Breastfeeding Info (49)
Breastfeeding and Sibling Rivalry
Introducing a newborn brother or sister into a family can be an extremely exciting time for everyone involved. But it can also cause feelings of loss for younger children and they can react destructively. Understandably, younger children may feel put out and threatened by the new addition. And family life can become fraught.
So, how can you make the new arrival less of a threat to siblings?
Firstly, acknowledge to yourself, and to your other children, that they may feel a bit displaced when the new baby is introduced into the fold.
If you intend to breastfeed your new baby, then explain to your children that you may not have as much time to spend with them as usual but reassure them that a routine will eventually become established and things will return to normal.
Try to involve other siblings as much as possible in the day to day care of the baby. You could nominate one to fetch baby wipes and nappies whilst another may be allocated the job of getting the night-time baby-gro. Or perhaps let them help with bathing the new baby. This will allow your other children to feel involved and important.
When you are breastfeeding the baby explain to your children what you are doing. If they are very young perhaps show them pictures of babies being fed by their mothers, including baby animals. Remind them that they were once breastfed by you too, if that is the case.
Some children will mimic what they see their parents doing - so try not to show surprise if you witness a child breastfeeding her favourite teddy bear. Instead encourage her to tell you all about her baby
Don't go into a different room to breastfeed your new baby as this implies that there is something wrong with what you are doing. Instead, as you breastfeed the baby, encourage your children to watch how the baby is drinking your milk and explain that it will make the baby healthy and strong. In so doing you will allow them to accept breastfeeding as normal.
Whilst breastfeeding you may find that very young toddlers crave your attention and may literally be hanging off you! Prepare for this by getting a few books or jigsaws ready in advance. When it is time to breastfeed the baby, read a story to your other children or encourage them to draw you a picture or do a jigsaw. This makes them feel valued and involved.
If siblings are bickering a lot with one another and you find yourself losing your temper with them, try to take some time out. And when you have calmed down explain to them why you are tired. Ask them to understand that you are not really angry but that you need a rest.
Some toddlers vent their frustration on the new baby by nipping him or pulling his hair. You must explain in terms your children can understand why this is unfair and encourage them to do nice things instead, such as helping to dress or bathe him or fetching some little toys instead.
If you are aware of how your children may react to a new sibling you can ensure that things progress smoothly by preparing them well in advance of the birth. Encourage your children to see the new baby as a family member who is looking forward to coming to live with you. Show them pictures of new babies and babies breastfeeding. If possible, bring them to visit someone who has a new baby and better still someone who is also breastfeeding.
Be careful to make time for other children in the family once the baby arrives.
Siblings can be hard work and sibling rivalry a nightmare but you can make life easier for yourself and for them with careful advance preparations.
Article by Sinead Hoben.
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It is widely known that breastfeeding is the most nutritious way to feed an infant, but it is less known that the benefits that a child and mother receive from breastfeeding continue throughout life even after breastfeeding has stopped.
It is often said that breastfed children are healthier than formula fed children, and there are many facts that support this statement. Breastmilk aids in the proper development and maturation of an infant’s immune system. Breastfeeding decreases a child’s risk of developing several chronic diseases such as allergies, asthma, diabetes as well as many others.
Allergies – Studies show that colostrum and breastmilk can help to prevent a child from developing inherited allergies. This is because the child’s immune system has a chance to develop prior to being exposed to allergens when exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
Asthma – Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 4 months of life provides substantial protection against a child developing asthma even when other factors including asthma in the family, gender, prematurity and exposure to cigarette smoke are considered.
Diabetes – Studies suggest that exclusive breastfeeding decreases the likelihood that a child will become overweight or obese later in life. This leads to the belief that breastfeeding can help to prevent obesity related diseases like type 2 diabetes.
The body’s responsiveness to childhood vaccinations is said to be enhanced in breastfed children, which helps to keep the child’s immune system strong throughout childhood.
As a breastfeeding mother, you will also continue to receive many health benefits long after you baby is weaned. Mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk of developing certain types of cancer like ovarian, breast and endometrial cancer. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months after birth delays the return of your menstrual periods. This delays acts as a natural birth control, which allows your body to have sufficient time to fully recover from the birth experience.
Since the benefits of receiving breastmilk exclusively are long lasting for children and their mothers it helps to reinforce the fact that breastmilk is the perfect first food for all babies.
