuing to breastfeed.

Teri said...

Thank goodness for the LC! It sounds like you're doing just great, mama :)

The Lassie said...

Took me a while to find a competent LC, too. I am glad you found someone who knows what they're talking about. It took us 8 weeks to go from bottle back to breast - my girl suffered nipple confusion...bottle teat, nipple...poorest fella! But we did manage (I even had to feed formula for a while and hated it) and so will you!