Last week we addressed the first few days of being home with baby and breastfeeding. Between adding new responsibilities to your previous agenda and waiting for your milk supply to drop, you can accrue quite a lot of stress.
This is why breastfeeding support is so important in the early stages. Once you find a rhythm, it will simply be clockwork, but you have to put in the time to find that rhythm. Thankfully, most hospitals have seen the value in lactation support and now offer the support of a Lactation Consultant (LC). The LC will be able to show you multiple ways to find the best latch for you and baby. All latches vary because all breasts are different. Also, consider keeping your baby in your recovery room with you, this way you can allow for cluster feeding and nipple stimulation to bring your milk in faster. If your baby is placed in NICU and you are put on a schedule immediately, don’t let this discourage you, you can ask the hospital for a breast pump to stimulate between each feeding with baby. Some mothers will be asked to supplement with formula; again, don’t let this discourage you; You can continue to nurse in addition to the supplements. Once baby surpasses his/her birth weight, you should have no problem continuing to breastfeed.
Some women find the first few days home with baby a bit daunting. Those feelings of inadequacy come back, and they feel like the baby is always on the breast. They panic and forget the tips given, and with the lack of sleep, everything can be very overwhelming. Now a’ days, there are resources for the family to have in their own home. Lactation Consultants, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), as well as Postpartum Doulas will make house calls. Which one is best for you? An LC will help reinstate those tricks learned in the hospital before coming home. An IBCLC will virtually do the same; however, they will be able to assess baby’s latch, in addition to diagnosing a tongue tie on baby, and refer you to a physician that can correct it. Tongue ties are common, and easily corrected. IBCLCs are also great for assisting in better milk production. Some mothers experience low lactation due to meds they take, or previous breast reduction surgery. A Postpartum Doula can assist you in establishing breastfeeding in addition to helping you create the most nurturing space for you and your family. A PPD can be available in the afternoons to help you attain the goals you have for the house to give you time with the baby, or take the baby while you shower and nap. They even hang out with your other little ones and make sure they are adjusting to having a new baby home. PPDs also offer overnight assistance so you can maintain your feeding schedule, but still get adequate sleep.
It is important to remember that you are human, and you can’t do everything at once. These resources are put in place to help build your confidence as a mother, and to help ease you into the transition. Try and practice as much patience as you can muster, and don’t be hard on yourself, breastfeeding is sure to become an everyday thing added to your agenda.
Here's a list of some of Austin areas own Breastfeeding Support: