When to Breastfeed, How Many times, etc. For New Moms

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009 ( 39 moms have responded )

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Quite often my clients will ask, "How long should I breastfeed and how often?" While everyone has their own preference after making a go at it for a few weeks and between Mommy & Baby you find your own way, I usually share what worked for me. However, in speaking with my former Post Partum Doula, Christine Kealy, of In A Family Way in New York City, this morning she had a couple of additional suggestions.



When I nursed my first child Giulianna, we nursed on demand, no matter what I was doing. I was exhausted and she was quite often just snacking on my breast. When my second baby was born, I hired Christine and her lovely Doulas to come to my home and help me with the day to day errands and they taught me the value of swaddling (OMG) and the ever important value of nursing on a schedule.



Swaddling I'll save for another day, but nursing on a schedule saved me from long nights of sleeplessness. I learned that breastfeeding every 2-2 1/2 hours for 20 minutes on each breast allowed my little one to go beyond snacking and have a complete meal and thus a full tummy. After she nursed, I couldn't skip on the burping (I learned that the hard way), then onto swaddling and in the mouth went a "binky."



Initially I was opposed to the binky but I was asked by my PPD, "Do you want to sleep?" Without too much fuss I gave into her stern look and confidence in what she was saying. Believe me I tried to convince her that "my daughter doesn't take one of those." Well, I was wrong. With some insistence on the PPD's part she got Emma to take the binky and in no time fell fast asleep with a full tummy, and snuggled nice and cozy in her swaddling blanket. Guess who else got some much needed sleep? ME!



For those afraid of the binky, just as I was for fear it would become this terrible habit; I only gave Emma the binky after feedings to help her self soothe into sleep and never for any other reason. After 11 months, she spit it out and never looked back.



Now, this morning Christine told me something I didn't remember her saying five and a half years ago. She said newborns and their mommies should nurse according to the above schedule but once the milk is in she suggested nursing on one breast until it is empty and then offer the other breast. If the baby doesn't take to it, start the next feeding, usually 3-4 hours later on the breast she didn't take and again feed until completely empty. Overall the mommy and baby should be nursing 6-8 times per day as a general rule.



I hope this is helpful to mothers committing to breastfeeding. For more information and helpful suggestions you may go to La Leche League's website at http://www.lllusa.org/. Additionally if you are in need of a Post Partum Doula, Christine's website is http://inafamilyway.com/.



Please feel free to share your experiences and more helpful suggestions!!



Happy breastfeeding!



In love and service,



Dena the Doula

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[deleted account]

I dissagree with your post. A newborn should not be put on a schedule like that, if they are hungry they are hungry, if they want a snack they want a snack. Are you saying you never want a snack, well babies do to. As for swadling its not always the best, yes babies sleep better that way, but babies are supposed to wake up ever 3 to 4 hours to eat they are not made to sleep throught the night at a month old thats how babies get dehydrated. Swadling also prevents the baby from developing properly and being able to learn control of their limbs. It prevents muscle gain and delays a lot of natural things a baby should learn from being able to move. When you have a baby you know your going to be tired (exausted) thats part of being a mother, if you dont want to experience any of that then dont have children.

Allison - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Dena:



Please note that I also posted the link to La Leche League for more advice and helpful tools from the pros.  I am not a lactation consultant, nor a post partum doula, but rather a Labor Doula.  I was sharing what worked for me, as a MOTHER.





Yes, you did post LLL, which is good but not a safety net for spouting inaccurate information. By signing all your posts with Dena the Doula, you are implying you have professional knowledge - not all moms (many, actually) don't know what a doula is or does or what their training is. Many may assume you are also a lactation consultant or have had extensive training in breastfeeding consultation. I am, in fact, not completely sure of whether you are a birth doula, post pardum doula, or both, nor do I know where your certification is from (if you are certified...I know you don' t need specific certification to be a doula, although it's recommended). None of this matters if you just sign your name "Dena", as most of the moms on this board do. But by putting your title with your name, you *are* posting as more than just a mom - you are representing yourself and your profession, and there is an assumption that you have more knowledge than the average mom.



You were not sharing *just* what worked for you - you talked for paragraphs about how this method was better for everyone. You completely dismissed the information about introducing a binky before 6 weeks (LLL's info) as well as the accepted method of nursing on demand. I have no problem with anyone sharing personal experiences or quoting other "experts" but you were giving all new breastfeeding moms advice that isn't accurate and can be dangerous. Period.  This statement "Overall the mommy and baby should be nursing 6-8 times per day as a general rule." is what is really disturbing to me, as both experience and research shows that this type of feeding can lead to Failure to Thrive and a loss of mom's milk supply (and, honestly, this sounds like BabyWise information....your reference to Ferber in a different post also seems a bit off to me, based on your profession).



