Sunday, January 29, 2012

Breastfeeding Preparation Class Complete - Month 7

Parenting Class Two Out of Four Complete

week 29

Breastfeeding Prep
Everyone has their own reasons for breastfeeding or not (and I respect this) - this post isn't about how awesome breastfeeding is and to make people feel bad - sometimes moms don't get the option or their breasts aren't working right. For me, the main reason I want to do it is for the health of our baby. I was a breastfed baby and I think of myself as one healthy person - blame it on the milk (I think I was breastfed till I was 2) or maybe it's my current healthy choices and the lifestyle I live now... who knows! And it seems so convenient...and cheaper.

I took Breastfeeding Preparation at St. Francis this past Friday (for three hours) and I can't tell you how helpful it was. Life sure has already changed from going out to Happy Hours on a Friday night to taking classes on how to breastfeed. To me, it's crazy all the different stages of life we go through. Blink and I'll be a grandparent before I know it!

I have been warned by those who have been through breastfeeding that it isn't as easy as it may seem. It's painful and tiring and my boobs are going to hurt like nothing I ever imagined. But the ones who survived all have said, I just need to get through the first month...I must fight through the pain because it will get better. So I'm going to try and remember that.

I didn't know what to expect so I thought I'd bring in My Brestfriend and the Boppy like one of those crazy moms. The teacher kind of laughed at me. I didn't really need them but the teacher did end up showing us how to use them, so that was nice.
All the breast pumps out there!

The class consisted of a nice Power Point presentation (even showed the different kinds of poops baby will have), a few videos, us working with a doll and holding "our babies" in all four different feeding positions, burping them and switching breasts, some items we'll want to buy to help with nipple soreness and asking questions. A few brave dads showed and I'm sure they enjoyed the constant viewage of all the different nipples and breasts in the videos. I could only imagine Karl's laughter in my ear the entire time. He's not used to seeing big cannons!

Things I learned from class:
  • How tiny the newborn stomach really is on day one (think almond).
  • The whole "let down" business. I seriously can't believe how amazing our bodies are. Makes me want to take even better care of mine. We put our bodies through so much.  I mean, my body is going to know I delivered a baby. The minute our baby is set on my chest for that skin-to-skin contact my breasts are going to know. Well...hopefully in an hour's time. And that's when baby is going to get the best milk.
  • All the feeding cues (remember...never really held a lot of babies here...didn't know there'd be cues).
  • There will be 8 to 12 feeds a day....phew!
  • Babies feed mostly between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. (say what? OK...I'm not an idiot. Knew this was coming.)
  • For the first week, Karl should help out with nighttime feedings...encouragement and changing diapers. I'm going to need a cheerleader and someone to bring me water! Must keep hydrated.
  • Speaking of diapers, they should always be dry when baby feeds (more comfortable).
  • All the different reliefs out there I can try for engorgement.
  • The different kinds of breast pumps out there (wow...we are really lucky to have electric!!)
  • Wait about 3-4 weeks before we give baby a bottle. Karl will have to feed and I need to be out of the room (or house) cuz baby will smell me. This will prepare baby to take the bottle of breast milk when I go back to work. Just can't do it too early, otherwise baby won't take to my breasts as well anymore. Babies have to work harder at sucking for milk at the breast.
  • At 12 weeks and when I start going back to work, baby will usually take a 3-ounce feeding each time he/she eats. I just want to know how many times this will be in a day? Are we still talking 8 to 12 feedings a day?
  • Buy a bunch of maternity tank tops that flap down (easy to wear these in the hospital under the gown that will have slits in it).
  • Baby should be breastfed for up to a year.

Most shocked about:
  • Baby should sleep in the same room as mom and dad after birth for awhile if mom is breastfeeding. Just not sure how long is awhile? And in a crib? Or in one of those bouncy chairs? I need to do more research on this.
  • Delay use of pacifier for about 4-weeks (once latch-on and milk is well established).

Most excited about:
  • I have the contact information of the lactation consultant at St. Francis now. The hospital is only 5 minutes away from home, and I will be going in the minute I feel lighting bolts shooting through my boobs because I want to make this work and I want to limit any cracked, raw nipples!
  • This crazy bond I'm going to feel with baby. Still can't wrap my mind around this or comprehend.
  • Going to lose weight pretty fast if I continue to breastfeed. YAY! I get to eat an extra 500 calories a day for this.

Most worried about:
  • My breasts not functioning correctly.
  • The pain.
  • Getting up every hour or two to feed. Sounds exhausting. Teacher said the schedule baby is on now inside my belly is what he/she will stick with when he/she is born. I feel movement around 10ish...sometimes around 3:00 a.m. too. Yikes. I'm reading a book dedicated to breastfeeding so I can keep all the information fresh since there is still 11 weeks to go!

Visitation issues:
This was addressed quite strongly. The teacher suggested only allowing the grandparents and immediate family into our room on that first day. Otherwise, baby will miss feedings and momma is going to get real tired entertaining everyone and then will have to stay up all night long feeding a very hungry baby. Only to get more visitors the next day... And the cycle continues. Depends on how comfortable I am letting my boobs hang out in front of everyone. However, she did remind us that we're going to be on an insane high for about two or three days and will CRASH big time. Kind of like our wedding...I remember sleeping for 18 hours straight on our honeymoon. And I can't imagine that bringing a baby home is anything like going on a restful honeymoon.  

Any breastfeeding advice out there that I need to know about?


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