Cartoon by Neil
The truth of the matter is that doctors, physicians assistants, med students, interns, yes and many midwives plus many nurses working in the mother/baby environment SIMPLY DO NOT have enough education about Lactation and Lactation Management to adequately guide new mothers. It is sad and pathetic. The vast majority of these individuals would rather work with precise numbers and are actually happier if a mom is pumping and feeding her milk in a container to baby.
It is no wonder this has transferred to the vulnerable new mother. WE have done this to her. There is actually a new trend to pump and feed expressed breast milk instead of ever putting baby to breast. I can help you with that. Please know that a large number of these infants do get some formula until milk supply is established. Make an informed choice. These breastmilk-fed babies are not usually exclusively fed expressed milk thru out the first few months. It is a hard job to pump and feed and pump and feed. It is a damn hard job to build and keep up a full supply long term exclusively pumping!! It has been done. You can do it. Mommas are very powerful and they can do it SO if that’s the choice you make then GO FOR IT!!! Give it all you have got. But CONSIDER putting baby to breast and feeding the way nature designed your body. Work with an IBCLC. We need good lactation programs at EVERY facility that provides childbirth services. We need IBCLC’s in the hospital. We need prenatal education about the benefits of breastfeeding so mothers make a true informed choice.
The more I speak with and counsel new mothers, the more I get asked for exact numbers when it comes to feeding instruction. It is no surprise that the number one question on the mind of a brand new first time breastfeeding mom is “HOW do I know my baby is getting enough milk?”
Babies were born to breastfeed
WATCH the baby, Listen to the baby. Look for feeding cues or little things the baby does which tell you he is getting hungry.
Lets make it EASY with very little “rules”. Think of these as TOOLS– not RULES
First: Attachment to breast should be DEEP and COMFORTABLE
Second: Baby needs to do the RIGHT JOB of effective drinking
Third: Baby needs to do this OFTEN ENOUGH each 24 hours…. about 8 for most moms – more is very common- feed on cue
Fourth: By the fourth day ( give or take a day), and EACH 24 HOURS thereafter Baby should be having around 6 ”good” wet diapers and about 3 -4 poops that are starting to turn yellow.
Please KEEP your baby with you at a times!! Just.Say.NO.
Bottom line– Weight Gain. Baby should be at birth weight by Day 10 (or at least on a proven good upward trend) and be gaining about an ounce every day thereafter.
After the first 4-6 weeks. This little chart comes in handy:
Copyright Nancy Mohrbacher used with permission
If a doctor or nurses first suggestion is to give formula to your breastfed baby—for whatever reason— ask to see a Lactation Consultant, an IBCLC.
These are the only numbers to remember. TRY to stop stressing out.
This blog post is not a replacement for medical advice should you or your baby have an issue. This is applicable to healthy full term infants.
Copyright 2014 StorkStories RN IBCLC RLC