I'm not trying to bash you at all - but I think it's important for other moms to be more alert to your posts and your ideas...and know they *are* your personal ideas and not based on professional training. And, honestly, maybe you were not aware of how your advice was coming off as professional advice versus mommy advice. 

Allison - posted on 03/27/2009

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I don't agree with your advice - setting a newborn on a schedule can set many moms and babies up for failure. Pacifiers can decrease the amount of time baby is on the breast, and milk supply is directly related to how much sucking baby does (even the non-nutritive sucking), especially in the first 6 weeks of nursing. And, different babies have different eating patterns - so what worked for you with your daughter would not work for other babies. My daughter was a 20 minues per side per feed baby, every 2 hours. But my son only needed 10 minutes per side - he was a more efficient nurser. If I had tried to get him to nurse longer, per your advice, I would have been very stressed out and feeling like a failure.

Nursing 6-8 times per day is NOT appropriate for a newborn - that's only every 3-4 hours and would not be enough to sustain milk supply or allow most babies to gain a healthy weight. Block feeding is certainly a good technique (what you describe), but not for everyone.

Moms and babies need to follow the natural rhythms and develop a relationship, not follow a schedule that is difficult for them. Nursing in a sling can help free up mom to move around, as can having supportive friends, family, and post-partum doulas.

As a professional, I'd think you'd be more careful giving out "one-size-fits all" advice. You are posting as a doula, not "just-a-mom" and have some standards to live up to.

Lindsay - posted on 03/30/2009

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Wow, I think this whole post was taken WAY out of context. Every baby is different, therefore should be handled differently. It is none of our places to say that one mother is right or wrong for what she is doing, so everyone should just stop with the criticism. Everyone on here is posting with hopes of helping other mothers dealing with similar situations, not to give people bad advice. I think what we can gather from this is that you have to listen to your motherly instincts and do what is best for YOUR child. No one knows your child better than you. Good luck to everyone and keep up the good work!

Erin - posted on 03/30/2009

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I personally thank you for your advice.  It's nice to hear from other breastfeeding moms and their experiences.  It helps me a lot and gives me new ideas.  My son was on a 3-4 hour feeding schedule at first, but he decided he wanted to move that up to about every 2 hours and sleep for a strech of 5 to 7 hours at night around 4-5 weeks of age.  That 3-4 hour schedule gained him almost 2 lbs in 2 weeks, so I believe that it was definitely sufficient for him.  Also I HAD to give him a pacifier at 3 1/2 weeks because he was wanting to use my boobs as a pacifier.  He likes it after he eats and when he falls asleep, but after he's asleep he spits it out and doesn't want it anymore.  I was very against using a pacifier, but I learned it helps both me and my son in many ways.  It's not hurting him and he still eats just fine and my milk supply is plenty.  I have noticed actually that sometimes my milk is more than abundant and I need to pump some out, and he's 7 weeks old now.  As for the swaddling.  My son liked it at first but not so much now.  I think, as a mother, you have to do whatever works for you.  I actually could use some advice for sore nipples tho...I'm open to any advice I can get.  I've tried the lanolin, and it works some, but he doesn't like it so much.  I plan to breastfeed until he's at least a year, and I don't want to be sore for that long.  I thank you for any advice you can give me.





Erin

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Lindsay - posted on 03/30/2009

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By the way, our hospital gave our son a pacifier without our permission as well. They said that they do it for all boys who have circumcisions, to help soothe, so beware of that with little boys. I had a fit at first, but we have had no latch issues at all, and in fact he has been very open to taking bottles of all nipple shapes when we have had to give him formula (due to dairy allergy issues), although I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. I will say that it definitely does help him fall asleep, but on the flip side, there are some times that we have to make sure he has the pacifier before he will go to sleep which can be a pain at 3am!! But like I said in the last post, every baby is different so you just have to experiment and see what works for you and your child.

Dena - posted on 03/30/2009

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Thank you Erin for sharing your experience.  I love that you recognize, too, that each mother fiinds her own way.



As far as sore nipples, I read somewhere to try squeezing my breast milk onto my nipples and letting it air dry.  I did this.  After experiencing sore and bleeding nipples for at least a week, the very next day, the problem was solved.  I hope this works for you too.



Best,



Dena

Dena - posted on 03/30/2009

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Quoting Erin:



I personally thank you for your advice.  It's nice to hear from other breastfeeding moms and their experiences.  It helps me a lot and gives me new ideas.  My son was on a 3-4 hour feeding schedule at first, but he decided he wanted to move that up to about every 2 hours and sleep for a strech of 5 to 7 hours at night around 4-5 weeks of age.  That 3-4 hour schedule gained him almost 2 lbs in 2 weeks, so I believe that it was definitely sufficient for him.  Also I HAD to give him a pacifier at 3 1/2 weeks because he was wanting to use my boobs as a pacifier.  He likes it after he eats and when he falls asleep, but after he's asleep he spits it out and doesn't want it anymore.  I was very against using a pacifier, but I learned it helps both me and my son in many ways.  It's not hurting him and he still eats just fine and my milk supply is plenty.  I have noticed actually that sometimes my milk is more than abundant and I need to pump some out, and he's 7 weeks old now.  As for the swaddling.  My son liked it at first but not so much now.  I think, as a mother, you have to do whatever works for you.  I actually could use some advice for sore nipples tho...I'm open to any advice I can get.  I've tried the lanolin, and it works some, but he doesn't like it so much.  I plan to breastfeed until he's at least a year, and I don't want to be sore for that long.  I thank you for any advice you can give me.






