Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Breastfeeding 201

So, I'm plowing through the required reading list for aspiring doulas...and thinking doula thoughts 24/7...having a lot of fun obsessing and planning, much to my husband's dismay. Na, he knows it's just me and that I'll run out of doula steam soon and get back to a balanced life. And for the record, he's supportive of it (but I'd still bet he's ready for a new topic of conversation!).

In the mean time, I must confess I was not thrilled to have to read books on breastfeeding again. I was a breastfeeding counselor about 10 years ago, did all the trainings, read the books and still refer back to the books from time to time. I have a few years experience nursing babies (5 children times 2 yrs each-about a decade of my life will be spent nursing by the time Audrey's done). So, yeah. Not thrilled with another BF basics.

So, I started with The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman. Just to get it over with. 'Cause I'm prideful like that.

Wow, oh wow! I learned so much and plan to buy this book for myself and my lending library. This guy is a breastfeeding guru.

His approach, unlike most breastfeeding books, is not focus on all the mother's social issues in nursing (he mostly leaves that up to her) but instead on the medical issues. While he does sometimes speak directly to moms, his audience is more the medical professional helping mom. It should be a must read for anyone working with nursing women.

He breaks it down beautifully by constantly reminding us that most breastfeeding problems are due to a poor latch. If you get the latch down really, really well, it's usually smooth sailing from there on out. Did you know babies can pretend to be latched on well, but aren't? If mom has a strong let down, they can even gain weight, but eventually they can run into trouble. Newman does an excellent job explaining how to determine if a latch is good or not (his techniques were new to me).

This information was so good, I found myself checking Audrey's latch, even though she's not likely to change anything now that she's 8 months old :)

Y'all don't even want to know what I learned when I read the chapter on epidurals in The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Childbirth (okay-wanna know? It's very possible that the IV fluids given before the epidural led to the pulmonary edema that landed me two scary nights in the hospital after Audrey was born. Obviously it doesn't happen all the time, but research shows it is a risk factor of having an epidural). Just for the record, this book is a little outdated (it still talks about routine episiotomies, which I think are mostly abandoned now).

1 comment:

Janet said...

And...exactly how are we supposed to comment on that one? jk ;)
I'm glad you're having fun, and I love your passion.