Sunday, July 17, 2011

It Takes Two...

I thought breastfeeding was going to be so easy from the beginning this time around.  I mean, I am now an expert right?  Okay, maybe that is a stretch, but I did feel like I knew what I was doing so things should go really well.  What I didn't think about was the fact that breastfeeding takes two people.  I may know what I am doing, but Mr. T is brand new at this!

When I first fed Mr. T after his birth, things went really well.  He seemed to latch fine and nurse for some time.  It was the following feedings that we learned that things weren't going to be as easy as I had hoped...at least in the beginning. 

The latch...
Mr. T has a strong gag reflex and, for whatever reason, also struggled to actually latch on.  This was also a problem when we tried to get him to suck on a pacifier or someone's finger.  He would open his mouth wide, but just wouldn't close it and begin to suck.  He would get frantic and it would take several attempts (with some calming down in between) before he would settle down and latch.  Because I was so thrilled that he was finally latched on, I allowed him to have a poor latch and my nipples were killing me.  The lactation consultant at the hospital had me start using a nipple shield which initially seemed to not only save my nipples, but helped Mr. T with how quickly he would latch. 

My milk began to come in on Monday evening and was fully in by Tuesday.  At this time, Mr. T started having issues AGAIN with the latch.  At one point I ditched the nipple shield out of frustration and he latched almost immediately!  We have been nipple shield free since then and he no longer struggles to latch! 

Interestingly, he still is not a fan of the pacifier.  After a little bit of struggling, he will take a finger or the pacifier from my mom or my husband (occasionally), but I think he is a smart little boy that knows that I am the one with the milk and he would prefer that. LOL

Timing...
When I nursed S I felt like I was a slave to the paper where I recorded all his feedings (and then eventually the app on my phone).  No one was making me record it, but since we struggled with my supply in the beginning, I wanted to make sure he was getting enough. 

This time around I still used the recording paper and I have now switched the app on my phone, but I am much more relaxed about it all.  I know he is getting enough milk and knowing that has lead to a confidence in our nursing relationship.   

At one week old he currently nurses about every 2.5-3 hours during the day (with some mini-snacks occasionally throughout the day) and every 3.5-4 hours at night.  I am going to go weigh him on Monday and I am hoping to see that he is up to his birth weight again so we can let him sleep at night.  He usually wakes just before the 4 hours mark for the first early morning feeding (like 1-2am), but I have been waking him up for the later morning feeding (5-6am).  It would be lovely to let him (and me) sleep! 

My supply...
I had heard that your milk comes in sooner and in greater quantity with your second child and it is surely true for me.  My milk came in 3 days earlier than with Superman and it seems like there is a great supply for Mr. T.  I started pumping after the wake-up feeding this morning.  I didn't get much, but I think that was true in the beginning with S as well.  So we will give it a few days and see if I end up pumping enough for one feeding a day.  If not, I will be adding a pumping session. 

Overall breastfeeding is going superb! He seems to really have gotten the hang of it and I am beginning to learn his hunger cues (before he starts crying).  I feel so lucky to have things going so well!

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