This article was contributed by Elizabeth from Breast Pumps Direct
As a nursing mother to her 1-year-old daughter and a breastfeeding counsellor, she spends a great deal of time everyday thinking, talking and writing about breastfeeding and breastmilk.
Boyles, S. (2006, September 26) Weight Benefit Seen Even if Mothers Are Obese or Have Diabetes. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/content/article/127/116842.htm
Inman, M. A. (1999, November/December) Breast Milk and Allergies: Prophylaxis or Risk? RespiratoryReviews.com. http://www.respiratoryreviews.com/novdec99/rr_novdec99_BreastMilk.html
Jackson, K. M. & Nazar, A. M. (April 2006) Breastfeeding, the Immune Response, and Long-term Health. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/106/4/203
Although breastfeeding is a natural process, a little practice and skill is needed in order to master it successfully. Learning the proper latch and positioning techniques can make all the difference when you first begin to breastfeed.
It is important for first-time breastfeeding moms to know that even though there may be a few challenges along the way a successful breastfeeding relationship is possible. Some of the most common breastfeeding problems include engorgement, mastitis and sore or cracked nipples.
Engorgement refers to an extreme fullness of the breast and can make it difficult for a young baby to latch on properly. It most commonly occurs in the early days in breastfeeding when a mother’s body is still trying to regulate how much milk it needs to produce for her baby. When engorged you may experience throbbing pain and breasts that feel hard. Engorgement can be relieved with frequent nursing. You can also express just enough milk to relieve the pressure with a breast pump. In engorgement persists you may develop mastitis.
Mastitis, an inflamed breast infection, is diagnosed by breast tenderness, swelling and flu-like symptoms. Mothers who miss feedings, are overly stressed and have cracked or bleeding nipples are at a higher risk of developing mastitis. If you are affected with mastitis, you should continue to breastfeed on the infected side, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest. Some mothers may need a round of antibiotics to clear up a case of mastitis. An infection can be avoided by relieving engorgement promptly.
Breastfeeding should not be a painful experience. Sore or cracked nipples are a result of latch-on or positioning problems. Learning how to position your baby comfortably and achieving a good latch can eliminate pain while feeding. A couple of drops of breastmilk or pure lanolin can help to heal cracked nipples more quickly.
Line Up a Lactation Consultant –
If you are planning to breastfeed your child, then selecting a lactation consultant prior to his or her birth should be one of your top priorities along with choosing a pediatrician. Finding a lactation consultant before your child’s birth will ensure that you have access to a breastfeeding expert from the start. Your lactation consultant can be a lifesaver when you need help achieving latch-on or comfortable positioning in the early days of breastfeeding.
Be Sure to Have a Strong Support Group – Overcoming even the smallest challenge will be easier if you have a group of people that are supporting your decision to breastfeed. Your husband or partner is often the most important member of your support group. If he is uneasy about your decision to breastfeed it can help to educate him on the many benefits that breastfeeding will give you and your child.
Joining the La Leche League chapter in your area is another way to build your breastfeeding support group. By attending LLL meetings, you’ll have a chance to interact with mothers who are going through the same experiences as you or have been through them before. These mothers can help to provide you with much needed encouragement and support when breastfeeding is a challenge.
Being thoroughly prepared and having a support group can make it easier for you to handle any problems that you might experience during your breastfeeding relationship with your baby.
This article was contributed by Elizabeth from Breast Pumps Direct.
As a nursing mother to her 1-year-old daughter and a breastfeeding counsellor, she spends a great deal of time everyday thinking, talking and writing about breastfeeding and breastmilk.
Even as a teenager, I used to think that if ever I had children I would breastfeed them, although I didn't have any particular reasons why. When I was 13, my sister had her first baby and she breastfed him for 18 months, but all other mothers I knew were giving bottles. After I left school I did several health related courses and became a holistic therapist. Because of my training, I became even more interested in breastfeeding, as I learnt more about the benefits of it. By this time, most of my friends had children and hardly any of them had breastfed at all. The ones who had tried it said they couldn't do it, either because the baby wouldn't latch on, or it was painful or both. They couldn't understand why anyone would want to breastfeed. However, I was adamant that if ever I was lucky enough to have children, I would breastfeed for at least 12 months.
