Saturday, August 2, 2014

Breastfeeding Obstacles: It’s Not a Fire Hydrant, It’s My Boob

My first child was a slow eater. For his first three months, he liked to chill out on the Boppy, sucking on the boob for a good 45 minutes. I kept him on a strict three hour schedule to ensure I would have bathroom breaks in my Netflix Gossip Girl marathons. Then suddenly around three months he started eating in 15 minutes! What I didn’t know at the time is it wasn’t him. It was me. As your body becomes more efficient (starts to mistake itself for a dairy cow?) the milk flows faster.

Enter my second child, who never stood a chance. My boobs were primed and ready to go. There he was, a slight little six pounder, scrawny as can be and every time he tried to eat he was subjected to a jet stream of milk. After a few seconds he would pull off, choking and coughing, and my milk would go shooting across the room. Or it would spray him in the face. We went on like this for weeks. Every night putting him to bed was a two hour saga, because trying to eat that fast gave him terrible gas. I would spend so long burping him that he’d be wide awake again. Then he was overtired so I would try to nurse him more, and the whole cursed process would start over again.

If you have this problem, all I can tell you is it does get better (around 6-8 weeks things improved, and by three months he was pretty much golden). There were also some things I did that much improved our situation. I fed him a bottle at bedtime, which was no extra trouble for me, because he goes to bed at 7:00 and I like to pump before my bedtime anyway. The rest of the day, and at night, I reclined to feed him. It’s actually possible to do this out and about too, I would have him straddle one of my legs and eat upright and I would lean back against a chair to semi-recline. And if you have fire hose boobs, don’t lie down to feed your newborn. It’s tempting, so tempting. But then they fall asleep. You start to fall asleep. And he would wake up with the WORST case of gas. Now at 4 months I’m finally able to do this without regretting it for the next two hours! Things are great! Until he gets teeth…


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