What did moms do before the internet? And more specifically, Twitter? As a young first time mom I’m totally clueless! I don’t know how to do anything, and I don’t have many people to ask advice. Thank goodness for Twitter! As soon as I have a question about anything I have a wonderful network of “Twitter moms” to give me fabulous, supportive advice.
The most recent of this advice revolved around breastfeeding. When pregnant I decided I would breastfeed for as long as possible. I knew it would be difficult, but I didn’t give myself an option but to succeed. I trusted my body to provide for my baby. Well what do you know, it wasn’t easy. Even with all the preparation I had done, it was still so difficult. Its not something that just happens. Baby doesn’t know how to latch and mommy doesn’t know how to latch baby and its just difficult. The first few days I gave in and supplemented 3 times with formula. I was devastated each and every time I did it. This was not part of the plan! I was not going to give up. I drank loads of jungle juice, expressed after each feed, had hot baths and let Lily drink as long and often as she liked. Finally it worked and I was rewarded with leaking boobs 24/7 and a happily growing baby. It was sore the first week, but really after labour, how is anything really sore ever again?
Then when Lily was 6 weeks old my milk stopped. Overnight. Lily was going through a growth spurt, so you would think I’d have more milk, with her drinking so often. But this wasn’t the case. I immediately got onto the twitterverse and asked for advice. Within minutes I felt better, everyone assured me I need to just keep at it and it will come back. After three days that involved a lot of crying from both of us, it did. Then I started bleeding very badly again, this time I decided it was a problem that needed a professional opinion and took myself back off to the doctor. He said that as long as I’m breastfeeding I may continue bleeding, because the pill I’m on is to light to control it, and I can’t be on a stronger pill because it will dry up my milk. So my choice is breastfeed or bleed. He says there isn’t a choice, I can’t bleed so badly if it doesn’t stop I’ll have to stop breastfeeding. He gave me medication to slow it down and this stopped it all together for now. Its possible it will start again in a few days and if it does I’ll have to decide what to do. Its also possible that it won’t! I’ve decided that I will push it so I can at least feed Lily for 3 months. Hopefully I won’t have to make that decision though.
Most recently I took Lily for her weigh in at the Storks Nest. She’s 6.2kgs and 62cms long. She’s a big baby, but has been all the way through my pregnancy as well. The midwife didn’t quite use the F-word to describe her, but she most certainly used the D word. Diet. I’m meant to put my 2 month old on a diet? What about demand feeding? What about you can’t over feed a breastfed baby? What about breast is best? She advised I give Lily 30mls of water twice a day, in between feeds to stretch them out a bit. Its very hot in Richards Bay and she said she thinks she’s thirsty and that’s why she’s drinking so much. This makes a lot of sense to me and I agree with her. BUT. I asked the paediatrician at her 6 week appointment and he was adamant that baby only gets breast milk. I’ve read loads of studies, all saying to only introduce water with solids. So I sent another plea for advice out. I got a resounding NO!! Every one was shocked that I was told that. So, I’ve decided that I will monitor the situation. If it is a very hot day and Lily is battling to settle and is feeding much more often than usual and looks uncomfortable, then I will give it to her, but it will be a worst case scenario thing.
I really love the support I get from all the moms on twitter, when you’re all alone feeding at 2am, its lovely to know there is a network of moms in the same position, all living in my phone!