Friday, December 23, 2011

That First Week: Basic Answers to Common Questions

My friends, Joe and  Sam (short for Samantha)  just had their first baby,
 Benjamin.  So, of course, I've been "all over that", ya know, seeing them 
before hand and the morning after he was born, on their way home from the 
hospital and through texting/facebook as well.  
Like most new parents, they had concerns and questions which I am used to.   So I thought I would share our dialogs which contain useful information but 
most importantly reflect the process and progress.  I cannot 
emphasize enough how important on-going support is to the breastfeeding 
family.   And if this is done well and in a timely fashion, the result: less fear and anxiety, lots of milk and a happy, content baby.  
For you veteran - lactivists:   I am sure this dialog will trigger some mammaries, oops!... I mean memories of those very first days. 

Sam: I honestly have an amazing husband....The last two nights have been 
really long and hard for me because I just couldn't figure out what Benjamin wanted...Today joe kept telling me to nap and relax, which I did and it has made a WORLD of difference 
tonight. Thank you wonderful husband/awesome daddy!

Maria's reply: First of all props to Joe!  Second, It's simple - Ben just wants you. Think about it: he was wrapped inside the warmth, security and comfort of your body for 9 months. You're still his home -he's just on the 
outside now. And so your breasts have taken over where the placenta left off nourishing and growing his body - it's basic biology,.....we often forget that we are mammals.

Sam:  Ben spit up once yesterday and twice this morning....not a lot.    Should we burp him? He does get the hiccups.
Maria: Spit up: just means he ate more than he had room for. Maria-ism: " it's a 
laundry problem, not a medical one." the valve at the top of his stomach 
(esophageal) is very loose and floppy -which allows a baby to regulate his 
stomach contents by spitting up excess milk. Quite ingenious really. It helps 
not to force feed - he does not have to nurse on both sides - don't wake him up 
to feed him and don't lay him on his back right after he feeds etc. You will 
notice it happens more when your breasts are extra full...he will adjust your 
supply over the next 6-8 wks
Hiccups are a "space" issue. Their abdominal organs are all squished in a 
very small space right now. When they eat and their stomach is full- it presses 
up against their diaphragm ( which lies above the stomach) causing it to go into 
spasm. As their body gets longer and wider- their organs will drop lower 
allowing more room and thus the hiccups go away - basically they outgrow them. 
You don't need to do anything -remember in utero he drank about a quart of 
amniotic fluid a day and had the hiccups often without any problems.

Sam: my boobs still seem a little hard after Ben eats. Can I pump and save 
it for night time so Joe can do a feeding?
Maria:Yes it's fine to pump if nec-on mild to mod setting w/ good massage during -do one 
breast at a time -for only 15 min - more is not better . As far as 2 nite is 
concerned : your breasts will not allow u to sleep more than 2 maybe 3 hrs. Your 
prolactin levels are highest @ nite to accommodate the freq nite nursing in the 
beginning. So u will have to get up and pump - Joe will be stuck with a fussy 
baby fed or not, who wants his mommy and u will end up nursing anyway. Like I 
have said before: u need to learn how to lay down and nurse - this is the most 
effective tool to make your nites the best they can be /. I am happy to teach u 
how.  Also, if your breasts r very warm u can use some cool compresses in b/w feeds just wet 
two disposable diapers and place them in freezer tuck in bra until they reach body 
temp then refreeze reuse I 'd rather not use bottles just yet if Joe feeds him I'd rather him use the 
syringes - I show him how - you are doing so well ! I just don't want to screw 
anything up.

Sam: I tried to pump and it didnt work so I'll stick to feedings. As far as laying 
down to feed, I can't get myself up bc of my surgery. So eventually I will 
take u up on laying down feeding lessons.
Maria: You just need to roll onto your side and stay there all night -honestly, you can 
do everything from there. I fear if u don't soon -u will crash and burn, sweetie

Sam: I crashed and burned this morning-tears and crying. But then took a two hour 
nap. Much better. I'm going to nap after lunch.
Maria: Normal hormonal stuff -this should pass quickly. Yes, your best time to sleep will 
be 7am-12 noon for the next 3weeks -that's when the babies sleep the most. So no 
waking him up, no phone calls, txt, visitors or appointments -this is your 
sacred time!!! Take advantage of it - u will feel much better if u do. 

Maria: It's annoying that I have an answer for everything, isn't it? Lol
Sam: Actually no....u r amazing. I'm sorry I have so many questions. 
Maria: Never apologize for asking questions ( I love playing stump the lactation 
consultant-lol) but honestly-most people do not know this information -it is my 
business to know it and share it 

Sam: We go to the Peditrican today :-)
Maria: Good -LMK how u do. Waiting on the slings-hopefully coming today

Sam: Sir Benjamin is now 6lbs 13 oz and grew a half of an inch!!!! Doctor said good 
job for ur breastfeeding instructions!!
Maria: Great job, people! That's 7 oz in 2 days! You should be so proud of yourselves 
-I know am!
Sam:  -) yay!!!   Instead of a peanut, he's a chestnut!