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Old 08-17-2008, 10:15 PM   #1
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Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

For several reasons, I did not BF ds past a week. The main one being a nurse giving him a bottle of formula w/o my consent so I "could sleep." It was also due to me being uneducated about options other than the bottle for supplementation. This time around, I have done much more research, spoken to LC more than once, and will be taking a class tomorrow to better prepare myself and plan on bf'ing beyond a year. Do any of you have suggestions on how to make sure that DD does not get formula or artificial nipples of any kind? I want to make some kind of card to put in her bassinet making it clear that I don't want her to have artificial nipples or supplementation unless medically necessary, and even then not without my consent, but I'm not sure how to word it without sounding pushy or mean. I am looking forward to giving her the one thing that only I am able to give to her that no one else can. Dh is on board more this time than he was with DS b/c I have educated him as well, and we both agreed that having a "no bottles, no formula, no temptation" mindset might make things easier b/c it's not there to fall back on.

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Old 08-17-2008, 10:18 PM   #2
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

Be pushy about it. The best thing you can do is not let bub out of your sight. They kept asking me if I wanted him to go to the nursery so I could sleep, and I said no. I went with him when they took him for his bath, he did not leave my sight the entire time I was in the hospital, I even wheeled him in with me when I went to the bathroom. They tried many times to bottle supplement both kids and I'd say firmly, I do not want any supplementing or pacifiers, but thank you. Just be firm, and there's no chance of it happening. They aren't thinking twice about trying to push artificial ones on you, you shouldn't think twice about standing your ground against it. There's a difference between putting your foot down and being mean, as long as you walk the fine line and be firm but polite, there's nothing wrong with it. It IS your child, after all.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:37 PM   #3
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

I agree 100 percent. I asked them to put a card in the bassinet too, and I repeatedly told them I didn't want any bottles or pacifiers. Also, if you have a boy and decide to circ (I recommend doing a search on here and researching before you make a decision, whether you did it with DS1 or not), you may want to wait a week or two as it can interfere with the fragile new breastfeeding relationship when it's done early.

Just know that the few days in the hospital isn't going to be the only temptation you'll have to give the baby a bottle or pacifier. I got it all out of the house, but after a few completely sleepless nights - I mean literally up all night sitting in a chair nursing in excruciating, bleeding nipple pain, I caved and bought a NUK pacifier. I used it for one night and cut it up in the morning because I could tell he nursed differently/had trouble latching the next day.

A GREAT book for me was "So That's What They're For" I read it cover to cover before I had my son and once he was born, too. It helped immensely. I also was able to self-diagnose when I got mastitis three times because I was educated. That's the most important thing.

Breastfeeding is a huge sacrifice but offers priceless benefits. I often tell my friends that if I were offered $100,000 not to nurse my next child I would decline it. The benefits - a higher IQ, better digestive system, better eyesight, better jaw development, better emotional security, lower risk of cancers, better teeth - are priceless. They cannot be bought for any amount of money later on.

YOU CAN DO IT! A good friend told me "Breastfeeding isn't something you try, it's something you DO." I love that. If you make the choice, decide that nothing will stop you, and educate yourself, you will be able to do it. I believe in you!
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:38 PM   #4
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

I definately agree that you want to stay away from any bottles/nipples in the beginning mama, but I dont know that that should be your primary focus in establishing good breastfeeing.

I am a peds nurse and VERY pro breastfeeding- but I do not feel that one bottle here or there in the beginning will end breastfeeding by itself. I would focus more on getting a really good latch going with the baby and good positioning- bring your nursing pillow to the hospital. Have a lactation consultant come and see you when you're in the hospital- have them make sure you are gettting a good latch, have them teach you the different holds, etc. Let the baby suck and suck and suck- those first few weeks are overwhelming with how much they need to eat!- I know my dr told me "oh the baby should eat 10 mins each side every two hours" and she ate WAY more often than that. They have to eat this much to get the supply up to a good level. I felt I would never be able to live normally again- but I got thru it- breastfeeding got tons easier and we are still going strong. Also for you since you've already had a baby your milk should come in a little faster in the beginning and that will make it easier for you---
HTH a little- good luck- it's a wonderful thing- but hard too!
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:55 PM   #5
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

The biggest advice that I can give is to keep your baby with you at all times.

