PREPARING BEFORE BIRTH:
- Be Able to Recognize “The Booby Traps”
- Choosing a Pediatrician
- Know the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding After an Epidural
- What’s Colostrum?
“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we.” – Ina May Gaskin
I really never imagined I’d be nursing during a pregnancy. It amazes me the endurance of this tradition we’ve made and how it’s seen us through so much.
I don’t know if almost three-year-old MaiTai will tire of it soon, or if aversion will strike the crazy into me and call a halt by my discretion. Or if we’ll just keep nursing like we always have, because it’s as normal a thing to do as would be not choosing to continue.
I do know that nursing isn’t so comfortable anymore. Aversion is milder so far than with bleeding cycles, but it just feels… different. Not all oxytocin-rush-of-pleasantness, squeeze-him-tight and never let go, butterflies of love swooping through my body kind of stuff like I wrote about here.
It feels how I imagine some people who’ve never breastfed might think breastfeeding feels like — a little person sucking on your skin, perhaps a most unwanted hickey? Still it’s not “gross” (he’s my baby, he’ll never be icky to me!) but it’s not a street paved in my favor as far as physical contentment. Emotionally though? Another story.
Babies are born with a natural skin-protecting substance called vernix. This should not be wiped away from the skin; rather, it can be rubbed into the skin for maximum absorption. This covering, which was laid down in the third trimester of pregnancy, has many important functions: easing transition to life outside the uterus, offering body temperature control, “skin surface adaptation,” plus antioxidant, anti-infective, wound-healing, and moisturizing properties, and it has been shown to be a more effective skin cleanser than commercial soaps. A study published by American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology called Antimocrobial Properties of Amniotic Fluid and Vernix Caseosa are Similar to Those Found in Breast Milk came upon some rather fascinating and groundbreaking findings, some of which unveiled some new information about vernix.
I trust that my Mommy knows best, so please ask her, _________ (mother’s name), whether it’s okay to give me anything other than her milk. This includes water, glucose syrup, formula, and even pacifiers.
But please help my Mommy to breastfeed me every 1-3 hours while we’re in the hospital by tending to her childbirth recovery needs while she tends to mine.
Her designated birth partner, ________(birth partner’s name) will stay with me in the event that I might need to leave her side (let’s do all of my pediatric check-ups at the side of her bed or in her arms! Thanks!).
We’re both new to this, so we like to consider all decisions together very carefully.