 






Erin





 

Erin - posted on 03/30/2009

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Also, I was concerned about the pacifier and it his oral health, but my mom soothed my fears with that when she told me both my brother and I used pacifiers for quite some time and we both have perfect teeth without the help of braces.

Katie - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Dena:



Thank you for your feedback and experience.  My neices also had a desperate time letting go of their pacifiers.  My youngest only got hers during naps and bedtime and I think that may've played a big part in her not getting attached to it.






Great picture, by the way.






Dena





No problem!  Thanks, the picture was taken by my Mother in law and its been one of my favorites of her. :)



 



Katie

Andrea - posted on 03/29/2009

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I gave both my babies a pacifier in the hospital & had no latching issues with either of them.

Itsamystery - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Karen:

As for the soother discussion ... I never really thought about giving my daughter one and haven't seen any indications that it would help her in any way


It's actually more to help me!



My first born was so attached to nursing and sucking that I became exhausted and frustrated with it. At 22 months he was still nursing 10-15 times per day (more for comfort than anything else) and fought all my attempts to cut down his feeds. Even though I enjoyed nursing in the first 15-16 months by the end I was exhausted and fed up with my role as human pacifier! I know that may seem selfish but that's just how I felt after almost 2 years of his nagging me for access to my body every 90 minutes or so. Now I can see how pacifiers (although often misused with bad consequences for the child's oral development) can be helpful.



I want to breastfeed the next baby as long as possible, and I think that being able to use a pacifier once or twice day will extend my patience and save my sanity... thereby being helping baby in a way.



(Incidentally, with a lot of support from my mum, mother in law and hubby, my son has cut down to 3-4 nursings per day and I can cope just fine with that!).

Karen - posted on 03/29/2009

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I can't imagine having a feeding schedule! I EBF my 4.5 month old daughter and she eats whenever she wants to. I've learned to pick up her very subtle cues indicating hunger, so she almost never cries (at least not because she's hungry). I notice some days she wants to eat fewer larger meals, and other days she wants to snack a lot. This makes sense to me seeing as I'm the same way ... I don't expect adults to eat the same amount at the same time every day, and so it seems strange to me to expect that of a baby.

As for the soother discussion ... I never really thought about giving my daughter one and haven't seen any indications that it would help her in any way - but maybe I'm wrong. Again, it seems strange to me to put a piece of plastic in a baby's mouth and expect that to make her feel better. That being said, most babies I know have soothers -so maybe I'm the strange one!

In the hospital my daugther spent 3 days in the ICU where the nurses gave her a soother and formula without my knowledge or agreement. This made getting a latch difficult. Since they wouldn't let us leave the hospital until I could prove we could BF I had to use a nipple shield. The day we came home my midwife helped us get a good latch and we've been BFing ever since. Thank God for my midwives!

(My midwives advice for feeding my newborn was feed at least every 3-4 hours, and more often if she wants it)

Dena - posted on 03/29/2009

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Thank you for your feedback and experience.  My neices also had a desperate time letting go of their pacifiers.  My youngest only got hers during naps and bedtime and I think that may've played a big part in her not getting attached to it.



Great picture, by the way.



Dena

Katie - posted on 03/29/2009

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I  have a 19 month old daughter and I started her on a feeding schedule and paci from day 1. Every 3 hours and never had any latch or milk production problems. It worked great for us and she actually started sleeping through the night (8 Hours) at 6 weeks. It worked for us but everyone is different and it might not work for everyone. But, I agree with starting a feeding schedule right away!!! :) Now the only thing about giving her a paci from the beggining  is she is VERY attached to it and it is hard because we are starting to try and get her off of it slowly staring with only nap and night time but it has been a challenge !!

Allison - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Rebecca:




Our hospital put a special note in the bassinet that said breastfeed, no pacifers please.  If your hospital doesn't do that, maybe you can ask if you can put one in to make sure.  I would have been very upset if that happened to me.  It makes me mad just thinking about it now, that healthcare professionals these days don't even try to help you do the best for your kids!





