PART 2 of what we talk about in our Confidence in Breastfeeding class
What’s normal, what’s not and when does all that leaking happen?
Last week we talked all about these questions at our informative breastfeeding class with Stacey Marshall, IBCLC that took place in our cozy spot at Birthing Stone Doula.
Breastfeeding can come easy, but sometimes it doesn’t and that’s okay. Along with the important information Stacey gave us about nursing, she also shared a valuable idea. There are amazing hormones that work together in a woman’s body to help in the birth process. That’s right, you’re body really does know what it’s doing, the baby knows most of what needs to happen, and with just a little support, most breastfeeding issues clear up pretty smoothly
These hormones that we discussed also help, along with your baby, to bring in the milk supply. http://kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-prep/milkproduction/
We usually see a hormonal change around the third day after birth. Stacey calls it the” leaky weepy day”. The milk has or will soon come in, the lochia (bleeding that happens after birth) is flowing, and tears are very normal. Not to mention, all those extra fluids you built up during pregnancy- they start to come out too, so expect some sweating!
This is a great time for partners and/or a support person to jump in and – while Mom is still resting at the hospital before discharge that last evening – go home and prepare the space. Clean up, make food, put clean sheets on the bed and make the space welcoming for mom. Around this time, anything to help mom feel less pressure would be beneficial to supporting the breastfeeding relationship.
It is mom’s job to come home from the hospital and go straight back to bed to heal and spend time with her new baby. If the home and potentially other siblings are taken care of she will be relaxed and getting rested; two very important components to breastfeeding. Read here to learn more about how to protect your milk supply. Being relaxed also assists in getting a great latch. See this wonderful video below to show how to get a good latch. http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/FifteenMinuteHelper.html
As doulas, we like to prepare mom and her support team about this time, because it can come with so many extra emotions. We also want everyone to know that it’s normal for mom’s nipples to feel a bit sore in the beginning, but nothing more than for a few seconds while baby is latching. Mom’s nipples shouldn’t be cracked and bleeding or showing signs of injury. If this starts becoming apparent, call your lactation consultant immediately and bring in extra support to get things back on track! There are fabulous lactation consultants in the Portland and Beaverton area. We often recommend Stacey Marshall or Melissa Cole. They both are knowledgeable, compassionate, and do home visits!
Postpartum doulas are another valuable resource that can assist in making the transition of having a newborn in the family go smoothly. They can help do the “extras” like have dinner on the table, guide mom with lactation (the normal, everyday support) and help mom and partner identify when or if it’s time to call lactation consultant. To learn more about our Postpartum Doula Support read here.
No matter how mom’s support is structured, it’s important that she receives encouragement and sets a mental pace to get through one nursing at a time. The nursing relationship often evens out and feels better after the first couple weeks.
Here are a few additional and trustworthy resources:
KellyMom and online resource with tons of evidence based articles
Stanford University Fantastic videos and information
La Leche League International– Articles and local support groups
More about those hormones of Labor”