I finally became pregnant and was really excited and looking forward to the birth. I had a long wait though, as Chelsea was over 3 weeks late. (There was no pressure on me to be induced as I was booked for a home birth with an independent midwife). When Chelsea finally decided it was time to be born, she was in a hurry and I was only in labour for an hour, so the midwife didn't make it in time! Although most women envied me for having such a quick, easy birth, I had not only found it terrifying and was disappointed that the midwife I'd become so close to had missed it, but it also affected my bonding with Chelsea. I kept thinking births that quick only happened on TV, that sort of thing doesn't happen to me; I felt as if someone else had given birth to her, she didn't feel like mine. I was so disappointed that I'd now got a baby after years of wanting one and yet I couldn't bond with her. Although I'd wanted to breastfeed primarily because of the nutritional benefits, I also knew that it could help bonding so it became even more important to me.
I did a few problems though; on the third day, a piece of nipple was hanging off and bleeding every time I fed and I also had very painful engorgement. Although I would often say "I can't do this anymore", especially during night feeds when tiredness made it harder to cope with the pain, I had no intention of giving up. I got support from my midwife and got through it.
Despite exclusive breastfeeding, I became pregnant again very quickly. Breastfeeding became really painful; at first I just put it down to hormonal changes making my nipples sensitive. After months of pain, I told my midwife (the same midwife I'd had before) and she said it sounded like thrush. After trying to clear it up naturally, I resorted to conventional medication but even that didn't work. I just put up with it as I knew Chelsea was benefiting from it. The symptoms disappeared like magic as soon as the baby was born.
I had a lovely birth this time, with the midwife there, and I bonded with Kalonice immediately. Kalonice had been diagnosed antenatally with a kidney problem. Although the paediatricians weren't very concerned as her one kidney was fine, it felt even more important to breastfeed her. I had thought that it would be a piece of cake this time so I had a shock when I found it difficult to latch her on. I think I was so used to Chelsea latching herself on, I forgot that Kalonice needed some help with it. Also, I was trying to feed her every time she cried, assuming she was crying because she wanted a feed. My midwife suggested she may be just tired, but Chelsea had always fed for comfort and I was assuming Kalonice would be the same. When she was a few weeks old she started sucking her thumb and things got easier then. I realised that once she spat my nipple out and started sucking her thumb, that she was ready to go to sleep and no longer wanted to feed.
Chelsea is 2 years old now and Kalonice is 10 1/2 months and they are both still breastfeeding. Sometimes I feed them both together, although I find it a bit awkward and I think it's nice to feed them separately so they each get individual attention. Several months ago, Chelsea started lifting my top up and helping herself to feeds. Now she still does that a lot but, if Kalonice is feeding, Chelsea just sits next to me and strokes her head and waits for her to finish, then latches herself on to the same side. I can't believe I had so many people telling me I was mad to want to breastfeed, I can't understand why anyone would not want to.
Jo-Anne Berry, Oxford
by Dr. Trisha Macnair
10 August 2000
My personal obsession with parenting, as my family could all tell you, is the psychological side of well being. While I fuss about the happiness and confidence of every child I see, I let my own children eat all the wrong foods (shame on me, especially as the wife of a dentist). I don't seem to notice that they are utterly grubby and, I am totally blase about the threat of pesticides and toxins.
A chore or a wonder?
But there are a few parental chores that I do tend to get a bit adamant about. One of them is breast-feeding. And yes, I would call it a chore - sometimes at least. Of course it is the most amazing bonding experience, so much so that some adoptive mothers make great efforts to breast-feed their new babies; read about how they managed it at: http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBadoptive.html
And there's no doubt it is a constant wonder; the act of nurturing a baby at the breast has inspired glorious art.
Of course it's convenient and cheap, but many women find that there are times when they would rather hand their baby and a bottle over to someone else. Maybe, no matter how hard you try to get your baby in the right position, your nipples are in agony and, you are tired of being chewed like a piece of old rubber. Maybe you are rather tired of the sticky mess, the hammocks called feeding bras, and the leaky boobs, or perhaps you are simply just tired, exhausted by the endless process of feeding through long broken nights.