Yes, well, this particular hospital is notorious for dismissing parents' wishes, unfortunately. They have a reputation for being breastfeeding UNfriendly and thinking they are the experts in everything (not just maternity), which they aren't. They told me there was "no such thing as nipple confusion" and forced us to feed formula because her sugars were almost low (they tested her and it was above the LOW mark, but the nurse (at 3 am) told me that is was close to low and we had to supplement. In the am, both the pediatrician and the lactation consultant told me the nurse was completely wrong and out of line - didn't help me at 3am! I'm also pretty sure the nursery gave her a bottle of formula without telling me - I had asked that they bring her back to me when she got hungry/woke up, but 6 hours later I had to request her, and that's when she came back with the pacifier (and "coincidentally" wasn't hungry at all)..



Anyway...I will not go back to that hospital and we are much more informed and careful about our babies...they do not leave our site ever. The last one was never in the nursery and the one on the way is going to a very pro-family hospital.



Sometimes we learn the hard way :-(

Rebecca - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Allison:



 



Just anecdotally, the hospital gave my daughter a pacifier against my wishes, and we had a very difficult time getting her to latch correctly. 





 



Our hospital put a special note in the bassinet that said breastfeed, no pacifers please.  If your hospital doesn't do that, maybe you can ask if you can put one in to make sure.  I would have been very upset if that happened to me.  It makes me mad just thinking about it now, that healthcare professionals these days don't even try to help you do the best for your kids!

Rebecca - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Kate:

Anyway, this time around I would like it if we could use a pacifier with the next one, if it can be done without harming the breastfeeding relationship. So I'd love to hear from anyone who introduced a pacifier straight away and whether you had any breastfeeding problems or if it went along fine for you?



We started a pacifer and pumping milk for bottles at about 4-5 weeks.  (I was going back to work at 6 weeks so he would need to take a bottle from my husband).   I have never needed to suppliment with formula.  He used the pacifer a lot when we first gave it to him as a soother.  This saved me from being the only thing to ease his need to suck.  He is now almost 7 months and uses the pacifer more as a toy then anything.  He won't take it now unless he is having teething pain and we give it to him after oragel to help him sleep. 



I would rather not give my child a pacifer if he didn't have such a high need for sucking at an early age and me having a very high need for sleep.  I could tell he was frustrated sometimes when my milk came down, so I gave in.  I personally wouldn't want to risk nipple confusion at the beginning, though I am sure it worked fine for some.

Dena - posted on 03/29/2009

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I nursed both of my girls (without formula) for approximately two years, in fact became an advocate by accident with ProMom.Org when a flight attendent on an airline tried to insist I cover up with a blanket while nursing to completely hide my daughter.  http://www.promom.org/3min/3min_JetBlue_...



Slings are amazing and I had no problem nursing while walking down the grocery isle or vaccuming the rugs in our home if need be in a pinch.  I miss carrying both my bundles of joy around in them.



As a Labor Doula I walk a difinitive line of not giving medical advice and pushing my will on people.  So, while I would love for every one of my clients to experience a natural child birth, drug free, that doesn't work for everyone.  My job is offer nurturing support and love while mothering the mother to be.  Most times I work with Dr. Jacques Moritz, http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/, here in New York City and I love the job that I do. 



My points about nursing, again, are my experience and may not work for everyone.  I would give anything to have three more babies and nurse, nurse, nurse.



I wish all the mommies-to-be all the joy and love in motherhood.



God bless,



Dena

[deleted account]

I have heard that pacifier use CAN interfere w/ production, latch etc... but can only speak from my experience...  My twins started using a pacifier in the hospital (maybe about 2 days old) and I nursed them til 15 months.  We only had a few minor supply issues in the middle of the night during the first month or two, but that had nothing to do w/ the pacifier and everything to do w/ an overly exhausted mom.



My son refused the pacifier no matter how hard I tried.  He only wanted (and still at a year only wants) me.

Allison - posted on 03/28/2009

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 So I'd love to hear from anyone who introduced a pacifier straight away and whether you had any breastfeeding problems or if it went along fine for you?


Just anecdotally, the hospital gave my daughter a pacifier against my wishes, and we had a very difficult time getting her to latch correctly. 

Itsamystery - posted on 03/28/2009

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I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences with pacifiers. Everything I have read suggests that introducing them early can interfere with breastfeeding, so on that advice I didn't give my son a pacifier straight away, and found that when I did introduce it (after 3-6 wees, I can't remember now) he hated it. My sister in law introduced a pacifier in the hospital and it worked great for them, BUT she did have supply issues and failure to thrive, and was advised by the hospital to stop breastfeeding and put her baby onto formula at 8 months. I don't know if this was anything to do with the pacifier or a separate issue.

I found being the ONLY source of comfort for my son pretty hard to cope with at times; he was such an avid sucker I had no fertility for 18 months after he was born, and even then it was only because I forced a nursing break (which I now regret but was desperate and uninformed at the time).

