Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Breastfeeding Round 2: The Milk Bar Is Open

Right after Josie was born, breastfeeding came quite easily for us and was a totally opposite experience than with my first baby. Of course, it helped that this baby was born at term, without a long labour, without any narcotics in her system and she was able to go skin to skin with me right after birth. All really important factors that relate to the success of establishing breastfeeding. I also knew how to hand express colostrum and would manually express drops of the good stuff so that her reward was instant when she came close to me. Encouraging a suckle right from the start.

This nursing experience with Josie was in sync right from the very first latch. My 9 pound newborn lost only a minuscule amount of weight by day 1 and started gaining weight by day 2. The nurse always looked a bit shocked when she would weight Josie and the weight was increasing instead of the expected decrease that is often seen. I experienced minor engorgement that regulated itself by day 5, unlike the severe engorgement experienced with Ben (which really was from all the extra pumping that was going on and the unsatisfactory latching).

This time I did not have any reason to pump, cup feed, spoon feed or need to do implement any big feeding plan. The babe latched on, nursed and that was it. What a difference a 38 week old baby is compared to a 36 week old baby (Ben!) at birth. Huge difference in their ability to coordinate latching and suckling and also in their stamina to keep on trying. In our first 24 hours together I nursed Josie 10 or so times. In between I did a lot of skin to skin to stimulate my milk production and I offered up the milk bar on her cue. Even a questionable cue got an attempt at latching.

When I look at the photo above I see my very tired but satisfied self, and I'm amazed at the fact that I am still wearing the earrings that I put on the day before along with my Clinique eyeshadow. 7 weeks later we share a positively sweet rhythm when it comes to nursing and I can actually say that I enjoy each feed, even those at 3 AM.


kristin said...

That all sounds just so delicious!  Ha!  - not necessarily the milk bar, but the time spent at the milk bar together!  ; )  

March 6, 2012 at 11:02 PM  
Jenna Alphenaar said...

That last picture is incredible. Beautiful mama.

March 7, 2012 at 6:33 AM  
Helen Engel-Gray said...

I am so jealous.  Breastfeeding at my place is sort of like a battle of the wills.  It ain't pretty :(

March 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM  

Oh, it can be so challenging and there are really many variables along the way! With my first, it was really really trying and I felt so frustrated. It wasn't smooth at all and I had to put the call in for one of my friends (a lactation consultant) to come and help me out when I got to the point of tears. This time around it is a different baby, same equipment and more hands on experience.

March 7, 2012 at 3:47 PM  

Awe! So sweet. Thanks Jenna!

March 7, 2012 at 3:47 PM  

It can be such a rewarding experience when it works out well!

March 7, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous said...

This baby 7of7 has been a dream compared to any other babies. I'm super happy & happy for you that you're having a wonderful time with it! My difference was this time I resolved not to listen to anyone else & make it work because it was RIGHT. It worked. I have given up in the past or allowed supplement which interferes & eventually led to the rejection of breastfeeding by baby because the bottle is way to easy. Anyway, congrats to you and to Josie on your success!! From @muddero7

March 7, 2012 at 4:35 PM  
Amanda said...

It's very reassuring to hear it can be so much easier the second time around!

March 8, 2012 at 6:05 PM  
Sarah AR said...

You are stunning in that last picture. So glad that nursing has gone so smoothly this time. I

March 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM  
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