I am pretty sure that I do not need a lactation consultant.
Claire has a perfectly good latch. I do not have any supply issues. I am comfortable in different breastfeeding positions. I have read La Leche League’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding front to back, and am always visiting breastfeeding support forums, so I am certainly informed.
What I do have is an impatient and lazy suckler.
One out of every five times, she will take from my breast and drink for a good 10+ minutes straight.
It is only the other four out of five times that she will only suck for a minute or two, tire of it (because it’s more work than drinking from a bottle), then proceed to start screaming. And the girl must have inherited my stubbornness, because once the screaming starts she will refuse to eat from the breast for the rest of that session.
So unless you think I need to pay someone $180+ (that is the going rate for a home visit by a lactation consultant in my area) to sit there to be a cheerleader, no I do not need a lactation consultant.
What I need is a lot of time and patience — and perhaps a bit of stubbornness on my part too. What I need is some time alone with just the baby and myself, so that I do not feel pressured, or feel bad for anyone who might be subjected to the crying.
I am pretty certain that if I stay gung-ho and only offer my breasts for a full 24 hours, no bottles allowed, Claire will need to admit defeat and surrender.
I have asked J to ask his parents not to come over on Wednesday for this purpose.
J asked if I would like him to work from home, and I told him no.
Wednesday will be a day for just me and Claire. A day when I will be adamant about teaching my baby to associate my breasts to eating, to prefer my breasts over any bottle.
And a day filled with many tears, to be sure.
Please wish me luck.
Good luck!! I think this is a great plan and you should be so proud of yourself for taking control of the situation. Yay for stubbornness (on your part, not Claire's)!!
Good luck! I'll be praying for you!
I think this is great! Maybe a good day in the life post is coming??
Good luck! Dang it Claire, just latch on and stop being so stubborn! 🙂
Hi, just wanted to say please make sure its not gas. If shes a bad burper, it could be it. I know my daughter would cry and scream…we didnt know why until we figured out it was gas. Life and eating was much much easier once we figured out the problem. good luck!
Thinking of you, mama! Good luck & I admire your determination!
GOOD LUCK, Jenny! I love your determination and spirit! You can do it!!
@JEss — While Claire certainly suffers from gas time to time, it is not the problem when I try to breastfeed. I know, because on the times when she refuses to take from the breast and I give up and offer her a bottle of pumped milk, she'll hungrily (and happily) take it.
I do believe this is one of the most awesome mommy/baby blog posts I've ever read! Kudos to you for taking control over this feeding situation and going for the gusto. Hopefully this will allow for some great bonding time. On the flip side, there may be moments of difficulty, but your enthusiasm is sure to prevail. Good luck!
Er.. would it be awful just to suggest she drink your breast milk from a bottle? It won't be so bad, right?
Isn't it the same? Educate me! I'm an idiot without a kid to experiment on! 🙂
I love your honest mommy blogging posts though. From calling your child "average looking" to calling her an impatient and lazy suckler.. I'm loving hearing all of this first hand
As a first time mommy, I felt like I'd read all the books. But when you're holding that screaming babe in your arms, it's a whole different story.
I saw about 3 lactation consulants right after my son was born. But once we left the hospital, I was too cheap to hire one. They shared a lot of experience and wisdom that I didn't learn anywhere else. So I was really glad for the opportunity to work with them.
Like Claire, when my son got really upset he wouldn't eat. It's a tough place to be. I found it easiest to nurse him when he was calm and a little drowsy. I'll be praying for you tomorrow!
Good luck. I think this is a great plan, if breastfeeding is important to you. This will probably be just the first of many times when your baby cries because you've chosen a course you find best. It will happen again if/when you chose to sleep train and if/when you chose to discipline when your baby is older.
I just wanted to say, however, that it makes me sad when you criticize Claire for being an impatient and lazy suckler, as if these were really bad qualities. Because I doubt that there is anything wrong or unusual about Claire's feeding. Usually doctors will discourage supplementing with a bottle for the first month (if your wish is to breastfeed) precisely because the bottle is easier and will therefore become the more natural choice. It is NORMAL for moms and babies to slowly learn together over weeks/months how to breastfeed; it is NORMAL for some babies to struggle with latch and learn to suck. It is not the baby's fault. Breastfeeding is not innate. Now that Claire has learned to drink mostly from a bottle, she has to unlearn this skill. It is no different than when I chose to use a fork over chopsticks at a restaurant when I'm hungry- with a grown up this could perhaps be called laziness, but with a baby? Eating, growing, and surviving in the most efficacious way possible? it could also be seen as quite intelligent.
Please don't take offense. I just get the impression that, maybe, sometimes, you are angry with your baby. This too I think is normal. I've been through this and I also have been irrationally angry with my two babies over the past two years- because I'm SO EXHAUSTED and because it can be SO HARD. And we have to dig deep for patience and empathy. We are learning as much as they are- how to be parents.
PS An insightful article.
@The Everyday Minimalist — I think that probably the biggest con to feeding pumped breastmilk from a bottle is the inconvenience…basically, you are adding pumping time (which needs to be at a regular basis), cleaning pumping parts in addition to bottles, storing the milk and warming it up, and so forth. There is also the fact that breastmilk loses some of its nutrients once it is cooled.
I think the biggest factor for me is the time. When my in-laws leave in 1.5 months, I don't think I'll have the time to pump and take care of the baby full-time, and that is why I would like to transition to direct breastfeeding before their departure. If not, we may need to go to formula.
@MP — I am not criticizing Claire when I say those things. I am stating what I perceive, and I do not mean them in a critical way. Yes, I made a mistake in supplementing with formula at the beginning and I beat myself up over it every day, since I know that I contributed to this problem. I am well aware that breastfeeding is a learned process for most moms and babies. And I am aware that some babies will have an easier time of it than others…but is it so bad for me to want to wish that Claire was one of those babies who takes to breastfeeding naturally?
I am not angry with my baby…maybe it's just my writing that comes off that way because I write without censoring myself? Sure I do get angry and frustrated at her at times when she is crying and is inconsolable, but I am not angry with her in general. Thanks for the link — I remember reading that when it was first published, and I'll take a look at it again later today.
Wishing you the best of luck. I think you have a great plan.