Monday, August 17, 2009

Breast feeding

My Two Cents by Debi Pearl

The above is a link to one of the best articles on breastfeeding I have ever read! I have had fantastic feeding relationships with my kids and many things have contributed to those times. The way I feed Anna now, amid the chaos of our current home life, is totally different to the way I fed Erin. The clock still plays a role with Anna, but not such a marked one as when I was feeding Erin. I am less concerned about spoiling Anna than I was about spoiling Erin, because I am now more confident in my own ability to spot a child using their will to manipulate me (though I still get sucked in sometimes!). The only thing I would have changed about Erin's babyhood is I would have cuddled and kissed her more, ENJOYED her more, and stressed a little less about the small stuff. But as the boys left their babyhood days behind them, I felt the same way! So feeding Erin largely by the clock wasn't "wrong" and neither is the more laze fare method I use with Anna. Both work equally well in the circumstances they were used, with the children who were being fed and my body (which has changed markedly in the last 6 years!).

When I am asked for breastfeeding advice, I always struggle to put into words exactly what I mean. Yes, I do wake my new babies every three hours(ish) during the day for feeds, but no, I don't let the clock control me. Yes, I do think that feeding is a beautiful, natural thing that is largely guided by instinct, but it is also a learned skill. The thing is, each child is different and with each child, I am different. There are few pieces of advice that suit every mother and every child. Even with Anna I learned new things and had to adjust technique to her unique needs. I found my midwife an invaluable support during that time and probably will next time too. Next time I am clearing the decks of all but temporary visitors while we go about the work of establishing our breastfeeding relationship because that time is so intense and demanding. Anna took about five days to get the hang of latching properly, and it is only after I expressed and drip fed her to get her blood sugar up that she perked up and started pulling her weight. HOWEVER, I have met some midwives who simply don't have a clue, some people benefit from having a houseful of guests all gathering around to take care of them and 3/4 of my babies have not needed expressed colostrum. So little if any of what I learned from my time initiating feeding with Anna can be generalised to EVERY baby and mother.

Anyway, if you have a moment and are expecting to feed another baby one day soon, go and check it out!

My Two Cents by Debi Pearl

1 comment:

Momma Bug said...

Thanks for the reminder Jess. I have read that article several times, and am due to peruse it again I think. There have been some aspects of breast-feeding that have been so easy and natural for me, and others that have me stumped. My being stumped usually comes when baby is about nine months, I am wiped out, and baby is not gaining weight so much.
Be on the look-out for later breastfeeding issues for me if you will. I think my body doesn't make rich milk, for one, and I think I may be deficient of certain other things that both
baby and I need.
I have never been one to worship breastfeeding anyways, so have been content to let things go however they go by nine to twelve months.
Interesting topic to learn more about though. It always amazes me how much I learn with each new little one!