Anyway, this time around I would like it if we could use a pacifier with the next one, if it can be done without harming the breastfeeding relationship. So I'd love to hear from anyone who introduced a pacifier straight away and whether you had any breastfeeding problems or if it went along fine for you?

[deleted account]

I do have a comment on the swaddling as well.  I wasn't really able to use this much, but my cousin-in-law swaddled her son.  He had to be swaddled or he wouldn't sleep.  He was probably close to a year before he wasn't swaddled to sleep anymore.  He is a very healthy, active, normal, almost 2 year old boy right now. :)

[deleted account]

My twin girls (now 7) were on a 3 hour feeding schedule from birth.  Also on a binky from birth.  It worked great for us.  They didn't consistently sleep through the night til 14 months, but they were decent sleepers.



My son (turned one yesterday) was different.  I tried and tried and tried to get him to go on a schedule or take a binky.  He would have none of it.  I've gotten a lot less sleep this time around, but his needs/wants are different from his sisters and I can deal w/ that.



Every child is different.  What works for one may totally backfire w/ another.  THAT is my advice for first time moms. :)

Allison - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Dena:



What I said is that was what my PPD suggested and I don't recall hearing that before and that I looked forward to hearing from other's their experiences. 





Great! Then, since several people have stated they didn't agree with your advice...let's talk about some other ideas and suggestions for getting started and maintaining a good nursing relationship :-)



It's already been suggested that allowing nursing on demand for a newborn is a good idea, as it allows baby to gain the appropriate weight and helps mom get her supply up. You mentioned that your PPD came on at 6-7 weeks after baby arrived. This is an interesting time for baby, as most babies go through a growth spurt approximately now (typically 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months), which causes baby to want to nurse CONSTANTLY! This is a time when many moms start to think they are not producing enough milk, because baby wants to nurse every hour. It's not typically the case: babies nurse a lot for a few days to increase mom's milk supply to meet the growing baby's needs. If mom starts to supplement formula at this time, her body doesn't get those signals that it needs to ramp up production, so won't increase her supply, which *does* lead to not having enough milk. So, during these periods, on-demand nursing is essential. I think if more mom's understand this supply and demand relationship, they'd be less worried and therefore less likely to resort to formula just because they *think* they don't have enough milk all of a sudden.



So, back to your original post and your experiences regarding being able to sleep some with baby wanting to nurse all the time: What I found worked for me and for other moms around me was to allow free-nursing all day. We do this not by being tied tot he cough, however. We wear our babies :-) I'm lucky to have found a great group of AP momma who know a lot about babywearing, so I've had help learning different types of carriers, slings, and wraps and had friends assist me in getting comfortable nursing in one. Dr. Sears says that babies who are worn during the day are less fussy at night and sleep better, and I've found some of that to be true (my kids just aren't real good sleepers). But, nursing in a sling really does help baby nurse as much as they need while also allowing mom the freedom to move around the house, tend to older children, and even go out to the park, or mall, or grocery shopping.



In addition, I tend to get great sleep with a newborn and young baby (before all the teething starts!). Since I co-sleep (safely, using Dr. Sears recommendations on how to do so as well as some basic common sense and a technique I call "blanket origami"), I am able to allow baby to nurse at night while I sleep. At first it was difficult to nurse laying down and I would end up sitting up to nurse, then when my daughter was finished lay back down. But once I got the hang of the side-lying position, I was amazed at how easy it was to latch baby on, go back to sleep, and let baby stop nursing when she was done. I started this immediately with my son and really wasn't very sleep deprived in those first few months. It's when the teeth start to be bothersome and developmental milestones interfere with sleep that my kids stop sleeping well. I'm still able to nurse at night, of course, but waking up every 2 hours is more challenging. But I deal with it...it's only for a little while (well, 2 years or so, but that's still a little while in the grand scheme of things).



This pregnancy (I'm due in May) I've purchased an Amby Baby Hammock and hope that using it will allow baby to do a little more independent sleeping, although I will still use the family bed. But we have a 2 year old who is still with us and I'd like to be able to keep him there until he's ready to move either to a separate mattress next to our bed or with his sister. We'll see...but it is nice to be able to have baby sleep somewhere else besides with me for a few hours.



WRT pacifiers...I think it'd be great to have a child take one for some time. We don't introduce them until breastfeeding has been well established, my milk is well-set, and baby is latching correctly (i.e. I'm not experiencing pain). With my daughter that was at about 4-5 weeks and with my son it was much earlier, like 10 days. Neither would take it well at all, no matter how hard we worked with them. Both much preferred our clean fingers over the plastic. My husband would try very hard to get the pacifier to stay, but both kids would *look* like they were happy and the second he'd move a bit they'd spit it across the room. I'm not concerned over it being a habit or something that's hard to transitiion from, but more the way it could interfere with breastfeeding. I think the delay in introducing it makes it harder for babies to take it, yet I feel the delay is important for a successful breastfeeding relationship.