Just talking about the problems can help, while many women find that by expressing milk, they can get time off and have more freedom, or simply get back to work. Read some basic advice on expressing at: www.ukparents.co.uk/archives/expressing.shtml
After both my children were born, I spent many weeks trundling back and forth to work, armed with breast pump and bottles, and I know how it requires a fair deal of persistence. If you are exhausted anyway, and you don't have time, space and privacy, then the only thing that flows are your tears of frustration.
If you are going back to work whilst still breast feeding, demolish some of the myths first by visiting: www.obgyn.net/pb/articles/bf_newman17_0600.htm and www.obgyn.net/pb/articles/bf_newman14_0200.htm
Protection from disease
The reason why it is worth persisting with breastfeeding when it seems like a chore, and why I have such a thing about it, is that it protects babies from a range of diseases, some of which could be life-threatening.
To spell it out, if you breast feed, your baby is:
- less likely to get respiratory or ear infections for many years. See some of the research at: www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/316/7124/21
- less likely to suffer stomach upsets for many years
- less likely to develop allergic diseases such eczema and asthma for many years. See some of the research at: www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/319/7213/815
- less likely to become constipated
- may have a higher IQ and do better at school
These benefits come from the chemicals secreted in breast-milk. In particular, the mother's antibodies provide protection against infection, while special fats help build healthy nerves and brains. There will never be another chance like this to give your child so much protection against illness in one easy go.
Persist if you can, don't feel guilty if you can't
Breast-feeding is a subtle art. No matter how instinctively your baby attaches itself (and many don't), there's still a lot to learn. For example, what do you need to think about in your own diet, does spicy or strong food upset the taste of the milk, can you still exercise as normal, and how can you get a good night-time routine going? The answer to many of these questions will depend on you and your baby.
For information on herbs and breast-feeding, visit: http://220.127.116.11/reading_room/herbs.html
There is a mass of information available to help you, from your local health visitor, or on the Internet, for example www.breastfeeding.com/ and www.lalecheleague.org/
Persist if you can for at least 3, if not 4, months. The research shows that it is in these early weeks that breastfeeding gives the maximum protection from disease - protection that lasts for years.
Stopping breast-feeding can be a very emotive time, whether after 3 days or 3 years. Sometimes it seems like it's a woman's lot in life to feel guilty, but try not to - it won't help you or your baby.
Some women find that they are unable to breastfeed successfully. There are many reasons why this may be, some of which you may be able to do something about (you may need help), and some of which you can't. Modern formula milks are very good, and are carefully designed to include the best ingredients possible. Reassure yourself; and concentrate on the other positive things you are able to do for your child, like making sure they are happy and confident. See: www.fda.gov/fdac/features/596_baby.html
The Joys and Benefits of Breastfeeding a Toddler
by Jan Andersen
My daughter is 22 months old and still being breastfed. She enjoys it immensely and I derive pleasure from knowing that not only have I given her the best start in life, but that my breasts have fulfilled the purpose for which they were intended, in addition to having saved a small fortune on formula milk!
There are a minority who think differently, however. I recently read a scathing article by a so-called humour writer who openly branded women who breastfed their babies for prolonged periods as paedophiles. I feel very sorry for this misguided woman and her bottle-fed babies. She has obviously been sucked in (forgive the pun) by the male notion that a woman's breasts are merely sexual objects, bestowed upon us to satisfy the most basic urges of men and thereby leading her to falsely believe that any contact between mouth and breast is sexual.
The one and only reason women were given breasts to nurture their children. Naturally men are fascinated by the shapely mounds on the front of a woman's body because, firstly, their own nipples are on a level with the rest of their body and, secondly, a woman's breasts fulfil a function, whereas theirs are just like inactive and decorative press studs. However, just because a woman chooses not to have children or chooses not to breastfeed, does not automatically mean her breasts become an object for sexual gratification.
It's only the western culture that considers early weaning to be the norm in fact. In many parts of the world babies are breastfed up to the age of five and beyond. In poorer areas of the world the cost and availability of formula milk means that most women have no other choice than to breastfeed their children. There is also no medical reason why a child should stop breastfeeding at a specified time, but many women concede to social pressures and maybe insensitive remarks and suggestions from friends and family. In fact, research suggests that not only do breastfed children become more independent, but that extended breastfeeding can help to reduce a woman's chances of developing breast cancer.
