Archive for the ‘Maternity’ Category
In this post, I want to talk about How to increase milk supply and nurse your baby correctly. The number one complaint that I’ve heard from first-time nursing mothers is the pain that it causes. The other complaint is the amount of time it takes.
I have heard that while at the hospital mothers are taught to nurse 15 minutes both sides. The theory behind this is it takes this long for the baby to totally strip you of milk and cream.
How to nurse your baby correctly
When your milk lets down it takes only a few minutes for the baby to drain you. He’s barely sucking at this point only swallowing. Then as the milk decreases he will begin sucking hard. I should time this process but I’m going to guess it takes about three minutes from the time they latch on until they drain you. Let’s think conservatively and say 5 minutes. That gives you another 10 whole minutes of hard sucking which is pretty much unproductive except for making you sore. Also if you continue to nurse that one side for this long you’re going to have probably two more let downs of milk, if you are a good producer of milk.
So, once he has drained you the first time you help them strip you of the cream and get on with the other side. To do this you start at the base of the breast and apply pressure as you work towards the nipple. At the same time you are giving him the cream and emptying any still-full milk ducts. Usually the side of the breast will still feel full where the gravitational pull isn’t so strong. Do this for about another minute and you’re good. Switch sides and repeat.
This eliminates both problems mentioned above.
I was introduced to something this year that I had never heard of. It’s called the shield. I spoke with two women within just a day or two of each other who had both used this. Because of hospital instructions they had to wear this for months because it simply hurt too much to nurse otherwise.
Admittedly it hurts quite a bit in those first couple of days prior to your milk coming in but after about a week it shouldn’t hurt so much. When they first latch on you may have to grit your teeth for just a second but then you should be ok. By the second week of nursing if the baby is latched on correctly and your milk supply is good then it should not be painful to nurse and a shield past the second week should not be necessary.
Let me quickly explain why I would be against this. God made us so incredible, so uniquely, that when a baby nurses, the nipple is sensitive enough to “read” the saliva of the baby. Just like when you’re pregnant if the baby needs something your body will crave it. It’s the same with nursing. If that baby is in need of a certain nutrient then your body will crave a food that has it in it.
The shield makes it impossible for your body to “read” the baby. So, if you must use the shield, if it were me, I would discard it as quickly as I could.
With each pregnancy it seems that it has been harder and harder for me to produce. Although my babies have always been nice and chunky it’s bothered me that my production has never been the same as it was with my first child.
Our fifth child has perhaps given us more gray hair than all five of them put together.
At three months she came down with infantile botulism. You begin to be paralyzed from the head down. The first thing I noticed was her inability to nurse properly. Her suction wasn’t strong.
We were very scared and had no idea what to do. This problem started on a Wednesday afternoon and by Friday we were in the ER with a three-month old baby who couldn’t hold up her own head and overall appeared paralysed. Within 30 minutes of arriving at the ER she coded blue. They quickly intabated her (put an oxygen tube down her and a machine was breathing for her) and life-flighted her to St. Louis Children’s Hospital where it took another 12 hours just to figure out what was wrong.
I was still nursing her full-time however she hadn’t nursed in 24 hours so I was engorged and hurting. I began pumping but once thoroughly empty it was as if my body quit producing. I did everything I knew to bring up my milk supply because the doc wanted 3 oz every 3 hours. I was only giving 2 1/2.
How to increase milk supply
Looking back now I don’t believe that there was anything else I could have done. Several nurses said considering all the stress I had been through I was doing well. I still cried when they had to supplement with formula for the first time. None of our babies had ever formula.
Low milk supply is normally fixable. Most of the time it’s due to not eating or drinking enough. Most women are afraid of gaining weight therefore try to starve themselves. You will not produce milk if you’re not eating enough. You should also be drinking a half a gallon of water per day.
If you are eating good and drinking the right amount and you’re still not producing then here’s a couple of other things that you can try.
I have revisited a remedy that didn’t work for me at the hospital. I believe that my body was too stressed to produce anymore than what it was.
Hops. In the hospital I was drinking both the tea (which tastes like dirty socks) and taking the capsule. I was having issues with my milk getting too low the other day and found those Hops capsules in the vitamin cabinet. I took 2 and sometime throughout the night my milk supply had come back up to full production.
My sister-in-law likes fenugreek. It works well for her.
I’ve heard from several people that a bowl of oatmeal every morning works great. If you are a blood type A or even B, I would highly recommend that you try this. I cannot eat oatmeal. It makes me gain weight.
