Thursday, November 14, 2013

Breastfeeding Class

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Last week I took a breastfeeding class at the hospital. This was offered free of charge since we signed up for the Lamaze class at the hospital, and I'm glad I took this class. It was informative and helpful.

Things I learned:
* It's called "breastfeeding" not "nipplefeeding".
* If done properly, breastfeeding should not hurt
* It is best to exclusively breastfeed for the first 4 weeks. However, it's important to start introducing bottles after 4 weeks so that your baby learns to feed by both bottle and breast. Otherwise, they will completely and solely rely on breastfeeding.

What I found to be most interesting is that the American Academy of Pediatrics now promotes skin-to-skin contact immediately following the birth of the baby. This should last for at least an hour or two, or until the first breastfeeding session is initiated. Skin-to-skin contact regulates the baby's body temperature and has been proven to help both mother and baby get started with their first breastfeeding session.

Skin-to-Skin
"Skin to skin means your baby is placed belly-down, directly on your chest, right after she is born. Your care provider dries her off, puts on a hat, covers her with a warm blanket, and gets her settled on your chest. The first hours of snuggling skin-to-skin let you and your baby get to know each other. They also have important health benefits....Newborns crave skin-to-skin contact..."
The videos we watched showed the baby naturally gravitating toward "the goods." Within an hour, breastfeeding occurred naturally through the baby's own instinct and desire to feed. There are many videos on youtube about skin-to-skin contact for a newborn. Here is a CNN piece on it. (video)


Have you heard of this practice in aiding in the first breastfeeding session? Did you do this/plan to do this? Would love to get more information on this practice!

10 comments:

  1. This is news as old as the hills but in this country it's a revelation. This and other reasons are why I opted for midwives and the midwifery center when I had you and Sister. There really was nothing like this back in the day and this is not new research-it's old and accepted as natural and normal in many other countries. You were placed on my belly at birth and I pulled you up to my chest instinctively. I was allowed to hold you-swaddled not skin to skin-for 45 minutes in the recovery room and it put many of the nurses in quite a tizzy but I wouldn't give you over. Melissa's story is quite different. She was put on my belly, also. I held her from the get go and so did you and dad. And just to add more of my two cents-skin to skin contact has been proven to have all the benefits mentioned at any age not just for newborns. Although, you may not want to "encourage" breastfeeding at any age. ;-) Excellent post!

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  2. I did skin to skin for 15 minute before allowing them to take him away for 5 minutes to be weighed (everyone cleared the room after) and then we did more skin to skin for about an hour. He didn't feel like nursing because it was a rougher delivery for him but we've survived almost 2 weeks of breastfeeding! I do skin to skin with him before each daytime feeding because if he's sleeping it helps to wake him up and I love that time with him!

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    1. I'm so glad that breastfeeding has been working out for you! I def. love the idea of skin to skin, I can't wait to try it out!

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  3. Very interesting, and it definitely makes sense that skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth would help with both bonding and breastfeeding. Yet another thing to store in my brain for the future.

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    1. Yea, I can see how this makes sense too...I guess it has been around for centuries, it's just only recently become commonplace in our culture.

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  4. I couldn't do skin to skin since I had a C-section but my husband was able to hold him the whole time while I was getting stitched up. So if by chance you end up with a c-section try to see if you husband can at least do the skin to skin right away. Fortunately he latched right away the first time so it didn't affect breastfeeding. I think regardless of how well it goes BFing will hurt for at least the first few days if not weeks because your nipples need to adjust. Also, one thing I didn't know was that BFing causes cramps/bleeding those first few days after labor which is a good thing, helps the uterus shrink back down. But that can be painful as well. Everytime he would latch on it was like a flood would let loose (sorry for the tmi) I recommend lots of lanolin.

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    1. I recently heard that about the cramps/bleeding during breastfeeding..so interesting!! Thanks for the heads up

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  5. I did skin to skin immediately and I'm so glad I did. Breastfeeding hurt like hell though for me, for several weeks. M was a tiny baby, with a tiny mouth and a barracuda like suck. I called a lactation consultant a week after she was born and she assured me it would get better. It did get better, and she's been EBF since birth, and we're coming up on 1 year in about a week. It can definitely hurt but it does get better and is so, so worth it. I wish I would have had an LC on speed dial just in case...I probably would have called earlier.

    M never took bottles, and since I mostly stay at home, it's not a big deal. She will drink a bit of milk out of a regular cup now, but it really hasn't been too much of an issue for us. I don't like to be away from her for more than 4 hours anyway, and pumping is a pain, so we make it work.

    I remember a few weeks ago you posted about Babywise...I try not to push people in certain directions, but Babywise is not "good" for breastfeeding for most moms. A lot of moms who do it have supply issues because you really need to feed on demand. I'm very involved in my local breastfeeding groups and cannot tell you how many times I've heard that story...I know it works for some people, but a lot of people (including doctors) are super critical of the book and its practices.

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    1. A few people warned me about babywise and since then I"ve done some research on it myself. Thanks for the head's up, I agree with you. I'm going to read it, just to see for myself what the concept is, but I"m going to take it all in with a grain of salt.

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  6. I agree with the lady above who mentioned skin-to-skin by Dad - I had a cesarean but was lucky enough to have my daughter with me in recovery to be able to have skin to skin and her first feed. It was in our birth plan though that if for any reason I couldn't, my husband was to and then no one else was allowed to see her until I had.

    Once we had had our first BF and were out of recovery and back in our room, I still got my hubby to take his shirt off and have some skin-to-skin with her. As men don't get that same bonding experience we get while BF I think it was an important bonding moment forthem and allowed him to have a connection with her. He would often then sleep with her naked on his chest and they have an amazing relationship.

    Obviously it's important for Mummies for so many reasons and hugely helpful for BFing (although I've heard it's great to do before bottle feeds too!) but I think the benefits for Dads is overlooked :)

    As for BFing - trust your instinct and if something doesn't seem right, follow up with it! My bubs latch looked perfect from the outside but I felt something was wrong and was in a lot of pain. It took 5 weeks to convince someone and it turned out she had a partial tongue tie! BF is a lot of work and can be sooo hard but then one day it just clicks and it's amazing. Good luck!

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