There is a lot of really great information at http://www.kellymom.com/ and they also have a forum that is moderated by very experienced moms and breastfeeding professionals. I always recommend this site as the information is research-based and Kelly, and IBCLC, has spent 20 years really working on making this site accurate and not just based on opinion. 



There's probably a lot more to share....would love to hear other's experiences, too.

Allison - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Monica:

\Swadling also prevents the baby from developing properly and being able to learn control of their limbs. It prevents muscle gain and delays a lot of natural things a baby should learn from being able to move. 


This certainly can be true, especially if baby is swaddled A LOT, however, from what I've read, babies can be swaddled up to about 8 hours in a 24 hours period and still be able to develop properly without causing issues to their limbs. You're right that babies are growing so fast that if you confine them to much it can interfere, but it still is a good technique when used properly. With my son, we would swaddle him and put him in the swing. He would sleep for about 4 hours, then we'd unswaddle him and bring to him bed and let him nurse. If he continued to sleep pretty well (2 hours stretches and fairly calmly) I'd keep him unswaddled. If he was really fussy and couldn't seem to stay asleep, even if constant nursing and being held, I'd go ahead and re-swaddle him. 



Dr. Harvey Karp has a book and a video titled The Happiest BAby on the Block that talks about how to soothe a baby with simple steps (like swaddling, shushing, and swaying). His information is pretty good and it gives frustrated parents some things they can do instead of just watch baby cry and fuss.

Dena - posted on 03/28/2009

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What I said is that was what my PPD suggested and I don't recall hearing that before and that I looked forward to hearing from other's their experiences. 



Additionally, I personally didn't start nursing on the schedule until Emma was 6 or 7 weeks old.  I should have been clearer on that.  We hired a PPD late in the game b/c after my daughter was born, it was clear that I was going to be raising both girls on my own w/out help from their father.

Gillian - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Dena:

When to Breastfeed, How Many times, etc. For New Moms

Quite often my clients will ask, "How long should I breastfeed and how often?" While everyone has their own preference after making a go at it for a few weeks and between Mommy & Baby you find your own way, I usually share what worked for me. However, in speaking with my former Post Partum Doula, Christine Kealy, of In A Family Way in New York City, this morning she had a couple of additional suggestions.

When I nursed my first child Giulianna, we nursed on demand, no matter what I was doing. I was exhausted and she was quite often just snacking on my breast. When my second baby was born, I hired Christine and her lovely Doulas to come to my home and help me with the day to day errands and they taught me the value of swaddling (OMG) and the ever important value of nursing on a schedule.

Swaddling I'll save for another day, but nursing on a schedule saved me from long nights of sleeplessness. I learned that breastfeeding every 2-2 1/2 hours for 20 minutes on each breast allowed my little one to go beyond snacking and have a complete meal and thus a full tummy. After she nursed, I couldn't skip on the burping (I learned that the hard way), then onto swaddling and in the mouth went a "binky."

Initially I was opposed to the binky but I was asked by my PPD, "Do you want to sleep?" Without too much fuss I gave into her stern look and confidence in what she was saying. Believe me I tried to convince her that "my daughter doesn't take one of those." Well, I was wrong. With some insistence on the PPD's part she got Emma to take the binky and in no time fell fast asleep with a full tummy, and snuggled nice and cozy in her swaddling blanket. Guess who else got some much needed sleep? ME!

For those afraid of the binky, just as I was for fear it would become this terrible habit; I only gave Emma the binky after feedings to help her self soothe into sleep and never for any other reason. After 11 months, she spit it out and never looked back.

Now, this morning Christine told me something I didn't remember her saying five and a half years ago. She said newborns and their mommies should nurse according to the above schedule but once the milk is in she suggested nursing on one breast until it is empty and then offer the other breast. If the baby doesn't take to it, start the next feeding, usually 3-4 hours later on the breast she didn't take and again feed until completely empty. Overall the mommy and baby should be nursing 6-8 times per day as a general rule.

I hope this is helpful to mothers committing to breastfeeding. For more information and helpful suggestions you may go to La Leche League's website at http://inafamilyway.com/.

Please feel free to share your experiences and more helpful suggestions!!

Happy breastfeeding!

In love and service,

Dena the Doula


I think you should put a disclaimer in for the record many will appricate the advice and some will feel a failure if it doesn't work, thats how advice goes yes?



Mothers are there own worst enemy, our lives are made harder by the very people who should be standing by us come people lets stand together!!!!! *bangs head against the wall*

Gillian - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Dena:

When to Breastfeed, How Many times, etc. For New Moms

Quite often my clients will ask, "How long should I breastfeed and how often?" While everyone has their own preference after making a go at it for a few weeks and between Mommy & Baby you find your own way, I usually share what worked for me. However, in speaking with my former Post Partum Doula, Christine Kealy, of In A Family Way in New York City, this morning she had a couple of additional suggestions.

