Breastfeeding a Newborn
Before you get discouraged because you think you don't know what you are doing. Before you give that first bottle because the doctor says your baby is starving. Before you have a big problem. Before you go nuts searching online, asking all your friends and family, scouring breastfeeding books, calling La Leche League, pumping, or using bottles, nipples shields and shells, call Donna.
Because your newborn baby, or babies, already know how to breastfeed. What probably needs to happen is that YOU need to learn how to let your baby breastfeed.
"I had no idea what I was doing. I was tired and confused from the birth. I had so many questions!"
Breastfeeding can start in many different ways.
Some mothers breastfeed easily and naturally right from the start. Others muddle through challenges including inaccurate advice and under-educated professionals, friends and relative who pass negative judgments on their milk, breasts or baby. And some mothers try a hundred times, the baby thrashing and crying, with cracked and bloody nipples, feeling angry, sad and frustrated before they figure it out. Or, more likely, they give up.
Let's look at common problems mothers have in the first five days.
- Improper Latch - It is painful and can lead to inadequate feeding, slow weight gain, insufficient or over-abundant milk, early weaning, and sore or cracked nipples, And it's almost totally preventable.
- Engorgement - It can be overwhelming because it happens suddenly and it really hurts. It can lead to mastitis and it is totally preventable.
- Dehydration/Weight Loss/Jaundice If your baby is not breastfeeding well, medical professionals act quickly and not always in a way compatible with breastfeeding. It's totally preventable.
- Birth Trauma - You may have had a traumatic birth, be in pain or separated from your baby. While not preventable, there are ways to handle this that empower and heal you.
Problems that happen in the first 5 days often lead to bottle feeding.
When your nipples are incredibly sore or even cracked and bleeding; your baby is losing too much weight or jaundiced; your milk is slow to come in; your baby seems ravenous; You worry that you can't feed your baby and you will feel discouraged and frightened.
When you feel discouraged and frightened, every little problem gets magnified under a lens of uncertainty. It can be overwhelming and you may decide breastfeeding is just not worth it.
Many women feel just like that in the beginning and go on to accomplish their breastfeeding goals.
The fact is that most babies are born with everything they need to survive those first five days because breastfeeding might have a slow start. The problem isn't that the baby won't survive the first week, the problem is that most interventions prevent mothers and babies from developing their own individual rhythm of breastfeeding - one that will sustain and empower both of them.
Breastfeeding can be intuitive and natural but often it's not easy. We don't live in a culture that breastfeeds. When you are nursing and it hurts or you are unsure if you have enough milk, there's probably something or several things together, that need adjusting. There are literally hundreds of things that can contribute to painful or ineffective nursing.
While some women figure it out on their own, most women do better with a little help from someone knowledgable who listens, observes, encourages...and answers all their questions with accurate information.
It's easier to address a feeding problem on Day 1, 2 or 5, than on Day 7 because you and your baby haven't learned any bad habits. Your baby still has reserves from pregnancy and you aren't totally frustrated and overwhelmed.
The Fastest Way to get Breastfeeding Right
The fastest way to get breastfeeding right is to start during the first five days. You can start your breastfeeding relationship without pain and fuss, in a relaxed, empowered, comfortable and supported way.
The fastest way to get breastfeeding right is to have someone sit with you, observe you and your baby breastfeeding, give you gentle guidance and teach you what to look for during feedings, so you feel confident your baby is eating enough. And, most importantly, answer all your questions with accurate information.
"We met with the hospital Lactation Consultants several times. My baby could never get a deep enough latch, no matter how many times I tried. Donna gave us step-by-step guidance and we were comfortably breastfeeding within 15 minutes. More importantly, we were able to do it by ourselves after she left."
After you learn the basics, you are going to feel confident. Confident that you have enough milk; confident that you know how to hold your baby so that you are both relaxed; confident that you are on the right track. Breastfeeding is not just about feeding your baby, it nurtures you, too. It is a way to mother yourself that is unlike any other.
"Even though it was hard at the beginning, I am glad I stuck it out. I didn't know how much I would love the closeness and bonding we share."
The First Five Days Home Visit
It's a one and a half hour home visit that calms and reassures you and your partner and gets all of you into a really sweet breastfeeding groove.
Nursing a newborn and a toddler?
You probably have plenty of questions about how to make sure your new baby gets enough, when to tandem nurse, how much food your older child should eat, your diet and nutrition, and how other mothers handle two nurslings. You may also be feeling terrible feelings about your older child.
You may already be working with a Midwife, Doula, La Leche League Leader or other Lactation Consultant, and that is a great place to start. All Midwives, Doulas, LLLLs and LC's understand that there is an art and a science to breastfeeding counseling. They understand the value of a home visit from a Certified Lactation Counselor. They will be happy that you have brought in someone with specialized breastfeeding knowledge and experience.
To Schedule a Consult
To schedule a visit: call or text Donna at (845) 750-4402 or Send Donna an email and she will get back to you within 24 hours..
To reserve a home visit for after your birth, click here.
To purchase a Gift Certificate for your favorite pregnant or new mama, click here.