|Food and Boobs
||[Sep. 1st, 2009|08:18 am]
After reading and discussing qamar and p_cat posts on breastfeeding yesterday I thought I'd note down a few of the things that have helped Mz N and I.
For some people bfing is easy, their is no real learning curve, the bub latches, the milk/colostrum comes and everyone is happy and at ease. For other people issues arise and bfing becomes hard/painful/scary. But no matter how easy it's all been, guesses are at some point you will have an issue with feeding.
So, what are the things we can do to make it easier? Well apparently you are much more likely to bf successfully if you have been around women breastfeeding. You are also more likely to succeed if you set yourself a bfing goal, like 6 months, 12 months etc.
Even for babies that latch well sucking might be an issue so right from the start you need someone who's interested and has the time to watch you feeding and to ensure that the bub is not just flutter sucking (just stimulating the tip of the nipple) but is actually feeding and taking in the milk.
Many people (that I've spoken to) had real issues with the way bfing was dealt with in hospital. Midwives walking in grabing their breast and shoving the baby onto it, or being told 8 different methods to get the bub to latch and just overloading them with stress and conflicting information to a point where they just wanted to say enough! Or having midwives coming in and offering their bub a bottle and basically sabotaging their feeding attempts.
So, lets say we've gotten past this initial stage (and ohh lets not even get into how important contact and birth are in breastfeeding) and you've got the latch and the bub is sucking and feeding well. Ok so you're home. How to you tell that this new small packet of love that's suddenly sucking all the energy and focus out of you is actually getting what they need? Well after a couple of weeks you'll be able to tell when your boob/s are empty or full. But initially they just feel like big hard balloons that have landed on your chest. Hum. Well, really you just try and feed them whenever. Sometimes you end up with a baby constantly attached to you for like 3-4 hours (cluster feeding oh yeah they don't tell you about this noooo) and suddenly as much as you love the contact and the cuddles this can become intensely emotional and draining. You can't move or do anything other than sit and be sucked at (most people get to a stage where they can X [walk/eat/knit etc] and bf but this can take a while). This can become even worse if your small child will only sleep on the boob too.
But you get past this and everything's going great. Your small packet of love is putting on weight ok and everything's fine and dandy. You've even gotten to a point where you're happy and able to position and feed out and about (not all that easy initaly with GIANT super boobs but doable).
Then teeth. Ah yes. Teeth. We know about teeth. Talk to your mother and she'll probably tell you she weaned you when your teeth came in. Teeth hurt. The first time your small angel of light and love nips at you you might just want to throw them away and curl up into a tight little weepy ball of pain and sorrow. Yup. But you have to offer your fragile, delicate boob right back up again because it's all their is. But they learn, they get past the biting and you get past the fear of the biting, but you never quite forget the pain.
And then one sunny day you get top teeth. These can become a real issue, causing rubbing leaving you with an open sore that never quite has the chance to heal. Some people can work past this with positioning and other methods, some people find that they can't get it to work again and either live with pain and infections or wean.
And lets not even talk mastitis or dropped feeds. Seriously, this thing we do that you just think will just happen, well it can talk a lot of work (or it can not). Plus, anything you eat, they're eating so you're still constrained in your behavior and sometimes in what you can eat.
But it's fun, it's worth it, it's amazing when it works. And you know what, we're really lucky that when it doesn't we have safe, viable, options to get us to the only outcome we want, healthy happy children.