New Beginnings Midwifery

http://www.homebirthmidwives.com.au/breastfeeding/index.shtml

Breastfeeding

The following information was taken from an article featured in a Homebirth Access Sydney newsletter written by Judy Hefferen, a Nursing Mothers Counsellor.

Expectations and acceptance of the baby.

Parenthood can be a big shock to the system, the stark reality of being faced with a helpless individual, entirely dependent on you for survival, can be daunting to say the least. Maybe you were expecting a blond, blue eyed, nicer looking boy and ended up with, after a less than perfect birth, a premature, brown haired little girl that strongly resembles a spider monkey or a member of your family you detest! She doesn't suck well, screams constantly, etc…..

My only advice is to accept your feelings and verbalize them. Suppression of your anger, disappointment, shock, or whatever will pop up sooner or later. After the birth of my second baby I was on a amazing high for 5 days, fell instantly in love with my baby, and was highly energized. Towards the end of my 3rd pregnancy I had a lot of family hassles, then an unexpected out come for the birthing experience and after the birth I felt nothing. I didn't fall in love instantly and the bonding has been slow but sure ever since.

Colostrum

My personal opinion is there is no need to express colostrums before the birth. Some women leak colostrums profusely before the birth but this is usually replaced continuously. In some cases however, the colostrums is replaced by breast milk before the birth ( in the case of an older baby tandem feeding it is best to feed from one side only towards the end of the pregnancy). Other women don't see a drop throughout pregnancy and that's quite okay too. Colostrum is highly desirable but not a life or death survival necessity. It lines the bowel and gut and is enriched in nutrients and antibodies.

Hot days and boiled water

I suggest you drink the boiled water and give the baby the breast! There is no reason to give your baby anything at all other than the breast for at least the first 6 months. On hot days the milk adjusts to the thirst quenching requirements of the baby. You may need to take extra fluids and feed your baby short, frequent feeds on hot days. (short frequent feeds means you reduce the time you usually feed for and feed more often).

Engorgement

Try feeding one breast at a time per feed. One breast for one feed, then switch sides and give the other breast for the next feed. Works wonders. Another idea is to keep a cabbage in the fridge and apply the raw leaves to the breast. As the cabbage leaves become warm, remove them and apply new leaves until comfortable. If you don't have a cabbage, use cool cloths (a bowl with ice and water, dip the cloth in and wrap around the breast).
Remember you may feel hot and bothered at this time, it will pass, and the breast will become more comfortable.
Not enough milk

If your baby is only being breastfed and is having 6-8 wet nappies per 24 hours, is fairly contented and is gaining some weight, you have no problems with supply. Your baby really needs a minimum of 6 feeds per 24 hours in the first 3 months.
If you feel that your supply is down - Don't use a dummy for a few days, and feed your baby little and often, at least 5 minutes on both breast every 2 hours ( this is only a guide, as often women don't know what little and often means in relation to time).
Herbal teas such as raspberry and chamomile ( drunk by the mother) can also increase supply.

Recommended books

Breastfeeding Naturally - Edited by Jane Cafarella for Nursing Mothers' Association Australia.

Breastfeeding - I can do that - Sue Cox

Bestfeeding - Suzanne Arms