Thursday, August 2, 2012

Breastfeeding: What I'd do differently

The list of things I'd change has gotten longer, the further out from Zachari's birth I've gotten. It was as if all the stuff I knew about (labor, delivery and) breastfeeding went out the window when she was born and I became well... dumb. Looking back, I realize that I really did not know much in comparison to now, but there were very obvious things that I would do differently this time around. And God willing, I'll get to do things differently because I'll have a big, healthy, full-term babe with no need for the NICU and a speedy discharge so we can be home, free of hospital interruptions. I realize that so often my plans aren't the ones that in reality get carried out, but in a "perfect" world, they would be. Here's hopin'.

This time around, our plan is to have no separation of baby and mama for the first 24 hours. That's right, an entire day from the minute of birth. As soon as the baby's born, we'll allow the staff to weigh and measure him or her, do the APGAR tests, etc., but then its right to my chest. I've opted for this rather than straight from the womb to the chest so that there's no need for interruption once we're skin to skin (STS). Aside from my need to pee, shower or maybe eat something with two hands, I plan to have that child on my chest consistently if possible. This means no visitors for the first 24 hours of life. I think I might make an exception for Zachari though. The benefits of having continuous STS are incredible. Allowing baby to do the breast crawl finding my breast on her/his own is a perfect introduction to nursing. No "screwing the baby on" as was done to me and Z (and so many other mom-baby teams) and no rushing the baby to get on the boob with my own agenda.  I'm sure this will be a little difficult at times. The nurses won't want me to sleep with her/him in my arms, I'll be exhausted, etc., but I'm telling myself now to push on. I will hold that child like my life depends on it and while the babe and I are safe, that's how we'll stay. When I need a break, Papa will be the one caring for Wee One so that he can bond with her/him too. I'm really looking forward to this time with our baby. 

With this child I won't worry so much about being covered while I nurse. I will be discreet of course, but I'll worry less about having the nursing cover all the time or what others will think. I think those things can get in the way. I'm not a large-busted woman so the fear of someone seeing the girls isn't so big. And if they do, they do! I'll be much more comfortable and confident this time around, so that'll help too.

Another thing, I needn't stress over nursing. That'll do a number on ya. I know what I'm doing now. I know a little bit about what the bebe should and shouldn't do. I won't be afraid to ask for help, I know of good resources for help and getting questions answered, I just need not fret. I don't ever want formula to be my backup plan because I want to be successful from the get go and not need that. But, if supplementation - either with formula or my pumped milk becomes absolute necessity - then so be it. Take each moment as it comes. That's all I can do. I do know one thing though, I will not be taking the complimentary Similac package home from the hospital. That's a Booby Trap if there ever was one! 

When I started this post Zachari was napping and all was quiet. She's been up for a little while now and I'm losing my train of thought. Oh well, this is enough for now. Second day of World Breastfeeding Week - yay!

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