Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Breastfeeding Carnival

Welcome to the sixth Carnival of Breastfeeding, April 19 2007, sponsored by the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog! My post is about April's theme: "What I didn't expect when I was expecting." See links below for other Carnival posts.

My story doesn't have a sensational ending or plot twist. I didn't struggle with painful, bleeding nipples or low supply or any of the other horror stories you often hear about. Nursing was the wonderful, pleasurable experience I had imagined it to be. I attribute this mostly to the education and preparation I did while I was pregnant. And to a baby who learned well and quickly!

I bought a copy of Jack Newman's The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers and read it cover-to-cover twice before I had my baby. I spent a lot of time poring over chapters about how to get a good latch, since it is the culprit in so many breastfeeding issues. I also watched several of Dr. Newman's online videos about good & poor latches and how to do breast compression. I highly recommend this, as seeing successful breastfeeding in action is different than just reading about it.

I found the number of my local LLL leader in case I needed help. When I had a series of painful plugged ducts a few months postpartum, her advice helped me clear them up fairly quickly.

I planned for a completely uninterrupted labor, birth, and bonding period. For me, that meant choosing an unassisted home birth. I also found a local Baby Friendly hospital in case I needed to transfer, so I wouldn't be separated from my newborn. My labor and birth went perfectly, and I was snuggled in bed nursing my beautiful daughter within 5 minutes after she was born. She nursed for two hours straight.

For the first month, I nursed her in a cross-cradle hold day and night. It was tiring at times, but it was the best position for ensuring a proper asymmetrical latch and for doing breast compression. After a month, we transitioned to the cradle hold during the day and figured out how to nurse lying down at night. I was in heaven!

Co-sleeping has also made night nursing a pleasurable experience. I wake up when my daughter starts to stir, and she's usually nursing within 15 seconds. All I have to do is roll onto my side, scoot her closer, and put my nipple close to her mouth. We often drift off to sleep together. When she's done, I simply scoot her back between me and my husband, just an arm's reach away. She hardly ever cries at night because I can respond immediately to her needs before she becomes distressed.

I firmly believe that doing my homework before the birth helped me have a seamless transition into motherhood and nursing.

Links to other Carnival posts:


  1. Thanks for the information about Jack Newman, and all these post links. Once I do get pregnant again, I'm going to read as much as I can and I will save these links for future... I failed miserably with bf'ing my son and I vow to not fall into same traps with the next baby! Before I gave birth to him, I knew nothing about bf'ing and just thought it would come "naturally"... oh my gosh was I wrong, neither of us knew what we were doing and I was so sick that I couldn't emotionally handle the struggle of it.

  2. I have to agree with you about Dr. Newman -- his writings about breastfeeding are excellent. Thank you for adding to the stories of how wonderful breastfeeding is. I am making a link to your post in my RSS feed today, Breastfeeding Daily Tip and News. It will run for two weeks.

  3. I'm going back though and reading all your posts from start to finish :) I too enjoyed the same success with breastfeeding my son and I do also attribute it to education and preparedness before delivery. I repeated all what I had to do like a mantra and many a crazy pregnancy dream had to do with not being able to breastfeed him within that first hour. Too funny! Another book I highly recommend to everyone is "So That's What They're For"


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