August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! This campaign was funded by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services to bring awareness to new research which shows that babies who are exclusively breastfed are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses. They may even be less likely to develop childhood obesity.
Now, I’d like to think I’ve always had a healthy appreciation for my breasts but as I approach D-Day, I’m becoming increasingly amazed by their capabilities. I mean, I always known that feeding a baby was their intended purpose but up until now, I’ve just been using them to fill out tops and get free drinks! 😉 Which is why I decided that in addition to all the research I’ve been doing (read: Googling), I REALLY needed to enroll in a breastfeeding education class.
When I enrolled the email confirmation said that partners were encouraged to attend. So naturally I made Asaf go with me. All in all, we found the class to be very informative. Here are 10 things I learned:
- You shouldn’t use lanolin and gel pads together because this could irritate your nipple.
- Lactation consultations are covered by insurance! (Thanks Obama!)
- Breast Milk changes according to baby’s needs. (It’s literally the perfect food!)
- There are several popular breastfeeding positions including cradle, cross cradle and football (we practiced all four of these) but were encouraged to find whatever position works best for baby once he arrives.
- Latching is hella important! One sign of a good latch is a wide mouth baby with open or “flanged” lips (like a fish).
- Feed on demand early on to establish a good milk supply.
- Milk probably won’t come in for 72 hours but that’s ok because your baby’s stomach is so small that it only needs a few drops of colostrum during those early days to keep full.
- Always bring baby to breast. Not the other way around.
- It is OK to wake a sleeping baby to feed (at least until a milk supply is established).
- Breastfeeding will make you thirsty but drinking an excess amount of water will not result in more milk being produced.
I know that breastfeeding is not an option for everyone and I think that’s totally OK but I really hope that it works for me. After yesterday’s class, I’m feeling a whole lot less intimidated. Wish me luck!
This week the anticipation is certainly building. We can’t wait to have our little guy in our arms! He’s the size of a cantaloupe now. A little over 5 lbs and somewhere around 17-20 inches long, he is getting fatter and cuter practically by the minute! His central nervous system continues to mature while his lungs are already well developed. As for me…
34 week update:
Total weight gain so far: 25 pounds per my scale. 22 per the scale at the Doctor’s office. The nurse said I’d only gained one pound since my last visit and I had to resist the urge to hug her!
Cravings: Cheese! Quesadillas and string cheese are my current favorites but I also added a lot of parmesan into the spaghetti Asaf made this week.
What I’m excited about: Babymoon this weekend! 😀
What I’m nervous about: So far we’ve been unsuccessful in finding a dresser and a rug for the nursery. With these two items missing the room feels very “undone” which leaves me a tad uneasy. Craigslist/Ikea/Target/etc. be kind to me!
New this week: This week I felt a LOT better than last week. Thanks to all the people who reached out to me to tell me they hoped I felt better soon. Your well wishes worked! Hardly any Braxton Hicks contractions and only one nighttime leg cramp. Woo hoo!
Note to Baby: Daddy had a dream about you last night! He said you two were on a walk and you were on his shoulders. A friend of his said, “Hey! Cute kid!” We can’t wait for you to be here with us 🙂 Just 5 more weeks.