Breastfeeding With Success

Yesterday, we attended another Kaiser prenatal education class, Breastfeeding with Success. I know that I want to breast feed, and with twins, I recognize it will be easy to get overwhelmed. Kaiser has an amazing support system, access to lactation consultants, and of course, my husband will be my #1 supporter at home.

The class addressed a lot of the myths and worries of breastfeeding which actually was a big sigh of relief. According to statistics, less than half of all babies born each year in the United States are exclusively breastfed, and most for less than 3 months.

For thousands of years, babies depended on their mother’s milk for survival. Only recently, in the United States, we have changed our ways and are now living in a bottle-feeding culture. There are several contributing factors, and one of the big ones is women returning to work. Cultural norms in the US have also caused us to look down on breastfeeding. We are the only country that has these views.

There are a lot of myths about breastfeeding that were addressed in this class.

  • Many women do not produce enough milk
    • A vast majority of women actually produce an overabundance of milk. The baby may not be getting enough milk if they are poorly latched. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you produce. Once you start supplementing 1, 2, 3 bottles per day, you will produce less milk. Studies have shown that only 1-2% of women are truly unable to produce adequate milk.
  • There is not enough milk the first 3 or 4 days after birth
    • The first few days of feeding, your body produces colostrum (newborn milk), which is a rich, thick, yellowish milk. Their stomachs are only the size of a marble when they are first born, and the small amount of colostrum that comes out is the perfect amount for your baby.
  • Breastfeeding is Painful
    • Although many women experience some nipple tenderness during the early days of breastfeeding, breastfeeding is not meant to be painful. It is usually a sign that the baby is not latching correctly.
  • Modern Formulas are almost the same as Breastfeeding
    • Formulas do provide nutrition, but Breastfeeding also provides antibodies to strengthen your baby’s immune system. Breastfeeding also provides good cholesterol and other types of fat in human milk that support the growth of nerve tissue and brain growth.

There are a lot of other myths that were addressed and those were just a few. In our culture, there are many reasons that women choose not to breastfeed and that is a very personal decision that is to be respected.

In our class yesterday, we learned a variety of breastfeeding holds, including some that were specific to twins. We learned a lot from this 2.5 hour class, but we are also meeting 1-on-1 with a lactation consultant on Thursday to go more in detail on nursing for twins. Our lactation consultant will meet us again in the hospital and her office will be open to us after the babies are born for additional support. I think the support will really help us when times get tough.

I have obviously not been down the breastfeeding path yet, but I do believe that breastfeeding will be the best choice for our girls. Although life does not always follow your desired path, this is the path my husband and I have chosen to navigate.

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Posted on May 18, 2011, in Pregnancy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nice post. You are going to be amazing at this. Our girls are going to be spoiled with all the mommy attention. I guess that diaper changing will be my time with the girls…

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