My midwife recommends something called Maxi Milk. It’s sold at mountainmeadows.com
Some have had success with Mother’s Milk Tea. I would have to drink too much for it to be worth the expense.
More tips on how to nurse your baby successfully.
Post a comment below on how you increase milk supply and tips you have learned on how to nurse your baby correctly.
I didn’t have to deal with getting rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy until recently in my child bearing. There’s all kinds of creams and such to help get over this hurdle however I’ve found a method that seems to work well without having to spend money. I do tons of Kegel exercises.
You can get rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy with Kegels. This was something that my first midwife insisted that you do 100 per day. In a Kegel you squeeze the muscle you use to stop yourself from urinating. Squeezing this muscle is so very necessary. After several children if you don’t keep this muscle strong you won’t be able to jump on the trampoline without Depends!
When dealing with hemorrhoids I will lay on the bed while resting and Kegel. What you’re doing is pulling those veins back into place. The harder you squeeze the faster this method will work.
If you have a particular stubborn hemorrhoid that refuses to go back in place then apply pressure and Kegel at the same time. If you can’t tolerate the feeling that you have an open wound that feels like it’s seeping then someone decides to dump alcohol on top of it all, then by all means find something that will give you relief.
Remember that creams won’t fix the problem only give you temporary relief. Working that muscle will get rid of hemorrhoids naturally usually within 24 hours or less if you’re diligent.
For many years I didn’t use a pacifier. My grandmother had been completely against them along with the other conveniences that they’ve come up with for babies…walkers, swings, whatever else. My mother pretty much followed in her footsteps and I, my mother’s. All of our children caught whooping cough when our fifth baby was only 4 months old. It was a very scary time. We learned a lot and one thing we actually found useful was a pacifier. In fact, it became a necessity. As soon as she would begin waking up she would be thrown into a fit of coughing. If we could quickly get her sucking then she would be fine. We were so concerned with just keeping her alive that the task of breaking the habit of the pacifier seemed menial. In the end it was nothing we had to concern ourselves with anyhow. At 6 months she realized exactly what a pacifier was for and she was NOT to be pacified! She wanted the real thing…food. So I’ve since relaxed a tad on this issue. I have used it a few times for Levi already while changing his diaper. Some people believe in letting a baby cry because it’s for their lung development, or some such crazy theory. I happen to strongly disagree. As your milk comes in it will not hurt as much to nurse. And at only a few days old they will usually nurse until they are satisfied and stop or fall asleep. You most likely will still be left with tons of milk if you are experiencing engorgement. Give it another day or so and your milk supply will begin to regulate according to the needs of the baby. So I allow him to nurse as long as he wills. This will change as he gets to be even a few weeks old.
What to eat while nursing
On my first child, I was not sure if I could nurse my baby successfully.
It seemed as if I was robbed of everything I loved to eat. No peppers, onions, broccoli, someone even told me no cucumbers. For three months this went on and for three months I had the worst colicky baby you ever saw!
We were introduced to the blood type diet shortly after the birth of our second child. It made all the difference in the world.
Since that time I have found that I can eat all the peppers, onions, broccoli, and even hot peppers that I want and it does not affect the baby. However, if I eat a whole wheat product that baby is sure to start screaming.
As I mentioned before, I’m a blood type O. As an O, I’m able to eat most vegetables, the fruits that I most enjoy, and lots of meat. Wheat products are not digested by my body therefore it makes my milk also indigestible. It gives the baby extreme pain because you’re feeding him a product that his body can’t break down.
Not too long ago, I did hear of a blood type A mother who had to take out certain foods from her diet because her blood type O baby wasn’t nursing successfully in getting the right nutrition. This surprised me. But when explained, made sense.
Many blood type A’s have low levels of acid making it harder for them to digest things such as meat. Most do better on moderate amount of grains, lots of vegetables, fruits, and light protein like poultry or seafood.
This particular baby had such an aversion to grains, being that he was an O, that this mom had to take them out of her diet because being an A with poor digestion her milk was coming through indigestible.
My sister, blood type O, had a blood type A baby. He was extremely fussy and several times a day would scream in pain. She began eating according to her blood type but he was still in pain. As he was going on four months, a month past the typical colic stage, I explained to my husband what was going on. A blood type A himself he said, “Oh, he needs acidophilus.”
Acidophilus is found in yogurt. It’s good bacteria that your body needs in order to digest food and stay healthy. So my sister began fixing him a small bottle with diluted juice (100% real) and acidophilus. It did the trick. So there are a few methods of dealing with colic so neither the baby nor you have to suffer.
