Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nursing advice *WEANING*

I hope any expecting first time moms out there are going to try breastfeeding. It is a really personal decision that you shouldn't feel guilty about either way. But it really is great!!

My biggest piece of advice is that you really need to know what you are in for. It is NOT easy. Be ready for several really rough weeks. If you can have the right mindset about it and hang in there, it gets a lot better. I remember several times that I was in tears thinking that if I would just throw in the towel and give Caroline a bottle that everything would be peachy. But I persevered and made it through - or maybe my post-partum depression went away.

- 7/27/07 Bras...
I got mine at Motherhood Maternity (all under $20) . I believe this is the kind that I have... http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?ViewSource=browse&Product_Id=11521567&category_Name=Nursing+Bras&Category_Id=1567&MasterCategory_Id=15

Some places say not to use underwire, but (as a friend of mine says) I want the girls to look nice. I find that a little padding helps to hid the lines from my nursing pads.

I have one without underwire to sleep in, but don't get the one I have b/c the straps come apart... http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?ViewSource=browse&Product_Id=19881567&category_Name=Nursing+Bras&Category_Id=1567&MasterCategory_Id=15

- A nurse at the hospital taught us this one for getting a baby to nurse before your milk has really come in - sugar water on the nipple. It gets the baby interested. (I can't believe I just shared that.)

- In the early months, have your husband take at least one middle of the night feeding during the weekend so you can get at least 5 consecutive hours of sleep. What is one bottle of formula a week in the grand scheme of things? I'm sure you have a free tub of Similac from your gift bag anyway.

- Use disposable nursing pads during those first few weeks. The top weave layer on them is much easier on cracked nipples than a reusable pad. But then I switched to reusable pads which after a few washings are good and soft and I think they show through your bra less. I also tried using LilyPaz (they are cheapest off E-bay (brand new)). I've ended up only using them at night (so I can sleep braless) since I still end up leaking and they don't absorb, so milk ends up running everywhere when I take them off.

- Lanolin cream is a must for the first few weeks, but you don't need much so one tube will do it. In fact, I got some free samples at a breast feeding class and that was all I needed. Target has their own brand now. Also, it does leave a yellow tinge on what it touches so if you don't want your bra stained, make sure you have a nursing pad on.

- Learn how to nurse lying on your side. There were times that I'd do this and both Caroline and I would fall asleep. It is esp. nice on those mornings you just can't drag out of bed. Kevin would bring Caroline to me and I'd feed her in bed.

- Weaning. I had committed to myself to breastfeed for one year. When Caroline's birthday came around, I just couldn't stop. I wasn't overly emotional about it. It was more that I just couldn't bring myself to make the decision and change the routine. Caroline dropped her bedtime feeding on her own... she just wasn't interested after her bedtime story and really wanted to just go to bed. I think that's usually the hardest for people to drop, so I got lucky. I slowly dropped the afternoon feedings and was left with just her morning feeding. So one weekend around 13 1/2 months, my husband got up with her and let me sleep in. I looked at the clock and thought about getting up to nurse, but decided to take the opportunity to be done (plus I was under some stress from a crisis in the family). And that was it. I thought that it would hurt, or I'd leak and be engorged, but it wasn't anything like that. I tried manually expressing a couple days later and I still had milk coming out. It was really easy on my body to stop since I'd dropped the feedings over few month period. Now here's the downer, my boobs are smaller. I know to some of you that isn't a problem, but I'm a 'Nearly A' now : P I can't wait for nursing boobs again ; )

-I loved nursing and the close moments we had. At 18 months, Caroline and I still have a morning cuddle on the couch to replace that last nursing that we dropped. I hope that everyone that wants to try nursing will be successful and enjoy it like I did.

- (2nd time around advice) Nipple shields (which you can get at Target from Medela - and they actually come in more sizes than you'll find in a retail store) can keep you from getting sore and chapped. I guess that's the big positive to having to use them in these early days.

- (2nd time around advice) Call Suzy Adams from Baby Expressions for Lactation help... 281-463-1871


Rebecca said...

I've found nursing in bed with my baby to be an excellent way of getting a full night of rest. He nuzzles me awake, I latch him on, and then we go back to sleep. I know co-sleeping is not recommended by some schools of thought, but with some forethought it is very safe and has been the right choice for our family.

Andrea said...

I'm glad you were able to meet your one-year goal and then go through a weaning process that was gentle and easy for both of you. :)