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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Boob Juice

Thursday night I went to the "breast feeding" portion of our childbirth education classes. Dave is in Gualala so he couldn't go. The lactation consultant giving the class was this fabulous hippie who still gives her presentations with slides instead of PowerPoint. I was sitting behind the slide projector and the fan was loud and distracting but it brought back memories of childhood.

At the beginning of the class she asked each of us to introduce ourselves and tell her what questions we already had about breastfeeding. Many ladies were curious about how to handle pumping/storage for going back to work.

My question was, "how can something so natural go so wrong that people stop breast feeding because 'it just didn't work'?" I admitted that I've probably read too much online junk about breast feeding; I've read SO MANY women say things like "breast feeding was really, really stressful and as much as I wanted it to do it, it just didn't work for me and my baby."

What doesn't "work" about it?

The instructor admitted that with breast feeding it is hard for the mother to gauge how much her baby is getting (where as with a bottle of formula you know exactly how many ounces it sucks down). She also said that most women who quit do so during normal times when their milk supply changes (like their breasts pass that 3-week maximum volume period of being perma-engorged) so they assume that their milk has dried up. Not so. Only about 2% of women are physically incapable of producing enough milk for their infants.

She also said that most women who get stressed out about breast feeding don't go to their doctor or a lactation consultant for help and give up instead.

Davis is a breast feeding town, though, and there are consultants on-call at the Mother and Baby Source store, the hospital, and even on campus. She said that Davis has one of the highest percentages of exclusively breast fed babies in the USA--something like 67% of all 6 month old babies are still exclusively breast fed here. It makes me happy that there is so much support and encouragement for it here.

I just hope that it works out for me and Eddie. I'm not sure we could afford formula anyway so I'll gladly fork over $80/hour for lactation consultant help until we get it "right" since that education is a LOT cheaper than formula in the long run. Besides I'll take any reason to snuggle and stare at my sweet baby--breast feeding seems like the best way to bond.


Mimi mouse said...

It is great bonding! This time around I enjoy a lot more even though it is still a bit of work with my second. I am glad there is so much support for you!

huntfamily said...

Advice: Get lansinoh NOW and use it every time you take a shower. It's great b/c you can still use it after the baby is born and nusring. I used it both times and have never had a problem with bledding/cracking, etc. Also, I think, don't worry about it. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed Eddie will be. I nursed Iva until 2 weeks after her 1st bday, and will probably do the same for Asher. I've never once bought formula. Good luck! Still so excited for you!