There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that children who are breastfed for extended periods develop Oedipus complexes, become gay or develop an abnormal fixation with breasts. If that were the case, then a huge proportion of the world's population would fall into these categories, thereby redefining the parameters of "normal".
One of most irritating and hurtful comments a mother who is breastfeeding a toddler can receive is that she is doing it purely for her own gratification and not acting in the best interests of her child. Nobody can force an unwilling child to breastfeed and more often than not a child will wean itself or simply lose interest in taking the breast, so the previous argument immediately becomes invalid.
I did not make the personal choice to feed my daughter for this length of time. She has chosen not to want to stop nursing. My other three children, now aged 19, 15 and 14 effectively weaned themselves at around a year of age. However, my youngest daughter clearly derives comfort from sucking, not to mention nourishment, but has always refused a bottle and pacifiers, although she does occasionally suck her thumb as a substitute if I am unavailable. She is an extremely robust little girl, which I attribute to having been afforded excellent protection against illness as a direct result of extended nursing.
Other children form attachments to comfort rags, toys, dummies and even a bottle, objects that can all be mislaid, forgotten or lost. The beauty of breastfeeding is that my daughter's source of comfort is permanently attached to me and, besides, as far as I am concerned, anything that has the ability to pacify a restless child in the evening, and particularly at 2am, is a blessing! She falls asleep within a couple of minutes of latching on, whereas I have heard friends complain about having to spend long periods of time performing bribing rituals in order to get their children to go to sleep.
Naturally, breastfeeding a toddler is not without its problems. Firstly, I have had to teach my daughter that if I sit down, it is not an automatic invitation for a comfort suck and this particularly applies when we are in situations when it would not be prudent to feed her, such us in public for example. Although I have no problem with breastfeeding in front of other people, I am also sensitive to others' feelings and I would not wish to offend anyone with an open display of nursing a walking, talking child.
Secondly, breastfeeding ties you to your child, which can be viewed as a problem if you wish to spend a night away on your own or with a partner. However, none of the small number of dilemmas involved is insurmountable.
Finally, the most important factor in any choice that you make with regard to breastfeeding is that it has to be your decision and no one else's. Forget social pressures, forget "well-meaning" advice from friends and family and ignore insensitive or callous comments. You have to do what you feel is right for you and your baby. If you are feeling ambivalent and are coerced into doing something against your will simply to please others, you could end up feeling guilty, resentful and unhappy.
Listen to your inner voice and act accordingly. Above all, enjoy your baby!
This article (c) Jan Andersen 2001
You can see more of Jan's articles on various subjects including pregnancy & parenting at Jan's Worldwriter Site
Breastfeeding Thank Yous
by Jen cc Tan
Dearest Mami and Dadi, Stan, Di-e, Chiqui, Inez, Panjee, Elaine, Trevlynn, Cris, Nanay Ellen, Yaya Em and all those supported me during the times when I thought I could not do it anymore.
I don't know whose fault it is...putting the idea of exclusive breastfeeding into my head. It was either Chiqui's (during our Bradley Childbirth Class) or my brother-in-law, Sandy, who said that it would be best for me to breastfeed exclusively for at the very least, four months, as their family has a history of eczema.
After giving birth the natural way with practically tolerable pain, I thought that breastfeeding would just be second nature. Ha, obviously, I was wrong. Apparently, it was a learned art-more like a long lost art as most people just immediately gave a bottle.
For the first week, I refused to give a bottle. I didn't take out the sterilizer my mother-in-law bought for the baby. Nor did I have the extra bottles and artificial nipples from my mom cleaned. So siree, I was aiming for all natural. I wanted to give my son the best milk-mommy's milk.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out for the first week. I not only had a dehydrated newborn, we also had to go back to the hospital! Trauma city...I cried every single day we were there. An I.V. was hooked on the now-so-skinny Paul and he was under bili-lights. His eyes were covered and he looked so pitiful. I couldn't help thinking what a terrible mother I was.
And because his fluid intake needed to be monitored, Paul was given formula in a bottle. Of course, at that time, I didn't know about nipple confusion yet, and how it would affect our breastfeeding relationship.
We came home after three days in the hospital. And because I was too afraid that Paul might not have enough to drink from me, the main food he had was formula. I was the supplement, imagine how depressed I was.
