Mamas on Bedrest: Help, I Can’t Breastfeed!

October 6th, 2013

nursing infantBeautiful Breastfeeding is a wonderful community on Facebook dedicated to all things breastfeeding. I personally follow this page and I highly recommend all of you do so as well! The members of this community, just like our community, share their trials and triumphs and support one another to be the best mamas possible. A post from mama Kayla really resonated with me.

To summarize, Kayla had her baby boy last week and the duo is experiencing Breastfeeding difficulties.  With “a touch of jaundice”, recent circumcision and blood sugars on the low end of normal, Kayla’s little boy is a less than enthusiastic nurser. Hospital staff recommended formula to raise his blood sugars and now the little guy doesn’t want to nurse at all. As Mama’s milk has yet to come in, Mama Kayla is worried she won’t be able to nurse her little guy. She’s asking for advice.

Kayla, I can soooo relate! I had my daughter at 36 weeks 6 days and because of breathing issues, she was admitted to the NICU. My milk had not come in and every time my daughter nursed, her oxygen levels dropped and alarms sounded. Needless to say, nursing was not going well. Here is what worked for me.

Consultation with the lactation consultant.  One of the NICU nurses introduced me to the staff lactation consultant and she literally changed the entire experience for my daughter and I. This wonderful woman immediately got me a breast pump and had me pumping every 2 hours. That brought my milk in and I was able to put little pouches of breast milk in the NICU fridge For my daughter.

The lactation consultant also showed me how to monitor my daughter’s nursing and to break her latch before her oxygen levels dropped too low triggering the alarms which startled her and were making her not want to nurse.

Frequent Feedings. Because my daughter was a preemie and had a small tummy, I needed to feed her more often. Per the lactation consultant, I put her to my breast every 1-2 hours. The hospital staff raised their eyebrows at me being in the NICU so much and handling my daughter so much, but I stood my ground for nursing and she did begin to nurse better, was able to nurse and not drop her oxygen levels and was beginning to gain weight.

Eliminate Distractions. My a daughter was a nosy baby! Every little noise and cry had her looking around to see what was up. This continual “surveillance” happened even while she was Breastfeeding, such that she often “took my breast with her” to see what was the latest distraction. Once we went home, nursing greatly improved! In the quiet of our own home, no other babies crying and no monitors going off, my daughter became a breastfeeding champion!

These are just a few of the techniques that worked for me when I was faced with breastfeeding challenges. The mamas on the Beautiful Breastfeeding page shared many, many more options and tips and I am sure that new Mama Kayla and her little boy will be a successful breastfeeding duo in no time.

Again, I highly recommend the Beautiful Breastfeeding Facebook Page. While you may not need it right now on bed rest, I am sure that there will be wonderful pearls of wisdom for you once you deliver!

 

Note: Today is my baby’s 11th birthday!! Stick with it mamas, you can do it! Happy Birthday, Girlie!!!

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