Sunday, February 5, 2012

Breast Feeding - David Adams

As we emerge from our first night home as a family, and are in our comfortable surroundings, I find a strange tranquility come over me as I realize all will be well.  No extra sleep was promised or received, and stress from trying to be all things to all people has not been vanquished, only put down for the night, or the next feeding, but long enough to breathe for a short time. 

When we left the maternity ward the last time, with all of us in tow, they were letting us leave without any hindrances. I was thinking to myself, "Just because we did this five years ago and that one survived doesn't mean we know what we are doing any better" and "They actually think we know what we are doing!...Sure fooled them!" 

We had many trials and small victories in the area of breast-feeding over the last several hours before our final departure from the hospital.  Our first child came early and had not developed the sucking reflex well enough to suckle correctly, and Cassie was sick after the delivery, which compromised her ability to produce for him.  I saw first-had the devastation it took on mommy when she wanted so badly to have the closeness that only breast-feeding can provide.  Now we have a healthy, full-term baby with a mostly healthy mommy, so the cards are not stacked against us in those respects, but we still found and continue to find many struggles to overcome in order to win the (ga)lactic battle.  What we have taken away from the highs and lows, victories, and defeats are these:

·       Do what it takes to keep baby content.  If that means that once you have exhausted your milk supply, and baby is still hungry, then supplement and don’t feel bad about it.  Great treaties have been signed into declaration through compromise!
·       Don’t get discouraged.  Many mothers have come before you with the same issues and emotions following, and have grown babies to show as their trophies.  Find someone who can be an encourager for you, whether that be your spouse, partner, parent, or friend, everyone needs a cheerleader, and one who will stand by you.
·       Utilize the experts available.  This cannot be overstated!!!  Even if you don’t completely agree with their theory, you can use their knowledge to find what will work for you and your baby. 
·       Listen to your baby.  He/she will give you cues to let you know when they are hungry, when they are satisfied, and what they need from you. 
·       Breast milk is always best.  The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends breastfeeding until the infant is 2 years old, with solid foods added after 6 months.   


  1. I think your point not to get discouraged is very important. At my previous employment I work with prenatal and new mothers and most of them felt like they couldn't or wouldn't be able to breastfeed successfully. Those mothers who put forth the effort often had a rewarding experience. Julie Lienard

  2. Good points David. Since breastfeeding research has proven to have benefits such as boosted immune system, advanced growth rate, and while the act of breastfeeding is not a direct bonding, the closeness of the infant being held has been shown to be an advantage in emotional bonding. Remember Dad, the more you hold the infant, taking over the burping process, etc., will build your bond with the infant also. - Sam Dillé 02/06/2012

  3. Im glad you brought up how your wife couldnt breast feed your first child and how it was devistating to your wife. Not only is breastfeeding good for making the baby feel bonded but it is also good for mommy. Alot of mothers suffer from Post Partum and having the bond of breastfeeding can be a good way of connecting with mother and baby. Brittanie Bennett

  4. They have yet to be able to reproduce mother's milk. Not only is breastfeeding good for the baby (natural antibodies passed from mother to baby)but also good for the mother. With each suckle from the baby, the uterus contracts down, helping the mother recover from childbirth. I owe the credit to my mother, for helping me breastfeed, helping my son latch on the proper way. I was 17 when I had my son and even though I knew I wanted to breastfeed it was harder then it sounded. Zara Foley

  5. I think most of the advice David gave is great. I do however have a disagreement with a specific statement. It was stated that "she wanted so badly to have the closeness that only breast-feeding can provide" Maybe to her that is how she felt, but studies like the Ethological Theory of Attachment prove that the caregiver is not merely a source of food but rather a source of comfort and safety. I did not nurse my children, by choice, and I never felt like I was not close to them because of it. I felt deeply bonded to my children and I feel it was mutual. I did have some people ask me why I did not nurse and I simply told them that I love and cherish and care for my child just as a women that does. I think it is a personal choice. Some women feel that is the most direct way to get that connection, but as proven in studies is not the only way. I do agree with the health benefits of nursing that have been proven by studies, just not the bonding part. Samantha York

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  7. Breastfeeding is not easy for mother or child but success or failure, it is always a worthy effort. What a tender, remarkable and special time those first few weeks are. Angela Johnson

  8. Update: We are still trying to breastfeed, and it seems to be going well, just not coming in as much as Nathaniel needs. Not only that, but Nathaniel is not responding well to create a good latch on the breast. Cassie is still punping like she was an oil rig searching for black gold, but at this time, the body is just not producing the amount needed for all on Nathaniels needs. Right now, we are having to supplement about 1 meal out of numerous for him with formula. David Adams

  9. Our children do not come with manuals. A lot of what we learn is "trial and error." They journey is well worth it. You have given great parental advice regarding breast feeding. Parents must do what is best for them and the baby. If breast feeding does not work, it is not the end of the world. Momma and baby can still form a tight bond. I have two girls who were adopted at birth. I have always felt like I had a close bond with them and still do. Raising a child is so much more than nature alone.
    Susan Davis