March 27, 2009

Tied in knots.

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!”
Baby girl
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*
Baby girl
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.
baby's first walk


* 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.


  1. I say you can't go wrong following your gut! Perservere! Take what makes sense and get rid of the rest of it!

  2. By the way...she is beautiful!

  3. She won't eat because she's bored, but they do have a hardwired need to suck (hence pacifiers are soothing). Pacifiers CAN be a big deal (ditto bottles) if you're having problems nursing, or if she starts to have problems nursing with the pacie/bottle. If you give her a bottle or paci, but she still nurses like a champ, and bottles/pacis don't bother you -- great. She can also suck on her fingers, or on your finger with no problem.

    Ditto pumping. Sometimes early pumping leads to engorgement (ow), but sometimes it helps it. It's all entirely individual. Like you said, trust your instincts -- you're OBVIOUSLY doing great!

  4. Even though I have no kiddos, I know from my own medical experiences and those of recent friends with babies, that you should only take what they have to say with about 5 tons of salt. Trust your instinct. As you can see, there is no one obvious answer, so go with the one that feels right in your new mommy gut.

  5. OMG, I can see why you'd be totally annoyed with all of that conflicting info. I'm sure you're doing the right thing by following your instincts, especially because she's doing so well.

    (Donning flame retardant suit) That nurse sounds like one of the over the top crazy titnazis.

  6. I like your way better. Instincts sound right. Good Lord!

    She is so cute. Love that pic of her after the crying one. She's smiling!

  7. AHA! My mom gave me a pacifier way too early. No wonder I keep confusing my left and right boobs.

  8. you are doing an amazing job, momma - always trust your gut and call me ANYTIME you need to vent the crazies away :)

  9. Anonymous7:59 PM

    You and Matt have it exactly right - you are the ones who know what is best for your darling girl! Go with your instincts! Mine were preemies born at 27 wks, when we finally got home I had tons of conflicting rules I was supposed to follow. After having numerous meltdowns, I chucked it all and just took care of the babies. They are now 27 years old so obviously I didn't do much damage!

  10. Leslie8:40 PM

    Gosh, I love the bridge of her nose. She is going to be a striking beauty as she grows.

  11. we have the same pjs and blanket! :)

    you'e right my dear, there is no one answer. just keep trying until something works! hope you're getting some sleep!

  12. You will know what Nidea needs. Trust your instincts is right.

    In our case, I gave my son a bottle with my breastmilk at 1 1/2 week old. It allowed me to 1)nap; 2) give my mom (who was visiting) and hubby chance to bond with him and 3) got him able to go back and forth without any difficulty at all (that helped immensely when going out of the house - who wants to sit somewhere public and breast feed? Not me!)

    You will be a great mommy. Listen to Nidea and your gut. That's all you need to listen to.

  13. i'm very glad they talked you down off that melt down ledge.

    you have instincts for a reason and I am glad you are using them. The medical community is right most of the time, but for the most part it's a crap shoot and they know it.

    keep doing what you are doing. I'm sure you are going to be great!

    Reading your blog is getting me prepared for another newborn. It's been 7 years. I'm pretty excited.

  14. So glad you are staying grounded from it all!

    She is just beautiful :)

  15. I didn't have a nurse, as you did, but I questioned some of my doctor's advice and I'm glad I did. He, for example, told me to wait four hours to nurse my son. Well, he was crying noisily after I attempted to do that, and I realized he was just plain hungry. I nursed him whenever he wanted after that.

    I also had a big stack of baby books, and it made me crazy reading them. The best advice I can give you, if you have all those books too, is to put them on a high shelf and avoid looking at them. You're right about instincts.

    She is beautiful, and it's a joy looking at the photos.

  16. Yes, absolutely trust your instincts. Each mama/baby is different and speaking as a mom of 4 - each baby is definitely different! Do not stress yourself out and just enjoy her because she is beautiful!!!

  17. Funny but not! I've been there and as you, ended up doing what my gut said. There was even a lactant consultant at the hospital who I called Boob Nazi!