Successful nursing brings numerous benefits
First, nursing is far healthier than formula. A formula fed baby has nasty diapers. Their spit-up stinks and any excretions stain your clothes.
When a nursed baby spits up, it’s just milk. It doesn’t stain. If their diaper leaks, no problem. Simply wash as normal and hang in the sunshine while the article is still wet. The sun will bleach it out.
You can successfully eliminate colds and other infant sicknesses while nursing. When the baby starts to get sick I begin taking vitamin C in multiples of 500mg. There’s no specific amount. I simply take it as I feel the need.
And, there’s no getting up in the middle of the night to warm a bottle. Which leads me to…
Where does the baby sleep?
On our first child we had a beautiful cherry wood crib. It was lined with mint green bumper pads, and inside lay the pinwheel quilt which I had made and quilted by hand. However, when our little bundle arrived he didn’t find it all inviting.
He hated that crib! I’d nurse him and when he was asleep put him in the crib. Within 15 minutes he’d be awake and crying. I’d take him back to bed with me, lie down, nurse and half the time I’d wake up hours later with him still beside me.
This felt right to me, but everything that I’d heard said the opposite. Not to let them in bed with you because you’ll never get them out of your room. This is not true. Our four oldest children have their own beds and our little three year old is doing very well at transitioning to sleeping with her sisters.
While I was struggling to decide what to do with our first child, a newsletter came in the mail. At that time there was a lady who had 9 children and she put out bimonthly newsletters at a very reasonable price. The majority of her advice was very beneficial to me and timely.
She pretty much gave me the permission I needed to allow my newborn to sleep with me. This not only gave me peace of mind but it allowed all three of us to sleep. I’m forever grateful to a husband who had always been open-minded to change. Some husbands become very upset thinking about a baby entering their domain.
So not only do I not need to get up in the middle of the night to warm a bottle I don’t need to get up at all! I afford myself the luxury of sleeping as much as I can.
Woo-hoo! After what feels like an eternity the baby has finally arrived. Uh…now what do I do? You need tips for natural postpartum recovery.
Many new mothers don’t have a clue how to deal with a new born because no one mentors them (other than a male doctor or old-school nurse). Most prenatal classes deal only prepare you for the few short hours of labor and delivery.
My husband and I have just had our 6th child. All have been born at home and all delivered by my husband. That was not the original intention! We did hire a midwife for every pregnancy however the midwife never made it on time, although definite effort was made.
I’d like to share with you my recovery process and how I care for my new baby. Even more frustrating than the last month of your pregnancy is the first 3 months postpartum…or at least they can be.
My first day is spent eating and sleeping as well as the second and most of the third. I get up to use the restroom but on that first rarely venture too far from my bed. I have my husband help me in and out of bed. The pain is too much for me to be using my own stomach muscles.
On my first two babies I developed very large sores almost like canker sores. I was instructed that after using the restroom to wash with water from a water bottle and pat myself dry. Makes sense.
On the next four babies we moved to where we are now and our new midwife gave different instructions on hygienic care and natural postpartum recovery.
She had me use an actual peri bottle. I make all of my birth necessities purchases at inhishands.com. The peri bottle has a gentler flow than a water bottle. When you have basically a large open wound, the gentler the better.
I place about a teaspoon of povidone iodine in the peri bottle and fill with warm water. Wash yourself with this solution and pat dry. I have never developed sores again since using this method. I will continue with this regime until the swelling is down completely and my bleeding has slowed or stopped.
During pregnancy I wear a back-support belt to help hold up my uterus and keep the baby from falling forward. If your belly is too far forward not only does it cause a lot of back issues but makes it more difficult on your delivery and recovery. I continue to wear this belt even after the baby is born. If I find myself holding my stomach as I walk from the bed to the bathroom, then I need support. My midwife highly suggests support underwear that have the small diamond shape support in the front. Cut out the crotch and use like you would the belt. Not only does this help to support all of the external but the diamond shape support puts the right amount of pressure on your uterus until it’s back in place…a six week process. I will continue the use of my supports for a continuous six weeks but also for the next six months when doing anything that requires bending over.
Eat. Eat. Eat.
Now is NOT the time to be trying to lose weight, nor does that give me reason to junk out either. What sounds good to you? A grilled steak? A juicy roasted turkey? Watermelon? Eat it! It is essential to natural postpartum recovery.
Our family has eaten according to our blood type for 12 years now. My blood type is O. High protein, low carb. I do well on most any meat except pork. No breads or pastas for me. I find that when nursing I need some carbs at least once maybe twice a day. I lean toward rice perhaps because it’s cheap and easy. However, I prefer sweet potatoes and squash. Eat whenever you’re hungry.
