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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    We had hospitalists follow DD at the hospital where she was born and they were terrific. I have to honestly say that I did not speak with them too much about BF since I was asking so many other questions. (I was directing my BF questions to the nurses and LC's - more about that below) I do think though, that it is important to educate moms on the health benefits both to baby AND mom without being preachy. I know sometimes it is not even what is said, but how it is said. Also, let moms know of signs to be aware of regarding baby getting/not getting enough. Also, I believe encouragement from an MD is golden. Especially one who has been through it! If it is a mom's decision to BF, explain that it is hard at first but definitely gets easier! Hearing that from an MD might help with the perseverance during that first week when your nipples are too darn sore and painful and you're wondering how much longer you can continue.

    I have to say that at the hospital I delivered at, the nurses have a lot of training regarding breastfeeding. In fact, they were the most helpful! We did have a visit from a lactation educator and a consultant too. But since it was the nurses that we had the most interaction with, training them too made a lot of sense. It was my RN on the night shift who initially helped me to get DD latched on once DD returned from the nursery - at two in the morning! And during subsequent shifts, I always got helpful and accurate information, which really helped to reinforce what I already knew. They were also really good about "keeping on top of me" every two to three hours, asking how many wet/poopy diapers DD had, and when she fed and for how long, etc. and asking if I had any questions or problems during the feeding.

    I am not sure how helpful this post was but if you have any influence at all at your hospital, educate the nurses on breastfeeding. It made all of the difference for me.

    HTH,
    Marcy

  2. #22
    deborah_r is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    I second that - my biggest problems were from the nurses. Also my hospital has lactation consultants in the breastfeeding center, but those are outpatient only - the ones you see in the hospital were called something like lactation specialists and only one of them was helpful, the others seemed pretty clueless. The nurse on my last night tried to get me to stop using the nipple shield, so DS didn't eat at all the night before we left (maybe he had some formula, I don't remember) I was a wreck from him screaming and the nurse pressing on my engorged breasts and trying to force my screaming son onto them. It is by far the experience I worry about the most as far as having done permanent damage to him because it is so obvious to me NOW how wrong it was to do that to him. But she scared me by saying if I didn't get him off the nipple shield before I went home, I never would. (I did, 2 weeks later)

    So then I saw a different ped the next day than the one who had seen us the previous 3 days, and he thought the baby looked jaundiced. He tested him and he was completely not jaundiced - he scored very well on the test. The doctor was wearing a YELLOW smock, could that have had anything to do with it? He still said to supplement with formula after each BFing session "until mother's milk comes in" - umm, apparently he hadn't noticed my huge engorged breasts, my milk was as in as it could be. I don't know why I didn't tell him that, or tell him that the baby hadn't really eaten the night before (although baby would have eaten just fine from the nipple shield) - I was intimidated by him and I was emotionally exhausted from the night before, and I was upset that I had failed to get him to stop using the nipple shield (I finally fed him with the shield when that night nurse went off duty and my DH got there).

    Anyway, recently I was talking to the LC I used and she is familiar with most of the peds and OBs and she said that particular ped is kind of "old school" and he says ALL of HIS babies are supplemented with formula (his being all of his patients babies, not his biologically). And I bet there are a lot of peds out there who feel that way.

    Interesting to me that I always choose female doctors, but in this situation I had this male doctor thrust upon me and he was in charge of deciding whether we could leave the hospital, and he was my worst experience with doctors during this whole experience. I now use the female ped in his same practice, the one that had checked on us the first 3 days in the hospital. Not saying all male docs are bad, but in my experience, they do NOT LISTEN! In this case, granted I should have told him some things, but he didn't ask the right questions, IMO.

    Done ranting, this is making me mad all over again!!!
    Deb
    Mama to my guys, K (May '03) and Q (June '07)

  3. #23
    emilyr Guest

    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    First, thank you for the interest!

    Apparently, my hospital is different in that the nurses do not push formula or supplementing ( at least in my two experiences there) and I know a few of them personally and know that one breast fed and one never would. However, I never got an "attitude" from either one of them. I think that educating the nurses would be great as they are who the mothers and babies are seeing the most. Although I LOVE my ped and she is the one who visited me in the hospital, for my second baby she simply asked if I was breastfeeding, said "great. She looks perfect!" I do think that she asked if I had any questions but with her body language acted like she was ready to get out of there.

