Before I get to that, can I just say, to all those parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc whose kids just completed their first week back to school – we did it. It may not feel like you survived, but you did. The schedules, forgotten backpacks and homework folders, meeting new teachers, “no you cannot go to bed at 9:30pm anymore” … yes, it has started. But the good aspects need a mention too – meeting awesome new teachers, learning, growing, character building mistakes, a community of supportive parents, etc. It’s all worth it. But tonight, do something nice for yourself and your kids because, we made it through the first week!
Back to breastfeeding, one of my favorite topics. I wanted to share just a few of the funny moments and tips I’ve gathered from my time breastfeeding my babies and stories from friends and clients. Because, sometimes breastfeeding is difficult and you feel like you might never get things working, then one of these hilarious life-teaching moments happens and you just need to have a little giggle.
- The spray – do not underestimate the force with which your milk may come out! How many babies around the world have gotten a milk bath in the face? Millions and millions, their first facials. And better yet, of the many ducts through which the milk comes out, some of them cause the milk to spray sideways, possibly hitting your unsuspecting partner as s/he sleeps! Tip: be ready with a cloth, breast pad, your baby’s onesie (it’s easier to change your baby’s onesie in public than your shirt in public) to catch the spray. Also know that spray just happens, and babies need their facials too.
- The Hunger – most women get The Hunger when they begin breastfeeding. I wasn’t particularly hungry most of the time, which always made it interesting when I did get The Hunger and my whole mission in life became getting more food Now. I have brought food to families thinking I made enough for a meal for everyone and leftovers and later discover it was basically just a snack for the breastfeeding parent. Tip: Do not underestimate The Hunger. Have easy access meals ready and high calorie, high protein snacks when you go out. Also see my post on nutrition during the postpartum time.
- Older babies are easily distracted while breastfeeding – did you know that the buttons or pattern on your couch are fascinating? Your baby did. Did you know that your bra straps are like rubber bands to be snapped and pulled? Your baby does. While you are trying to make eye contact and have a moment with your older baby, she is way too busy to fall for that trick again! Tip: Make yourself and your surroundings really boring. Tell your baby this is time to eat and she can look at that piece of fuzz on the bed in just a minute, promise.
- No texting while breastfeeding – or checking facebook, or twitter, instagram, or whatever else the kids are using these days. I’m totally guilty of this too. But a lactation consultant friend told me that a bunch of her clients’ babies were biting while nursing (ouch) and she traced it back to texting habits. Tip: well this one is obvious. Save the phone for nap times or if you really need to do something, make it quick!
- Stealthy breastfeeding – when you breastfeed in public but you’re so stealthy that people don’t notice until they are really close, then they get flustered and start doing an awkward backing up dance. Tip: no tip. You’re doing just fine.
Breastfeeding class this Thursday, September 10th from 6-9pm at Monkey Bars in Alameda. More fun tips and practical things too. Check it out! Let me know if you can come!