I was hoping to get back into the rhythm of things but when I was constantly asked "is he getting enough?", I would immediately tense up. That did not help any with my wanting to breastfeed. Thank God though, for my father-in-law, who encouraged me to nurse when I can.
Since I didn't know how to position the baby, I still had a difficult time. I asked for the help of one of the breastfeeding counselors of Arugaan, Nanay Ellen. She did help me relax by massaging me, however, all that went to waste when I kept hearing "is he getting enough?". At that point, I began to wonder whether I did have enough. Maybe I didn't...
When he was on formula, Paul was having highs of 20 ounces of formula per day and lows of around 16 - 17 when I breastfeed. There are days I would express so we would include that in the count as well.
Things started to look brighter when we saw the pedia. He said that I could actually exclusively breastfeed and if it wasn't enough, the baby would cry anyway and that was the when I should be supplementing with formula.
There were difficult days, of course-there was a point when I wanted to give everything up already. This included the crying and the sore nipples.
After that, I attended a La Leche League meeting at a house of a member. My ever-supportive mom attended the meeting with me. I also took Paul and Yaya Em. There, an LLL Leader helped me position Paul well. (When the readings said "tummy-to-tummy", I didn't realize it was THIS CLOSE!) During the LLL meeting, I met people who were first time moms and those who had a lot of kids. In the discussion group, we talked about weaning, solids, and later on, had a question and answer portion.
Most of the questions of the new moms were on latching on (my question), pumping, relactation ( I think there was a mom there whose kid is already three months and she'd like to go back to breastfeeding), and the like...
That was the start...I was heartened by the meeting and I knew that I could do it. Thus began the task of decreasing even more the formula that Paul was drinking. I have been able to pump and save some milk in the freezer which we now use during the time I need to rest. I do breastfeed directly most of the day but there are just some times that I'm tired.
Today, the 24th of May 2001, Paul took only 2.5 oz of formula! We are well on our way, thanks to all of you....
To Mami - for always being there, especially during the times I was in the hospital the second time around, buying me a breastfeeding pillow, feeding me with all the soup to help me lactate (we were trying EVERYTHING!), sneaking halaan soup even if the Chinese one-month "incubation" period wasn't over, joining me at the LLL meeting, and even baking some goodies, for being so supportive of my wanting to give the best to your apo.
To Dadi - for always being there and for always being supportive and for giving Mami the money to spend on me.To Stan - my devoted husband, who was always there to buy what I needed immediately: fenugreek capsules from GNC (supposedly a galactagogue), a breastpump one Sunday afternoon, and who just always shook his head when I kept telling him I wanted to exclusively breastfeed...I knew I could do it! Thanks for being quietly supportive about it.
To Di-e - who called me when I was in the hospital with Paul to cheer me up.
To Chiqui - who taught Stan and I the Bradley Method, and who told me that I had milk...
To Inez - who I woke at 2:30AM when I needed a voice to tell me that I could actually do it-thanks so much. And yes, I will visit the day care when you get back-PROMISE!
To Panjee - who not only lent me her "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding", but also sent me lactagogue tea and a brag book. Thanks for encouraging me all the time...thanks for the emails too!
To Elaine - who passed by the house the day after we talked to visit and help me position Paul. Thanks for being available through text all the time. I'd like to give Paul the best I can as long as I can, just like you did with Kobe.
To Trevlynn - who finally helped me understand how close "tummy-to-tummy" should be.
To Cris - who is always a phone call or a text message away when I needed answers to my BF questions and all others.
To Nanay Ellen - who helped me relax and patiently waited while Paul wanted to nurse in between the massage session.
To Yaya Em - who understands my request to bring Paul to me for breastfeeding instead of giving him the bottle immediately.
To my sisters Gigi and Candy - wala lang, baka you might make tampo if I don't put your names here...heehee!
To my brother Steve (even if he cannot relate to this whole thing at all) - who stayed with me when we were checked-in the second time around in the hospital. His quiet presence was enough.
And most of all, to our Lord and St. Jude...who have listened to my prayers incessantly.
I just wanted to say thanks for all the words of encouragement. I don't know how Paul and I could have come this far without all of you.