    With my son, he had a medical condition and it benefited him greatly that he was breastfed so both my ped and the surgeon we were referred to were very encouraging (although I was adamant that I was going to breastfeed as long as possible). However, again, it was the nurses that were there in the middle of the night helping me to pump (he couldn't be fed the first 24 hrs), try to get him to latch on once I could feed him, etc. I delivered on a Friday afternoon so the LCs were not there for the weekend. The ped on call for the weekend was not my regular ped and he did not even mention how I was feeding him, although I don't know if this was because we were more concerned about the other condition or because he knew that my regular ped had been there the night before.

    I do wish someone had told me that some days I would feel that I was feeding my baby ALL day long! I also like the idea of giving the info on LLL, the LC phone numbers, etc. My hospital gives a little booklet with these numbers, info on how often the baby should nurse from days 1-4, 5-10, etc and it also had charts to monitor when baby eats, how long on each breast, number of wet/dirty diapers... There is also a page with info on where to buy breastfeeding supplies, pumps, etc. I found this to be very helpful but it was given to me the first night with all of the other paperwork and no one ever mentioned it again. If this hospital gives out something like this, maybe it would also help if the peds showed an interest in it, or encourage the mother to refer to it.

    Again, thanks for the interest, good luck on your conference!

    Emily

  4. #24
    quikeye Guest

    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    I'm not sure if your hospital has "rooming in" for new moms and babies, but that was one of the best things that I had done to help establish breastfeeding. I had a hard time trying to figure out how to get baby to latch (even though I came w/ my well-read copies of the nursing companion and sears' breastfeeding book!) -- but having so many different ped nurses coming by while I was nursing and trying to nurse really helped me with learning how to nurse (and I was still not very good at it when ew left, but I felt confident that it would get better with the advice I received while rooming in. The nurses really made a difference in being really proactive about helping me bf -- they came up and helped me, and I didn't have to ask (I can't believe how embarassed I was that I couldn't get baby on...)

    I think one of the mot important lessons I learned was of baby's early hunger cues (learned from a nurse as well as a lecture given in the hospital by a LC)-- without knowing the cues or reading them, baby goes crazy by the time he's crying w/ hunger and makes it near to impossible for new moms to get a good latch on... and nothing is more discouraging than having a baby cry at your breast.

    Also, the lack of formula @ hand or pacifiers made breastfeeding my "only" choice (though it already was upon entering the hospital, there was no easy way for me to change my mind in regards to that). Plus, the staff @ the hospital was very pro-bf'ing (one nurse gave me some glucose water to make my nipple less dry & make latching easier, and another nurse saw the used "enfamil" cap and said "where did this formula come from?!"-- she didn't want to see baby supplemented either, since I didn't.

    Finally, my baby lost close to the 10% birthweight, and it did scare me into thinking about supplementation (esp. since the nurses were like, "wow! can that be right?" when baby was weighed...) My ped (after being checked out) just had us come in for weight checks until baby got back to his birthweight and kept reminding me that the loss was normal... Although he did say that supplementation may be necessary if baby lost more weight, he didn't and so it didn't become an issue. (I do wish that my ped had told me that babies lose a lot of the weight b/c of the purging of the IV fluid from their bodies that was given to mom during labor-- I kept thinking he was starving or wasting away, but if I had known it was just a water-weight loss, I would not ahve felt soooo anxious about his weight loss).

    Basically, for me bf'ing was my 1st choice but I wish that my ped had given me more practical advice and support to amke my decision easier-- specifically, making sure I had help in getting a good latch/bf'ing started @ the hospital (the nurses were great at that), letting me know baby's cues to make feeding easier, etc.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Wisconsin
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    5,756

    Default RE: Survey for BF moms


    My ped is a friend of mine and I called her from my hospital bed with both births and she came right up to give my girls their assessments. So, I'm a bit biased, since I knew my ped nursed and totally supported my plans to nurse. :D

    My experience with hospitals and BF was that it was the NURSES who needed to be more trained/helpful/supportive. It's the nurses who say, "if she won't calm down, we can give her formula" and they're the ones who raised a stink about my insisting my baby be cupfed instead of bottle fed (only the nurses are allowed to cupfeed a baby and they really don't want to cupfeed in front of the parents, but I also don't let my babies leave my room.....). So, it was the nurses who were pushing the formula and being detrimental to a happy nursing environment, IMHO....
    ~~AngelaS~~
    Mommy to 3 girls: A, G and M. (15, 11 and 8.5)