When I nursed my first child Giulianna, we nursed on demand, no matter what I was doing. I was exhausted and she was quite often just snacking on my breast. When my second baby was born, I hired Christine and her lovely Doulas to come to my home and help me with the day to day errands and they taught me the value of swaddling (OMG) and the ever important value of nursing on a schedule.

Swaddling I'll save for another day, but nursing on a schedule saved me from long nights of sleeplessness. I learned that breastfeeding every 2-2 1/2 hours for 20 minutes on each breast allowed my little one to go beyond snacking and have a complete meal and thus a full tummy. After she nursed, I couldn't skip on the burping (I learned that the hard way), then onto swaddling and in the mouth went a "binky."

Initially I was opposed to the binky but I was asked by my PPD, "Do you want to sleep?" Without too much fuss I gave into her stern look and confidence in what she was saying. Believe me I tried to convince her that "my daughter doesn't take one of those." Well, I was wrong. With some insistence on the PPD's part she got Emma to take the binky and in no time fell fast asleep with a full tummy, and snuggled nice and cozy in her swaddling blanket. Guess who else got some much needed sleep? ME!

For those afraid of the binky, just as I was for fear it would become this terrible habit; I only gave Emma the binky after feedings to help her self soothe into sleep and never for any other reason. After 11 months, she spit it out and never looked back.

Now, this morning Christine told me something I didn't remember her saying five and a half years ago. She said newborns and their mommies should nurse according to the above schedule but once the milk is in she suggested nursing on one breast until it is empty and then offer the other breast. If the baby doesn't take to it, start the next feeding, usually 3-4 hours later on the breast she didn't take and again feed until completely empty. Overall the mommy and baby should be nursing 6-8 times per day as a general rule.

I hope this is helpful to mothers committing to breastfeeding. For more information and helpful suggestions you may go to La Leche League's website at http://inafamilyway.com/.

Please feel free to share your experiences and more helpful suggestions!!

Happy breastfeeding!

In love and service,

Dena the Doula


I think you should put a disclaimer in for the record many will appricate the advice and some will feel a failure if it doesn't work, thats how advice goes yes?



Mothers are there own worst enemy, our lives are made harder by the very people who should be standing by us come people lets stand together!!!!! *bangs head against the wall*

Itsamystery - posted on 03/27/2009

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I, too, disagree with scheduled nursing for a newborn. That sounds like outdated 1950's advice. Newborns nurse the way they nurse in order to build their mother's milk supply. Nursing on a schedule interferes with building a good supply.

Dena you suggested 'once the milk is in' to nurse every 3-4 hours or 6-8 times per day. Doesn't the phrase 'milk coming in' refer to the transition from colostrum to milk that happens about 4 days after the birth? I would NOT recommend that a 4 day old baby only feed 6-8 times per day. That is nowhere near enough to build mum's milk supply or keep baby satisfied. Their tummies are too small at that age to take enough milk in to last them 3-4 hours. Most breastfeeding support organisations recommend feeding every 2 hours for a newborn. You can stretch an older baby to 3 or even 4 hours but I would never recommend that a new mother tries to get her newborn to wait 3 or 4 hours to be fed.

I'd be suprised to hear a lactation consultant recommend regular use of a binki in the first 4-8 weeks too. This also can interfere with building milk supply, as Alison has pointed out. Certainly the ABA doesn't recommend it.

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009

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Additionally, I was opposed to a binky but willing to give it a try per my certified, trained, nurse and post partum doula's advice.

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009

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I was sharing what worked for me and it obviously worked.   I am not giving misleading advice but rather sharing what was suggested to me and my experience with it.  I have an 11 and 5 1/2 year old and that gives me the right to share what my experience with breastfeeding was.



As a Labor Doula, I get asked all the time and since it is not my area of expertise that is how I reply and then I refer my clients to pediatricians, lacation consultants, breastfeeding groups and post partum doulas for more personal guidance.  Everyone is different.

Jenny - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Dena:



Quoting Jenny:




Quoting Allison:

I don't agree with your advice - setting a newborn on a schedule can set many moms and babies up for failure. Pacifiers can decrease the amount of time baby is on the breast, and milk supply is directly related to how much sucking baby does (even the non-nutritive sucking), especially in the first 6 weeks of nursing. And, different babies have different eating patterns - so what worked for you with your daughter would not work for other babies. My daughter was a 20 minues per side per feed baby, every 2 hours. But my son only needed 10 minutes per side - he was a more efficient nurser. If I had tried to get him to nurse longer, per your advice, I would have been very stressed out and feeling like a failure.

Nursing 6-8 times per day is NOT appropriate for a newborn - that's only every 3-4 hours and would not be enough to sustain milk supply or allow most babies to gain a healthy weight. Block feeding is certainly a good technique (what you describe), but not for everyone.