With my first I listened to all the advice that I got..let the nurses take her and get some rest.

It was rough. So with my second I kept her in the room with me at all times. She had a slight murmur, so I did let them take her a couple of times to be examined but other than that, she was always with me.

I let her find her way to the nipple as soon as she was born. The sooner, the better. By having her always with me I could get to her as soon as she needed me. That relieved some frustration on both our parts.

Make it clear in your birth plan that NO artificial nipples are to be used unless you ok it. Stand firm. A newborn will sleep most of the first day or two. It is completely normal for a brand new baby to not wake up every couple of hours to eat. You can try to coax them but don't let the staff scare you into thinking they need a bottle. If they insist, get a second opinion.

I know not all people are comfortable with co sleeping but it was amazing for us, from the very first day. If I felt too tired, I put her in her bassinet but otherwise, she remained right next to me.

Listen to your instincts!

Oh and dont be afraid to ask for help but if they butt in too much, politely say, "I've got it, thanks" You need to be comfortable
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:24 PM   #6
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

I was very lucky and had a good experience, but I had prepared a card ahead of time that said "Please, no bottles or pacis. Mommy and I are learning to breastfeed."

When Corbin was first born he had a few little issues and had to go to the nursery for a while, and they brought him to me because his blood sugar was a little low and said that he would need to try to nurse, but if it didn't go well he would need a bottle. Luckily, he latched on and nursed well, but I told them that if he didn't I wanted him to be fed via a dropper if he HAD to.

Just don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. If you have a SO or mom/sister/close friend who can stay with you and advocate for you, that would be great too in case you are tired or feel ganged up on. Good luck and stay strong - it will be great!
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:47 PM   #7
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

you've gotten lots of good advice. i'd add...
1) try to line up a very pro-BF ped. one who won't be scared to "let" you BF when your LO looses normal amounts of weight or has some jaundice.
2) consider not giving the babe a bath until you get home. the bath can really drop a NB's temp, and unless you have a really cutting edge hospital that believes in kangaroo care, your babe could be stuck in a warmer for hours. you can just wipe the baby off yourself.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

You've already gotten great advice! I agree with lining up a great ped. Go to LLL meetings and ask who they use. You might also check to find out which hospital is the most mother baby friendly if you have an option on where to deliver. Ideally, you want a hospital where the baby remains in the room with you 24 hours a day and does not have to be taken to a nursery for assessments or baths.

Keep the baby in the room with you as much as possible. Put a card in the bassinet. Tell your nursery nurse you do not want and bottles or pacis given to baby. Be firm... just not rude.

I'm a postpartum nurse... I HTH!
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:56 AM   #9
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

My baby had to be in the NICU for a month and before i left the hospital i let them know that he would not get a bottle or be supplemented. They tried telling me he had to eat since my milk had not come in on day 2 i told them to give me time and by day 3 i had milk. Everytime i would go visit him i would always remind the nurse that he would not get a bottle or formula. I had one nurse tell me it wold be better for him to get a bottle so he would learn how to suck and he cold probably go home early. I got very upset and told her that was not i wanted to do i wanted him to BF ONLY! My son was fed with a tube until he got his gagging reflex then we introduce the breast. Im glad i did the research on preemies and stuck to what i knew was best for my kiddo. Sometimes you have to be rude so they get the point. But i would definitely make a card to put on his crib so they cant tell you they did not know. Also i was told they would give him a bottle so i could rest but i just told them that thats what i was there
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:00 AM   #10
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Re: Nursing advice for hospital stay & having successful bf experience

Keep baby with you. That's #1 most important thing. The second most important thing is that no one will remind you when it's time to nurse. Newborns are very sleepy in the beginning, especially if they have nb jaundice, and they may not wake on time for feedings every time. It is critical within the first week to make sure you breastfeed 10-12 times in every 24 hour period, and go no longer than 5 hours once a day without feeding. Make sure you do that to help your milk come in, since milk is made on an "on-demand" basis. Your baby needs to put the order in for the breastaurant to make his food! Meet with the staff LC and make sure you know a few different positions that work for you before you leave the hospital, and resist any suggestions of nipple shields and extra "stuff". All you need are your breasts and your baby to breastfeed, and anything else introduced in the beginning is a surefire way to ruin a nursing relationship before it even gets started.
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