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Moo - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Breast feeding is going well. Actually, all things baby are going well, but since caring for little Margaret at this point mostly consists of putting breast milk in at one end and cleaning up the end products at the other, we can just concentrate on the fact that breast feeding is going well.

I had been worried late in pregnancy because I never leaked any colostrum. I was concerned about whether or not it would appear on cue. When Margaret was born she rested on my chest for a while, then she showed an interest in nursing, just as she was supposed to. I nursed her on both sides, and while I could feel that she had great suction and a good latch, I couldn't tell if she was actually getting anything. Ananda assured me that I did have colostrum since the placenta had been delivered, but for the first few days nursing was something of an act of faith since it wasn't at all obvious that anything was coming out.

Things have improved since then. There was increasing evidence over the weekend that my milk was coming in. The earliest sign was the color of the diapers. Even in the hospital the solids started taking on a yellower and yellower hue. After we came home there started to be milky dribble on her chin after feedings. Finally yesterday my supply was so obviously in that I started leaking down the front of my dress. It may not have done much for my sophisticated look, but that wet mark certainly was a major confidence boost.

It certainly helps that Margaret is great at breast feeding. Her latch is usually pretty darn good. When it isn't the blame is certainly mine, I can get careless when I am feeling tired and groggy. Speaking of groggy, one of the reasons why I am really, really glade I didn't have drugs during childbirth is that I did not want my baby to be born with anything in her system. All the drugs that they give women in labor will cross the placenta. I really didn't want my baby to come out groggy, and looking back I think it really did help that the first time Margaret nursed everything went well. I think another thing that helps is that we haven't given ourselves any other option. There is no formula in the house. Likewise there are no bottles. There actually may be a couple in with the breast pump that I still haven't unpacked, but I have no intention of touching that for weeks. I have to feed Margaret from the breast because there is no other option readily available. It's certainly nice that it's going so well (so far at least), but if we do hit a rough spot I don't want temptation hanging around if we have a frustrating 4 AM feed.

One other thing I want to write down so that I will remember later is that I need to wake Margaret up to feed her. Partly this is paranoia on my part. She hasn't been weighed since she left the hospital, so I have no idea about her current weight. We've also been living in a house with broken air-conditioning (hopefully soon to be fixed), and it has been hot and humid, and I'm worried about her getting dehydrated. She is also currently such a mellow baby that she just doesn't fuss much and you have to be attuned to her mild version of fussing to know if she needs a new diaper or some food. So, I am regularly waking a sleeping baby, and deliberately pissing her off by changing her in order to make sure her fluid & food intake is nice and regular. I may calm down a bit if tomorrow's pediatrician visit goes well. I'm hoping to see that she's gained weight since her hospital discharge.
4 comments or Leave a comment
outerjenise From: outerjenise Date: June 25th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Babies actually usually lose a little weight in their first week or two, so don't be surprised or upset if her weight is a little lower. That's normal, and they'll tell you so.

Grats on the easy nursing! I had a tough time with both girls. Knowing what to do the second time around helped, but I still got blisters on each nipple and had to pump for a while. So it's good to have a pump handy if necessary.
psychohist From: psychohist Date: June 26th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Update: Margaret is back up to 6 lb 12 oz today; by comparison, she was 6 lb 7 oz on Friday, after being 6lb 14.6 oz at birth last Wednesday. Elizabeth's making sure she gets enough milk seems to be working.

Counterintuitively, it seems like Margaret dehydrated more when she was cooler - perhaps partly because air conditioned air is less moist, though that doesn't explain why she seemed to do worse when she was less well bundled up even at the hospital. The fact that our home air conditioning has been broken for the last week has been hard on Elizabeth, but it doesn't usually get to the point where Margaret complains.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 26th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved being introduced to your blog -- it made me laugh out loud, one of my favorite things to do. I like when moms tell "easy" breastfeeding stories, because it's important to spread the word that it's possible! Quite a few moms have trouble...AND quite a few moms have an easy time, but it's a well-kept secret. There's something like osmosis that happens -- the more support we have for breastfeeding, and the more we hear the easy stories too, the easier it will get for new moms in the future.

Yay Elizabeth, Warren and Margaret. Great job you ALL did getting through birth and the first week!

As always, do ask for help if you need it.

Your doula
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: June 26th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you like it. Thank you for all the help.
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