Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Got Milk?

Many of my homemade baby food recipes contain breast milk, but certainly it can be substituted for some other liquid (e.g. formula, water, soy milk, vegetable stock). Just make sure to check with your pediatrician if using something other then breast milk or formula to make sure that it is age appropriate for your child.

Long before my son was slurping down pureed butternut squash and zucchini, he was an exclusively breastfeed baby. I made the decision to breastfeed before Dylan was born. However I, like most moms, had plan B in the back of my mind "just in case breastfeeding didn't work for me." My husband and I took the breastfeeding class offered through our hospital, and as a new mom I thought it was really informative, but so this little person was going to be solely dependent on me for every meal and every ounce of nutrition he consumed. That's a lot of pressure! I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to do it. And you know, at the class, for whatever reason, they failed to stress that your milk doesn't come in for 3-5 days after delivery. Which in high insight, that's probably the most important information they could give you. So, during our class the instructor (who was a very knowledgeable lactation consultant) told us that if we were really committed to breastfeeding we would not let any bottles be given while in the hospital...for fear of nipple confusion. In theory this sounded great, but in reality this set the stage for one huge melt down.

So after a day and a half in the hospital with a new born baby who wasn't able to latch on, and a nurse who continuously repeated "did he eat, did he eat," we finally conceded to give him a 2 ounce bottle. Surprisingly, after he was able to eat, he was a lot calmer and was able to try to latch on instead of being so hysterical because he was so hungry. So we continued trying to latch because he needed the practice and the colostrum, but as for getting actual didn't happen for 3-5 days. I also started to pump at that point because it helped to get things working. So the moral of this story is not to give up, because its easy to get frustrated early on. For me, it has been an awesome bonding experience, not to mention all of the health benefits for baby.

The other factor for me, that gave me the confidence and the guidance to continue breastfeeding, was a breastfeeding support group offered by my hospital. I started going when Dylan was less then a week old. It was wonderful to get out of the house, and it was great to be surrounded by women that were going through the same experiences as I was. So even through this post doesn't contain a recipe for baby food, it hopefully is a recipe for successful breastfeeding!

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