Baby Settler Blog

(Benjamin breastfeeding in the car)

Breastfeeding
Hillary Sadler | May 28, 2020
Being educated about what steps to take to set yourself up for the best opportunity to exclusively breastfeed is very important. If I had to tell you the best way to set yourself up for success for breastfeeding, I would say the most important thing to do is be assertive in your delivery and request immediate , uninterrupted , skin to skin contact until after the completion of the first breastfeeding. This includes delaying a weight check , newborn medications, and any other routine procedures your hospital or birth center regularly implements. However, if your baby is not vigorous at birth , and requires resuscitation at birth , that does not mean your baby is not going to successfully breastfeed. Hand expression and an electric breast pump can help bridge the gap between your baby being able to feed at the breast if you have to be separated from your baby at birth. Another issue I routinely see with breastfeeding babies is scheduled feedings. At the hospital, or in birth centers, you may hear nursing staff say,” you need to breastfeed your baby every three hours”. Although the nursing staff is well meaning, many new parents take this information as a scheduled feed. Meaning, if your baby wants to eat at 11:30 but your three hours isn’t until 12, you hold the baby off feeding until 12 , and then your baby is either hangry or has transitioned into another sleep cycle and isn’t able to have an effective breastfeeding session at 12. Feeding on cue in the first 2 weeks of life is the key to establishing a good milk supply and setting yourself up for success. Most breastfeeding newborns will feed at the breast every two to three hours with at least eight feeds in 24 hours. However, this is not a schedule. The start of one feed to the start of the next feed, is how we calculate the time interval between feeds. So, if my baby eats at 9, a feeding interval of three hours would look like my baby feeding at 12. Most babies will feed at different intervals throughout different times of the day . For example, a baby might feed at a 2 hour interval, Followed by 2 1/2 hour interval, followed by 3 1/2 hour interval , followed by one hour and 45 minute interval. Feeding your baby on cue will set you up for the most efficient effective breastfeeding periods. Based on a newborn stomach size, if we’re following infant led feeding and feeding on cue, we know that a newborn has to eat at least eight times and up to 12 times within 24 hours to meet their daily caloric needs.
Breastfeeding my first child was anything but natural and enjoyable. I was completely overwhelmed, And I didn’t have the support I needed to be successful. I was filled with guilt at the thought of giving my child formula, but he wasn’t getting what he needed at the breast. Looking back, there were many variables that were out of my control that prevented us from having a successful breastfeeding relationship. I suffered from postpartum anxiety And I truly missed out on enjoying the first six weeks of his life. With my second child, I was a nurse, specifically a labor and delivery nurse, And I was determined to make breastfeeding work. I used my first breastfeeding journey as an example of what not to do. I thought I could muscle through the painful, bleeding nipples, breast feed on demand and make it happen. However, my babies have tongue ties. My second child didn’t get his tongue tie evaluated and clipped, and that affected his ability to be able to efficiently and effectively breastfeed. I did breastfeed him for 13 months of his life, but I had to also supplement with formula as I never quite produced enough of what he needed. Looking back, his latch, scheduled feeds, and misinformation about how to maintain my milk supply are there reasons why I struggled with breast feeding. With my third child, third times a charm , right? She was born early , she was tiny, had that familial tongue tie, and had breastfeeding jaundice. To say our breastfeeding journey was easy , would be an absolute lie. It seemed like everything was going well in the first day or two of life. When you’re a mother with a newborn baby you forget all your knowledge and experience you have gained as a registered nurse working in woman’s services. I remember my husband coming home after his first day at work, and I just started sobbing when he walked in the house. She hadn’t had a wet diaper all day , she looked more yellow , and it seemed like she wasn’t having any vigorous feeds. After following up with our pediatrician, and bilirubin checks, we decided she needed to start being supplemented with formula as my breast milk hadn’t come in yet. It was almost day 7 after birth before my breastmilk started to really transition and come in. Looking back, I blame that delay on stress. Prior to delivery, I was so hopeful and determined, this time, I was going to make breastfeeding work. But we can’t control everything. There are variables and factors that may cause a bump in the road on your breastfeeding journey. Knowing that, gives you strength and confidence to be able to work through the problems, and give yourself grace along the way.
How Knowledge Will Change Your Newborn Experience

How Knowledge Will Change Your Newborn Experience

Baby Settler BlogHow Knowledge Will Change Your Newborn Experience Hillary Sadler | February 17, 2021Time is money, money is power, power is pizza, pizza is knowledge. Okay, okay we went a little dramatic there but who doesn’t love a Parks & Rec quote. Let’s talk...

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