Jen and Paul
Another Breastfeeding Success Story
by Tami Payne
I am the proud mother of two girls (ages 3 1/2 and 11 months). I tried to nurse my first, but due to lack of information and support this was short-lived (6 weeks with formula supplement). Kassity ended up having a lot of digestive problems and ear infections (she had tubes at 1 year). But, after that she seemed to pull through and has been fine since.
When my husband and I were in the planning stages of our next child, I thought to myself and expressed it very openly to other family members that I was going to breastfeed. I really didn't care what other people thought since I had my heart set on this. So, when Kierstyn was born I immediately started to nurse. I remembered all the information I had heard from other nursing mothers, La Leche League consultants, and textbooks. I then put all this to the test. She immediately latched on and off we went! She was exclusively at breast for 7 1/2 weeks. Then my dilema - I had to return to my full-time job.
At present I hold two--one weekly 8 hours, and the other as our church music director on weekends. Plus, I taught private piano and voice lessons. Now it was time for my husband to take over. I had a Medela manual pump--I definitely recommend this brand--and began expressing.
Little did I know that this was the way it was going to be for the next 11 months! Unfortunately Kierstyn preferred the bottle to my breast and would only become frustrated and cry and push me away. I too felt that way but at the same time felt that my husband could get some enjoyment out of feeding her my milk with a bottle. And so that was the case. Kierstyn was bottle-fed breast milk exclusively. (I had to buy a chest freezer since I was expressing much more than she was able to finish in a day--boy was that handy!). I was very fortunate that my workplace allowed me to take breaks throughout the day and express. I ended up having the full support of my boss, family, and other friends. As a matter of fact I now have people coming to me for advice! Who would have ever thought!
I would like to also add that no matter what happens--don't give up! I know at times it's frustrating and may seem a bit laborious, but think of the benefits. Also, I don't know about you, but when I look down and see how content my baby is--her smiling and loving eyes staring back at me--it's all worth it.
A Hearty Recommendation
by Margaret N Miller
We had our first baby in 1940. The treatment then was to give "Twilight Sleep" to ease labor. This worked but it was quite a strain on the mother and child. The hospital stay was routinely 10 days! So, though I had wanted to nurse the baby, I only was able to provide an ounce or so at each feeding.
What to do? I asked our doctor, a fine, sympathetic, and caring lady, Dr. Elisabeth Larson, if it would be alright if I gave the baby the milk I had at each feeding and then supplement it with formula? Dr. Larson said that would be fine if that was what I wanted to do.
So, off to the baby equipment store to purchase a scale. We would weigh the baby before nursing, weigh hear afterwards and give the balance of the 4 ounces needed for each feeding in formula.
Things worked out well. My husband, bless his heart, did his part by letting me sleep all night to get my strength back and gave the baby every two o-clock feeding she ever had. This was only for about a month as by that time I was in full flow and was able to dispense with the formula.
Incidentally, this daughter, who is now 56, had the same problem with our first grandchild, but, by following the above routine, soon was on a full nursing routine.
Now, the only problem with this method is, it may be a bit difficult to get the husband to take over the two o.clock feedings, I was fortunate, indeed, with mine. He likes to brag that he gave our first child every two o.clock feeding she ever had.
So, you see, Jane, the procedure is very simple and, for me, is very worthwhile and worth all the effort to make it succeed. I can heartily recommend it to any mother.
Margaret N. Miller
(we will celebrate our 62nd next November. We have 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren)
A Breastfeeding Success Story
by Tammi LaTorre
My name is Tammi, I am the mom of 4.
I have both bottle-fed and breastfed. In all honesty, I was ignorant on the truths of breastfeeding until I chose to educate myself. I feel it is so important for new parents to research all their options from methods of childbirth to feeding their new baby, then an informed decision can be made.
My first was born in 1988. I was 23. The thought of breastfeeding did not appeal to me. I attended a hospital sponsored childbirth education class. I barely remember breastfeeding mentioned, whatever was said did NOT make any kind of impression or impact. My conclusion was; if the hospital doesn't promote or encourage breastfeeding than bottle-feeding must be okay.
I was naive. Formula did not agree with my son, he cried constantly because of gas and constipation. Ear infections were another major problem, he had to have tubes surgically placed in his ears at 9 months.
My next was born in 1990. I did not attend any preparation classes this time. Again I assumed bottle-feeding was okay. No one suggested breastfeeding. I had another gassy, constipated, and constantly crying baby. Ear infections were also a problem but not as severe.
