Saturday, 13 September 2014

Staying Sane While Breastfeeding

A lot of women have trouble with breastfeeding, even second- or third-time moms because each baby is different. My first daughter would open her mouth wide, had a perfect latch, and would drain the breast completely. No problems. My second is a different story! Here is a list of what has worked for me to get better sleep and make sure she gets the nutrition she needs.

1) Sore nipples? Yah, mine were covered in scabs and there was a time when I literally pulled off a chunk of skin after she was done nursing. When she would latch on, my toes would curl and I would cry. The solution was to talk to my midwife AND public health nurse, both of which showed me better latching techniques and holds that wouldn't leave my back stiff. When you are comfy and have a proper latch, there should be no pain. However, if you still have scabs, it may hurt for a bit until they're better, but you should notice a definite improvement within a couple feedings. Make sure baby has fish-lips!
2) No sleep? Baby was waking every 45 minutes at night. Everyone said to switch to formula, but I knew my milk was not the problem because I was "block-feeding", meaning feeding on the same breast multiple times, so she was guaranteed to get hind-milk. Instead of switching to formula, I switched everything else! I switched diaper brands, sleeping arrangements (husband got to sleep in the basement - sorry, honey!), and warmth levels. What works for us may not work for everybody, but for my baby Pampers, bed-sharing and a warm blanket without swaddling worked like a charm. At only 6 days old, she was having 2-hour stretches and even one 3.5-hour stretch!
3) Overall breast soreness - I have rather large breasts, so I find going bra-less makes them even more sore. This is just something you have to experiment with. But if you find the perfect nursing bra, wear is out! Wear it every day because sore boobies are no fun. They will distract you from everything else you need/want to do. And make sure it's not too tight.
4) Shower with super-hot water to help settle engorgement. It won't last long, I promise! And give them vigorous massages to get rid of any internal milk-lumps. Prevent mastitis - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Hopefully all these tips will help you out. And if you need in-person help, don't hesitate to contact a Lactation Consultant - that's what they're there for!