Giggle August September 2012 : Page 72

C 2 C Breastfeeding BY STELLA HARBILAS, APR ready for N ursing your baby can be a rewarding experience. But, as with most aspects of parenthood, it involves a learning curve, and may be a source of culture shock at first. Educating yourself before the baby arrives, and having a good support network, are important. getting “I was surprised by how many hours I spend sitting on a couch breastfeeding, and how lonely it can be at times,” confides Vicki, a new mom. “[It seems like] breastfeeding is my life! It takes work. It takes time, but it is paying off.” At 4 months, her daughter has gone from the 50th to the 75th percentile on the growth curve in both height and weight, and Vicki and her baby enjoy the closeness that nursing provides. “Keep an open attitude,” she says. “Things might not go so perfectly at first, but you can work through the difficulties.” The health benefits of breastfeeding are so numerous (for both babies and mothers), that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only breast milk for the first six months of life. Yet, while 75 percent of new mothers in the U.S. start off breastfeeding, more than half of them give up by the time the baby is 3 months old. “A lot of moms think that breastfeeding will come naturally,” says LaChelle’ Reece, international board certified lactation consultant at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla. “The sucking reflex is natural. Making milk is natural. But putting those two together is a learned skill, one that gets easier with time.” Women may quit earlier than intended for a variety of reasons, such as exhaustion, frustration, lack of support, or the mistaken belief that they are not making enough milk-often this is due to a growth spurt that causes the baby to want to eat more. Shelley Russell, a certified nurse-midwife with All About Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, also in Gainesville, advises mothers-to-be to learn about breastfeeding and newborn care while pregnant, in order to have a better idea of what is normal, and what problems might arise. Classes are available at your local hospital or birth center. “Most women can breastfeed successfully,” says Russell. “If you nurse your baby when he wants to eat, and not on a schedule, your body will adjust and make the right amount of milk. Breastfeeding also allows you some downtime to relax and bond with your child.” REECE AND RUSSELL ALSO GIVE THE FOLLOWING TIPS: Share what you learn in class with your family. Let them know that you want to be successful at breastfeeding and are counting on their support.  Time with hospital support staff is valuable and brief. Limit visiting hours, so you can learn to feed your baby and rest, while the staff is there to help.  Seek out a qualified lactation consultant through your hospital or birth center before the baby is born, so that you will have a professional resource when help is needed.  Ask your insurance company if they cover the cost of a breast pump.  Getting out of the house and near other nursing moms after the baby comes is hugely important. Attend the postpartum lunch at your hospital, if they provide one, or find a local group online, at church, or through your prenatal classes. If you need more help, call your lactation consultant right away. Sometimes a simple solution can get you back on track. And for those 2 a.m. questions, Kellymom.com is a reliable, research-based website. While the base knowledge you gain from books and classes is important, you and your baby will create your own unique breastfeeding story. So, be kind to yourself, be flexible in your approach, and expect a learning curve.  © 2012 iStockphoto LP . All rights reserved 72 giggle magazine

Expecting

Stella Harbilas

Nursing your baby can be a rewarding experience. But, as with most aspects of parenthood, it involves a learning curve, and may be a source of culture shock at first. Educating yourself before the baby arrives, and having a good support network, are important.

“I was surprised by how many hours I spend sitting on a couch breastfeeding, and how lonely it can be at times,” confides Vicki, a new mom. “[It seems like] breastfeeding is my life! It takes work. It takes time, but it is paying off.” At 4 months, her daughter has gone from the 50th to the 75th percentile on the growth curve in both height and weight, and Vicki and her baby enjoy the closeness that nursing provides. “Keep an open attitude,” she says. “Things might not go so perfectly at first, but you can work through the difficulties.”

The health benefits of breastfeeding are so numerous (for both babies and mothers), that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only breast milk for the first six months of life. Yet, while 75 percent of new mothers in the U. S. start off breastfeeding, more than half of them give up by the time the baby is 3 months old.

“A lot of moms think that breastfeeding will come naturally,” says LaChelle’ Reece, international board certified lactation consultant at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla. “The sucking reflex is natural. Making milk is natural. But putting those two together is a learned skill, one that gets easier with time.”

Women may quit earlier than intended for a variety of reasons, such as exhaustion, frustration, lack of support, or the mistaken belief that they are not making enough milkoften this is due to a growth spurt that causes the baby to want to eat more.

Shelley Russell, a certified nurse-midwife with All About Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, also in Gainesville, advises mothers-to-be to learn about breastfeeding and newborn care while pregnant, in order to have a better idea of what is normal, and what problems might arise. Classes are available at your local hospital or birth center.

"Most women can breastfeed successfully," says Russell. "If you nurse your baby when he wants to eat, and not on a schedule, your body will adjust and make the right amount of milk. Breastfeeding also allows you some downtime to relax and bond with your child."

REECE AND RUSSELL ALSO GIVE THE FOLLOWING TIPS:

Share what you learn in class with your family. Let them know that you want to be successful at breastfeeding and are counting on their support.

Time with hospital support staff is valuable and brief. Limit visiting hours, so you can learn to feed your baby and rest, while the staff is there to help.

Seek out a qualified lactation consultant through your hospital or birth center before the baby is born, so that you will have a professional resource when help is needed.

Ask your insurance company if they cover the cost of a breast pump.

Getting out of the house and near other nursing moms after the baby comes is hugely important. Attend the postpartum lunch at your hospital, if they provide one, or find a local group online, at church, or through your prenatal classes. If you need more help, call your lactation consultant right away. Sometimes a simple solution can get you back on track. And for those 2 a.m. questions, Kellymom.com is a reliable, researchbased website.

While the base knowledge you gain from books and classes is important, you and your baby will create your own unique breastfeeding story. So, be kind to yourself, be flexible in your approach, and expect a learning curve.

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Expecting/1131346/120480/article.html.

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