    The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.
    Karl Marx, "The Communist Manifesto"

  6. #26
    leanng Guest

    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    First- thanks for pushing BFing. My pediatrician said he was 'pro' BFing but that was the first and last we heard about it. At our hospital (prominant hospital in Atlanta), I had to throw a hissy fit in order for the nurses to NOT feed my son formula during the 10 minutes a day they had him in the nursery. I also was told a lactation consultant would be by but it was 48 hours before she showed up. Luckily, I was extremely determined and had my own books and just struggled through on my own.

    Second- I think one of the main problems women I know have with BGing is that noone seems to tell you quite how difficult it will be at the beginning. I remember feeling like a cow every time my son was put in my arms to feed. It HURT for weeks and I was just soo tired that it was tempting to listen to my formula friends who told me to share the work and supplement so I could sleep. I think it would have been very helpful to have been told that things get easier after the first few weeks. I know I have told friends not to think about BFing for an entire year or even an entire 6 weeks. Just make the commitment for a few weeks and vow to rethink things at that point. It makes things MUCH easier.

    Hope this helped.
    LeAnn

  7. #27
    Jeanne is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Nov 1999
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    PA
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    1,960

    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    Just wanted to add that the most important thing that made a huge difference for me was a LC that was willing to look into my insurance plan options to see if a LC was covered for my first day home. It was an option on my plan and from what I understand, a benefit offered by many plans although never publicized. Of course this all depends on your employer choices, but in the several conversations I had with my insurance provider, they never once mentioned it as an option. And I would have not known to ask as first time mom.
    I was fortunate that I had several nurses that were pro BF and a committed LC who wouldn't let me leave the hospital until she felt comfortable the I wasn't going to give up. She also scheduled the visiting LC for the very next day that I was home. That kind of support ensured my success in BF.
    My Ped only casually mentioned it, although my group is very pro BF as well as my OBGYN. The nurses spend the most time with you and they need to be onboard and well informed. They need to take the time with you to ensure your comfort and success.
    HTH and thanks for asking!

  8. #28
    C99 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Jan 2003
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    Chicago.
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    8,207

    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    I know. Our situation was different because Nate was in the NICU, but it was still pretty difficult.

    I was breastfeeding Nate at a family function a few weeks ago, and my husband's cousin was giving me raised eyebrows over it. She's also just gotten work as a nurse on the post-partum floor (and is 8 weeks pregnant!), so I shudder to think what is going to happen with the BFing moms when she had such a negative reaction to it at the dinner table!
    Caroline, mama to DS 01/03, DD 05/05, DS 04/07
    http://littleshoulders.blogspot.com
    "Now that you're here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -- Dr. Seuss

  9. #29
    redhookmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    I have not read the the other replies...

    Breastfeeding hurts, and you are not doing it wrong if it hurts.
    Molly
    pack of kids ranging from age 1 to age 13

  10. #30
    jbowman is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Survey for BF moms

    I gave birth at a "breastfeeding friendly"/pro-breastfeeding hospital. I, like so many other women, was resolute about my decision to breastfeed, but at the same time I was nervous (since I had never done it before and didn't know what to expect!). I attended a breastfeeding class prior to the birth of my daughter, which increased my confidence.

    Once my daughter was born, formula/supplementation was never mentioned. An LC visited me several times and gave me the best advice. She said, "if you can get past the first week or two, you'll be fine!" She also helped show me the proper latch, position for the baby, etc. Additionally the nurses kept a log of how long and how often Ellie fed. And they never once implied that Ellie wasn't getting enough. Although I had a relatively easy time with breastfeeding, I believe that it was at least partially due to my experience at the hospital.

    My ped. is supportive of breastfeeding and really helped when my milk took a bit longer than usual to "arrive." It would have been easy at that point for him to say, "throw in the towel, your daughter's lost a pound since birth, bring on the formula!" Instead he supported me and monitored my daughter closely. Luckily my milk came in soon after, and everything went well. I appreciated everyone's patience and support!

    Ultimately I think the best thing that a ped. can do is to support the wishes of the patient whether her decision is to BF or to FF.

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