In the Napping House Where Everyone But Me is Sleeping

You’ve had those days. I know you have. Where you are so tired. No, no. Like more tired than you ever thought was humanly possible and still be alive. So tired. Just so flippin’ tired. And you know there are people in the world who are sleeping and you hate them with intense passion. Just the thought that another human being gets to be sleeping makes you so spiteful. How dare they sleep while you, the most tired person on the entire face of the Earth, has to stay awake. So tired that you have bumped into several pieces of furniture and a few walls and door frames. Tomorrow your hips and shins will be covered in bruises. So tired that you don’t have control over your body anymore. You drop everything you pick up. You’re a little bit afraid to pick up the newborn for fear you just won’t be able to hold on. You’re so tired you find that you have been staring at the cartoons with your toddler for like 2 hours. Maybe. You aren’t quite sure how much time has passed. And you don’t even let him watch endless amounts of TV, but who really gives a fuck today? Mommy, can I have some ice cream. Sure. I’ll get it. Have we eaten breakfast yet? is it lunchtime? I don’t know. And after dropping the spoon several times and knocking all the bowls out of the cabinet you hand your toddler like 5 scoops of ice cream. At least someone is happy. You sit back down. Stare at your phone. Post some things on Facebook. Oh man, I hope I didn’t post that on my actual wall. What am I saying? People will think I am drunk. Suddenly you look up and around at the people in the room. And this is what you see.

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Do I look annoyed?

Abby Theuring, MSW

The Badass Breastfeeder on The Stir

Badass Breastfeeder Nurses Toddler and Newborn: You Got a Problem With That? 

Ask an Expert: Tandem Nursing

By Anne Smith, IBCLC

Fan Question:

“I nursed all my babies. My oldest was 8 months old When I became pregnant with my daughter so I stopped nursing him. It never occurred to me to continue or to try and tandem nurse them. I know with the first baby, your produce colostrum.  Now, if you are already nursing when baby number two arrives, will you produce colostrum again or will the new baby miss out? I see people frowning upon mom’s that choose to tandem nurse but the way I see it, as long as new baby gets it’s “liquid gold” and baby one will get a double dose of colostrum, Why would there ever be an issue? If I could go back in time, I would change the decision I made that day and kept nursing. (You may decide to leave out the section in italics)

Answer: During the second trimester, your breasts will begin to produce colostrum.. If  you are breastfeeding during your  pregnancy, your  breasts will produce a mixture of mature milk and colostrum (extra antibodies for your toddler!)

Both the quantity and the taste of the milk change dramatically during this time, and  some  babies will wean themselves when the milk changes. Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy your breasts will produce  more colostrum when you  give birth, regardless of  whether you are already nursing your older baby.

When the mother’s milk comes in a few days after birth, it is called “transitional milk.” This mixture of colostrum and mature milk is produced from 4-10 days after birth. 

Transitional milk may look yellowish due to the colostrum content. After 10-14 days, mature milk is produced. It still contains lots of valuable antibodies and immune factors, but no more colostrum, so it isn’t an issue after that time.

It’s a good idea to nurse the newborn first so that he’ll get most of the colostrum. but you don’t need to worry about limiting your older baby’s time at the breast.
Anne Smith, IBCLCAnne has been helping moms reach their breastfeeding goals for over 35 years, as a La Leche League and an IBCLC in private practice since 1990. Breastfeeding six children gives her a unique combination of first hand experience as well as professional expertise. In 1999, she started her website,www.breastfeedingbasics.com, with lots of information on breastfeeding and parenting, and a wonderful group of bloggers, including Abby from The Badass Breastfeeder, Rachelle from Unlatched, and Marie from Anarchy in the Sandbox.

Join the more than six millions of moms who come to Breastfeeding Basics each year for information and support, and visit Anne on Facebook.

Ask an Expert: Keep Calm and Latch On

By Wendy Wisner, IBCLC

Fan Question :

“My baby is three weeks old. I have struggled to get her to latch. She was born three weeks ago by c-section. I have been trying to protect my supply by pumping (as much as I can) but I can’t keep up with her and have to supplement with formula. Is it too late for her to learn how to latch? Will I ever make more milk? I hear about women stock piling in the freezer and I can’t even keep up with my newborn.”

Hi Mama.  It sounds like you’ve had a rough start!  You are absolutely doing the right thing by pumping to keep up your supply until your baby can latch.  If you aren’t using a hospital grade pump, go out and get one.  Almost all mothers find that they are able to pump more milk with a hospital grade pump.  Even just renting one for a month or two can work wonders.  Ameda, Medela, and Hygeia are three companies that make these pumps.  You can call the companies to find out about local rentals (they are too expensive to purchase).  Also make sure that your pump flange is fitting you correctly (here is a good explanation of how to know this).  An ill-fitting flange can decrease the amount of milk that is produced.  Finally, make sure that you are emptying your breasts frequently – the more frequently you empty them, the more milk you will make.  Aiming for 10 pumps per 24 hours would be ideal, but 8 or 9 pumps per 24 hours is good too.  Do your best, take the pumping day by day, and be gentle with yourself.  It’s not an easy task to take care of a baby and pump.  For more milk supply tips, I highly recommend the book (available in electronic form as well) Making More Milk, by Diana West and Linda Marasco.  There is also great info in that book on herbs and foods suitable for increasing milk supply.

In answer to your question about latching, it is never too late!  Babies are born with natural reflexes and instincts to breastfeed.  It takes many months (and perhaps years) for these instincts to go away.  Your baby wants to breastfeed!

This article has some detailed tips on how to tap into these instincts.  But in a nutshell, try latching your baby when she is in a calm state, not too hungry, not too full.  Strip her down to her diaper, and hold her skin-to-skin and belly-to-belly with you.  In this state, where your bodies are touching, and she is smelling you and your milk, she is very likely to begin to look for the breast.  She might bob her head around, searching.  You can gently guide her, or let her do it herself.  Do whatever feels right.  And give it time.  It could take three minutes or thirty minutes.  As long as she is content, let her be there, and help her figure it out.

Even beyond these latching attempts, spend a lot of time skin-to-skin with her.  Let her sleep on you, wake up on you.  Ditch the pacifiers, if you are using them, and see if she will suckle at your breast for comfort.  Comfort sucking is one of the first ways that non-latching babies come back to the breast.  If you are using bottles to feed her, make sure you are using the slowest flow nipple, and try to find a wide-base one that requires your baby to open wide while she sucks.  Keep the flow slow by holding the bottle horizontally, and give the baby lots of breaks while you bottle feed her.  These tips will help make bottle feeding a bit more like breastfeeding so that your baby won’t begin to prefer the bottle.

If you need further help, call a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and set up a meeting!  In-person help would be invaluable in a case like this!
unnamedWendy Wisner is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), writer, and mother of two amazing boys.  In addition to her work with breastfeeding moms, she has published two books of poems, and a handful of articles about mothering and breastfeeding.  She blogs at www.nursememama.com.

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