Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mother's Milk: Natural Breast Feeding & Nursing Tips from a Mother of Two

A dear friend of mine, Vida Gomez has added a few thoughts to share with mothers out there who are seeking to breast feed and to make this experience one that creates a close bond with mother and child. For mothers who may be looking for breastfeeding tips and nursing suggestions- Vida is definitely one who can help frustrated and concerned moms.

I make milk and a lot of it. Although pregnancy was hard for me, nursing tends to be simple. I don’t follow any specific rules mentioned in this parenting book or that web-site. I read a lot and listened to the needs of my boys. As of today, I have worked full-time and collectively nursed 3 years—2 ½ more than the average working mom. Here’s my basic plan.

1. No clocks!
2. No plastic nipples!
3. Skin to skin.
4. I eat.
5. I take vitamins and drink water.

1. No clocks—I never worried how often my babies nursed or if they nursed for a certain amount of time on one side. I let them nurse until they were full, and then might switch sides if they wanted to eat more. I let them nurse whenever they wanted, and never looked at clocks.

2. No plastic nipples—I never let my babies take pacifiers, or drink from a bottle until nursing was well established—for me that meant 2 months. My babies tended to see plastic nipples as something to play with until mommy showed up again. They preferred water or juice from a cup if they had to drink something before I was back.

3. Skin to skin—my babies were often in a sling or wrap attached to me. They slept next to my bed and often in my bed. I held my babies as often as possible. This allowed to nursing whenever they wanted and nursing at night—often in my bed—since I was not around during the day.

4. I eat—Although, I don’t get to exercise the same way I did before baby number 2, within 6 months of his birth, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I don’t diet either. I never eat anything low-fat or non-fat. What I do is eat fresh, non-processed foods. I eat homemade organic oatmeal every morning, fruit and veggies, meat, beans, fish, rice….I rarely eat anything from a box or a can that I just need to heat. I eat tons of free range eggs, raw cheese and milk if I can find them, and always have a soup with a homemade bone-based broth in the fridge instead. I have noticed that if I eat certain foods—liver, eggs, ox-tail soup, homemade chicken soup with meatballs—that my milk is more plentiful. I wonder that if mothers who had poor milk supply were told to nurse often, take a daily nap with their baby and given a carton of homemade Italian wedding soup—if they would have more milk.

5. I remember my multi-vitamin and try to have a bottle of water with me at all times. I know that even though I eat well, I am the mother of 2 children, work full-time and am a wife—which can lead to stress. I also try to nap with the kids when I can, play in the sand, play with LEGOs and hug my husband often. I’m sure that helps too.


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