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Breastfeeding is my #1 fear about becoming a Mom (with how the animals, especially Levi, will respond to Clover coming in a close 2nd). Pretty much everyone I know has either not tried breastfeeding or has had such a hard time with it that they switched to formula soon after their babies were born.
For me, I never was really hardcore one way or the other about it but Zach was. He really wanted me to breastfeed and then, the more I looked into it, I decided it’s what I really want too. Last night was our Breastfeeding Basics class and it was so informative!
We learned so much including: how my body produces milk, the different types of milk, the benefits of breast feeding, the myths of breastfeeding, the different positions for feeding, how to get the baby to latch on (and de-latch), and how to use a pump.
Luckily, the lady gave us hand-outs to take home for reference but I took crazy notes too because I’m so nervous that once Clover gets here I’ll totally freak out! Here are some of the things I learned:
- It’s totally normal for one breast to produce more milk than the other, so my right one leaking right now is normal and doesn’t mean something is wrong with the left one!
- Once the milk “comes in” I’ll be making between 25 and 30 oz per day!
- When feeding, I should be comfortable as well as Clover and need to make sure I bring the baby to me and don’t slouch down to reach the baby.
- Breastfeeding should never hurt! I may feel mild discomfort for the first couple of days but shouldn’t feel any pain after that and if I do, it’s probably because Clover isn’t latched on properly. My nipples should always look normal as well. Pumping should never hurt either!
- Shouldn’t use a pacifier for about a month, shouldn’t use a bottle for 2-3 weeks
- While Clover is feeding, we should only hear a swallowing sound not sucking.
- Clover will probably take both breasts at each feeding. Once the baby is done with one, we should burp her/him, then let her/him take the second breast.
- If in doubt, nurse more. The more I nurse the more it will help with engorgement and the more milk I will produce
- The first week home, Clover should have the same number of dirty diapers as she/he is days old and will feed between 8 and 12 times per day.
- Once my milk comes in I can start pumping and should add in the “pumping feeding” in the morning because that’s when it will be the easiest. I should also bring the pump with us to the hospital just in case so if I need to use it while we are there I can get used to using my own pump rather than the hospitals.
- Pumped breastmilk can stay good in the fridge for 8 days, freezer for 3-4 months
Probably the coolest thing we learned though is about something they call skin-to-skin. It’s where you take the baby’s clothes off (but leave on their diaper) and I take off my top and bra then lay Clover between my chest. After a few minutes the baby will find the nipple! It sounds kinda gross but it’s so neat how God made babies with the instinct to breasfeed! Just like puppies, kittens and other mammal babies! The whole presentation really made me think about how awesome God is and how everything is so well planned out in our bodies. I mean how cool is it that not only did Zach and I make a baby, but I am carrying the baby and bringing it into the world, and then I can FEED the baby when it’s here too!
Zach asked a great question during the class and the answer made me feel much better about the whole thing. The teacher lady said that with the right attitude and the motivation to do it that pretty much anyone can breastfeed! So hopefully we can stay positive about it and know that even when it gets tough we can get through it!!! Zach already said he’d help me and make sure Clover latches on correctly and that I remember all the positions of feeding so at least I don’t feel like I’m doing it alone! I’m so lucky to have him 🙂