When Baby Boy was still little and my mind would start to drift to a future sibling for him, I would dread the thought of having to establish a nursing relationship all over again. Truth be told, for several months this was all I could think of. Now, I am more concerned with other obstacles, namely the actual birth. However, I am under no illusion, that while I may know what I’m doing, my newborn might not. Trying to be more level-headed (and pre-postpartum hormones), I decided to make a plan for success.
A Plan for Successful Breast Feeding
1- Try to avoid separation from baby immediately after the birth.
If my VBAC is a success, this will of course be much easier. If I do end up with another cesarean, I will be talking to my doctor about bringing him in for skin to skin as soon as possible either by me or M. (This is slightly complicated by the fact that I still haven’t 100% decided on a doctor and hospital for the delivery).
2- Bring nursing pillows and breast-pump to the hospital.
Trying to position several flat hospital pillows did not really work out very well last time. Also, if I have another sleepy baby I will make sure to a) ask that he be undressed for feedings and b) pump as often as possible. We will also clarify that when I ask for “no formula”, I also mean “no glucose water” (love Mexico).
3- Having my gear accessible and ready to go.
My issues with blocked ducts and eventually mastitis, all started because of ill-fitting bras. Obviously by now I have a stock pile of nursing bras. I’m also planning on having breast pads, nipple cream, and pumping accessories ready to go, as well as lecithin and possibly fenugreek supplements in my pantry.
4- Call the lactation consultant as soon as necessary.
I keep her business card in my wallet. Enough said.
5- Finally, keep my motivational bookmarks handy.
For me, the nutritional superiority of breast milk is my top motivation for making a nursing relationship work. One of the perks of having a husband in medical student is that we keep up with the latest research and I have several articles to remind me why the initial investment of time and sleep deprivation is worth its weight in gold.