Drink. Drink. Drink.
Liquids are absolutely essential for a good milk supply. I keep a large insulated cup handy, with a straw and electrolytes. Whenever there’s been any kind of fluid loss from your body then you will need electrolytes. There’s the typical Gatorade and Powerade that you can use. I use Alacer’s Electromix packets. They contain minerals that your body needs as well as a delicious lemon/lime flavor and no sugar. Each packet makes a liter. You may find them sold individually at your local health food store. We purchase them by the box from nutritiongeeks.com. I drink many cups per day of water. A 1/2 gallon of water per day should be minimum.
I remember the struggle that I went through with our first child. He was born at 4:30 am on a Wednesday. He slept all that day and that night. By the time he was 24 hours old, Thursday morning, he took to crying. He would cry until totally exhausted, sleep for a while and wake up crying again. This continued until Friday afternoon when my milk finally came in. I was completely at the end of my patience and in tears when my Mom called. I’m extremely blessed to have a mother who nursed all us girls against popular opinion. She says, “So, how are things going?”
In extreme frustration I said, “What do you do with a baby who refuses to nurse!”
I think I heard her smile a little.
She says, “Are you relaxed?”
Yeah right. Up all night and half the day with a screaming baby and I’m supposed to be relaxed?
She said, “So long as you’re uptight the baby can sense that. In order for him to relax and nurse you need to relax.”
I took a deep breath and forced myself to calm down. Immediately he latched on and was a great nurser.
In all six of our babies I’ve not had one yet who simply gravitated to nursing. I had to “teach” each of them to nurse.
You want to nurse as soon as you can. 15 – 30 minutes upon being born is ideal. Even if they only latch on for a couple of seconds or minutes. That simple stimulation causes your uterus to contract and start the process of going back down to normal size.
Their little heads will bob with interest and most likely they’ll cry because they can’t get it right. I’ve taken as much as 5 minutes or more of working with a baby to get him to nurse. That may not seem long but if feels almost an eternity when you’re holding a screaming baby who seemingly refuses to latch on.
This is definitely a patience builder. You have to constantly force yourself to relax. It’s very frustrating and discouraging. It’s going to go on like this for about 2 – 3 days before he truly gets it.
There are a couple of things you can try. Try putting the nipple at the roof of his mouth. Hold there for a few seconds. If he continues to bob, cry, and search, try putting the nipple on his tongue. Continue to repeat this process until he latches on.
I will usually wait at least 15 minutes before trying at all. If he doesn’t latch on within 5 minutes of trying, stop. Simply hold him for a minute. Talk to him softly. Calm your own nerves as well as his. When you’re ready try switching sides and make another attempt. If you’re a person who stresses and gives up easily you may want to take some B vitamins. This is where many new moms give up and want nothing to do with nursing. In our fast paced world of boxed foods and drivethrus we’re not use to having to slow down and make something work.
Then you must wait for your milk to come in. I’m shocked at the amount of people, some more than twice my age, who have no clue about this. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been asked, “Your milk come in? Well, what are they getting in the meantime?”
It’s highly nutritious and essential to the immune system. Unfortunately it’s not very filling therefore Baby will want to nurse constantly. Again, moms will give up here because their nipples get very tender and sore. If he is allowed to nurse unlimited then you may find yourself cracked and bleeding. It will feel like knives slicing you every time he goes to nurse. Then, on top of that you’re also dealing with the pain of your uterus contracting! After birth pains can be worse than labor. So between trying to get the baby to latch on, the feeling of knives slicing your nipples, extreme afterbirth pain suddenly grips you, it’s easy to see why a gal would want to throw out nursing and simply replace with a bottle.
As my husband has had to remind me so many times, take a deep breath—it’s only a season. Be thankful that at the moment you’re holding a live healthy baby. There are some who have not been so fortunate and yet still have to go through the physical pain of their body going back to normal.
Babies love that sucking action so it’s only natural that they would want to nurse constantly. I did not allow Levi that privilege this time around. I let him nurse one side for as long as I could tolerate, probably 10 minutes, before switching sides. After the second side if he still wanted to nurse I would give him a pacifier or my finger to suck on. They don’t need to nurse every waking (and half-sleeping) moment—they are just bored. Some babies when you unlatch them freak out and now they’re wide awake and you have to start the process all over again! If you know in advance that he’s going to do this have something to quickly put in his mouth.
I’ll have a few more tips for natural postpartum recovery, soon.