So yesterday I had both my one-week pediatricians appointment and my postpartum home nurse visit. It was a very rough day because the two of them tied me completely in knots. Here’s what they told me to do: Pediatrician in Red, Postpartum nurse in Blue.
Nurse her from ONE side first per feeding so that she gets the hinde milk. It’s the fattiest and without it she won’t grow as quickly. Nurse her from BOTH sides every feeding or she won’t get enough milk and won’t grow as quickly.
If you haven’t started her on a pacifier yet you should. Give it to her at night when she goes to sleep to prevent SIDS. Definitely don’t start her on a pacifier yet. She is too young and will have nipple confusion and won’t nurse as well once you give it to her.
Start pumping soon to stimulate your supply if you plan on both breast-feeding and bottle-feeding using breast milk. Don’t start pumping for at least 3-4 weeks so that your supply will regulate to the baby.
Give her a bottle with breastmilk sometime within the next week or she might get picky and later refuse a bottle. It is important to do both so that her dad can have that bond with her as well. Don’t even think about giving a bottle – even with breast milk – for at least another 3 weeks or she will get confused and have problems nursing.
She should be at her birth weight by 2 weeks or it’s a problem. Don’t worry about returning to her birth weight until the 3-week mark. Breast fed babies sometimes take longer to get back up to their starting weight.
Yeah. Yesterday was a clusterfuck of conflicting information. And all of it is supposedly “recommended” by the medical community.
So of course I did what any rational first time mother would do. I melted down, tried to apply all of it, and ended up with a kid who looked like this:
Luckily I have a good support system to talk me down. Because you know what? The one thing both the pediatrician and the nurse agreed on is that Nidea is beautiful. Both commented on how strong her little arms are. Both said she has great color and no sign of jaundice at all. The home nurse was impressed with her latching on abilities (even with, the horror, a nipple shield). And when she pulled her little head up off of the exam table the pediatrician said “Lifting up already? Wow she’s really advanced developmentally!”
So the bottom line is that we must be doing something right.
Even if we are doing things like gasp! Nursing from one side at a time or horror! Nursing on demand and not every 2-3 hours by the clock or fail! Offering her a pacifier when she’s squawky and not hungry*
So from now on the only piece of advice – assvice/medical/relative/friend/parenting book/etc. - that I’m going to take in full is this:
“Trust your instincts”
Because the only people who truly know what’s best for our daughter are me and Matt.
* I haven’t done a footnote in awhile… yeah so the homenurse gave me one stern lecture that I thought was all sorts of crazy: She told me that it is “strongly reccomended” that any time Nidea is fussy and wanting to suck on something I should ONLY offer her a boob. Um… what now? Aren’t those supposed to be for eating? So I would be training her to eat whenever she’s bored? That’ll work out well for her in 15-20 years. Plus I’d be letting her chomp on me for hours with no purpose? Um, Ouch! Seems like the Worst Idea Ever. But again, according to her if I don’t do it I’m thumbing my nose at medicine and not doing what’s best for my child. Crazy-making I tell you. Crazy-making.