This week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is What I Would Have Done Differently. Oh boy, do I have some things to say about this one! My breastfeeding journey with E started off incredibly difficult and I wanted to give up many times. Thankfully we persevered and still nurse almost 11 months later. I have been making a mental list of things I would do differently with our next child since I started nursing.
- Notes for Number Two
- Natural birth. E was delivered by spontaneous natural birth (no AROM or anything!) and I really believe that it was the best possible start for our nursing relationship. I want the same birth for any other children I have.
- Make sure the LC on staff at the hospital (or birth center) actually sees the baby nurse. The LC was very hung up over E’s charts because he dropped weight after birth. So hung up, in fact, that she told me I needed to give him formula and not try to breastfeed. No, I’m not kidding. Apparently she’s got her IBCLC accreditation too! Yes, I complained. Anyway, she never saw me nurse or latch in the 5 minutes she was in the room. She breezed in to look at his chart, barked orders at me, and breezed out. My husband was getting breakfast (it was about 8am) and had left me alone for a few minutes. Never again. Now I know better and can be more empowered next time.
- Ask for help sooner. It took two major breakdowns and telling my husband that I was done breastfeeding before we (he) called for backup. A wonderful IBCLC did a home visit and helped me more than any LC that I saw in the hospital.
- A little formula is okay, but it is not a substitute for breastmilk. I was hesitant to supplement E with formula because I did not want to get lazy and stop breastfeeding completely. Instead, we syringe fed him donor breastmilk and my milk while my supply came in. I think if I were to be in a similar situation with baby #2, I would be okay using formula in moderation to supplement if donor milk was hard to come by.
I think I will be more cognizant of things like LCs, low supply, and low diaper output with #2. E’s birth took us by surprise (he was 3.5 weeks early and I literally did not know I was in labor), which made everything that followed just that much harder to process. I have learned a lot about my body while breastfeeding and will use everything to make sure any future nurslings have a great start.