Q: I am currently 8 months pregnant with my first child and am getting ready for baby to come. I have always been put off by breastfeeding (just something about a baby biting on my boob that I'm just not keen on). After talking things over with my husband and my doctors, we have decided that the best option would be to pump and feed the baby with a bottle instead of trying to latch her on. How is the best way to start out with this method? Should I bring my pump to the hospital with me and try to pump right after she's born? Should I have the hospital give her formula until I get home (or until my milk comes in)? I would love some help/advice. Thanks.
Elena Vogel: I would recommend using a hospital grade pump instead of a consumer grade one. It will be much more effective for you if you’re pumping exclusively. Start pumping within 6 hours of having the baby. Pump both sides for about 15 minutes every 2-3 hours. Your colostrum is VERY important for the baby, so you’ll want to give her any amount of it that you are able to pump in the first few days. The amounts will be small (or even none at times). I’d suggest taking a syringe (without a needle and sucking it up from the pump flange and then dripping it into baby’s mouth. She may need some formula too, but always start with offering her whatever colostrum you can express. Within 3 days or so, you should have enough milk to start just offering her that without formula.
Any bottle with universal threading will attach to most breast pump brands.
Q: My 2-month old baby has no problem latching and feeding, but after about 5 to 15 minutes he sometimes starts grunting and pulling off constantly sometimes hitting me. How do I rectify this?
Elena Vogel: He's either grunting and pulling because he needs to burp, or because he's looking for more flow. I would try burping and re-attaching first. If that doesn't work, you could try switiching sides, perhaps sooner than you normally would, so that he gets a bit more flow.
Q: Hello, I will have a scheduled c-section this month and I wanted to know tips on how to breastfeed my newborn after a surgery. I have one child already who I breastfed for an entire year, but he was delivered vaginally so it was a little different.
Elena Vogel: I think you will find breastfeeding fairly similar to your first experience, even though the birth will be different. The biggest challenge will that you won’t be able to move around as easily in the first few days, so you’ll need a lot of assistance with getting situated to nurse. Get help getting propped up into position and getting pillows organized before feeding. A football hold may be the most comfortable position for you initially, as it won’t put any pressure on your abdomen. Also though, if you’re having trouble sitting upright, you may want to look into “laid back” nursing AKA “biological nurturing”: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/ .That may be most comfortable position in the first days.
Q: Hello. I had a c-section 4 weeks ago and this is my 4th child but first to be breastfed. Thus far its been very simple but she nurses what seems to be all day. When she gets done nursing about ten minuets later she’s hungry again. Any advice? How do I get her to eat longer..she usually falls asleep. Also what bottles are best to simulate the breast BC my husband helps feed her with the milk I pump?
Elena Vogel: Chances are that your baby is falling asleep at your breast before taking in a full feeding. I’d suggest “switch nursing.” Keep her on one side until she slows down in swallowing. Try to stimulate to keep going, nudge her to do breast compressions (with your hand back towards your chest wall, take a good handful of breast tissue, squeeze and hold until she stops swallowing, then squeeze and hold again). When those techniques stop working, switch sides. Plan on doing both sides twice, instead of just once on each. The switching will help to keep her awake and drinking. Aim for keeping her drinking for about 30 minutes. It IS normal for breastfed babies to eat frequently, but she should have at least 45 minutes-1 hour of contentment after a feed is over. As for bottles, I would try not to do too many at this point (once a day at most). Medela Calma is a good option.