Dec 1, 2006

Preparing to Breastfeed #2 Update

I've already posted about my concerns about breastfeeding this baby after all of my troubles when Alex was born, but I thought I'd post an update about what I'm doing now that I've talked with my lactation consultant, Ellen Steinberg.

My talk with Ellen was a great primer in getting me thinking about what things will be like right after the baby is born. I am having a scheduled c-section, so she highly recommended that if at all possible, I have the baby brought to me in the recovery room so I can nurse him during the first hour when he is most "primed" for nursing. She did mention, however, that I will need assistance getting him latched on since I will only be able to nurse lying down at that time. I checked with my ob, who said that the hospital staff now tries very hard to keep mommies and babies together in recovery, which is great because I don't think that was the case when Alex was born.

Ellen walked me through the football hold, which is the position that worked best with Alex at the beginning. It wasn't my favorite position because it was hard on my wrists but this time I will make sure my wrists are better supported from the start. I think visualizing myself latching the baby on brought back a lot of my memories from those early days with Alex, although we'll really find out if that's true after the baby is born.

Because I had a milk supply issue from the beginning with Alex, Ellen recommended that I bring my Pump In Style to the hospital with me and start pumping immediately, at least during day feedings, to make sure my supply is adequately stimulated. I'm not exactly looking forward to pumping, especially from the get-go, but it's definitely worth it if it means having an adequate supply when my milk comes in. Ellen prefers Playtex Nurser bottles as being the most compatible with breastfeeding, and she recommended that I bring one to the hospital so that in case we do have to supplement, we can use that bottle instead of the Enfamil products provided by the hospital.

A few more things Ellen said that I thought were interesting:
  • C-sections can delay milk coming in, but less because of the surgery itself and more because of the time away from baby during recovery.
  • Gestational diabetes can also delay milk coming in.
  • The football hold will generally be more comfortable after a c-section than the cross-cradle hold because the baby will not press down on the incision.
  • As soon as I am able to leave the bed, I should nurse in a chair, because it will be easier to get a proper latch.

Disclaimer: Ellen's advice to me was meant specifically for me and in no way should be construed as expert advice meant for another person. If you need personal advice, please contact an expert. You can find information on how to locate an expert near you here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you really want your breast milk to be available when your baby is born, you could begin pumping even before giving birth, but, of course, that can bring on labor! My milk didn't come in until about the 4th day after giving birth, but I did use the hospital's breast pump to encourage the supply to come in when I wasn't nursing my babies (they need the practice too, if they're not already naturally strong sucklers. In any case, good luck!