My next was born in 1993. Again I attended no classes and assumed bottle-feeding was okay. Breastfeeding was never mentioned. Again I had an unhappy tummy troubled baby with ear infections and eczema. Not once with or after my children were born did anyone mention breastfeeding could have decreased if not prevented the problems we dealt with. Breastfeeding never even crossed my mind
In 1995 I was pregnant again. I knew this baby was going to be my last, I wanted to take nothing for granted. I bought my first breastfeeding book out of curiosity. It was an eye-opening experience. My mind was made up - how could I not breastfeed knowing all the facts. I attended a breastfeeding class and read all the books I could get my hands on. I wanted to be informed and prepared.
My son, Samuel Louis, was born on 10/27/95, 16 days early by c-section. ( I had a difficult pregnancy with kidney problems and an obstructed ureter.) In recovery I wanted to nurse my new son. A Nursery nurse was called to assist us. She came in my room, looked at me, said I was attached to too many wires, and walked out. I was stunned. My husband attempted to help me but we were like the Three Stooges, with baby making three. I was in tears. My Labor and Delivery nurse thankfully came into the room and helped.
Our first experience was a disappointment, I was in pain from the incision and Sammy didn't seem to be interested in sucking but I was determined to get this right. I was in the hospital for 5 days because of my kidney. I had a difficult time getting Sammy to latch on correctly. This lasted a couple of days; some nurses were very helpful and stayed with me till we got him latched on properly while others made quick attempts and others made none at all.
I experienced different nurses and many different opinions expressed to me whether I asked or not. Keeping him in my room was a constant battle; he had to be in the nursery when the shifts changed or the paediatricians made their rounds, or so I was told. I discovered saying "He just started to nurse," usually got us a lot more time. I was encouraged to supplement because of his weight loss and lack of wet diapers. I refused. His weight loss was minimal and he was wetting fine according to my paediatrician and my count of his wet diapers. (He was 1 oz shy of his 8 lb. 1 oz. birth weight on day 5).
A Lactation Consultant was on staff but I never felt comfortable with her. She seemed to make her rounds while the babies were in the nursery. Needless to say, I went home with bleeding and sore nipples. I cried every time he latched on. It took about a week but we corrected our problems and I was finally able to painlessly nurse. I quickly discovered I had a baby that did NOT suffer from gas pains, constipation, eczema, or inconsolable crying. What a difference!! I didn't realize being a mom could be so enjoyable and I could satisfy my babies needs so easily and completely.
At 14 weeks postpartum I was scheduled for reconstructive kidney surgery requiring a 4 day hospital stay. My urologist wrote on his orders for me to have a private room and I could have my baby brought to me and breastfeed. I pumped and froze a quantity of milk in preparation for when I couldn't nurse.
My hospital experience was terrible, in summary: it took 2 days to get a pump, no one knew how to set up the pump (I was in no shape due to my pain meds), the nurses were angry because they felt a baby should NOT be allowed on the floor for any reason, comments were made to me that this was no place for a baby, and none of the nurses had experience working with a breastfeeding mom, they didn't know what to do with me. At this point I found a private LC. She was my lifeline and able to give me accurate information with adequate explanations. (Mary, I am forever grateful for your wisdom, encouragement and support. Thank you with my heart!)
My kidney problems were not resolved and more tests were and are still required. Pumping and dumping is necessary for up to 24 hrs with these tests. These periods are emotionally and physically difficult. My mind, body, and heart wants to feed my baby but I know I can't. My son's confusion and frustration are apparent and upsetting to me, but we struggle through. The meaningfulness of our nursing relationship is truly expressed after one of these periods. Sammy's excitement and anticipation is expressed by the light in his eyes, happy gooing, and waving arms and legs when he realizes he can finally nurse.
I regret not breastfeeding all my children, but I did what I thought was best determined from the information I was given. I now realize how important is is for parents to be educated about breastfeeding so they can make an informed decision and question contradictions when necessary.
My breastfeeding experiences have given me a new goal in life. I want to counsel nursing moms, I want to help educate them about breastfeeding and help them be secure and comfortable in their ability to make parenting choices regarding breastfeeding. If I can make a difference, one person at a time, I will have reached my goals.