    When I had mastitis (sooo not fun!), I called her and her answer was "well, what we need to worry about is keeping up your milk supply" - yeah, no, I'm fine, the fever and body aches are great, and so are my sore nipples, thanks for worrying about me!

    Pacifiers are fine - especially if she's already got the hang of latching on. I gave Margot the bottle at like 8 days old because she eats like a barracuda and one of my nipples even had a cut and bled a bit. I was in such pain that I pumped and gave her milk. Margot couldn't care less who's giving her the bottle, me, her dad, friends, as long as she's eating, she's happy! Once again, if the latching on is good, she'll know the difference!

    Margot came out of me sucking her thumb, giving her the pacifier is a great alternative. Same goes for making a pacifier out of your boobs, give her the plastic one and save your nipples!

    As for feeding, I also do it on demand. Same with breasts - I fed her from both in the beginning because I wasn't getting much milk but as soon as it came in, she seemed satisfied at the end of one breast, so I started alternating. If she's putting on weight fine, it's whatever works for you and your baby!

    The weight was one of my paranoias - I was scared to death that I was starving her. In theory, they're supposed to be back at birth weight by their 2 week appointment, putting on about 1 oz. a day. I must have fed her so that Margot put on 1.5oz. a day and therefore put on a lot more than expected. After that, it stabilized.

    Once again, as long as she'd putting on weight and is happy and you're happy, it's what works best for you and your baby! Hang in there, you're doing great - she's the cutest thing!!

  18. Your baby is beautiful - congratulations. I think you are wise to follow your instincts. It can be very scary to bring a baby home and nursing was on the revival when I did it, so there was little support from my older family members. It was not easy. I was sore for weeks and worried. But I stuck with it and after about 3 weeks I was pain free. My children were fussy, so I used everything I could - breastfeeding, pacifiers, swings, the vacuum cleaner (white noise) - you name it! I also experienced mastitis and thrush nipples. In the case of the latter, I was having pain. The on-call nurse thought it might be thrush. The pediatrician said it's no big deal. I wished I had one doctor that could treat us, the family, because they would've realized what was wrong. My ob/gyn looked at my nipples and said, that's not thrush. I finally had my internal med. dr. take a scraping and properly diagnose and treat me. I say this not to scare you, because I think nursing was totally worth it. But that you should always take care of yourself, too, and be aware that things can happen. After a month or two, I introduced a bottle of formula to "get the baby used to it" if I needed to go out. By child #4, I didn't bother with all the rules.

    I am from NE OH and enjoy your blog.

  19. Congratulations on your beautiful little girl! You're a lovely family. And yes, trust your instincts. If she's crying, try feeding and changing, but you will know Nidea better than anyone.

  20. Anonymous6:23 PM

    good luck with all of the above. All I wanna know is, does she knit yet ???

  21. Oh my gosh - that sounds way too overwhelming! Definitely - trust your instincts. : ) You are doing great and she is lovely.

  22. way too much advice....yes trust your "instincts" and your heart...there is a sort of tyranny in 'experts'

  23. Anonymous7:27 PM

    You're right. About everything. Good job for figuring that out! She IS beautiful. And don't worry about the shields either. I HAD to use them or risk a bloody mess every time...or quit nursing altogether which is not what I wanted at all. It was not pretty. Anyway, TMI, but you're not alone lady! You're looking great for one week postpartum!

  24. Oh, my baby is turning 1 year old on Tuesday and your post reminded how hard the first month was. Everyone gives you all sorts of advice...some of it good, some bad bad, lots conflicting. I read tons of books that first month that pretty much said everything I was doing was wrong. I took them all back to the library, took a deep breath and said I am not going to torture myself like that anymore. We'll figure it out and it will be fine. And you know what? He's survived his first year and even his first birthday party! You're baby is beautiful and you guys will be great parents. You just go ahead and do what you think is best and it will be wonderful! And take TONS of pictures everyday. They grow up soooo fast :(

    william was a HUGE puker and i only nurse him on one side at a time (still nursing). i didn't want to give him a pacifier but then found it to be a real life saver and was sad when he gave it up!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...