April 23, 2009

BlogVice: Breastfeeding 101

I will qualify my little rant about breastfeeding with the following:
I am not a lactation consultant, nor would I want to be. But I know a thing or two about breastfeeding and pumping, and therefore, you should listen to me. I fed two babies for a span of over 11 months, while working full-time. I'm no dummy.

Additional qualification:
I am sorry for you folks out there who don't want to talk about breastfeeding because it paints a weird picture of the ever-beautiful life of boobs. Tough luck, ya'll. Boobs are for two things: 1) feeding babies, and 2) hiking up to your neck with a nice support bra when you are done feeding babies. Go read another blog, if you are nervous. I'll qualify the same when I talk about birth, at a later date.

Breastfeeding 101:
1) When you are pregnant, make sure that you read, absorb and get your own head on straight about what you will do and how you want to handle breastfeeding your child. You need to have your opinion about it, waaaay before that little meatloaf is born; that way, you can nod politely at the lactation consultant, and use her pamplets for makeshift coasters when you return home.

2) Do not listen to your lactation consultant. Listen to your head, and most importantly, listen to your boobs and listen to your baby. If you are completely lost, then give her a chance. But only if you are lost. Feeding a baby is a whole lot easier in the comfort of your own home, when you get there.

3) If you ever hear the words "nipple sandwich" run for the hills. Boobs are not made to look like sandwiches, and if your lactation consultant mentions this... she's a dingleberry, and should be stripped of her boobly-duties. Plus, babies cannot eat sandwiches. Hello.

4) Buy a breastpump. Dual, electric, top of the line, $350 a pop. Buy this one: Medela. End of story - there is no other. If you think you can handle a manual pump, you are a blazing moron and should not have children in the first place. Pump from the second that baby is born. Pump when she is sleeping, pump when she is done eating, pump when you cannot fathom pumping anymore. Freeze every spare drop. If you have to return to work, buy the pump with a backpack or a zipper. The "Metro Bag" stinks to high heaven - it has no closure. You'll be riding in the elevator, and men will be eyeing your bag, trying to figure out what in the hell that cone-shaped torture device actually is. Humiliating. Remember: dual, electric, Medela, zipper.

5) Buy a medical grade deep-freeze to store said extra drops. This one is fantastic, and your done for $200 at CompactAppliances.com Not only for future use for your bags of milk, but also for creepy cocktail party tricks.
"Hey, wanna see something funny?"
(Open freezer full of breastmillk)
"I made 100 bags of this stuff!"
Makes everyone uncomfortable, and can clear a room instantaneously. Great party ender.

6) Who cares if pumping makes your supply too great? Store it! The sooner you store it, the sooner you'll be done with breastfeeding.

7) Nipple confusion is a load of bunk. Kids are not confused. They want to eat. You want to feed them. Feed them on the breast, or on the bottle, or both. They will figure it out. Give them some credit. Just get them the milk. The milk is the good stuff.

8) Bonding with your baby is a good thing, obviously. But if you cannot hold your head up for the neck pain associated with skin-to-skin breastfeeding, pump your baby some milk and give up the ghost. You'll survive, and she'll still get the goodness. It's okay to loathe breastfeeding, I give you permission.

Read these books:
The American Academy of Pediatrics New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding (this is a clincal and boring book, but you'll get the holds, the scoop and the true facts on it)
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (written by the La Leche League, it will guilt you into breastfeeding the child until he's twelve, but still, good stuff, sans the nipple confusion and propensity against the pump - I lived and died by my pump.)

This will get you started. Good luck, girls! (And good luck to you Girls, too.)


kelly said...

AMEN TO EVERYTHING YOU WROTE!! Another good book is Breastfeeding 101....LOVED IT. The main point of the book is to listen to your body and your baby and don't go by the clock or by the millions of books out there (I know-contradicts itself, but GREAT resource!!) I'm about to jump back on that nursing rollcoaster and trying to stay calm....I dusted off the pump last weekend and it's ready to go!! There is a FABULOUS lactaction person at our pediatrian's office (Pediatric Associates of Lawrenceville) if anyone needs one...
Thanks for making me laugh!!!

MelissaQ said...

Makes me want another baby! I didnt mind the breast feeding. It was was the sore nips that I couldnt stand, once that was gone, I was fine. My only problem was that my supply would only last about 3 or 4 months. I wanted to nurse longer, but just could not. I finally learned why. At about 3 to four months old my two girls started to sleep longer....so I took FULL advantage and slept right along with them, all the while neglecting the pump...So. I cant wait to have another, just to try and Nurse LONGER~ (insane..I know)!!!! Love your blog. I will be back!

Meredith said...

It's not insane! Makes total sense. I swore that I was "done" with babies.. and I think I may have room for one more baby to love (and yes, breastfeed). And as you learned, breastfeeding is the law of supply & demand... it seems so unfair to get out of the bed to pump, especially during those precious days when sleep is all you can pray for. BUT, it's the only way to keep it going. :) Glad you like the blog! :)

Meredith said...

PS: 3-4 months is a hella long time to breastfeed! And GOOD FOR YOU!!!