Moms and babies need to follow the natural rhythms and develop a relationship, not follow a schedule that is difficult for them. Nursing in a sling can help free up mom to move around, as can having supportive friends, family, and post-partum doulas.

As a professional, I'd think you'd be more careful giving out "one-size-fits all" advice. You are posting as a doula, not "just-a-mom" and have some standards to live up to.








I agree with everything you said. I believe that you should nurse on demand. Breast milk digests a lot faster then formula that's why breastfed babies eat more.









While nursing on demand works for some, it doesn't for others.  Thank God our society is growing in its understanding of a  mother's right to nurse, slowly but surely.  Let's not divide mothers who nurse on a schedule and mothers who nurse on demand.  I'm very happy we're breastfeeding.






Dena





I wasnt trying to divide anyone, I just think that you are giving misleading advice.

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Jenny:



Quoting Allison:

I don't agree with your advice - setting a newborn on a schedule can set many moms and babies up for failure. Pacifiers can decrease the amount of time baby is on the breast, and milk supply is directly related to how much sucking baby does (even the non-nutritive sucking), especially in the first 6 weeks of nursing. And, different babies have different eating patterns - so what worked for you with your daughter would not work for other babies. My daughter was a 20 minues per side per feed baby, every 2 hours. But my son only needed 10 minutes per side - he was a more efficient nurser. If I had tried to get him to nurse longer, per your advice, I would have been very stressed out and feeling like a failure.

Nursing 6-8 times per day is NOT appropriate for a newborn - that's only every 3-4 hours and would not be enough to sustain milk supply or allow most babies to gain a healthy weight. Block feeding is certainly a good technique (what you describe), but not for everyone.

Moms and babies need to follow the natural rhythms and develop a relationship, not follow a schedule that is difficult for them. Nursing in a sling can help free up mom to move around, as can having supportive friends, family, and post-partum doulas.

As a professional, I'd think you'd be more careful giving out "one-size-fits all" advice. You are posting as a doula, not "just-a-mom" and have some standards to live up to.






I agree with everything you said. I believe that you should nurse on demand. Breast milk digests a lot faster then formula that's why breastfed babies eat more.





While nursing on demand works for some, it doesn't for others.  Thank God our society is growing in its understanding of a  mother's right to nurse, slowly but surely.  Let's not divide mothers who nurse on a schedule and mothers who nurse on demand.  I'm very happy we're breastfeeding.



Dena

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009

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Allison,



I appreciate your feedback and your different experiences with both babies.  I was simply sharing my experience and some of the suggestions of my post partum doula.  It seems that 20 mins on each breast worked for you first child but not your second.  I agree, that no one knows our body better than we women do and every person is differenct. 



I post with great care and consideration to my clients, other nursing moms and as a Mother and Doula.  I am offended by your last jab, but more happy for the experiences you shared to help other moms.



Please note that I also posted the link to La Leche League for more advice and helpful tools from the pros.  I am not a lactation consultant, nor a post partum doula, but rather a Labor Doula.  I was sharing what worked for me, as a MOTHER.



"While everyone has their own preference after making a go at it for a few weeks and between Mommy & Baby you find your own way, I usually share what worked for me."



Again, thank you for sharing your experience.  It is very helpful to me and many others.



In gratitude,



Dena

Jenny - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Allison:

I don't agree with your advice - setting a newborn on a schedule can set many moms and babies up for failure. Pacifiers can decrease the amount of time baby is on the breast, and milk supply is directly related to how much sucking baby does (even the non-nutritive sucking), especially in the first 6 weeks of nursing. And, different babies have different eating patterns - so what worked for you with your daughter would not work for other babies. My daughter was a 20 minues per side per feed baby, every 2 hours. But my son only needed 10 minutes per side - he was a more efficient nurser. If I had tried to get him to nurse longer, per your advice, I would have been very stressed out and feeling like a failure.

Nursing 6-8 times per day is NOT appropriate for a newborn - that's only every 3-4 hours and would not be enough to sustain milk supply or allow most babies to gain a healthy weight. Block feeding is certainly a good technique (what you describe), but not for everyone.

Moms and babies need to follow the natural rhythms and develop a relationship, not follow a schedule that is difficult for them. Nursing in a sling can help free up mom to move around, as can having supportive friends, family, and post-partum doulas.

As a professional, I'd think you'd be more careful giving out "one-size-fits all" advice. You are posting as a doula, not "just-a-mom" and have some standards to live up to.



I agree with everything you said. I believe that you should nurse on demand. Breast milk digests a lot faster then formula that's why breastfed babies eat more.

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009

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I posted this to help moms who have the question of when to breastfeed and would love other moms, doulas, midwives to share too.

Sherry - posted on 03/27/2009

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You breastfeed right from birth up tp 12 months old if you want to. Thats what i did with my son. Breastmilk is the best food for babies.

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