Monday, August 08, 2011

NBAM: Third time's the charm?

So, #4 is going to be making his or her way into the world in the next few months. And I plan to breastfeed. But this time around, I really want to focus on what I know to be true, and reduce the stress/anxiety I always seem to have about breastfeeding.

I'm going to remember the 4 things I've already learned:

  • One experience of breastfeeding doesn't necessarily predict your outcome with a subsequent experience of breastfeeding. This time, it's a fresh start. I'm sure this baby and my body will present some challenges as well as some areas where we do really well!
  • Set realistic and reasonable goals- it's just as important as your personal convitions/dedication to breastfeeding... My goal this time will be to breastfeed exclusively for one year or as long as possible/acceptable to the baby and I. I think this represents a more realistic goal than simply saying "for one year." (FYI- I'm not opposed to nursing longer if it is still satisfying for #4 and I.)
  • Find what works for you and your baby... Traditionally, I've had success using the Babywise method, but I remain open to the fact that each child has different needs and may need a different approach.
  • Find a helpful, supportive lactation consultant who is willing to work with you and your baby, your individual personalities and needs, and help you find solutions to the issues you are facing. The Mississippi Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic looks like it will be a great resource.
One thing I do want to try is using hand expression. In all my time with lactation consultants, breastfeeding classes, and  BF support groups, this is something I was never really made aware of, let alone taught. Although, interestingly enough, if you ever watch the Babies movie, you'll see that the mom from Mongolia uses this technique (and I think the Namibia mom, too...) This technique was taught to new moms at Stanford University/LPCH by their lactation consultants and seemed to help establish a good milk supply from the get-go. Here is a clip explaining the technique (Warning: NSFW. But totally appropriate from an educational standpoint.)

If I have an over-abundance of milk (as I did with Abigail) I would love to be able to donate to my local milk bank.

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