A rough beginning but a happy ending – the conclusion

2014-12-17T20:37:36+00:00December 17th, 2014|Categories: Fertility Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

Lauren was born in August and the days were warm and still. I felt relatively well and especially grateful to not be pregnant anymore in this hot weather. Lauren was breastfeeding around the clock and my older boys were busy with outside activities.

The nipple pain started on day two. Lauren always had a shallow latch but I kept working with her to take more breast tissue, enough that her top and bottom lips would curl over. I tried the positioning technique I learned from Dr. Newman – pulling her belly button in close and keeping her head aligned with her little body. It seemed like a natural way to hold her; she seemed comfortable and swallowed easily. Her latch remained shallow although I tried everything – pumping before feeding, holding the breast to make it the size of her mouth and waiting for the wide open mouth before putting her to breast. Nothing helped.

The nipple pain continued and they were bloody and cracked by day 3. Each time I fed Lauren I tried to get more breast tissue into her mouth and deepen her latch, but she would always slip down, causing pain with each feeding. Making matters worse, Lauren was not emptying the breast well with her shallow latch and she would often become frustrated, crying inconsolably. Oh the early days with a newborn – it is a tough time mommies!

Near the middle of day 3 I tried breast compressions as Dr. Newman had taught in his seminar. The technique is simple and easy to master. Place the hand on the breast the baby is nursing on and gently squeeze or push down on the ducts which are located above the areola. More milk is pushed down into the baby’s mouth than by suckling alone. This helps baby get full and mom’s body gets the signal to produce more milk. A win-win situation.

Day 4 and 5 we turned a corner and things got easier. I was using breast compression at every feeding; Lauren was growing bigger and stronger. As her mouth grew she was able to take more breast tissue into her mouth and my nipple pain subsided. She was still fussy in the evening, but soon she outgrew that too.

My early days with Lauren reminded me that each baby is different. Although I had breastfed before, Lauren hadn’t. It took us almost a week to learn this new skill. I was grateful to have a toolbox of interventions to try, since nothing seemed to work in the beginning. I also had the experience of successfully breastfeeding my other kids; I believed I would eventually be successful with Lauren too. Sometimes things just get better with time and experience. When the photo at the top of this post was taken, Lauren was 7 weeks and already traveling with me to talk about Milkies. She is showing a hunger cue I got to know well – sucking on her fist.

I also give credit to Dr. Newman. He has worked with thousands of mom and baby pairs and gives practical, easy-to-follow advice that worked very well for Lauren and I and so many others.

Here is the link to his website again.

Part 1 – Road trip, Watermelons and Dr. Newman

2014-11-24T01:59:08+00:00November 24th, 2014|Categories: Fertility Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

In the summer of 2012, I had an opportunity to attend a conference featuring Jack Newman in the tiny Central Oregon town of Hermiston. As a life-long Oregonian I was a bit puzzled by the location, Hermiston was famous for watermelons and not much more. However, Dr. Newman is a popular speaker, author and researcher and I was willing to drive across the state to listen to him talk. I didn’t know at the time, but Dr. Newman would save my life (or at least my nipples) in a few short weeks.

My friend Karen, LaLeche League Leader and lactation expert was also interested in hearing Dr. Newman speak. (Karen has also been a special contributor to this blog and many others.) The afternoon before the conference we kissed our families good-bye, threw our suitcases in the trunk of my old Chevy Impala and began the 200 mile drive to the Watermelon Capital of Oregon and Dr. Newman.

Although I was 36 weeks pregnant, Karen and I had an uneventful trip. Dr. Newman had practical advice on positioning the baby for feeding and techniques for compressing the breast to extract more milk. We met new friends, saw new parts of Oregon and had a picture taken with Dr. Jack himself.

About 4 weeks later, we welcomed Baby Lauren in the world. My midwife handed her to me; she latched on and nursed for almost an hour.
We were off to a great start, although her latch was a bit shallow (not enough areola, mostly nipple). Since I was a third time mom and all seemed to be going well, we went home the next morning. I had zero concerns about breastfeeding, I have sat through hours of classes, read hundreds of research articles and my family and friends knew I would breastfeed. I was after all, the founder of Milkies and a breastfeeding advocate, breast milk donor and lactation educator.

Part 2 coming soon… The one thing I know for sure is things will not go as I expect.

Meet Dr. Jack Newman here:

http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=drjack

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