A close friend just fell in love with a tiny human she carried for 9 months. Baby F was born 10 days ago after 48 HOURS of labor!
Unless I am missing something, my college friends and I all seem to have these, dare I say strange tales to tell of our first deliveries… By the second go around you seem to know the lay of the land – what you are willing to endure, what you won’t, take the pain meds… quickly. You know what you will put up with from your medico and more importantly you are not afraid to walk away and find someone who is willing to give you the experience you need to get through it.
Pregnancy is a marathon, not a sprint. It is important to have the right coach, who shares your vision.
I remember my first. A favorite among the town child-bearing and rearing, EO, came heavily recommended by friends in the department. He was nice he was charming… He also told me it was alright if all I had to eat and drink was my little bottles of ribena for the first 16 WEEKS while I heaved up my guts with hyperemesis. “Now, Mrs B”, he said in his soft south-eastern Irish brogue,” you know these medications, there is not much to say they won’t cause any trouble later… best we stay off them.”
And just like that. he left me without any anti-vomiting medications… I was forced to obtain them back door with a lot of begging. I vomited, I cried, I did not sleep, I lost weight. I lost my mind somewhere along the way.
Few months down the track after 23 HOURS of contractions I had an emergency C-Section because while he was busy keeping me out of the medicine cabinets, my OB forgot to test me for Gestational diabetes. Needless to say, attempting to deliver a 300lb line-backer would have been easier!
Fast forward 4 or so years, I was now facing similiar issues carrying Ben. BK , my OB must hidden wings under that blue pinstrip suit. I swear, his perfectly coiffed mane had a hallo holding it in place. That’s how it felt, anyways. He said to me in our first meeting that it was important for me to have a positive experience second time round.
The journey though paved with many potholes and seemed longer than the last ( it wasn’t. it was actually 4 weeks shorter!), we both sang from the same hymn sheet. And my God, what an opus.
So I promised M, I would post my lactation cookies up for her *ehem cue attentive kitchen-bound hubby, to help her enhance her supply. Apparently Baby F has a palate atune to only the gourmet fine dining a breast can provide…
I am not affiliated with La Leche or the ABA, but I consider these, my top tips for successful breastfeeding;
- Be consistent – I know it is a challenging time, baby crying, older child running around, housework, laundry, not to mention sleep and showering… In the beginning when I was trying to establish my breastfeeding everything revolved around me getting the feeds in; when i cooked, when I ran errands. And I was unashamed . Running out on friends at coffee, leaving a partially filled cart in the grocery store… needing to find a quiet place to complete a feed. It was about getting my body to realise we had serious work to do.
- Hydrate, Hydrate Hydrate! I got this great refill bottle that was able to hold 700ml at a time and I carried it around with me everywhere. I always made sure it was full. I sipped constantly.
- Eat well – eat regularly and eat well. This is not the time to focus on how much weight you want to lose – eat healthy carbs, lots of fruit and vegetables. I used to like to imagine my green-goo was giving my baby lots of yummy goodness. I also ensured that I continued my vitamins each day and I added a calcium supplement.
- If you re supplementing wean back the formula over a few feeds, so if you are supplementing 60ml, drop down to 40ml for a day, then 20ml then 10ml then 0ml.
- Get into a good sitting position – find a place and position that allows you to zone out… You need to relax for your milk to let down. A near impossible task when you are trying to block ut the cries of your newborn and you are stressing about whether you are producing enough… I used to light a candle beside my bed, vanilla. Everytime I inhaled the aroma, I said to myself “you are a good mom. You are doing the best you can”.
- Try out all the baby positions till you find the right position that suits you and your baby. You may even find that as your baby grows the position changes. Use a nursing pillow, great aid to bring the baby to you
- If you have pendulous breasts use rolls of fabric to help lift your breast to align your nipple to your babies nose.
- Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate – when I get into a routine where I have a free hand, I use the other to sip some water. I try to aim for what I hope is coming out with each feed.
- Look into your babies eyes – try to forget about how much you need to produce and enjoy the fact that you have this incredible gift to share with your baby. You are able to provide sustenance to keep a human being alive. That is something to celebrate.
- After every feed moisturise your nipples with a little breastmilk AND a good nipple cream. Doubles as a great lip-balm too.
Anyone you know have a baby recently? Do you have any tips for my friend? And if you hav made these lactation cookies, what is your favorite flavour combination?